Social web is the new cool way to communicate and interact on the World Wide Web. Not too long ago, blogging was considered the coolest new way to communicate, it is still cool but with so much buzz going around the social web, people are relying more on their social networks for the content than their blog reading list. Blogging is not dying, it is still alive and doing very well but blogs are becoming social applications themselves. These days it is almost essential for bloggers to integrate social tools on their blogs to bring more visitors and staying in touch with already established readership.
Find Your Social Networks
Twitter and Facebook dominate the social web scene today, but please remember these are not the only social platforms. There are many small social networking sites and if your blog is focused on a particular topic or niche then it would be very useful if you find a social network built around this topic. Even Facebook has many groups and pages built around specific topics and they can provide a good start to your social networking activities. Join these networks to find new contacts, readers and content for your blog.
Integrate Social Widgets
People visiting your blog are already on social web and they might want to share your links with their friends and followers. As a social media ready blog, you should provide them with the tools that make it easier for them to share your content. Most blogs have share this widgets installed just below their blog posts. Some use Facebook’s Like buttons, others prominently highlight the retweet buttons. You need to find out what works best for your blog.
Also add your social network profiles to your sidebar. These are the buttons that allow your visitors to join you and your blog on social media websites. Most social media websites already provide you HTML code to display badges on your sidebar as widgets. You can obtain “Follow me on Twitter” or “Find us on Facebook” buttons and add them to your sidebar.
Better Web Design
Blogs are more casual and sometimes personal publishing platforms. This does not mean that they cannot have better web design. There are thousands of readymade blog templates available on the web. But if you want your blog to stand out among thousands of other blogs then you should consider hiring a professional web design service to create a custom blog theme or template for you. A professionally designed blog theme would make it easier for you to integrate social media tools on your blog and would also encourage visitors to share your content. Free blog themes are usually not ready for many such things, they might have spots available for social widgets but usually one needs to configure these spots and sometimes the actual design gets twisted and your blog looks untidy.
Interact with Your Readers on Social Web
Once you have found your social networks, integrated social tools, and have a better blog design, the next steps are to blog and interact with your readers. Once you publish something new on your blog go ahead and share it with your contacts on the social web, tweet it, share it, post it, digg and stumble upon on your own content. It is not bad to share your own content, but don’t just share content. You need to interact with people on the social web. Social media is not that complicated and with simple steps you can become a social media guru yourself.