Now that you’ve got a brand-spanking-new blog, you’re set to start putting your thoughts down for the world to read. But who is going to read your blog? Your mom, certainly, but what about your friends or other visitors that stumble across it? How are you going to engage them and keep them coming back for more?
Besides writing good content, you have to provide your blog readers with connectivity to social networks and other information that will keep them clicking around your site, looking for more, and sharing it with their friends. And one of the best ways to do that is to include plugins on your blog. The WordPress platform has thousands of free plugins that you can post on your site to keep people interested.
Here are a few that might help you out:
- Add to Facebook: This plugin adds a little box to the top or bottom of each post with an invitation to share the post on Facebook. Since Facebook is the #1 social media site, this is probably the most important plugin you can add to your site to help readers share your thoughts with their friends.
- Facebook Profile Badge: Another great way to connect your blog to Facebook is through a Facebook badge that displays your Facebook profile picture along with other information like recent posts, friends, photos, and more. Putting this badge on your blog also makes it easier for your readers to friend you on Facebook without having to log on and do a search.
- Tweetmeme Retweet Button: Twitter is one of the fastest ways to spread your blog around the internet and get it in front of people who are interested in the same things you are. Putting this simple button in all your posts (via the plugin), gives your readers the ability to share your blog on Twitter at the click of a button.
- WP Google Buzz: Not as popular as Facebook and Twitter, Google Buzz is still a great way to help your readers share their favorite posts online.
- WP Flickr: Another way to keep your readers on your blog is to share pictures with them. If you have a Flickr account, you should embed the Flickr plugin on your site so that your readers can see all your recent pictures posted to Flickr and connect to you online.
- Social bookmarking: Besides connecting to Facebook and Twitter, you should provide your readers with a way to share your posts on social bookmarking sites like Delicious, Digg, Technorati, and more.
- Linkwithin: Once your readers have read one great post by you, you want them to read more, right? Putting the Linkwithin plugin on your site adds a section to the bottom of each post with thumbnails and suggestions and links to other stores on your blog that are similar to the one they just read—keeping them engaged longer on your site.
- Visitor maps: It’s nice to see where your blog traffic is coming from, but it’s also nice for your visitors to see where in the world people are reading your blog. A map like this plots and saves the location on each visitor based on their IP address.
- Clean Archives: Once you start adding regular content to your blog, your archives might get a little messy, especially if they are crammed over in a small column on the side of your blog. The Clean Archives plugin organizes your archives for you and places them on a separate page so visitors can easily brows through all your past posts.
- Audio Player: Do you want to share your favorite music with blog visitors? Try out a music player plugin that lets you upload playlists of music so your readers can connect with your music as well as your words.
This article is written by Gunter Jameson. He writes about several topics including travel, minimalism and online classes.