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When it comes to creating an engaging blog sidebar that captivates and retains visitors, your sidebar is a vital part of your blog’s design. While the main content undoubtedly takes center stage, neglecting the sidebar can mean missing out on valuable opportunities to engage your readers. In this post, I will discuss the definition of a sidebar and offer helpful tips for creating an engaging blog sidebar for your blog.
The sidebar is the vertical column that appears on the side of your blog. Most sidebars are placed on the right side of the blog. This is because the right side is so common that most people expect it there. When I read a blog post, I naturally look to the right for the sidebar, especially if I am looking for a particular piece of content.
You can see my blog sidebar on my Blog page.
Placing a sidebar on your blog gives extra information to the user, and makes your site easy to navigate. It provides a reader with quick access to important links and creates a better user experience. A sidebar can make your blog look less cluttered and allow you to share important information with your readers.
To help you make the most of this valuable space, here are some essential elements to consider adding to your blog sidebar.
Introduce yourself to your readers and establish a personal connection by including a professional image and a short bio section. Use this bio section to highlight your expertise or interests. Your bio will help visitors to get to know you better and build credibility for your blog. You can also include a “Read More” link and direct them to your About page so they can read your entire story.
Invite readers to connect with you on your social media platforms by including social media icons in your sidebar. By doing this, you provide an easy way for visitors to follow you and join your online community, increasing your blog’s reach and engagement.
You can use categories to group and sort your blog posts based on the blog’s subject. Adding category links can make it easy for readers to find the specific content on your blog. The categories encourage readers to explore more of your blog and find articles that align with their interests. For example, add a Business Tip category where you link to all of your blog posts that give the reader tips on running their business.
Adding a widget that highlights recent comments on your blog creates a sense of community and encourages conversation. Visitors can see the thoughts shared by other readers and easily join the discussion. This encourages a reader to engage with you and your content.
A newsletter subscription box is an effective way to capture email addresses and build a loyal audience. Place it prominently in the sidebar to encourage readers to sign up and receive updates on your latest blog posts or exclusive content.
A great way to entice readers to join your email newsletter is by offering an opt-in freebie. Your freebie should help your readers solve pain points that they may be experiencing.
Convert Kit makes it easy to add a subscription form and place it anywhere on your blog. Here is mine:
Make it convenient for readers to search for specific topics or articles on your blog by including a search bar in the sidebar. This helps improve the user experience and ensures that visitors can quickly find relevant content. A search bar helps readers find the information they need, and faster. All of my Kadence WordPress Themes come with a search bar in the sidebar.
If you plan to monetize your blog, consider allocating some space in the sidebar for advertisements. Choose ad placements carefully so they do not overshadow your content and maintain a professional appearance.
Do not try and add too many ads, it will only discourage readers and they will leave your blog.
Your blog sidebar is a great place to showcase a new product or service that you may offer. Add an eye-catching image and a call to action that highlights your new product or service.
Add a link to your image that makes the image clickable. Direct your readers to find out more about the product or service. I have this image on my sidebar which showcases my website templates.
Your blog sidebar is the perfect place to add a link to your most popular blog post that contains a tutorial that helps readers perform a certain task. For example, I include my “How to Start Your Own Website” tutorial because I sell website templates. This makes it easy for my readers to find help creating their website using one of my templates.
Your sidebar is a great place to include your affiliate links. Of course, don’t go crazy here. One or two will suffice. I created an image for my stock photo affiliate and added it to my sidebar. Just make sure the product you link to will be helpful for your readers.
If you are trying to grow your Pinterest account, adding a Pinterest widget to your blog’s sidebar is a great way to encourage readers to follow you. It is easy to install and I even have a tutorial that will help you add it to your sidebar, How to Add a Pinterest Widget to Your WordPress Sidebar.
Remember, while it’s important to add these elements to your blog sidebar, avoid cluttering it with excessive widgets or overwhelming visuals. Keep the design clean, organized, and visually pleasing to enhance the overall user experience.
Your sidebar should flow smoothly and contain helpful information for your readers.
By incorporating these elements effectively, you can transform your blog sidebar into a powerful tool for engaging readers, increasing your blog’s visibility, and fostering a sense of community. Happy blogging!
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. How do you use your blog sidebar? Leave me a comment and let’s collaborate!
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