How to increase your blog’s readership without any extra effort

5 must use wordpress tools

 

In the previous article, we discovered 3 free techniques to increase your blog readership and your reach.

Using the tricks shared today, you will be able to automate 2 of the 3 techniques revealed in the previous article, leaving you more time to create more quality blog posts.

Remember, an awesome blog that no one knows of is only as good as a crappy blog. Share your blog content so that you can help more people and share your knowledge.

Read on to discover all:

5 useful WordPress tricks that every blogger should use to increase your readership without any extra effort.

Previously, whenever a new blog post is published, there will be what feels like a ton of follow up work to do.

I had to think of a short summary, come up with pictures of the right size and share the blog post onto various social media platform.

Today, WordPress has made it easier for bloggers to share our blog posts with ease and with greater reach.

Here are 5 (free) WordPress tools that can help you to increase your traffic without any extra effort.

1. Set a featured image

A beautiful picture that suggests the topic of your blog post will attract targeted readers.

featured image

A common mistake for new bloggers (and myself) is to simply put your ‘cover’ picture at the top of the post.

These posts may look alright on some themes, but may appear very wordy and cluttered on others.

Another upside of using the featured image function is that you get to control the main photo that represents your blog post – when shared on other social sites.

What you need to do from now on?

Instead of adding your first image or cover image in the blog composition box, assign it as the Featured Image at the right sidebar.

Not much effort required since you’d normally already place an image in your blog post. And if you don’t already do that, start doing it because images retain readers attention.

2. Share your new blog post with ease using the ‘Publicise’ tool.

[This function only needs to be set up once, and will be automated for the rest of your blog publishing career!]

Another powerful tool in WordPress, the ‘Publicise’ tool allows you to automate parts of your traffic driving efforts so that you can focus a few more.

wordpress publicise

You can choose to connect any of the following social platforms and your blog post will be shared on these platforms when you publish a new blog post.

  • Facebook Profile
  • Facebook Group
  • Twitter
  • Google +
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr

Here’s how:

A. Click on ‘Settings’ Under ‘Publicise’

set up publicise

A. Or, look for ‘Settings’ in the sidebar on your left and look for ‘Sharing’

set up publicize via sidebar

B. Link up the suitable social platforms by clicking on ‘Add New’ and following the instructions.

link up social platforms

You will still have the flexibility over the choice of platform you would like to publicise, simply make changes on the individual blog post before you publish it.

Simply click on ‘Edit Details’ to select which social platform you would like to have your blog post shared on.

customise you share

This allows you to customise your blog posts sharing to suit the readers on different social platforms. For example, some content posted on LinkedIn may not interest your readers on Facebook or Twitter.

3. ‘Follow Blog’ Widget

[This function only needs to be set up once, and will be automated for the rest of your blog publishing career.] PLUS, it’s available both on the free WordPress.com and hosted WordPress account.

This widget is available both on the free WordPress.com and hosted WordPress account.

follow blog widget wordpress

People who follow your blog will receive email notifications of your latest blog post, the moment you publish it.

Although you do will not have the information of your subscribers, this will allow you to build a community of regular and highly engaged readers.

If you do not have an autoresponder, this is the best way to get started building a loyal group of readers.

You can convert them over to your autoresponder when you decided to register for one.

Using a Free WordPress Account?

Here’s how you can set that up:

A. Go to ‘Appearance’ and select ‘Widgets’

appearance - widget - leftsidebar

B. Locate the ‘Follow Blog’ widget

free follow blog widget

C. Drag and Drop it into the Sidebar

drag and drop to sidebar

D. Complete the setup and you are good to go

set up follow blog

 

For new blogs, you may want to uncheck the option that shows the number of followers you have.

Using a Hosted (Paid) WordPress?

If you are using a hosted WordPress (paid), you may need to activate this function under JetPack. Here’s how:

a. Go to your JetPack Settings (Left sidebar)

jetpack settings

b. Jetpack comes with a whole bunch of useful functions, look for ‘Subscriptions’ using the search bar. And activate it.

jetpack-subscriptions module
click image to enlarge

c. As per the instructions in the Free WordPress account, go to Appearance and click on Widget. Look for ‘Blog Subscriptions (JetPack)’ instead of ‘Follow Blog’.

jetpack blog subscription widget

d. Simply drag and drop the widget to the sidebar and complete the setup.

blog subscriptions set up

4. WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin

I originally started using this plugin to help me with simple SEO. However, the team behind this awesome plugin has added convenient free features that help with social sharing of blog posts.

Continue reading to find out how you can make use of this plugin to maximise your reach without any extra effort. (p.s. A new Facebook feature that allows you to grow your followers faster, was added recently too!)

a. SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) may not bring in traffic right from the get go, but will be useful over the long term.

If you are using a hosted version of WordPress, simply install the ‘WordPress SEO by Yoast’ plugin.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

This plugin is a really handy for SEO noobs like me.

Simply fill up the fields located below your individual blog post to optimise the blog post for your desired keyword(s).

wordpress seo - settingsThis dashboard is located on the same dashboard where you compose your blog post or blog page, right below the area where you write your article.

Note: there is more to SEO than what this plugin provides, but as mentioned before, it’s handy for SEO noobs like me.

If you know nuts about SEO, I find that this plugin is a great starting point. At least get some blog posts SEO optimised while you find out how to optimise your entire blog.

b. Social Sharing

[This function only needs to be set up once, and will be automated for the rest of your blog publishing career.]

Anyway, back to today’s topic on increasing your blog readership without extra effort, here’s how the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin can help with social sharing.

wordpress seo yoast plugin  social settings

  • ‘Social’ Function helps to link up to a wider range of social media platforms

social media platforms on yoast

  • *NEW* Links you up with Facebook Authorship

This is a powerful new function on Facebook that can help content creators and bloggers to increase their followers on Facebook. I only discovered this powerful function recently and am still testing it out.

**Benefits of Facebook Authorship for bloggers**

  • Builds Your Brand

links your articles back to you!
Your articles will have your name on it now. And, it’s a clickable link to your profile.

This means that no matter how viral your posts gets on Facebook, interested readers can always link back to you. How awesome is that?

  • Increase followers on Facebook
    People who are not following you will see a ‘Follow’ button on your article as such. This helps to increase the number of followers you have. Do note that you will have to enable your ‘Followers’ Setting on Facebook to fully utilise this function.
facebook follower setting
Set your followers setting to ‘Everybody’ in your Facebook settings.
  • All this without any additional effort required!
    Simply set it up once and each new blog post will be have these features on Facebook.

I thank the people at The Social Media Hat for their informative post on Facebook Authorship.
This was the article where I first learnt about Facebook Authorship: http://www.thesocialmediahat.com/news/facebook-adds-authorship-bloggers-take-note-06192015

5. Schedule

This is something beyond driving traffic and increasing the readers coming to your blog, but the ‘schedule’ function in WordPress requires a mention.

how to schedule your post

This function allows you to create multiple blog posts at once and schedule their release as required. For a start, it is often recommended that you post once a day to keep your readers interested.

The perfect function that will allow you to take a week off blogging and to enjoy your vacation fully, when you need to.

A quick overview

That’s all the blog reader attraction tricks we have today, here’s a quick overview of all 5 of them:

  1. Use Featured Image
  2. Set up your ‘Publicise’ Function
  3. ‘Follow Blog’ aka ‘Blog Subscriptions’ Widget
  4. WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin
  5. Schedule your posts

Know any tricks that should be listed here? Let us know in the comment box below!

 

Learned something from this article? Don’t be selfish, let your friends know the #1 trick from this article that you will be implementing immediately! Use the sharing buttons that should be on your left (if you are on desktop) or below this blog post (if you are on mobile).

Written by Yen Yee

Yen Yee

An aspiring digital entrepreneur who continues to learn and find her way around in the online world.

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