Comments are part of every blog. Indeed they form an important part of the content of the blog itself. That is why it is highly important that we pay serious attention to comments and commentators on our blogs.
First, a blog is just dead or non-existent without comments. It means that no one is ready to engage with you even if you are providing high quality content.
Second, comments are social proof. With a decent number of average comments per post, you can show that up as a social proof, which is great.
Third, comments are also indexed by the search engines, just like your contents. So if the comments in your blog are of high quality, bots note that too!
Commenting on other blogs and building up backlinks for your own blog is very effective for SEO purposes. The newest means, to encourage readers to comment on your blog and to benefit from your own comments on others’ blogs, is the commentluv plugin.
What is commentluv?
Commentluv is a wordpress plugin that rewards the commenter – simple. It rewards by giving the commenter a do-follow backlink to their own blog. This naturally encourages bloggers to comment more and invest their time in the host blogs with commentluv to build high quality backlinks. What are the other benefits? To acquire the commentluv plugin, all you have to do is download and install the plug into your blog. Installation is just like any other plugin installation at WordPress. No brainer. Then you need to register all relevant details about your site at the members’ page. The registration is optional. If you don’t register, you can leave a link to your latest post when you comment on other blogs. If you register you have the option to choose from the last 10 posts. This helps to leave a link to a blog post that is more relevant to the one you are commenting at.
Commentluv enabled blogs usually attract a lot of traffic. And the traffic is usually not silent readers but active commentators. If you concentrate on commenting in blogs with commentluv, you can build very high quality do-follow backlinks. And, if you do this in a consistent manner, you can get great numbers in various statistical measures like Alexa rank, Semrush score, Postrank score etc..
All in all commentluv is a necessary fixture for every blogger who is serious about their SEO purposes and methods. The plugin can deal with most of your SEO struggles and you can easily benefit from the amount of links that will be available for you to build traffic from.
Here are a few more blogging tools to help you create a great blog. Be sure to read Part 1 for more blogging tools and resources:
What is it? A Twitter tool that tells you the best time to tweet for maximum impact.
How does it work? By looking over your last 199 Twitter messages, Timely analyzes the best times to schedule your tweets for the highest engagement. Including a link to your blog? Well then of course the more people who see it, the more traffic you’re likely to get from it.
Also note: Timely is free, but the pro account features also include letting you post to Facebook.
What is it? A directory for bloggers looking for, and offering, guest posts.
Why is it worth bookmarking? Sometimes you’re short on time to write a post—especially if you’ve got a vacation coming up and you’re trying to schedule content in advance. Guest posts can help you save that time. My Blog Guest acts as the man in the middle, helping you find guest posts to publish, or blogs that will publish your writing.
Stating the obvious: Guest-posting is a great way to get new traffic to your site.
What is it? A broadcasting tool allowing you to host your own video talk show right from your blog.
What can you do with it? You can take “live” calls from your readers who can participate via web cam or chat. Worried about who might appear on your video? Set up a friend as a “screener” to preview them behind the scenes.
Features worth noting: You can cut to close-ups of the host or caller, making your production look extremely professional.
What is it? A tool to check for available usernames.
Why would you use it? Along with setting up a new blog, comes setting up its related online profiles (Twitter, Facebook, and more). Consistency is key for your “brand” so try to register the same usernames or vanity URLs if you can.
Bonus info: NameChk will search across 160 of the most-popular sites. A similar tool is KnowEm.
One of the most exciting things about being a blogger is finding new ways to improve your blogging experience. Whether that’s by implementing a new plugin to give your site extra functionality, finding an untapped traffic source to boost your reader numbers, discovering a resource that will help you create more entertaining posts, or learning of a website that’ll reignite your blogging mojo.
Here, we’ve listed a few blog tools and resources you may not have heard of. Tommorrow we will be posting a few more unique blogging tools and resources to help you build a great blog!
What is it? A social-media conference directory.
Why is it worth bookmarking? Sometimes, the best places to learn about all things online, is offline. And getting to know your readers and fellow bloggers IRL (in real life) is a highly rewarding experience. This is where Lanyrd is useful—use it to find blog conferences by topic or location. Find out who’s going, their Twitter handle, and other conferences they plan to attend.
Bonus info: Can’t make it to the event? Lanyrd collates numerous resources covering it, including write-ups, videos, slide decks and photos. Learn what went on, even if you weren’t there.
What is it? A tool designed for blogger outreach.
How does it work? For publicists, it claims to provide the tools required to reach bloggers who’ll care about their story. For bloggers, it lets you set up your preferences for how you like to be pitched—email? LinkedIn? Twitter? The choice is yours. BlogDash also lets you select the type of opportunities you’re open to receiving, such as products to review or events to cover.
Bonus info: More than 25,000 bloggers are currently listed.
What is it? A very simple newsletter tool you can use for free.
Why is it worth bookmarking? If you’ve ever wanted to charge your readers for a newsletter subscription, but lacked the technical set-up know-how, TinyLetter is as simple as they come. Simply create your account, decide what you’ll charge per month (or of you’ll charge at all), and embed the sign-up form on your blog. Easy.
Other options? The Letterly.net concept is similar, however readers must pay to subscribe.
WordPress is known for being one of the most powerful open-source blogging platforms today. Not only does it work great for blogs–it also functions as a regular content management system, which also makes WordPress one of the most popular platforms. One of the reasons that makes WordPress so popular is the free plugin community. Plugins are downloadable add-ons that enhance WordPress’s functionality.
We’ve discussed WordPress plugins before, and now we are ready to share even more WordPress plugins with you. Here are a few more essential plugins you should consider adding:
1. Feed Statistics
Feed Statistics is an extremely useful plugin for tracking RSS subscribers, clicks on posts and even which feed each user is subscribing too, such as comments or individual post feeds. You can choose to display your feed stats anywhere on your blog or with a widget, or choose to keep it completely in the backend for your eyes only.
Everyone knows the best form of marketing is by word of mouth. Encourage them to share your articles or pages with the ShareThis plugin. ShareThis allows your readers to submit your links to social media sites or by email. It also remembers your social media login info if you have an account with them. It will post your post’s title and shortened URL to the user’s account.
TwitterPosts automatically sends out a tweet from your Twitter account as soon as you publish a new post. While settings can be changed, the default sends out a “New Post” + the title of the post + a shortened URL to it. This plugin is especially helpful if you have multiple social media accounts, like Facebook and LinkedIn, connected to your Twitter account as this will update all of them. This saves you a lot of time, plus some readers may prefer to “subscribe” to your blog’s updates by Twitter instead of using RSS feeds.
4. WordPress Automatic Upgrade
WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin is essential to have because we’ve all heard the horror stories of people upgrading their blogs to find them broken and/or gone. This plugin takes you through several simple steps that download, backup and install new versions of WordPress. It also checks to see if your database needs to be upgraded.
5. WordPress Related Posts
One of the best related posts plugins I’ve found, WordPress Related Posts gives you lots of great customizable options and is easy to style. It even includes the option to have a short summary of the recommended post. Related posts is a great plugin for readers to find similar, but older, posts to the one they just read. This ensures all of your content is still being seen and used, plus it offers more information to the reader.
Have you found a plugin you consider essential for every WordPress blog? What is it and what does it do?
If you have been using WordPress for even a short amount of time, you’ve noticed that the WordPress Development team puts out new upgrades and versions of the WordPress software on a semi-regular basis. The goal of the WordPress Development team is to put out new versions every 120 days (or once every 4 months – 3 times a year). Why is this important to you? Most often, WordPress is putting out new versions to bring new, exciting and fun features to the users of WordPress. The Development team is always striving for ways to make WordPress more exciting, useful and efficient for users to publish their content on the web.
Occassionally, however; it is vital that the WordPress Development team put out a new upgrade for security reasons. Like all software, WordPress is not infallable and once in awhile, a vulnerability or security flaw is discovered. This is normal in the world of software (think about how often Microsoft puts out updates and upgrades to fix vulnerabilities, flaws and secure their software?). The good news is that the Development team is generally right on top of any problems that are exposed. WordPress has made it easy for you to upgrade your installed version of WordPress. It is so easy to accomplish there is NO REASON not to upgrade!
Before upgrading, take a full backup of your site using the BackupBuddy Plugin.
It’s this easy: When there is a new version available, you see an alert at the top of every page of your WordPress Dashboard that looks like this:
See the message there? “WordPress 2.9.2 is available! Please update now.” – all you need to do is click the link that says ‘Please update now” to start the upgrade process. Once you do, you are taken to the Upgrade WordPress page in your Dashboard:
Click the “Upgrade Automatically” button to start the automatic upgrade of WordPress. Once you do that, you see the following messages appear within your Dashboard:
That’s really it. It’s THAT easy! The WordPress Automatic Upgrade tool downloads the latest version from the WordPress.Org servers, unpacks it on your web hosting account, installs it, upgrades your database and finishes the process with a friendly message telling you that your WordPress has been successfully upgraded. I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your WordPress installation upgraded and as up to date as possible. You may have heard horror stories about WordPress users having their ‘blogs hacked’ — and it has happened! The blogs were ‘hacked’ because the user was using an old, outdated version of WordPress and did not take the time to upgrade their WordPress software. Upgrade your WordPress site today. It will only take you a few minutes to complete, and you’ll thank me for it later!