Blogging Basics: Linking, Tagging, Widgets

Now that we’ve covered all of the basics of blogging, in How to Become a Thug Blogger, we must move to the “sparkle” of our blog.

By sparkle, I mean the embellishments, trimmings, the cherry-on-top of your blog.

katy perry

Thanks, Katy Perry.

Linking

Why Link?

–          Linking builds a community

A while back I read this awesome blog about Project-Based Learning by John Hardison. In my blog, I decided to write a short reflection on the awesomeness of John’s blog so I linked back to his original post. Then, of course, I found him on Twitter and tagged him in my blog link. Consequently, he saw that he was linked to my post so he read what I had to say about him.

Confused?

Basically, linking helps your readers. If I just start talking about this awesome post I saw a while back and write how awesome it is, chances are your reader will also want to read this awesome post.

Be nice. Link back to the original.

As an example…

For my example I want to talk about my friend, Reba.

This is us demonstrating our learning faces at the NCTE conference a few months ago:

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You see, Reba started student teaching this week and I’m super excited for her. In one year, I will be in her shoes student teaching so I’m so thankful that she’s dedicated her time to document her student teaching!

I’ve been reading her posts and already I’m not as nervous for student teaching as I previously was. I’m looking forward to reading more of her timeline posts so I can know what to expect when I’m in her shoes. Thanks Reba!

Breaking down the example…

First, I introduced Reba and linked her name to the main page of the blog. This is so that people who are interested in knowing more about her will be able to get a general glimpse of her blog.

Secondly, I linked specifically to Reba’s post about student teaching. This is the “be nice.”

–          Linking brings you hits

Finally, tagging specific posts leaves a link to your post in the comment field. Additionally, Reba will get an email saying that she has a “pingback” on her post. She’ll want to see what I said about her post so she will read my post and probably leave a nice comment thanking me for linking to her blog (right Reba???).

If you want to generate visitors to your blog, just link people and I (almost) guarantee that they will visit your blog. Who knows, maybe they will also click around to see what else you’ve written.

I also link back to other posts that I’ve written, too. When I was comparing blog stats with my friend, she had more subscribers but I had more hits. Why? Because in almost every single post I link back to something I’ve already written (like at the beginning of this post).

How to Link on WordPress

  1. While editing your post, highlight selected text.

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  1. Click “Insert/edit link” – this button is located just above the text where bold, italics, underline is also located.

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  1. Copy and paste the desired link into the box.
  2. I also choose “Open link in a new window/tab” so that the reader doesn’t lose your original post in their web browser.
  3. Click “Update.”

Tagging

This is the fun part!

Why tag?

–          Tagging generates hits

When a person searches in a search engine, your tags will trigger your post to appear.

For example, if someone searches “how to blog” in Google, my blog will be one of the hits they can explore because I have tagged “how to blog” in this post. It’s just like hashtagging on Twitter.

The more you tag, the more chances you are to get visitors and hits on your blog. I tag at least 30 tags for every single post I write. Most of the time I get on a tagging kick and I’ll create 50 tags for one post. Hey, I spend the time to write it so I want to get it out there for people to see!

How to Tag on WordPress

  1. While you are editing, scroll down and on the right-hand side of the page there is a box called “Tags.”

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  1. As I reread my post, I choose all of the words I mention that someone might search for (I even choose some words just to be funny).
  2. In the Tag box, type the word you would like to tag and separate it with a comma before writing another word.

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  1. Click “Add.”

Widgets

Widgets are the true sparkle to your blog.

What is a Widget?

Widgets are all of the extras that humanize you as a blogger. They are great ways to let your readers know more about you and about your blog.

Personally, I use these widgets to boost my blog:

Follow Blog

Follow Button

Blog Stats

Top Posts & Pages

Recent Posts

Archives

Categories

Tag Cloud

Meta

The purpose of these widgets is to get followers and hits on my blog. I want my readers to be able to quickly find how they can follow my blog. I also want them to see that I have a legitimate blog (via Blog Stats) and see the most viewed posts I’ve written.

I use these widgets to humanize me as a blogger:

Twitter Timeline

Goodreads

The purpose of these widgets is to get people to visit my other online presences. All of my professional accounts are linked so I get a follower on one site it is more likely them to find me on my other sites. My About Kelsey tab has all of my professional accounts linked to it.

How to Apply Widgets on WordPress

  1. Click the “Widgets” tab on the drop-down menu.

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  1. Drag the desired widget from “Available Widgets” to “Primary Sidebar.”

 

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Up next: Part 3 of this 4 part series on how to blog will be on vlogging and applying pictures.

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