Since content is king, what goes in the blog sidebar is often an afterthought. But the truth is your sidebar does matter. It is a great place to add extra content, opt in boxes and many other widgets that will help promote your content. Here is what you need to know about your blog sidebar.
Left or Right?
Whether you place your sidebar on the left hand side or the right-hand side really depends on your goals for your blog. If your goal is to highlight your content, placing your content on the right and your blog sidebar on the left naturally makes more sense. On the other hand, if you are using your sidebar for a product placement or other advertisements, a right-handed sidebar is beneficial in helping you reach your moneymaking goal.
What to Include in Your Sidebar?
Like the location of your blog sidebar, would you include is determined by your goals. Here are some of the most common things to include in any blog sidebar.
- A search bar. You want to make it easy for your readers to find exactly what they are looking for, and a search bar can help.
- A list of your most recent blog posts. This makes it easy for readers to find your most recent content. Showcasing these is also a great way to encourage them to stay on your site and it gets even more page views.
- A list of your most popular posts. Like your most recent posts, a list of popular posts is a great way to keep readers on your site. You can use a widget that will automatically pull your most read posts, or customize this list so that it points readers to the posts you want them to see.
- Your social media profile buttons. Make it easy for your readers to find you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and any other social media site you frequent. If readers can clearly see that you are on these sites, they are much more likely to follow you.
- An opt in box. Planning on starting an email list? The sidebar is a great place to put your opt in. If collecting email addresses is a main goal of your blog, make your opt in prominent and high up in your blog sidebar. The higher it is, the more people will see it.
- If you plan to make money with your blog, the sidebar is a great place to place ads. Whether you create ads for your own products or display pay-per-click ads, place them as high up as you can.
Though it is often an afterthought to great content, your blog sidebar is a great place to promote your content or products. Where it is placed makes a difference, as does what you put in it. Figure out what you want to promote the most and utilize your blog sidebar.