Being a blogger I tend to visit a lot of other blogs around the web. And it annoys me to no end when I can’t find something easily on the blog I’m visiting. From not having a way to contact the site, to no way to search for posts, no social sharing icons, or any way for me to subscribe to their site. They are missing opportunities to not only gain a readership; they are missing potential opportunities with other bloggers as well! So when Abhi here at Oddblogger asked me to write a guest post I figured I would talk about the 9 Elements every Blogger Needs to Have for their Blog.
This one is important as it will probably be clicked on the most when people visit your site. The About Me page isn’t really About YOU. It’s about the VISITORS wanting to know what you can do for them. I suggest the following for your About Me (or Site) page:
What You Offer to Your Readers
I would describe what you offer at your blog. You need to be very clear here. If you provide advise on how to do Social Media Marketing? Then talk about what you offer and how you do it better than the other guy. If you have a free product you provide to visitors? Make sure to add the optin form underneath so they can get the free e-book, and you get their email address to add to your list. If you provide services as well? Then you should add a link to your Services page as well with a short description of what you offer.
Who You Are
Now after you have provided what you can offer your readers now you can talk about yourself. Make it personal. You can write about any accomplishments you’ve made in life or what your currently doing. You can list your favorite hobbies on here as well. Keep it short and to the point though. Nobody wants a memoir just an idea of who you are. Oh, I would also add your social media links down here as well so they can follow you.
This is a big one. I cannot tell you how many sites I have visited where there is no way for me to contact them! These blogs are missing potential opportunities with other bloggers, advertising, people looking for product reviews etc. A simple contact page using a form (preferably) is the best way. For my own Contact page I have the following:
- Email Address – I suggest placing your email address on here at the very least if you do not wish to use a contact form.
- Terms of Conditions – I discuss what I will allow on the blog and what I will not. I also discuss who should not contact me as well. (SEO Companies, etc..)
- Social Media – Where they can find me on other Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Then I have a Contact Form down at the bottom for people to easily leave me a message. Just make sure that you give it some CSS Style to make it look great! Make sure to check out Oddblogger’s Contact page as well.
Although this isn’t mandatory I personally think it’s a good idea to have a Search Button on a blog. This way people can do a search on your site instead of going back to Google if they didn’t find what they were looking for when they visited your blog. Plus you could always monetize it using Google’s Search integrated with your blog.
Although RSS Feeds are becoming somewhat old school. A lot of people still use them. So why not have an RSS Icon where people can subscribe to your blog’s RSS Feed and get the benefit of having return visitors to your site? I personally use Feedly to manage the RSS feeds of the blogs I follow plus it’s a huge time saver.
Email Optin Forms
If you are going to run a blog and you want to have return visitors? You need to set up an Email Optin Form so people have the opportunity to subscribe to your website. You can start out by using Feedburner or if you want to use something more professional MailChimp offers a free account to help you get started. I always suggest that you have an Email Optin Form that is prominently displayed in your Sidebar and after every post on your blog.
With all of the changes in Google it has become vital that you are connected with popular Social Media sites. And if you don’t have anyway for people to share your content on your blog? You are missing out on getting additional visitors to your site! Popular ways to set this up is by using WordPress plugins such as Digg DIgg for a floating share bar. I also have used WP Socializer to add social media buttons to the bottom of every post as well.
Related and Popular Posts
I highly suggest having both Related and Popular Posts on your blog as well.
I use nRelate to add related posts at the bottom of every post on my own blog. This way if people liked the original article they can find similar content down at the bottom of the post that they can read as well. This helps you keep the visitor from clicking away from your site it also keeps your bounce rate down which is important!
Having the most popular posts displayed in your sidebar is a way for visitors to see what type of content you have that people like to read. It also gives readers a chance to click and read more of your blog’s content and keeps them on your site longer as well. A popular plugin to use is WP Popular Posts so you can easily set this up in your side bar of your own site.
This page is where you disclose full transparency of everything you do on your blog. This not only complies with FTC Regulations but provides another sense of trust with visitors. Abhi over here at Oddblogger has it listed at Terms and Conditions which is essentially the same thing.
All of the above are very simple to create and implement for your own blog. Not only will it make your blog more visitor friendly, it will help:
- Provide visitors with information on why they should be visiting your blog from your About Me page.
- Provide visitors with the opportunity to read additional content through related and popular posts.
- Encourage sharing of your content through the use of Social Sharing Buttons.
- Provide ways for visitors to subscribe to your Newsletter or RSS Feed.
- Provide people with a way to contact you from your Contact page.
- Provide a sense of trust to your site with the use of your Privacy and Disclosure pages.
Did I Miss Anything?
What other elements should be on this list? Leave a comment below with what other elements a blog should have.