Sunday, 29 March 2009

Sidebars Valuable Space For Business Blogs

Blog Sidebars

Sidebars give space for followers and visitors to see other than you posting, there could not be a better place to put temptation to go into and information that you wish to convey. It's a bit like the spider inviting reader into their web. Space however is limited so you need to prioritise on what you feel is most beneficial to your blog.

* Make space for your personal photograph. Letting your followers see what you look will cement further the personal nature of blogging.

* Why you are writing the blog? Let the visitors know and also tell them what your goals are.

* Showing the most commented posts is a good way of telling your readers what subjects have brought about most interest.

* Highlight the last five posts with links leading straight into them. This is essential on blog set ups where individual post pages are just shown.

* One of the most important bits of information are your contact details and should be put in a prominent position. I have personally tried to find contact details of authors on many occasions and when no contact details where found I just moved on.

* Networking profiles from social media sites and networking groups such as Twitter or Facebook, etc., where you can make links to your own profiles on each of these platforms is a good idea.

* Place a list of recommended sites that you think your readers might like. This will enhance and helps make your blog a prime resource for referring. The recommended site should be contacted with a view of reciprocal link.

* In order to encourage readers receive regular blog updates, make a RSS Subscription option clearly visible along with email notification options. Not everyone will go for this, but you need to give the option.

* Give a calendar of future events as this would be a useful place to make your readers aware of them.

* Marketing products or services should be done in the same way as you promote your events through a calendar facility.

* Show recent comments and let people see who is commenting and on which posts. As well as relevant information reader will want to see, this is common courtesy as a thanks to the contributors and encourage more to comment as it is a form of an advertisement for them.

* Divide you blog up into categories where reader can navigate to certain topics in your blog. give them a prime position and don't make too many between 6 to 10 is a good number.

* Make up monthly archives for your posts.

* A search box should be placed which is easily accessible, then more likely to be used.

* I'm not a keen fan of tag clouds, but many readers are and use it. It shows the areas and a different way to navigation through the categories.

* Your blogs are personal giving followers an insight of the weblog they are reading. Tell them who you are and what you do makes sense.

* Put in testimonials as this great way to link or give a project overview. you will be surprised at the amount of readers that look through them and spend more time on your blog.

* Bring in RSS feeds from other relevant or linked sites as this will give common new and specific information to your blog. Once set up it runs without any need for maintenance.

* A great attraction for readers are polls. It will increase the interactive feature of your blog and give some useful information as well as a good resource for another post.

* With Amazon and other online book sellers now firmly in the web market, you can use them to show recommended books that will appeal to your target audience. This of course will make you a little money on the side with commission earned from sales.

* Adverts are an option if you wish to make money from your blog as long as you weigh up the distraction factor that comes with them.

This list is not exhaustible nor are the suggestions made statute. The idea is to use what you feel is appropriate to you business blog. Try things out and don't be scared to change things around or try a different tactics if you feel that some of the suggestions are not as effective as first thought. Sidebars are there to be used and making the most of them will boost your business blog traffic and retain readers' interests.

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Stephan Miller said...

I was one to not use tag clouds, but I see their value now. Where categories can lead to a deadend with only 3 posts, tag clouds tell you the focus of the blog easily and naturally. It happens as you post.

Martin in Bulgaria said...

Good point Stephen, I know they work well I just dont' like their cosmetic style that's all.