Blogging

5 Things Your Blog Needs

Have you guys been liking my blog tips posts? You’re supposed to vigorously nod your head yes. Humor me, okay? I have really enjoyed writing them, and you guys have given some great feedback. Given that great feedback, I thought I would kick off this week with another blog tips post!

Side note: if you haven’t downloaded my free blog post checklist, you can do so below!

I read a lot of blogs. Whether it’s for entertainment or drawing inspiration from others, blogs are a fantastic resource and a “continuing education” source for my own blog. I have come across many of blogs in my time that are hard to navigate and don’t give me the information that I want or need. Yes, of course, you need an About page, but I also need to know how to contact you immediately or how to find what I’m looking for. I’ve compiled a list of things that I constantly look for/use when I am browsing blogs, and I hope you find it helpful! These are all simple things you can start working on right now, if you don’t already have these on your blog!

5 Things Your Blog Needs - great list of SIMPLE things you can add to your blog right now to make it more navigable and user friendly!

1. A Search Bar

I use the search bar on my own blog (and others’) multiple times a week! It is right under my bio pic. Search functions are so helpful to your readers. Sometimes organizing our navigation bar into categories isn’t good enough. What if I remember you writing something years ago about a DIY Hot Oil Treatment? I’ve got to recreate that recipe for my hair this evening and I need to find it immediately! Just by typing it into a search bar, I will find it quickly without having to sort through categories and navigation menus. If you haven’t done so already, get a search bar for your sidebar or navigation menu. It will also encourage readers to stick around and visit more pages.

2. Social Media Icons Above the Fold

If I like your blog, I want to be able to follow you on social media. Tell me how to follow you by displaying some social media icons (I like the Simple Social Icons plugin for WordPress). Put those icons in a place where I can see them without having to scroll (or, “above the fold” as we bloggers may call it). Make them as visible as possible. I have been on countless blogs where I have scrolled up and down and found social media icons halfway down the page. Not cool, man! Let me follow you without having to scroll! I know that sounds like a total first world problem, but you really want that visible! Most readers don’t know to scroll around to look for your social media icons, so make it super visible for them.

3. An easy way for visitors to leave comments

I love commenting on blogs. If I love your post, I will try my hardest to comment on it. However, I do get frustrated with some commenting systems. It seems as if many Blogger blogs like to eat my comments and not display them. More than often I will just give up and move along. If you are on Blogger, I highly suggest installing Disqus onto your comments so it is easier for people to leave them, and easier for you to respond to them. Make your blog easy for your readers, particularly non-bloggers to leave a comment. For my blog, all you need to do is type in a name and e-mail to leave a comment (standard WordPress commenting system), and it seems to work very well for me.

4. Top posts in the sidebar

Displaying your most popular posts in your sidebar encourages your readers to click around and read other posts. I know that I almost always click around to popular posts on blogs that I love. You don’t have to pick the most popular posts. Pick some that get lots of traffic and that you want your readers to see. It also tells them what you are an authority on. I am a beauty, family, and lifestyle blog, so I try to display a good amount from each category on my sidebar. I’ve got 6 posts displayed, but even just 3 will be a great start. Ever since I’ve started doing this, my pageviews saw a slight increase and my bounce rate a slight decrease. You can make clickable images for your sidebar, use a plugin, or even a link list to encourage readers to click around.

5. Mobile-Friendly Template

Did you guys know that about 65% of my traffic is mobile? That’s crazy talk! But it makes sense, because we will click on links from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram while on our phones. My WordPress theme comes optimized for mobile viewing, and after some kinks to work out, I think it is looking really good and easy to navigate. Did you also know that Google is dinging sites that are not mobile friendly? What that means, is Google will show other posts above yours in search results, as their pages are mobile friendly and easy to navigate. Don’t let yourself miss out on potential traffic. Choose a blog theme that comes with a mobile optimized view included. Not sure if your blog is mobile-friendly? Visit this link to check your blog.

 

And that’s it… for now, at least! What else would you put on this list?

11 Comments

  • Reply
    alycia
    November 16, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Good list! I think I have all these things except s search bar! I’m going to look right now!!!

  • Reply
    katesbeyond
    November 16, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Great tips! Blogger eats my comments too… I don’t know why they don’t like me. I’m a huge fan of disqus. Its fun to have them go back to. Thanks for your tips

    xoxo
    Katie
    http://beyondtheclothing.com

  • Reply
    Nikki
    November 16, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    This is a great list girl! I may have to look into disqus, didn’t know blogger had an issue with comments. Do you have any resources on how to get a search bar on my webpage because that sounds like something I NEED!

  • Reply
    Myra
    November 17, 2015 at 12:40 am

    Great tips, friend! I used to have the standard Blogger comment box and I eventually got so fed up with it that I installed Disqus! Definitely a much better platform 😉

  • Reply
    Life With A View
    November 17, 2015 at 5:05 am

    Love this list! Thanks for the awesome tips, super helpful for newbie bloggers 😉

  • Reply
    tiffanyatouchofgrace
    November 17, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Phew, I have all of these. I don’t love how my mobile friendly template looks, but it works. My designer was going to charge a lot more to make it a fancier mobile friendly template. I may look into it in the future.
    And yes to Blogger! I also hate that a lot of Blogger bloggers reply on their post so you never see their reply to your comment unless you go back to the post. Who has time for that!

  • Reply
    Stevie Storck (@StevieStorck)
    November 19, 2015 at 6:13 am

    Awesome tips! I’m putting “add popular post links to sidebar” on my to-do list for today. Thanks for sharing, Meg!

    • Reply
      Meg O.
      November 25, 2015 at 8:48 am

      You’re so welcome! Glad my post has been helpful!

  • Reply
    aliciasunnyexpectations
    January 21, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Very helpful information here. I’m still learning as I go, but there are several things that you mentioned that I need to improve for my blog. I didn’t even think to check and see if my posts were mobile friendly! Thanks for the great ideas.

  • Reply
    Brittany Boone
    January 25, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    This is such a great post! Blog tips are always helpful 🙂

    BNBstyling.com

  • Reply
    Savannah (@HowHesRaised)
    March 2, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Thank you for this awesome list! I had no idea Blogger had an issue with comments, and that makes me sad for anyone who may have had trouble commenting on one of my blog posts…
    I’m checking out Disqus now though! Thank you so much for sharing <3

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