Take Your Author Blog to New Heights

 

Take Your Author Blog to New Heights by Frances CaballoYou’re reading the text version of the Social Media for Authors Podcast, Episode 30 published and copyrighted by Frances Caballo every week.

As usual, this week’s episode includes summaries of four blog posts with awesome blogging tips and, of course, I have your tip of the week. Enjoy!


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Plugins and Apps I Recommend for Your Author Blog

As I said, we’re talking about author blogs today, so I thought I’d some of the WordPress plugins and apps that I rely on to support my blog.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

This simple plugin is a must-have on every blog. It simplifies the mystery behind SEO by showing you in red or green text whether you are using your designated keywords sufficiently.

I’m not savvy when it comes to search engine optimization, so I love this plugin because it makes the process easy. And you can use it to set up your Twitter Card too – a cool option for every blog.

Here’s an example of how it looks:

Avoid Social Media Time Suck by Frances Caballo

Pin It Button

I don’t use the Pin It Button plugin from WordPress, but there is one available. Just go to WordPress.org to download it.

Secondly, you can also forego the plugin and go to Pinterest and drag the Pin It button to your browser. This method works for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari.  And it’s super easy to do.

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 3.19.09 PM

Finally, if you love Chrome, you can get the Pin It Chrome extension.

Whichever method you select, just do it. Traffic to your blog will increase once you begin to pin images from your blog to a pinboard on Pinterest.

Click to Tweet

I know I’ve mentioned Click to Tweet before, but it’s worth repeating. This plugin makes it super easy for your readers to share your posts by giving them tweetable bits of wisdom.

Here’s an example from a recent blog post:

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 3.14.44 PM

Recent Posts

Finally, I like to use Recent Posts. This plugin will display on your website a list of your most recent posts. You also can decide whether you want it to select posts from a particular tag or category.

Here’s an example from my blog:

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 3.13.49 PM

Blogging Plugins and Apps I use and Recommend via @CaballoFrancesClick To Tweet

Spruce Up Your Author Blog with Tips from the Experts

All of the links to the posts that I mention here will be available in my show notes, which I publish on my blog at SocialMediaJustforWriters.com every Friday morning.

Let’s start with RazorSocial’s post, titled Blog Writing: 11 Useful Tools to Improve Your Blog Post Writing.  The writer behind this amazing blog, is Ian Cleary.

Here are some of his tips:

  1. Ian starts by suggesting a content idea generator by Portent. When I tried it, I typed in “social media” and the topic generator suggested this idea: 9 Facts About Social Media That’ll Keep you Up at Night. I might have to use that idea for a future blog post.
  2. Use an online timer to focus your mind. Two that Ian suggests are e.ggtimer.com and Tomato Timer. I find that timers make me write faster.
  3. Temporarily block your social sites by using Anti-Social or StayFocused. These will keep you off the Internet. I mentioned these in my most recent book, Avoid Social Media Time Suck, as a way to keep you focused on your writing projects. If you find the Internet distracting – and who doesn’t? – these may be good options for you.
  4. This next idea is cool. Use Atomic Ally Editor from Atomic Reach to help you focus on your audience as you write. The browser extension will analyze your text to determine whether it fits your designated audience.
Use Online Timers to Stay Focused on Your Writing via @CaballoFrancesClick To Tweet

Next up is a post from The Blogging Wizard (aka Adam Connell) titled How To Write The Ultimate Blog Post: A Blogger’s Cheat Sheet.

Here are some of the suggestions from this post.

  1. Start with a great blog post topic.
  2. Empathize with your readers.
  3. Work on the SEO by using a plugin. As I said earlier, WordPress SEO by Yoast is a great option.
  4. Write an irresistible headline.
  5. Don’t forget to add an enticing image.

Read the post for additional ideas the shares.

Next up is a post by Neil Patel, a social media ninja, titled 13 Important Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Blogging

As is usual for Neil Patel, he writes comprehensive posts packed with useful information. Here are some of his tips.

  1. Decide whom your post is for.
  2. Determine the purpose of your post. Do you intend to entertain your readers, solve a problem for them, or encourage a discussion on a particular topic? Figure that out before you start writing.
  3. Why will your readers care about this post?
  4. What is your unique angle and will you need to conduct research before you start to write your next post?
  5. What is the best way to present the point you want to make? For example, will you use images, video, slides, or some other medium such as a podcast episode?
  6. Have you given yourself a reasonable deadline?

I can’t possibly do this wonderful post justice by sharing just these six points that Neil makes. Be sure to check out this post if you are serious about ramping up your blog.

I recently read another great post on the Blogging Wizard blog titled 5 Eye-Catching Ways To Makeover Your Blog Today.

If your blog needs a makeover, this post would be a good one for you to read.

  1. Consider updating your website to a more modern WordPress theme.
  2. Get rid of certain fonts, such as shiny buttons with a beveled look and drop shadows.
  3. Consider using a flat design for your website. A flat design has a minimalist use of simple elements. There are more open space, crisp edges and bright colors. See the Blogging Wizard’s website for an example.
  4. Consider switching to a parallax scrolling website instead of pages. This design has become increasingly important due to the move to mobile navigation.
  5. Don’t forget to brand your blog images.
  6. Improve your site’s loading time. She suggests the W3 Total Cache WordPress plugin.

Author Elna Cain has even more points to make so you’ll want to check out this post.

Distracted by the Internet when you write? Use Anti-Social via @CaballoFrancesClick To Tweet

I’m just going to mention this next post quickly: Which Blogs Make the Biggest Impact? by Allison Nazarian.

In this post, Allison attempts to settle the issue concerning how long your blog posts should be. She doesn’t think the length of a blog post matters that much, but she quotes some studies that do impart opinions. Check it out. You may find your answer here.

Finally, here’s one of my posts, 8 New Blogging Rules for Writers.

In this post, I cover everything from how often to blog, the importance of original content, formats and third-party publishing sites such as LinkedIn’s publishing platform.

If you want to supercharge your social media marketing and figure out when to post information about your new blog posts on your social media sites, download my free Social Media Cheat Sheet. This cheat sheet will take the guessing out of when to post what you write.

 

Grab the Social Media Cheat Sheet by Frances Caballo

 

Further Reading

Not Sure How to Blog? Follow These 4 Steps

12 Tools to Tune up Your Blogging Strategy

34 Blogging Topics Just for Writers

 

Sell More Books with These Tips by Frances CaballoYou’re reading the text version of the Social Media for Authors Podcast, written and copyrighted by Frances Caballo. Loved this episode? Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

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