It’s not enough anymore to simply pen an amazing blog post, then kick back and wait for the traffic to roll in. With social media at the forefront of general consciousness, the mindset now is that people don’t search for news…it finds you. While you might think it a daunting task not only to create your brand’s news and updates but to actively seek out willing readers, know you don’t necessarily have to do all the work. If you write compelling copy, those who follow you will spread your gospel. It is up to you, however, to make that task easier.

Visit any blog you enjoy frequenting, particularly the heavy hitters, and what do you see? The sidebar may be stuffed with feed widgets and social media badges meant to entice new fans and followers, but above all else you should Sherry Dyson notice the body of each post. Let’s presume for a moment the casual Internet user isn’t geeked up with browser share buttons and tool bars…how do you think they intend to share an article with friends?

The idea of having to cut and paste long URLs strings can be a turn-off, though it’s a simple thing to do. Pasted URLs may break in transit via Twitter or e-mail. Click-throughs to dead links inspire frustration, and ultimately a reluctance to share more. A few quick fixes to your blog, however, provide a streamlined sharing experience that can expose your brand to a new audience.

Buttons and Buzzing: We should all know by heart now which 32×32 chicklet goes with which social network. Programs like AddThis, Sociable, and Add to Any allow you to implement widgets that encourage readers to retweet posts, share links on Digg and Facebook and promote via other networks. With the advent of Google Buzz, you won’t see that option on these free for all sets just yet, but if you are into Buzzing, pick up the additional Google Buzz Button for WordPress.

Monetize and Advertise: Depending on the purpose of your blog, you may be interested in having it work for you to the point that you are compensated for your efforts. Blogger and WordPress, for two, offer widgets that allow you to integrate Google AdSense, between posts or on the sidebar. Authors listed with Amazon.com have the added bonus on Blogger of setting up Amazon Associates ads for their products – even if you have nothing to sell on the mega-retail site, Blogger users can take advantage of the feature to promote items similar to the blog topic and receive commissions on click-through purchases.

Global Commenting: While it’s true blog platforms featuring their own commenting systems, you might wonder if there is a more enhanced method that allows readers to share their comments through social media. When you sign on to DISQUS, an advanced commenting system that integrates easily into most blog platforms, you allow readers not only to remark on your updates but share their opinions via Twitter and Facebook automatically. In turn, this could provide added exposure to your site and perhaps more traffic.

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