Content Marketing, WordPress

10 Features Missing From Your Blog

Some of the feedback I’ve received from readers is that I’ve not been providing a lot of feedback about blogging on The MarTech Blog. So – today I thought I’d take a different approach and look at the technology around your blogging program to provide readers with a checklist of features to review and ensure their blog has.

  1. Robots.txt – If you go to the root (base address) of your domain, add robots.txt to the address. Example: https://martech.zone/robots.txt – is there a file there? A robots.txt file is a basic permissions file that tells a search engine bot/spider/crawler what directories to ignore and what directories to crawl. In addition, you can add a link to your sitemap in it! Don’t have one? Open notepad or textpad and do it yourself… just follow the instructions on Robotstxt.org
  2. Sitemap.xml – A dynamically generated sitemap is a key component that provides search engines with a map of where your content is, how important it is, and when it was last changed. By far the nicest sitemap generator I’ve ever used is Arne Brachhold’s XML Sitemap Generator. It also submits the sitemap to Live/Bing, Yahoo!, Google and Ask! (when Ask’s submission service is working).
  3. Social Media Flair – I have a comprehensive list of sites where you can find me participating in social media. Remember – your blog isn’t always someone’s destination! Sometimes networking in social media sites and befriending those with common interests can help promote your blog to a relevant audience… off your blog. In the top right sidebar, you’ll find a number of sites where you can find me! Be sure to add me as a friend, I’ll return the favor.
  4. Mobile Compatibility – Mobile Internet usage is growing! Is your blog readable on a mobile screen? For WordPress, there’s an ideal WordPress Mobile Plugin that makes the site optimized for mobile and even iPhone Safari usage.
  5. Description – If I landed on one of your single pages of your blog, would I know what it was about? Sometimes it’s difficult to tell simply by reading a post. Having a nice description in your sidebar of what kind of content you provide can be essential to getting readers to subscribe or return.
  6. Contact Form – I’m amazed at the number of blogs that have no means outside of a comment field to contact the blogger! Do you have a navigation link that points to a Contact Form? Contact forms are less intrusive than a phone number and don’t put you at risk like leaving an email address up.
  7. About Page – Who are you and why should I trust you? Even if it feels funny to write a page that speaks to your achievements… it’s not for you, it’s for the visitors. Give them some direction on why they should be listening to you.
  8. An Icon – With the advent of tabbed browsers, it’s a lot easier to distinguish your blog by adding an icon. If you don’t know how, simply use a Favicon generator to make the ico (icon) file and upload it to the root directory of your website. Other image files can be used as well, or images or icons hosted elsewhere – just update the shortcut icon link in your header.
  9. Disclaimer – Yes, you can get sued for what you publish on your blog. Protect yourself and your property by ensuring you have a great disclaimer!
  10. Social Media Integration – Post via Twitter with Hootsuite, LinkedIn, Email Subscriptions, Facebook and syndication is a powerful tool, utilize syndication to it’s maximum capability!
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5 Comments

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    This is a good list. I have a monstrous article brewing on the same subject, I'll roll a couple of these in as well and link back for credit of course.

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    Nice tips Douglas, i think you should add the following in your robots.txt as well

    # Crawlers Setup
    User-agent: *
    Crawl-delay: 10

    # Internet Archiver Wayback Machine
    User-agent: ia_archiver
    Disallow: /

    # digg mirror
    User-agent: duggmirror
    Disallow: /

    Check your access log and Disallow these spiders because they steal your bandwidth and make your site unavailable for visitors for a short while.

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