3 tools to add to your blog in 2017
For every blogger, keeping up to date with trends to enhance the user blog experience can be extremely helpful to grow your followers and to keep the current ones from leaving. Here’s a list of 3 things you should add to your blog this year: Push Notifications, HTTPS, and Missinglettr.
These are notifications that get sent to your phone or like a text message from apps that have been downloaded onto your phone. They are also like notifications that pop up on your readers' computers like when you publish a new blog post. Adding push notifications on would allow you to notify readers' instantly instead of waiting for them to open up an email or click on a link from social media.
You can add the code in to your website directly, manually. If you aren't familiar with coding, we recommend hiring a designer or web professional to do this for you. If your site is in WordPress, you can add push notifications via the addition of a plugin. The plugin we recommend for adding Push Notifications to your website is free and it is by OneSignal. Getting this tool for your blog would provide convenience so users can be notified of your latest blogposts and news to keep them up to date without them having to be on your blog to do so.
You will have to have https setup on your site in order to enable this. See more information on that below.
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure - If you’re not familiar with this already, you’ve probably seen “HTTP” at the beginning of URL links. The “S” stands for secure, which ensures an encrypted connection between the browser and the website. What this means is the computer agrees on a code and sends messages using that specific code only. When information is being sent between the browser and website, no one in between can read those messages. Often times, this is used with confidential websites, however more people are beginning to use this protocol to ensure a trusted connection for the user. More and more, Google is ranking sites lower that do not use secure sites.
The easiest way to to do this is to contact your hosting company. Many will do this for free or a for a low cost. I've been with Siteground for nearly a year and have found their support service to be very helpful. They answer rather quickly and when I asked to change my site over to https, it was done in about one hour at no cost.
3. Autoscheduling your blog content
As bloggers, we all know the importance of social media, not only in building your brand, but also in getting web traffic. However, managing getting all this content out can be quite time consuming. There are a couple tools that have really been invaluable in helping to stay on top of social media.
One is IFTTT, or If This Then That. The role of IFTTT is to make web apps interact with one another. So, for example, if you have a thermostat that is controlled via app you could tell it to turn the air conditioning on once the outside temperature reaches a certain degree. So how would a blogger use it? You can autoschedule your tweets via Google calendar. The best part of IFTT is that the service is completely free to use.
After signing up for IFTTT, you'll need to setup a new calendar (name it something simple like "tweets") then add in content as you see above. In the example above the Name is the title that is scheduled. The "where" pulls the image. You'll just link the calendar to your twitter account via IFTTT. It takes time to setup but worth the effort and can be easily updated.
Missinglettr is a tool you might want to invest in for its strategic and automatic social media campaign management that will turn your blogposts into social media updates for an ENTIRE YEAR. As a result, this tool will optimize engagement and clicks to your site. See examples of the back end below:
BUT Missinglettr is much more than simply a scheduler. First, it generates popular hashtags from your article. Then it pulls relevant photos from your blog post and adds content.
Currently Missinglettr offers a free plan for 2 posts per month only. Four campaigns per week with four connected social media profiles is $15 per month. Through our affiliation with Missinglettr we are able to offer 6 months for the price of 1 when you order via this link.
We hope you'll consider adding at least one of these handy resources to your blog / content scheduling this year.