Without gadgets, blogging would be basic and rather boring. Professional bloggers need gadgets to track their blogs’ success and to keep their readers coming back for more. The best gadgets are ones that are fun, entertaining and informative.
1. Blog Lists / Blogroll
Blog lists are a way to share blogs that professional bloggers like. Not only does this give readers relevant places to visit after visiting the blog, it also promotes a sense of community in blogging. Bloggers will often reciprocate links in blog lists, thus promoting each other and increasing readership for the entire community.
2. Subscribe Buttons
Subscribe buttons are a great way to track how many people want to keep coming back to the blog. They are also a good way to ensure that readers come back. Without a subscribe button, readers may enjoy the blog, but forget to visit it later. Subscriptions give readers a reminder to come back to the blog and updates whenever the blog has something new.
3. Automated Social Networking Updates
Part of professional bloggingis promotion. Unfortunately, it can be time consuming and take away from blogging time. With automated updates, social network profiles will be updated every time there is a new blog post with zero work from the blogger. The only thing a blogger has to do is set up the updates once and reply to comments about the post on their social networks, should they arise.
4. Google Calendar
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Niche-specific blogs may want to keep track of events in that niche or even blog events, such as contests and promotions. A Google Calendar can show readers when these events are happening and help the blogger keep track of his or her events. It has to be updated to be relevant, but is easy to use.
5. Twitter Badge
If a blogger’s twitter updates are relevant to his or her blog’s niche, a twitter badge can help link the two. The twitter badge will show recent tweets on the profile to which it is linked. However, unless the blog is personal in nature, it is odd to display a twitter page that has all personal tweets. Do follow us on @Snakebytez for all the latest updates on our blog.
6. Countdown Timer
Countdown timers can come in handy for all kinds of blogs. A movie related blog can post countdowns to upcoming movie releases. A music related blog can post countdowns to tours or record releases. A parenting blog can even post countdowns to popular toy releases or family holidays.
Several blogging sites have options to post polls. Even if a particular site does not, it is possible to create polls on other sites and post them to a blog. These polls can collect reader information, such as “What is your favorite television show?” to blog opinions, such as “What is your favorite topic to see on this blog?”
8. Reader Maps
These gadgets show where a blog’s readership is coming from. Many blog hosting sites will display this information on the admin panel. However, several awesome gadgets can be displayed directly on the blog’s page. Get a rotating globe with dots wherever there are readers or a simple list of where readers are located. These do not contain information about the readers. There is no way to track who is where with these gadgets, so they are safe for bloggers and their readers. There are countless cool gadgets out there for professional bloggers. Bloggers may be tempted to use too many of them.
It is important to remember to use only enough gadgets to inform and entertain. Too many clogs up a blog and may even slow down the page loading time for a blog. Therefore, try to mix flash gadgets with simple text gadgets and keep them all to a tolerable minimum. Bloggers can always switch it up so they can use all of their favorite gadgets at different times.