Friday, May 27, 2011

Guest Blog: On blogging, Part 2

A guest blog from social media expert Meg Stivison, second in a two-part series, on how to build your blog following!  Meg Stivison is a professional website-and-blog designer, and currently Director of Social Media for the MMORPG Next Island.

Your Awesome Content: Part 2 Sharing

We talked last time about scheduling your posts to make your RSS feed constantly active, even if can’t always be blogging. Now let’s put that rocking blog feed to work.

Share! Grab your site’s RSS feed, and connect it to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. (You’re on Twitter, right?) Your Facebook account will introduce your blog to real-life friends and professional connections, who will be predisposed to like it, and to give you early stage feedback.

Make it easy for your readers to subscribe to your site. You don’t have to use a bright orange RSS button. Try adding Google Friend Connect, Networked Blogs for Facebook, or similar plugins to encourage subcribing and sharing.  You can also make a basic Facebook fan page, and import your RSS to let readers subscribe on Facebook while keeping your personal page, well, personal.

Make it easy for your readers to bookmark and share what you’ve written. Blogger and WordPress offer plugins with StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit and most of the major social bookmarking sites as one-click buttons for your readers. Most of us are more inclined to hit a one-click share option than to highlight and copy the URL, open a new email in another window, paste the link, don’t you think?

If you write on a topic with an active online community, make it easy for your readers to share what you’ve written with social sites devoted to that subculture. A gaming blog, for example, would want to connect with GameKicker, N4G and so forth.  If you participate on a topic forum, add your blog’s URL to your forum signature.

Enable email subscriptions to your blog, even if everyone you know uses a feedreader. I’m constantly stunned by how many readers prefer emailed updates. It’s not my personal style, but it’s all about putting your awesome content in the form your readers like best.

Once you’ve got a steady stream of posts, and a decent backlog of content, submit your RSS to related blog directories.

By building a steady blogfeed and helping your readers to share your posts, you’ll be able to package your awesome content to increase your blog readership.

Meg Stivison works in social media and player experience for the startup MMORPG Next Island. She blogs at Simpsons Paradox.

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