What You Really Need In Your Blog Sidebar To Make An Impact
Your Blog Sidebar Is Really Important!
It usually appears on all of your blog posts, and your homepage. This makes your blog sidebar really important real estate on your website. By making the most of this space, you can make a massive impact on your readers!
I’m going to walk you through the key things that I think every blog sidebar should and shouldn’t have, and the reasons why. Some of this you might already know, and some you might not. I’ll explain the widgets and plugins that I use too – so if you see something you like, you can get it for your blog!
I hope you enjoy sprucing up your blog sidebar and making a huge impact on your readers.
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Let’s get started on crafting a blog sidebar that is going to wow your readers and show that you’re a pro blogger who knows what they’re doing 😉
The Most Important Thing First – An Author Intro Widget
At the top of your sidebar, I would definitely recommend having an author widget. These are really useful because they help your readers get to know who you are as soon as they land on your blog.
People find it much easier to connect with a blogger when they know a bit more about them. It can make a big difference when it comes to growing a tribe of loyal readers!
There are a few things you should include within the bio.
- A profile picture of yourself – just you, that reflects your personality, and looks professional. Make sure it’s not a group photo or a selfie from a night out!
- Your full name – especially if your blog name or URL doesn’t tell people who you are. It’s hard for them to make a connection with you if they don’t know who you are or what to call you! Believe me, just doing this can make the world of difference when it comes to the amount of returning visitors to your blog. It builds the recognition of you, your blog + your brand.
- A brief, friendly intro – one that tells people exactly what your blog is there to do. People like to know they’re in the right place, and they’re going to get what they’re looking for. Make it easy for them to find out whether your blog is right for them, rather than leaving them guessing!
- A link to your about page – that’s why you keep the intro brief. Just direct them to your about page, and that’s where you can really go to town and tell them all about you, your blog + your biz!
Having a little intro to you and your biz is really important within your sidebar. If it’s the only thing you take away from this post then that’s great – I really feel it’s a vital part of any blog! Don’t be afraid to show your face and take ownership of your work. You should be proud of your amazing space on the Internet!
Social Media Profile Buttons
Underneath your bio, it’s a really good idea to have your social media profiles. Personally whenever I read a blog that I really enjoy or find useful, the first thing I do is follow the blogger on Pinterest and Twitter. Finding those buttons can be quite annoying at times!
Make it really simple for your readers to connect with you on other platforms. If people like you and are interested in your content, then it’s likely that they’ll want to follow you on social media. Don’t make it difficult for them!
This will really help boost your social media follower numbers too – which is quite an important element of blogging. ‘Social proof’ is basically the idea that if lots of other people follow you, it’s because you’re interesting and have value to offer, and this will mean people are more likely to join in and follow you too!
I would recommend having a plugin for social shares too – I’ve just installed Social Warfare, and love how easy it makes sharing my posts! I’m only using the free version at the moment as well, and it still has everything I need.
Making sure that it’s super easy to share all of your posts is really important for getting your content out there. The more people who share and talk about your content the better. And if it’s difficult or annoying for them to do it – they won’t!
Your Top Posts – Links Or Images
People usually land on your blog by clicking on links on social media or search engines. They are unlikely to land directly on your home page, so make it super easy for them to get to your most popular posts!
By placing the links directly in your sidebar, they’ll be seen no matter where a reader first lands. And once they’ve finished reading the content they arrived to read, make sure that you give them something else they want!
The posts you showcase here should be well-written and highly converting posts that generally achieve the goals you’re trying to achieve. Be it making affiliate sales, getting people to sign up to your email list, or selling your product, for example – make the most of this space and choose only the highest quality, popular articles from your blog.
Having these links easily accessible will also help to reduce your bounce rate, as people are able to find another related post that is high-quality.
An Ad – If That’s Something You Utilise On Your Blog
If you’re using ads on your blog, such as the ones from Adsense then it’s a good idea to include one ad slot in your sidebar.
It can help to grow your income, as again it will be seen no matter what page your readers are on.
Using ads on your blog can be a great form of income, as long as you’re not overloading your content with them and drawing away from the quality of your writing. By using them sparingly and carefully, you can earn good money from ads on your blog.
A Link To Your Top Affiliate Product
The last thing I would recommend on your blog sidebar is a widget or photo + link to your top affiliate product. This can increase the amount of times people click-through, and helps show that you are a serious promoter of that product.
For All In My Head, I have a link to SiteGround on my sidebar. They’re the hosting company I use to host my blog, and I’ve had nothing but a great experience since using them. They’re super cheap [only a couple of pounds a month], and you get 24/7 live chat support with them.
If you have a product or service that you find yourself recommending over and over, you definitely want to pop a link to it in your sidebar. You might well find that your income goes up, because the affiliate link is more likely to get clicked!
There You Have It!
These are the things I highly recommend having in your blog sidebar to make the biggest and most positive impact on your readers. They’ll be able to see that you’re a professional blogger, who they can see and connect with, and that’s super important.
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