Any blogger worth their salt will know that the key to blogging success is to write content recognized by the search engines as top quality – not mindless drivel. But that is only half the battle. The other half is encouraging your visitors to share your content with others on social media. Say what you want about Facebook and Twitter, but posts shared to those sites have the potential to drive a huge number of people to your site.
But web visitors are mostly a lazy bunch of slobs. They read the post, maybe comment, and then move on. The idea of sharing that post on social media requires a few more steps that they may not be bothered doing, like copying and pasting – think of the energy required! So you have to make it easy for them. Place buttons at the top, side, or bottom of each post, so all readers have to do is click one. When the box comes up, they click again, and hey presto, the post is off to their social media contacts.
“How do you do this, Mark?” I hear you cry. “Does it involve some really difficult coding on different pages?“. Er, no. All you need to do is install the WordPress plugin, Digg Digg, and you’re sorted. You’re welcome.
But as usual with these plugins, it does require a bit of tweaking. That’s where I come in.
How It Looks
What I really like about Digg Digg is that it produces some really beautiful buttons, which will float down and stay level with the article (if you choose the vertical option).
You can also choose, as an alternative, the “horizontal option” which will place the buttons in a straight line at either the top or the bottom of each post.
How is this all done? Glad you asked. Let’s go to the purring engine room of my blog and check out the mechanics of the Digg Digg extension.
Deciding Which Buttons To Use
Installing the plugin is easy: just search for Digg Digg in the “Plugins” section of your site’s Dashboard, then click install. The settings for “Digg Digg” can then be found in the left hand toolbar :
Let’s take a look at each section.
This sets up the usernames and other details for the social media accounts you want to use.
The first one is Facebook :
The section is pretty straight forward. Decide which options you want to have, and which language (1.1). “en” is obviously English, “de” is German, and so on. Tweak to your needs, then save everything. Nothing difficult here.
The next five sections simply involve entering your username for each of the services (assuming you have set up an account there). Enter your username and save. Again, nothing too brain-taxing.
Normal & Floating Display
I am lumping both “normal display” and “floating display” in together, because apart from deciding whether you want the normal or floating option, all the other requirements are almost absolutely identical.
So decide which you want – normal or floating. It’s purely personal choice. Go to the relevant section and enable it at the top by ticking the box. Then in the next section decide which options you want and don’t want.
Now comes the part where you decide which services you want, and in which order they should go in :
There are 24 services – all the major sites are covered, as well as a few you’ve probably never heard of. Next to it are numbers :
So decide which services you want, and make sure the “enabled” box is ticked. Then decide which order you want them to go in, from left to right.
The first social network button on the far left should have the highest number, and the one on the far right should have the lowest number. So if say you wanted Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Stumbleupon, Google+, and Delicious (in that order), then you could number them 110 (for Facebook), 109 for Twitter, 108 for Reddit, and so on. You could even live on the wild side and leave a number out! So if Twitter was 109, you could get adventurous and make Reddit 107. God, the excitement is killing me.
Save, then check your site. You should see your buttons.
Despite how easy the above process is, there will always be some people in the world who want to do things the difficult way. Don’t ask me why. For those people, we have the “manual placement” section, where you can get the code to place the buttons anywhere you want on your page.
I don’t consider myself a coding expert by any means. I know just about enough HTML to get by, never mind CSS or any other coding language. But the above seems more or less straight forward. Take the relevant code, copy, paste, save, rinse, and repeat.
So that’s it. If you run a WordPress blog, you will know that there are LOTS of plugins that claim to help you with social media buttons. However, many of them are so ugly, it makes Miss Ugly 2014 look positvely radiant. Aesthetics and design are everything (as well as functionality obviously), and in my humble opinion, Digg Digg scores top marks in all departments.