1) Install TTFTitles
You want to start a WordPress blog, but you only have a limited amount of themes and there’s a limit to how much you can change quickly and easily. But you can use what you already have – text, and change the fonts in order to make the blog your own.
2) Use Drop Caps
Drop Caps allows you to make your blog posts seem more like a news article. People are familiar with that format and feel more comfortable reading text that is formatted that way. The capitalized letters allow the user to instantly focus his attention at the beginning of a post.
3) Use Gravatar to encourage participation
By using Gravatar you are helping yourself and encouraging userparticipation. If posters will have a distinct photo it makes them lookmore like individuals, and their posts will be easily recognized, andthey’ll get due credit on their insight. It will also help you discover theusage statistics visually.
4) Display your categories like a website
Websites display their pages and categories in a horizontal line. There isn’t any excuse to not doing this. It will give your blog a much more professional and orderly look, and it will allow you to vacate the already cluttered side bar for more important links.
5) Venture outside of WordPress for themes
Everyone and their mother uses the same themes that WordPress offers. It gives a slapdhash and unprofessional feeling to your website. You need to venture to website where wordpress themes are offered for free or for a small sum. If you opt to use the regular ones, at least change the colors – personalize it.
6) Use an anti-virus plugin
By placing an anti-virus plugin you are ensuring that your posts and fileswon’t get infected with a virus. If you get infected with a virus andpeople download it, you will receive a bad reputation and be flagged asa harmful website by various programs and search engines.
7) Keep your readers informed on your future plans
By keeping your readers informed you are asking them to give you advice and to be part of the website. They will be able to dictate – to a certain extant – the direction of the website. They will be able to ask for posts on certain days, or for certain posts.
8) Host a month long posting marathon
You can increase user participation by stating that you are going to hold a month long writing marathon. Make sure to start during the first day ofa month, rather than just choosing 30/31 days. Your users will expect those posts and will participate more – you can also take suggestions of posts.
9) Take care of your weekly routine
You need to write and write a lot. Make sure you write the things that aren’t timely, or that will still be timely a month later. You can post them in WordPress using a future posting date, which means it’ll get posted awhile after you wrote it, leaving you room to take care of immediate posts.
10) Use a plugin that mails you your posts & comments
By mailing you your posts you are automatically creating a backup copy of it on a professionally kept server, which in itself backs up the material on it, without your intervention. That way you know that users’ comments and your posts are safe, no matter what happens.
11) Add co-authors
By adding co-authors you are allowing your blog to be populated at all times. That way you can avoid having big gaps, and your users can enjoy a different focus and viewpoint. If you’re hesitant you can always proofread the posts. Plus – you can get a co-author for free from your users.
12) Have a submission week every month
where your users can send you posts and you will choose one and post it to your blog, with the credit going to the user who wrote it. It will encourage users to provide you with good free content and to keep reading your blog.
13) Sign up to a service that keeps track of logins
By keeping track of which people visited your website, from where theyvisited it, what link referred them to your website, and how much timethey spent on each post, etc, you can direct your attention to improvingthe less visited posts, and you can reward a user that refers people toyour blog on a constant basis.
14) Don’t mix trackbacks and comments
A trackback isn’t important for the users. It helps you by advertising your blog and a certain post in it, and helps you spread the word about your blog, but your users don’t care. They just want to comment on comments, not be bogged down with dozens of trackback links.
15) Use an accordion sidebar
You need to place an emphasis on design and ease of use. Having all of the links available to a user isn’t very helpful, especially if you have a lot of links. Bundle links under certain descriptive categories, which the user will click on for those links.
16) Add tabs to your website – like Twitter
Tabs are an easy and recognizable method for people to surf your website. They will be able to easily reach certain locations, without having to reload the page. Use tabs for the more important and often updating things such as user comments, or for popular or recent posts.
17) Use a plugin to reduce the amount of comments per page
When new users see a long list of comments and comments on comments, they get a headache and opt to not participate. You can avoid the clutter – instead of loading all those comments, place a small amount of them with the original post – it keeps the focus on the post itself.
18) Allow a hierarchy of posts
By allowing for people to comment on other people’s comments, youare encouraging discussion. By using a hierarchy of posts you areallowing people to quickly distinguish between a discussion and acomment about the original post, and users get to pick and choose whatto read.
19) Use the Simple Pull Quote plugin
The Simple Pull Quote is another way for you to both attract people to your posts, and to allow you to maintain a fluidity in your posts. It allows you to post quotes in a noticeable newspaper way, and gives your blog a much more professional look that way.
20) Allow people to resize your posts
Some web browsers already offer that feature to users, but some don’t. Plus the web browsers that offer that feature sometimes hide it or make it hard to use. You can cut the middleman and allow people to resize the font size, making your posts accessible to people with eye problems.