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Many people believe that the most read page of their blog is their home page, but actually, that isn’t necessarily the case. The most frequently read pages are your post url’s. When you share a post, people land on its unique post url, rather than the home page.
Make sure your post pages are optimized for best results.
Derek Halpern, author of Social Triggers, and one of my favorite marketing experts, suggests that you put an opt in to your email address at the end of your blog posts. Building your list is usually the most important action a blogger wants a reader to take. If a visitor actually reads your entire post, chances are they may forget about the opt in box that you have on the top of your sidebar. If there is one at the bottom of the post, there is a better chance your reader will register for your post updates. Not everyone who clicks on a post link will get to the bottom of the page. However, if they do, you know they were interested in your post and its content. Your subscriber will be a much warmer connection for you.
Another tip from Derek is to make sure not to clutter up your sidebar. If shiny objects are distracting your reader, it may cause that person to leave your post. Put your opt in box at the very top of your sidebar. If you have a product or service you want to promote, add a clickable image or link that goes to a landing page for that product or service underneath the opt in box. Under that you can include popular posts. People are more prone to read a post if other’s have deemed it popular. I use a plugin called popular posts that works together with the post plugin library plugin. Other than that, keep your sidebar free from distracting images and ads.
Adding an opt in box is not difficult. I use Genesis Studio Press themes because they are awesome and have very clean code. Genesis has a plugin called Genesis Simple Hooks. This allows me to place code for functions that will appear in various places in your blog. I added my opt in code to the hook called Genesis_before_comments. If you want this section to look a little fancier than just your simple opt in box, you can go to add new post and use the post editor to jazz it up a bit. I used a table that I created using the TinyMCE Advanced plugin. Then I copied the code in the html section of the editor and inserted it into Genesis Simple Hooks.
Look Ma, I didn’t have to take a coding class to make my blog look cool!
Note: Thesis themes , another great theme choice, also has a hooks plugin called Thesis Openhook.
I also added my social media buttons under the opt in box. Again, I created a table in the post editor, added images and linked them. This way readers can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Feel free to friend or follow me at the end of this post.
I chose to include my author box as well. If you are using a Genesis theme, go to your profile at the top right of the dashboard. It will say Howdy (username) If you scroll down you will see that there are boxes you can check off to add your author box. Right above the Genesis settings, fill in the information in the About Yourself form. You can either write something simple or use the post editor to create some snazzy html code.
The author box will automatically include an image of you if you have a gravatar. Go to www.gravatar.com to get one. Pick an image to connect to your email or multiple email addresses. Every time you comment on someone else’s blog, that has gravatars enabled, your image will show up in the comment. This is way better than just a blank silhouette.
My comment section has 2 plugins to add functionality to it. One is called Comment Luv. If another blogger leaves a comment, the link from their last blog post will show up. It’s a nice way to share the luv and encourage others to comment! The plugin subscribe to comments allows you to follow the thread via email.
All the plugins mentioned in this post are free and available at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/
Another page that should be optimized because it read often is your about page. Don’t just write a simple little bio. Add another opt in form there and calls to action such as links to products and services. Make use of this powerful page and do not think of it as a throw away.
I hope that helps you a bit. If you need assistance with your blog, make sure to give me a call at 818-515-7880 or contact me HERE.