I visit a lot of blogs, and I subscribe to a lot of blogs, but one things stops me from subscribing; blogs with no email sign up. Sure, RSS feed is the future, but with several of the feed readers disappearing, maybe not so much. I know I’m not alone when I say I prefer blog notices to show up in my email, and for those of us who do Blogger has FINALLY made it easy for bloggers to add the option:
The video is a bit rushed because the program wouldn’t let me save one that was very long, but I think it shows the process.
Of course, if you have wordpress the subscribe by email has been in the widgets section for a long time.
Does your blog have a subscribe by email option? Why or why not?
There are plenty of articles out there to tell you how to blog. They offer advice on how to decorate your blog, what links you should include in the sidebars, how to make your blog easily navigable and searchable. There are articles that give you ideas about how often to write, how long the posts should be, what the ideal time is to post, and even what your posts should be about. However, all of this is meaningless if your readers can not subscribe to you.
The point of posting a blog is to get people to read it, and if no one can read it then you’re wasting your time. You want to make your blog as easy to get access to from as many devices/subscriptions types as you can. It takes a couple of seconds, and there’s no excuse not to.
Most blog hosts offer a default RSS subscription service. All you have to do is make sure that the link to it is visible in your toolbars/widgets. RSS isn’t the only subscription route. For example, I don’t use RSS and the sad fact is that if I can’t subscribe to a blog via email, I don’t bother, no matter how interesting or entertaining it is. I simply don’t have time to book mark it and randomly check back. I’m not the only one.
If your blog host doesn’t offer an email subscription option (wordpress does – just go to your widgets and drag it over to your widget area), you can use feedburner.com to create one. They will generate code that you can paste into your blog’s sidebar (if you want to see it in action you can check here – look to the right). Feedburner is pretty easy to use, so I won’t go into details unless someone wants me to.
Remember, the point of blogging is to be read – so make it easy for your readers to read – and subscribe – to you, or they might not bother.
Stephannie has posted some excellent articles chock full of blogging tips from a writing point of view, so I thought I’d take a little time to discuss the more technical aspects of blogging with some handy tips I’ve discovered.
In the spirit of short blogs, I am breaking this up.
Most WordPress bloggers know how to write engaging posts, embed photos, videos or even polls in their posts, but did you know that you don’t have to publish the post right away? I’m not talking about the save as draft option, I mean that you can set your blog up to post a blog on a specified day, at a specified time, while you’re not even near the computer.
Yeah, I’m doing it now. As this blog is posted, I have no idea where I’ll be, or what I’ll be doing, but WordPress will be auto-posting this for me. Pretty cool, huh?
To post your blog on a future date, simply edit the post date like so:
And then, you walk away, and it posts for you. This can be especially handy if you’re doing a series but want to sit down and write it all in one day, or you’re posting a long piece – like a book chapter – in pieces.
Want even more automation? How would you like some, automatic system to post an update to your Facebook and Twitter that lets the world know you’ve posted? Sound like an impossible dream? Well it’s not, thanks to TwitterFeed.
How does it work? Go to http://twitterfeed.com/, make an account, and set up a new feed. Name it and then enter your feed address ( the RSS feed address for my WordPress blog is:http://joleenenaylor.wordpress.com/wp-rss2.php – copy this and change the joleenenaylor.wordpress.com to your url ). Twitterfeed will authenticate it, and then continue to step 2 where you can choose to use this with Twitter, facebook, Stautsnet, Ping.fm, and Hellotxt.
The extra cool thing about this is that you can have more than one feed. Facebook only allows you to sync your account with one blog. For instance, I have it linked to my personal blog, which meant I had to manually post links to my author blog, but now I could actually let twitterfeed handle them all, if I wanted to, or even add another blog.
So, how well does it work? As of my writing this, it’s posted two posts to my facebook wall, but I imagine there will be more by the time this is posted. (If you want to see for yourself, you can go check it out – http://www.facebook.com/joleene.naylor ) It does put a little yellow icon that says “posted via twitterfeed” after it, and it doesn’t have the thumbnail image that you get when you post the link manually:
And here’s the result on Twitter
So far, I highly recommend it!
Have you discovered any “automated” services? If so, what are they, and would you recommend them?