How to Create the Blog Sidebar of Your Dreams
Even though it is perhaps one of the more frequently overlooked aspects of any blog – at least from the blogger’s point of view – the sidebar is actually one of the most important parts to get right, so you should ensure to put the proper amount of time and effort into improving it.
It is a small but immensely valuable part of your blog. The key to getting it spot on and maximizing its potential is to include as many of the best and most useful sidebar elements without getting things looking too crowded.
In order to make sure you include the correct parts, we have listed the most important below. Try and incorporate as many of these features as you can.
Your Most Popular Posts
Often, you will find that you will have a few posts that are so popular that they will be bringing the majority of the traffic to your blog. These posts will have far more views than the rest of your posts, so this makes them especially valuable.
You should feature these popular posts in their own section on the sidebar so that you can make the most of them. Doing so will allow guests to see these posts in the same place, no matter which page they’re on at the time. This will then cause them to click onto one of these posts if they happen to be interested, increasing your page views and making visitors stick around for longer.
Your Personal Bio
Don’t relegate your biography section to its own page – this will only cause the piece to go completely unnoticed by most of the visitors to your site. Putting your bio into the sidebar gives all the personality and “inside knowledge” of an About Me page without shoving it into an unknown corner of your site.
Clearly, you’re not going to be writing reams and reams of your personal history and your childhood when you’ve only got the space of a sidebar to play with. This helps to trim the fat and keep your bio short and sweet. Give a short blurb about yourself and your goals – three or four sentences at the most – and include a nice head shot. It can be good to have some continuity, so try and use the same photo that you’re using for your LinkedIn profile.
A Subscribe Button
As you probably know, every blog should have a subscription box somewhere on the site. And what better place to put it than on the sidebar? This ensures that it is in the same easily-accessible place on each page, maximizing the visibility for your visitors.
Put it towards the top of your sidebar, so that it’s one of the first things readers will see. Keep it simple, too – just a box for their email address and a single Subscribe button. This will ensure that you get the maximum possible number of new subscribers.