Only Connect: email and social media
Blogs constitute platforms from which we can communicate with the rest of the world. They have the facility to allow two-way communication actually on the blog, via the post and comment system.
However, it’s important to be able to connect with blog visitors elsewhere, too. So, putting in place the means to do so is an essential part of setting up a blog; and that’s the subject of this post.
The idea is to make it easy and convenient for blog visitors to opt to get our email messages, and to find us on the social media – Twitter, Facebook etc.
Linking up with visitors by email is achieved by inviting them to enter name and email address into a web form on the blog. The form is part of an autoresponder system which collects and stores the addresses, so that once the visitors have confirmed their interest, we can contact them.
As well as the web form for emails, you need links on the blog to your social media profiles, so that people can connect with you that way, too. Easily-recognisable little icons for readers to click on are best. Ideally, the email web form and the social media icons should be on the screen no matter which part of the blog the visitor is on. Mine are at the top of the sidebar, where you can’t miss them.
To make them work, these elements all need bits of code. The code for the email web form is provided by the autoresponder software. The code for the icons beneath it is the usual linking html, listing the URLs of the images along with the URLs they link to.
In each case, the code is copied and pasted into the appropriate part of the blog sidebar, using the WordPress dashboard from which you administer the blog.
So now we have email and social media as ways to connect with our readers, as well as the blog itself.
The use of the autoresponder for email is an important subject which deserves a bit more explanation, so I’ll tackle that in the next post.
Filed under: Dispatches