Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blogging Tip - Let Me Contact You!

While reading this week I ran across a post that I wanted to comment on. The blog owner had been tinkering with their blog and something went wrong! The link to the comment form was not working. I love comments so I thought I'd better let them know that they had a problem! I hunted and searched all over their blog and nowhere was I able to find contact information!

That is only one example of why you want to provide contact information. It has been my experience that people who find me through an internet search either are unfamiliar with the comment feature or uncomfortable with it. Providing my email information has allowed me to make connections I may not have otherwise. If you do not want to use your main email account, that's OK! Simply create an email account to use just for your blog or genealogy contacts in general (but be sure to check it often!)

I use Blogger for all of my blogs but you should be able yo use some or all of these tips with other blog hosting platforms.

The easiest way to provide contact information is on your profile page. To display your profile on your blog go to the "Layout" tab from your dashboard and then "Add a Gadget" and then look for "Profile." Share as much or as little information on your profie page as you want. You can edit your profile page to include whatever email address you choose - it does not have to be the email address that you use for your account. When someone clicks on the email link an email box pops up.

Because not everyone is familiar with using profile pages I have also put my email address on my sidebar where it is easy to find. Since I do not want my email address to be picked up by spammers I choose to display it as a picture. I also do this on my garden club's blog and you will see that I use a different email address there. You can generate your own at Nexodyne.

With the new "pages" feature at blogger you can add a tab for "Contact" or, as I have done, you can simply add your email on your "About" page. Again, I used a picture but you can simply type in your email address or show it this way: Apple194(at)gmail(dot)com. (This does not create a pop-up, I simply had two windows open for illustrative purposes.)

If you want something a little fancier, that involves adding code to your template, Thomas has written about a neat little widget at GeneaBloggers: Visitor Contact - an easy Contact Form Button for Your Blog. Cheryl is using it at Heritage Happens - look for the red tab over on the far left. (Cheryl also provides her email address on her profile page.)

You have to create an account and you get additional options such as adding your phone number or Twitter information. You can also use their auto-response feature or create a contact list. After clicking on the contact tab a pop-up box appears.

So there are several easy ways to provide your readers with a way to contact you. If you use a different method please share it!

9 comments:

Carol said...

I agree, there is nothing more frustrating that finding a blog that has no method of contacting the creator. I have to say, I found a really neat blog, loved what she said, etc. But, no contact available. After about a month of frustration cause I could not write and tell her how I loved her blog, guess what, I stopped visiting. She was loosing her audience, her readers, well, at least she lost me. Oh, she had no followers option either. Want to be read, followers makes it easy, don't want to be read, go private!

Barbara said...

Apple, was the site the one with the black background/white printing? I know I told this person about a week ago, and she said it was fixed, but it wasn't? If it was she, I have her email, she lives in my hometown. BTW, nice post.

Anonymous said...
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Nancy said...

Okay, Apple, I know you weren't trying to contact me but this post hit home because I don't have a contact button or my email address in my profile. I'm adding one. Thanks for the suggestion and directions. I appreciate it.

Apple said...

Carol - I usually keep reading but either stay frustrated or stop bothering to try to comment. With so many good blogs out there it is very tempting to give up and I've found myself having to cut back on the blogs I actually read....

Barb - It wasn't that one. It did finally occur to me to try contacting her through Friend Connect so we'll see what happens.

Apple said...

Nancy - I hope you make some connections!

Becky said...

This post is "spot on" and timely. I recently came across a blog that had info on someone that I was interested in and there was no contact info for the blogger. Extremely frustrating. Also, comments were not enabled. I don't understand bloggers that make their blog public yet don't provide a method for feedback, whether thru comments or email. Very strange, in my opinion.

Tipper said...

Great tips!! And you are so right-people sometimes want to ask a question-but they don't want to leave a comment. I love the new look : )

Cheryl Fleming Palmer said...

Such a great topic! It is more than frustrating to find there isn't a way to make contact with someone, especially if you want contact to be private to be private. I have to admit, the best contacts (from my blogs)have been made through private contact, so it really does pay off! Nice article and thank you for using my blog as an example.