Customize Your Twitter Design

I love the new feature Twitter has rolled out, headers. You can see mine here: @onestarrynight

The dimensions are 1200×600 and once you upload the image, it will give you a screen where you can “crop” the image”. It will then place your bio area over this image so keep that in mind when designing your Twitter header. You can change the design of your Twitter profile by going to https://twitter.com/settings/design.

I also recommend a background image, something that tiles well is best.

Search Engine Optimization

I can’t express enough my love for the WordPress SEO plugin.

WordPress SEO lets you set titles and meta descriptions either through it’s main settings page or on a per page/post basis. Built in XML sitemaps, RSS footer, Twitter cards, and so much more. I literally install this plugin on every single WordPress install I do.

In general though, you’ll want to have a strong title and to use that title again, somewhere in the post. For example this post is titled, Even More Ways to Improve Your Blog. The title is clear, you know what to expect AND by including it again in the post itself, it means a search engine will rank this post higher in its search results.

Add Your Social Media Profiles

I do this in four places. Header, sidebar, footer, and on the comments page.

<a href="http://YOURDOMAIN.com/feed"><img src="/pathto/rss.png" alt="rss feed" /></a>
<a href="http://twitter.com/USERNAME"><img src="/pathto/twitter.png" alt="twitter" /></a>
<a href="http://facebook.com/USERNAME"><img src="/pathto/facebook.png" alt="twitter" /></a>
<a href="http://pinterest.com/USERNAME"><img src="/pathto/pinterest.png" alt="twitter" /></a>

I made a few Autumn themed icons for you to use, these are fairly large so you can scale them down to whatever size you need. Credit, as always, would be appreciated if you choose to use these. Just click the image to download the .zip file!

Footer Content

I think everyone should have some sort of content in their footer aside from the copyright information. I sometimes do a full-fledged three column footer, other times I just have large social media icons. Some ideas for footer content would be:

  • Facebook like box
  • latest tweets
  • social media icons
  • sponsors / ads
  • search bar
  • popular posts
  • email subscribe area

Fix Your Social Media Sharing Plugin

For those of you that use a social media sharing plugin for your posts, you want it to show your twitter username, for example, via @onestarrynight.com rather than via AddThis or via ShareThis:

To change it in AddThis, in your WordPress dashboard:

Settings – AddThis – Advanced Tab

Enter your Twitter username in the Twitter via: field.

To change it in ShareThis, in your WordPress dashboard:

Settings – ShareThis- Click to add extra Twitter options

To change it in AddToAny, in your WordPress dashboard:

Settings – AddToAny – Additional Options box

var a2a_config = a2a_config || {};
a2a_config.templates = {
    twitter: "${title} ${link} by @YOURTWITTERID"
};

Feature Your Categories

Here’s pretty way of displaying your main categories with images!

In WordPress when you create a category you generally create a “slug” or short name for the category, like so:

Keep that slug name handy!

You’ll want to create some images using your preferred graphics program, I’m using Photoshop, and yes again Autumny themed. I’m doing mine using the dimensions of 250×100.

And now to link it all up!

<a href="http://YOURDOMAINURL.com/category/CATEGORYSLUG"><img src="/urlpathto/image.jpg" alt="featured category" /></a>

Let’s say you want to be a bit more fancy, you want people to subscribe via RSS to an individual category, well that’s easy enough!

<a href="http://YOURDOMAINURL.com/category/CATEGORYSLUG/feed"><img src="/urlpathto/image.jpg" alt="featured category" /></a>

Subscribe to my posts via email

You can also follow me on BlogLovin or Feedly
posted on September 27th 2012 at 12:32PM CDT

Great tips. I admit I am still trying to figure out WordPress SEO. It is still like a foreign language to me it seems! I’ll get it one of these days!

posted on September 27th 2012 at 3:51PM CDT

I’ll write a tutorial for it in October!

Jenny
posted on September 27th 2012 at 12:34PM CDT

love it all, great post :) shared it with my “readers” as well on facebook. i’d love to implement some of this but blogging just doesn’t carry that OOMPH for me anymore. it’s dead for me. BUT!! if i ever get the vibe back, you can be sure i’ma use some of this.

and how cool is that twitter thing xD

posted on September 27th 2012 at 3:51PM CDT

Thanks for sharing it on FB!

c w
posted on September 27th 2012 at 3:02PM CDT

Great tips as always!

Amanda Jillian
posted on September 27th 2012 at 3:04PM CDT

Ariel decided to change my name lol

posted on September 27th 2012 at 3:51PM CDT

LOL!

Amanda Jillian
posted on September 27th 2012 at 3:57PM CDT

Craziness of kids. I got 3 running/crawling around today.

posted on September 27th 2012 at 10:36PM CDT

Great tips, as always! Thanks for posting this.

posted on September 27th 2012 at 10:42PM CDT

Thank you so much! I’m going to do more posts like this, on a more consistent basis.

posted on September 28th 2012 at 6:02PM CDT

Good tips! I really should use my footer- i never really knew what to put there. Also, SEO intimidates the hell out of me. I just started using an SEO pack, and it scares me- i don’t even know if i’m doing it right! ha!

posted on September 29th 2012 at 4:40PM CDT

I can’t recommend WordPress SEO plugin enough! It’s AWESOME! I will try and write a tutorial on it in the upcoming week.

posted on September 28th 2012 at 8:41PM CDT

These tips rock and those social media icons are the cutest ever. Thank you for getting this together! Can’t wait for the next one :D

posted on September 29th 2012 at 4:41PM CDT

Aww thank you!!

Jody
posted on September 29th 2012 at 4:10AM CDT

I absolutely love your autumn icons! Thank you so much for the tips. :)

posted on September 29th 2012 at 4:48PM CDT

Yay! Thank you!

posted on September 29th 2012 at 4:22PM CDT

Great tips, thanks for posting!

posted on September 29th 2012 at 4:51PM CDT

Thank you so much Lisa!

posted on September 29th 2012 at 11:07PM CDT

I’m going to use your RSS symbol! Thanks for making it! It’s so pretty!

posted on October 1st 2012 at 7:02PM CDT

YAY! I love seeing it “live” lol!

posted on October 1st 2012 at 7:47AM CDT

Gah, I need to do some of these. Thanks for the kick in the pants.

posted on October 1st 2012 at 7:02PM CDT

LOL anytime!

Veronica
posted on October 2nd 2012 at 7:18PM CDT

Ohhh awesome tips. I need to do something about my footer.

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