This is sort of a post more relevant to new bloggers. Most of you might already know all this.
In the short while I’ve been blogging, I’ve visited a lot of blogs.
Now, when I go to a new blog, there are certain things I look for. Assuming this is an opinion shared by others too, I’m going to list out the things that (I think) should be in a blog.
Obviously. It’s there is every blog. Why do I need to say it? Because I don’t have it myself. Then why are you saying this, go make your own blog right first. You see, the main purpose of a blog roll is to get the idea of what kind of posts you publish. Are they personal/book related/writing/photography/any other? If you have a static home page, make sure you mention what kind of posts we could expect if we subscribe to your blog.
That’s what I’ve done. Personally, I like having a static page so a visitor would understand what my blog is about. I might have posted a few consecutive book reviews, but my blog isn’t limited to that. I want that point to get across. Sure, if your blog is mostly about one thing, then blog roll is good.
Note: what you write on your static page is different from what you write on your about page. Static page—about blog and posts. About page—about you.
We want to know the person behind these words. Even if the author is anonymous or this is through a computer screen, most times I would like to get a feel of the person. Even writing just your hobbies, likes and dislikes helps, if you don’t want to say your age. (Not saying name and area of living because that is not really required for a blog anymore)
The way your about page is written shows a lot about you. For example- is the blogger formal, casual, funny, sarcastic, etc. We get it by the tone of writing itself. So, I suggest that you make the about page like you as much as possible. Don’t just be formal, it’s not a resume. People of the blogosphere are incredibly kind and amazing, they’ll like you for you.
Sadly, I’ve seen so many blogs that don’t have an about page and that becomes one of the reasons I don’t bother to find out more.
First and foremost-have an email where you can be contacted. Either make one separately for the blog or use your old one.
Few points to note on whether to use a separate email.
If you make a new one, in the beginning your inbox might be empty (which might make you sad) but once you start reaching out and start taking part in things, you might find that having separate accounts is helpful.
- Keeps your blog-related things and personal things separate so it won’t get mixed up. For example, my book review and tour details are separate from my college applications one.
- You won’t have a cluttere d inbox since you have two inboxes.
- You can be anonymous and all the info on your personal account will not automatically be shown to any random person who contacts you through the web. I find this helpful because I don’t want just anyone knowing where I go to school etc which they might since my gmail account is linked to my google+
- You have a feeling that you are actually doing something related to your blog. Now that I’ve started emailing bloggers and decide blog tour stuff on another account, I feel like it justifies me having another. Also, having an empty inbox motivates me to do things.
Contact pages could also mention various social media accounts (which everyone knows, why am I saying it exclusively?).
Sometimes, when I want to randomly talk to a blogger or say something about a post which I feel might be rude/embarrassing to mention in a public comment (like, you missed mentioning your ratings or a name is spelled wrong), I do it via email. I try very hard not to seem offensive so email is my to-go. Please have a contact page, at least just for people like me.
Subscribe button (preferably in the sidebar)
For fellow WordPress followers, you don’t have to have a separate WP follow button because it just appears in the right down corner.
But do make sure to have an email subscribe button. Not many times, but I have seen blogs (especially the infrequently posting ones) which I would prefer to see in my email than wait for in my news feed. That is a personal thing but this is not the only reason.
People who are not on WordPress but still stumble upon your blog need an option to receive your posts in their inbox. Hardly anyone would make an effort to keep checking your blog and wait for new posts.
Coming to the lesser important things..
Categories list in the sidebar
If the visitor is only interested in one or two of your topics, he/she can only browse through them if they wish it.
I’m not sure why I have this under lesser important things because it’s really important.
For you: you can search back posts to link them to new ones or to double check. You always need a way to sift through your own blog.
For followers: they can search posts to link them in their blog posts as referring. Also to see an old post again because they liked it etc. I once used a search button at someone else’s to pull up a specific book review of theirs after hearing that they reviewed it.
And that’s all (for starters)! In the end, of course it is all upto you what you want to do. Add more things to fill up your blog, make it good, make it you.
In the end, if you like your blog and it is like something you would follow and like, that’s good.
This was everything that I got as a newbie only, so please don’t be disappointed if you expected a post showing lots of expertise.
P.S. I thought of doing a post of everything to make sure of when you keep a static front page (because I have experience and there are quite a few things). Not sure though. If any of you want it, or anything else, comment below and I will make sure to post about it.