Here at blogging for beginners I have spent a lot of time going over SEO techniques and ways to optimize key areas of your blog in order to improve your search engine ranking. And while that is some of the most important beginner blogging lessons, I figure it is time to spend some time talking about widgets and add-ons that can make your blog more appealing, or make it an actual tool in blogging for dollars.
Key to remember here is too many gadgets is too much. Most readers do not like to be bombarded with flashy lights and moving banners and pop-ups. In fact most readers will be turned off by that. Not to mention the fact that every single little piece of code you add to your blog slows down the load time. Which is another big no-no in both your reader’s eyes and the search engines eyes.
Which is why I will not spend much time talking about adding gadgets and widgets to your blog. And which is why I try to keep this blog fairly uncluttered. This is personally the approach I will always take with blogging for beginners and any other blog I will be affiliated with.
So, Lets talk about gadgets and how you should approach them as a beginner.
The gadgets/widgets I would recommend to everyone would be, whether you’re a beginner or a pro:
2.) Blog Archive
After that, the possibilities are endless. Things that I find important though are:
1.) RSS Feed
Now that I have gotten that out of the way, Lets talk about why I think the top three are must haves.
The labels widget, in many ways are like keywords. They offer links to the articles you believe should be related back to specific keywords. Sometimes the same article can be linked to multiple labels, giving multiple keywords, with anchor text.
Not only is this important from the standpoint of internal blog links, but is also offers you additional space to add keywords you want your blog targeted for. And anytime you have a chance to improve your keyword density; I would consider that very heavily.
2.) Blog Archive
The blog archive widget is strictly for site navigation. As a blog reader myself, it is often one of the first places I look after I have read the article that brought me to a particular blog in the first place. I can drill down and find all the articles with their titles and when they were published, and it gives me the perfect opportunity to pick and choose which articles I want to read. Site navigation is extremely important for your readers, and if there is any chance that they will be coming back, some of that decision is based on whether or not your site is user friendly.
The followers widget really is the least important of the must have widgets in my mind. All this really does for you is validate you to other readers. If they see that there are actually people following your blog, they may be more apt to buy into what you are saying. This is not a promise of any sort, but, in my mind, it is helpful. And I do believe it is something every beginner blogger should consider as important. We all want validation. And this is one way to receive that.
As far as the additional widgets I talk about. Blogging for beginners is and always will be a monetized blog, and always will be one of the tools in my making money online arsenal. So, with that being said, all these links revolve around that fact.
1.) RSS feed
I find that I get a reasonable amount of my traffic from my RSS feed. It is nothing groundbreaking, but I do believe that your RSS feed is a traffic getting tool. People find them easy to follow, and they are so easy to sign up for, I really cannot find any reason why not to include them on my blogs.
Again, this blog is here too not only teaching people, but to generate online income for me. It doesn’t generate a great deal of income for me, but every little bit counts. And Adsense is one of the easiest ways to monetize your blog. And if you use Blogger blogs, it really cannot be any easier. You may notice I do have Amazon on the blog also. Amazon is nice, but relies on commission based sales in order to make any income. I have much less luck with Amazon than I do with Adsense. And for any beginner blogger, I would opt for the Adsense route over commission based sales, at least until you are able to build up a significant amount of traffic.
Although Twitter does not directly earn me any money. It is a quick and easy tool to use in order to inform people of anything new that may be happening within my circle. I use one common twitter account for everything. I feel that this gives my readers a chance to look at some of my other projects without having to give my speal all over the Internet for all of my individual projects. It also opens up doors for new audiences. You may follow my twitter from my link on this blog. But say I tweet about an article I wrote about making money online. Suddenly, you may find a whole new world that interests you.
I include links on my blog to help others or help my other blogs get publicity. If I find something that interests me, I may include the links, if I have a blog that I feel may be useful to my readers, I will include a link.
The keys with both Twitter and links is, for me, I am trying to keep readers within my web of products I have on the internet.
So, there you have it, a quick breakdown of some of the widgets and gadgets I find to be important for any beginner blogger. I know I don’t go over too many of them, but that is due to the mindset I have. I really do believe it is important not to get carried away with too much flash on your blog. I can quickly create negative effects. No matter how cool it may all look.
Thank you for reading blogging for beginners, and please come back soon.