ONE | Contact Information
It is extremely important to have accessible contact information on your blog. You can either do this by having a tab in your Navigation bar or within your social media buttons on your sidebar. If it takes longer than a few seconds for someone to find your contact information, especially a brand, ultimately the person will leave your page. You do not want this to happen! So make sure your contact information can easily be found!!
TWO | Images the Width of your Content Area
If you post images on your blog, it is important that they are the width of your content area. So if your content space is 600 pixels wide, then your width of your pictures should also be 600 pixels wide. Always edit your photos in a their original size and then use a picture editor to resize them to fit your content width. If your pictures are smaller in width than your content width, do not try to enlarge them to fit because it will only distort your images. Not sure how to figure out the size of your content width?
In Blogger: Go to your Dashboard. Click on Template. Click Edit HTML. Click Edit template. Numbers should pop up on the left hand side of the template (they stand for lines of the template). If there are little green arrows, click on them. It will open up your template further. Look for this code:
It should then show you your width of your content area like this:
<b:variable default=’960px‘ name=’content.width’ type=’length’ value=’1270px’/>
Where the 960px is the width of your content area.
Hover over Appearance. Click on Editor. Find the Content Section in your files (/* Content) and depending on how your blog is arranged, will depend on which one is your actual content width. My is in the content sidebar sidebar section.
THREE | Social Media Buttons
Make sure all of your social media accounts are being shown off on your sidebar or in your posts or both! People like to interact with you, so make sure all of your accounts are easily found. Your Social Media links can be linked to button images or banners or ribbons or whatever you wish. Just make sure all of your accounts are found in one place!
FOUR | Comments
Your comment area needs to be user friendly. There are many different third-party options on both Blogger and WordPress for comments. I suggest one that is user friendly. If your readers have to log-in with a separate account, or if they have to work at leaving you a comment, they are more than likely not going to leave you a comment. If you have Captcha turned on, turn it off. Again, this goes with the making your readers work at leaving you a comment. Captcha just takes a few extra steps for your readers to leave you a comment. If you are concerned with the amount of spam or whatever reason you have it turned on, you are better off moderating your comments instead…ie no extra work for your readers.
FIVE | Search and Archive Features
A search area and archive area on your sidebar are extremely important for a blog. Your readers can type in a search word and pull up any of your posts that have that search word contained in them. Your archives allow your readers to go back and read your previous posts. Both features help keep your readers on your blog.
SIX | Proper Tags on your Posts
Same as the search and archive feature, it is important that you properly tag your posts. Whatever keywords are in your posts, make sure you add those as your tags. So if your post is about Spring Fashion, use tags such as these: Spring, Fashion, Spring Fashion, Spring Fashion 2014. If you have brands mentioned in your post, make sure to include them individually in your tags as well. Tags are searchable both internally on your blog (using that Search Feature on your blog mentioned in Five) and externally (like a Google Search engine).
SEVEN | About Page
Your About Page is your spotlight. So make it sing! If a new reader lands on your page, you want to put your best foot forward. Introduce yourself! Share what you talk about on your blog. Share the main characters in your life (if that’s appropriate for your niche). Share your pictures! Let your personality shine!
EIGHT | Categories
Make it easy for your readers to find like-minded posts. You can do this with Categories or Image Graphics or both. If you take a peek to your right, you’ll see a section in my sidebar called “Read More Here” with graphics underneath. Each graphic is linked to a Category or a Page that will allow you to see all that kind of post in one place. Having organization around your blog, makes it easier for your readers to find what they are looking for.
So there you have it! 8 Blog Must Haves!
Did I leave anything out??
Click here to read more of my #bloggingedumacation series posts.