No matter the real reason that you started blogging, every blogger wants readers!
And there really isn’t one secret to success, but hopefully our last activity of the Kick Start Your Blogging series will help get you well on your way.
In this eighth and last activity you will:
- Be introduced to blogrolls and why they are important
- Learn how to set up your blogroll on your own blog
- Discover the different tools you can use to build readership
- Learn about how twitter might be your new best friend
- Visit the Discussion Question for Activity 8
- Complete the extension activity (if you have time)
Step 1: All About Blogrolls
Though they may sound like something that might have just come out of the oven, a ‘blogroll’ is a fancy name for a list of links that are found in a sidebar of a blog.
We have one on the right sidebar of this challenge blog called “Get Help”.
Bloggers commonly use blogrolls to list their favourite blogs. Blogrolls help readers locate other blogs worth reading — you are saying “these are some blogs I like – which are worth checking out!”
Building a quality blogroll is a good first step in building readership in that it can help grow a community feeling that is often achieved by the best and most influential bloggers.
Step 2: Setting Up Your Blogroll
Every newly created Edublog has the same default widgets in its sidebars — including a blogroll.
You add links to your blogroll as follows:
1. Go to Links > Add New
2. Add the name of the blog to the Name Module
3. Add the blog URL to the Web Address Module
4. Select Blogroll in the Categories Module and click Add Link
How To Use Link Categories To Organize Links and Blogs
You can sort students from different classes or links into separate categories as follows:
1. Click on Add A New Category in the Categories Module
2. Add the category name then click Add
3. Now instead of selecting blogroll you just choose the correct category for the link and click Add Link
Check out Huzzah to see how categories can be used to sort links in blogrolls:
- Student blogs are listed using the catgeory Class Blogs
- Class blogs they read are listed using the category Our Blogroll
How To Edit Links
After adding links, you may want to edit them or delete the default links included on the blogroll of newly created Edublog.
1. Go to Links > Edit
2. To delete a link, hover over the link name and click the Delete option that appears below it.
3. To delete multiple links, select several links and then choose Delete from the drop down Bulk Action menu, and click Apply.
4. To edit a link, hover over the link name and click the Edit option that appears below it.
5. An edit screen will open — just edit the link details and then click Update Link
Adding your Blogroll to Your Blog Sidebar
The Links Widget is used to display the links you added to your blogroll in your sidebar.
Every newly created Edublog has the same default widgets in its sidebars — including a blogroll. However, when you add any widget to a newly created blog (via Appearance > Widgets) it automatically removes the default Edublogs widgets.
You add your blogroll back into the sidebar as follows:
1. Go to Appearance > Widgets in your Dashboard
2. Click on the desired Sidebar to expand (so you can add the widgets)
3. Drag the Links Widget from the Available Widgets area into the Sidebar area on the right
Please leave a comment on this post if you need help setting up your blogroll! We’re always here to help!
Step 3: Building Readership
There are three key words to keep in mind when working to build readership:
3. Social Networking
First, in order for readers to visit your blog, you must consistently write quality and interesting posts. You don’t need to always come out with a brand new idea, or be particularly unique in what you have to say – and if you find it interesting enough to write about, chances are there are others out there that will find it interesting enough to read.
While this isn’t necessary to gain readers, it certainly has been part of the recipe of success of these two guys.
With that, both of these blogs have been in action for quite some time now. And when you are just starting out, it may take a few months to a year of regular posting before your readership really grows.
Social networking tools such as facebook and twitter are the absolute best ways of getting the word out about your blog.
You should consider sharing your posts in Facebook so that all of your friends and followers get notified of new posts.
You should also make sure that you set up the RSS subscription and email subscription widgets discussed in challenge seven.
- Subscribe by RSS – Here’s the instructions for how you set it up.
- Subscribe by Email – Here’s the instructions for how you set it up.
Step 4: Twitter 101
A true introduction to twitter is a whole different post. In fact, it is this post here.
But if you don’t already have a twitter account, then there is no better time then now to get one!
- Go to twitter.com
- Click on the yellow ‘Sign-up’ button on the right, and off you go!
To get your feet wet, “follow” a handful of people. If you don’t know anyone yet on twitter, maybe the four organizers of this challenge are a good place to start:
To see how bloggers use twitter to share their new posts and more, you might also start with:
You can easily follow these by signing into twitter, clicking on the links above, and clicking on the “Follow” button on the page.
Challenge yourself to follow a few twitterers and see what it is all about. And before diving in too far, do check out the post mentioned above:
Step 5: Visit the Discussion Question for Activity 8
Visit the Discussion question for activity eight and leave your feedback.
If you have any problems with the antispam word then come back and leave your feedback on this post.
Step 6: Complete the extension activity (if you have time)
Visit the Advanced Activity 8 post and scroll down to the comment section.
Find 5 posts that other bloggers have written in the comment section about building readership and social networking.
Read these posts and leave a comment about your thoughts or sharing what you learned.