Blog Tips: Secrets to Getting More out of Your Visits

Until I started Readers Unbound a little over a year ago, I was pretty ignorant about blogs. Luckily, I had help getting started on Word Press  from my friend Kathy St. John, and I partnered up with Chrinda Jones, who, as my co-administrator, is far more techie than I. After publishing 83 posts from our talented staff of writers,  I think I’ve scaled the steep learning curve of blogging and, fingers crossed, can sit back and enjoy myself.

It has occurred to me that many of you are new to reading blogs and may be missing out on some of what we offer.  If you are new, if you are one of our many friends who rarely go online, except, maybe, to shop, check out these helpful tips.

1. Receiving this blog by email? Did you know that clicking on the blue title will open up the article to the full page? Try it. Every week I try to make this page as attractive as possible. but that cramped email page isn’t too pretty! (By the way, you should try this same procedure on any blog you receive. I figured out this secret only within the last year when I happened to see this note on Shelf Awareness: “Click here to read this email in your browser.” I felt a little like Alice reading the directions, Eat me, but I did it. Wow! A whole new world hidden within the email.) To return to this page, click the return arrow, far upper left.

2. Now that you’ve clicked on your blue email title and have reached our Home Page, take a few minutes to explore. Notice the list of other pages we offer, located in the upper right corner in red. These pages get updated every month. For example, on the Georgia: Author Talks & Signings, you’ll find a long list of signings for the Atlanta area. Click on the red title now to view. The signings are organized by venue, then date. If you know of any I’ve missed, send me a comment, and I’ll add them to the list.

3. Other features on the Home Page: You can navigate by using the Calendar or the Archives to find earlier posts. Now check out our staff photos on the left side of the page. Want to know more about who’s written the article you just read? Click on the photo to see her profile. Next, move down to the blogroll. These are other blogs we follow. Their titles are linked to their page, so you can make a quick visit by simply clicking on the title you’re interested in.

Just Click on It!

4. Do you know what a hyperlink is? Maybe you’ve noticed in the articles that certain words are italicized in blue. (Check out #1 above for Shelf Awareness.) These words are linked to an article or to an author’s web site. Let your cursor hover over the word. A label should pop up telling you where the link goes. Interested? Just click on it.

5. Comments: We love comments! Sometimes I receive comments sent to my personal email from friends who liked a post. I appreciate their response, but I’d like it even better of they would make it in our comment box for other readers to see.  (I’ve heard that those of you who read us on your I-phones can’t comment directly to the blog. We appreciate you however you read us. ) We have a competition going on around here to see who gets the most comments. So far, Susan is far ahead of the rest of the pack.

6. Don’t overlook the Twitter feed (if you twitter and tweet) and the Facebook page, which you can access by clicking on the button. In fact, you can follow RU on FB if that’s your preferred delivery system. Three times a week, Chrinda posts the most interesting articles on the world of writing , as well as the week’s RU post(s). One of my friends, a journalist, told me she thinks our FB page is the most literary she’s seen.

Cedar Waxwings on the Grape Mahonia bush;  original photo by Janet Weeks

Cedar Waxwings on the Grape Mahonia bush;
original photo by Janet Weeks

7.  Artwork: Although we do use photographs and art found on Google Image (and always try to give credit),  we have original photos and artwork as well. I’m thinking particularly about the beautiful pieces Janet Weeks includes with her reviews. Do you know that you can see enlargements simply by clicking on the art? Try it now. To return to this page, click on the arrow, far upper left.

8.  Finally, Following. We would love to have you follow us, and all you have to do is click on the Follow button, then do as instructed.  You should get postings on the day the article publishes, usually Wednesday. If you have a problem, send me a note via a comment.

Any questions or suggestions, say, for articles you’d like to see? Post a comment below.

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