Writing quality content is only one part of blogging success. The other, and arguably more challenging, part are getting traffic to your blog. This is because even if you write great content regularly, but fail to attract visitors, your blog will be termed as a failure. One useful way of getting traffic to your blog is via the social media and bookmarking sites. They can bring a flood of first-time visitors and even help your post go viral. So it is essential that you integrate social bookmarking icons on your blog to encourage you, readers, to share your posts on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon. Fortunately, there are lots of plugins available which allow you to add various social bookmarking icons to your blog very quickly. In this post, I will have a look at five of them which I think are the most suitable for this purpose.
Shareaholic, also known as SexyBookmarks, is probably the best social bookmarking plugin if you want to insert social bookmarking icons before or after your post content as it combines ease of use with lots of functionality. Also, its icons are attractive with a built-in animation which encourages users to click on them and share your posts. In addition to the standard menu, you can also add a like button-set before or after the posts and a top bar with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+1 buttons. Shareaholic is compatible with a wide variety of social bookmarking sites and includes social engagement analytics. Its options can easily configure from the Shareaholic tab which you will find under the Settings Tab in your Admin area.
Sociable’s main functionality is pretty much the same as Shareaholic, but it is, even more, easier to configure because it does not include advanced features. So it is ideal for those who find Shareaholic a bit complicated or for some reason it does not work on their blog. Sociable allows you to insert Social bookmarking icons on your blog wherever you wish, be it posts, pages, home page, Category archives, Author archives, search results and even RSS feeds. Also, Sociable is compatible with all the popular social media and bookmarking sites. You will be able to find the Sociable’s options page under the Settings Tab.
With Socialize, not only you can add social bookmarking icons inside the post content, but you can also add them in a ‘ Call to action box’ below the content. The buttons inside the post content can be aligned left or right, and you can choose which buttons to show both inside the post content and in the box below the content. The ‘ Call to action box’ also includes a message which asks your reader to subscribe to your RSS feed or leave a comment. You can edit this message, and I think it an excellent method to ask your readers to take some action. For Example, you can tell your readers to check out your social media profiles or visit your other sites. Moreover, you can disable the default stylesheet of this box and custom style it to match it with your theme.
GetSocial is a nifty plugin which adds a floating box with social bookmarking icons to your blog. This floating box is always visible which might encourage more of your visitors to share your articles on various sites. GetSocial supports the most popular social media sites by default, and you can easily add any more buttons of your choice. It also features a handy color-picker to change the look of the floating box to blend it with your theme. The best thing I like about this plugin is that it is quite lightweight and simple to use. I have seen more and more blogs using this plugin, and you should also give it a try and see how it works for you.
Slick Social Share Buttons
By using this plugin, you can add a floating box or slide out tab with customizable social bookmarking icons. The best feature of this plugin is that it includes a social stats page which gives a comprehensive overview of the number of shares on each of tour posts, pages, category pages and the home page. This is useful in knowing which of your articles are proving to be the most popular among your visitors and which social media and bookmarking sites your readers prefer. Slick Social Share Buttons also comes with the added functionality of shortcodes which allow you to integrate the floating or slide out panel anywhere in your site content. Moreover, it has a lot of options you can tweak to suit your needs such as the choosing the animation speed and the light speed. You can see these options in the Social Buttons tab in your WordPress admin area.
Some other plugins which deserve mention are AddThis, AddToAny, ShareThis and Social Slider. If you know any other outstanding social bookmarking plugin, do share them in the comments.
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