Most blogs have sidebars (or footers). These are your secret weapon as a newer blogger – use them wisely!
Your content – posts- are there for all to read, they are what people come to see and what makes you stand out but have you thought about what else happens when someone reads one? Maybe it’s a fellow blogger reading or a family member or it could be Tots100, BritMums,Netmums,Mumsnet or some other influential site who wants to see what else you have to feature and shine a spotlight on. It’s a good idea to make it easy for them to do this…
Ideally next to your post in your sidebar,right at the top for all to see is a great place for your rss icons and ‘subscribe’ bar. If someone is liking your latest post you want them to be able to see these and think ‘ooo yes I’ll subscribe and read some more -this is good!’ Of course if someone really, really wants to read your blog and subscribe then they will scroll down and hunt about for the subscribe section – but not everyone!
Your recent posts or archives would be next down in an ideal world – If someone is reading your post and a catchy title of a recent post is just there to the right or left they’ll be tempted to take a look. There are people on the scout out for recent posts to highlight on major sites (me included!) so make sure you promote yourself (with subscribe, archives, twitter and facebook links) above any badges for the likes of the Tots100, BritMums, Love New Blogs ect. These sites love you and you love them but the most important thing on your blog is you and your content.
It’s a personal choice and I’m not the leading authority on blogs and their layout but we can make it easier for people to engage with us… So take a second look at your sidebar – what lurks at the top and what could be booted to the bottom ?!