There are many things that make a blog attractive and one of the major ones is the template. We’re not going to discuss what template would be appropriate for your blog, or what type of pictures and posts you should upload. That’s entirely up to you. If you’re a first time WordPress user, or already have some experience with the site and would simply like to give it a few touch ups, here are a few tips and tricks that would make anyone who passes by your website a tad bit envious and impressed.
The “Read More” Tag
This is crucial to increasing your blog post views and making your website appear more organized and structured, in particular your home page feed. This tag tends to be provided automatically depending on the template you’re using. Templates that come with the “read more” tag provide for the first few sentences of your post with an option to “continue reading” for those who are interested to view the rest of the article. However, several ideal templates don’t have this option automatically. Luckily you don’t need to cower in frustration and move on to the next theme. You can place this option in your posts manually.
I’ll use the Colinear Theme as an example, as this is the template I currently use on my blog. This particular theme does not provide the excerpt tag by design. As a result your entire post tends to be shown on your homepage, which removes a sense of professionalism from your blog. It also means that readers can read upto 10 posts with just one page view and this does not work well for traffic. If you suffer the same problem, the solution is simple. Edit a post you have published previously or create an entirely new one, head to the toggle bar in your post editor and click the “More Tag” button after the sentence you’d like viewers to continue reading from. There should be a dashed line with ‘more’ in the center that appears, separating your excerpt from the rest of your post. If you would like more detail on the matter click here.
Your Number of Blog Followers
Probably one of the better features on WordPress if you ask me; because this is something you have the power to control. People are usually impressed by numbers, from your grades to the amount of money you have, and there is no exception when it comes to your blog. If you’ve already observed a couple of other blogs in the past, you realize a little section in most that states, “You are following this blog, along with other amazing people”. That little dash tends to reveal the supposed number of persons following a particular blog, when in fact it’s the amount of followers the blogger has on his/her Facebook and Twitter accounts combined! So if you had 500 Facebook friends and 500 Twitter followers, the little dash would reveal a following of up to 1000 people! Now imagine a random visitor scrolling through your blog feed and seeing that four figured number on the screen, 1000 isn’t a lot but it’s not a little either, they’d probably be a slightly impressed with how ‘popular’ your blog is. The more Facebook friends and twitter followers you have, the higher the number.
So how do you manipulate this to your advantage, I find it easier to obtain Facebook friends than I do twitter followers. If you do too, attempt to stretch the number of friend requests to the point where Facebook can allow. I once made up to ‘300 new blog followers’ in a day, due to pushing the amount of friend requests I could send to its limit. If you feel Twitter is your preferred social platform, then do the same and obtain as many followers as you possibly can. To make your blog seem impressive, you need to be social media savvy.
I could write a whole book on widgets, the ‘Blog Followers’ topic I discussed above is derived from a widget that you could choose to place on your blog for public viewing. Widgets help the reader understand more about the blogger, ensures that one’s website appears legit and genuine, plus it provides for a great addition to its appearance.
Social media feeds make fantastic additions to your blog, particularly if your website focuses more on fashion, food, or lifestyle. However I won’t focus on them as much, instead I’m going to discuss on two widgets that are fairly simplistic and a little less mainstream:
- Delicious Links Widget
This widget is great if you have work that belongs to you on other websites-be it articles, stories, videos, etc-that you would like to showcase on your blog without interfering with its content. The widget provides for a list of links to other websites that you have an interest in. Personally, I use the widget to showcase my writing portfolio.
To enable the widget to work you need to get an account with delicious.com which is absolutely free, and insert your desired links. From there, head back to the delicious widget on your blog admin and follow the steps provided in WordPress Support.
- Blogger Badges
Nothing says you’re an established blogger, like a blogger badge. You can get several free ones throughout the internet. Badges can be found when you sign up as a blogger on websites such as The Blogger Program, etailPR Bloggers Network, Paper Blog, among others. When inserting the badges use the image widget accordingly.
If you would like a general idea of everything I have written above, you can check out the layout and appearance of my blog here.