Category Archives: Resources

How does your content read?

Depending on what kind of site you have and what kind of content you are writing, it may be helpful to determine and consider the readability of your content. How well do your sentences flow? How do your words interact with one another? These factors, among others, determine how easily readers consume written information. Continue reading

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21 Ways to Attract New Readers and Keep Them Coming Back

Increasing traffic, it’s a quandary faced by anyone who runs a blog. The only thing harder than acquiring new readers is converting them into regular visitors. Follow these 21 tips to get new readers and keep them coming back for more.

1. Follow a Posting Schedule

One of the first things people look at when they visit a blog for the first time is the publish date of recent posts. If the last post was two months ago red flags go up and readers won’t bother checking back for new content. Even if your budget limits you to one post a week or twice a month, keep a regular schedule to show that you’re committed to the content.

2. Respond to Comments

New readers want to know that you listen to comments and aren’t just churning out posts. By responding to comments you start a discussion and make them feel appreciated. This shows that you’re connected to your blog and what people say on it. Plus, it’s a great way to build new relationships.

3. Keep Content Relevant to Your Target Audience

As you continue to build your credibility in your niche, keep content relevant to your readers. Your returning fans will stop coming back if they think they have to dig through pages of articles that don’t relate to them. While writing off-topic once might drive new readers to your blog, they won’t come back when they see that the coverage they came for was a one time thing. For example: someone who runs a knitting blog and writes an article on cats will bring cat-lovers to her blog, but they won’t stay to learn about different types of yarn.

catsyn3.294. Set Up an Easy-to-Use Comments Section

Readers don’t want to go through a 10 step process to comment on your article. If people enjoyed filling out lengthy forms, they’d spend more time at the DMV.  Not only does a complex comment process dissuade readers from talking about your post, it’s what they remember your blog by if they return. By using a streamlined commenting process, new readers can feel like their voice is heard without getting aggravated.

5. Brand Your Content

If you’re starting a new blog, your posts should take on some resemblance of unity. In the same way that it’s important to stay on a posting schedule to show readers that you’re reliable, publishing consistent content that’s on-brand and in a similarly branded format will show that you’re an authority and know what you’re doing.

6. Start a Series

This is a helpful way to bring new readers back to your blog at least one more time or keep first timers clicking through your internal links. Be sure to note in the first part of your series when the next part will be, “Come back next week to read Part 2…” and link back to previous parts as your series progresses, “As we talked about last week in Part 1…” Readers will want to follow the series or click-back to catch up on what they missed. Continue reading

Microdata and Schema.org

This morning I partook in a webinar on metadata for publishing through Digital Book World. One of the websites mentioned at the end of the webinar was schema.org

Here is an excerpt from their homepage:

Many applications, especially search engines, can benefit greatly from direct access to this structured data. On-page markup enables search engines to understand the information on web pages and provide richer search results in order to make it easier for users to find relevant information on the web. […] A shared markup vocabulary makes it easier for webmasters to decide on a markup schema and get the maximum benefit for their efforts. So, in the spirit of sitemaps.org, search engines have come together to provide a shared collection of schemas that webmasters can use.

I am posting this here in the hopes that maybe Kathy can help explain it to the class, but also as Continue reading

Theme Overload

Selecting three themes to talk about was a difficult task for me as the amount of themes available for WordPress seems never-ending.  I first came across the Port theme, which I took notice of because of the moody look of the title page.  Reading further,  I found that it had a lot of advanced features, such as being responsive to whatever device you are viewing it on.  It also has the flexibility of being able to use to showcase your past work, as  portfolio site.

Port Theme

The next theme I came across was a theme called the Workality theme.  This theme was simple to look at, while at the same time allows you to showcase a lot of different content in one screen.

workality theme

My favorite theme was also the most simple, the Counterpoint theme.  This theme is simple, yet clean.  It doesn’t place a lot of emphasis on fancy pictures and graphics.  It seems, at least from first glance to be focused on the content, which is what I’m more interested in.

counterpoint

Lexicon Valley Express

Lexicon Valley is an interesting blog about language housed within Slate.com. It seems to be a collection of pieces by different authors on subjects ranging from “How realistic is science fiction linguistics?” to “where do we get our ideas about pirate speech?”

Here is a random sampling of articles:

  • How to Call In Sick: 21 Complicated Terms for Minor Illnesses
  • 7 Ways to Fake-Pronounce Any Foreign Language
  • Why Does English Use “Iambic Pentameter” and Other Greek Poetic Terms?
  • What Can Linguistics Tell Us About Writing Better? An Interview with Steven Pinker

Continue reading