Wednesday, June 1, 2011

5 Features Your Blog Needs: But Doesn't Have!

 [My blogging space at the homestead. Yep, my Desktop says February into June. That's how much I like that wallpaper!]

It's part of my job to look at hundreds of blogs per day, and I keep noticing the same key mistakes on many of them. Stop right now and take a look at your blog with me. Here's a list of 5 common sense things that your blog may be lacking.

1) E-mail Address and/or Contact Page

You're missing out on excellent opportunities and feedback if you don't have a clear way for your readers and potential advertisers to contact you. Make a contact page and have your e-mail available on your blog near the top of the page. Sometimes I have to jump through flaming hoops to get in touch with people because their e-mail is not on their blog!

2) Search Feature

Almost all blogging software has a search feature or widget that you can easily add to your page. This encourages people to stay on your site and come back for more.

3) About Page

A separate and dedicated "about" page is important. Describe the mission of your website and tell your readers a little bit about yourself. People love to be reassured that they're reading a real person's story, they'll connect from you and come back to read more.  

4) Home Button

Make sure the banner at the top of the page goes back to your "home" page when it's clicked, additionally, make sure you have several clear ways back to your website's "home" page, it makes surfing your site easier.

5) Links to Your Various Blog Features

Make the links to your various blog features clear and enticing. Again, it's all about keeping people involved and coming back to read more, so you need to highlight every valuable feature your blog has.

Bonus Tip) Make EVERY picture Clickable

People click on every single icon and picture you have on your website (According to tools like ClickTale), so don't let your pictures just sit there! If you have a picture on the side bar, make it link to your "about" or "contact" page. It's another small way to keep people engaged in your website.

What are key features that are always missing from your favorite websites? Discuss!
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  1. I love a blog with a search bar - I always seem to go back to find something and it's so much easoer with the search bar. It's a really easy-to-add widget on blogger.

  2. Hey Van, good looks!I would also add that people should have good share buttons and ways for readers to Like on facebook. This should really help content go viral!

    Looking forward to more!

  3. Great post! If i get a bit more techy i'll give these a go :o) Scarlett x

  4. Scarlett: I'll have to do a separate post on how to set up each of these. It's all incredibly simple, especially with blogger.

  5. Jessica: Great point! The challenge is getting people to use those buttons, a lot of people don't know what they're for in this thrifty/handmade community. ;)

  6. I don't blog, but follow too many blogs to count and these are great tips!

    I was just on two cute blogs today, but they didn't have a button for RSS subscription and I don't do the Google Friends thing. So I would suggest multiple ways for people to follow your blog.

    Also, I sometimes surf at work. Blogs with music get a quick click on the X button.

  7. Kat: Excellent points! Agreed with the music, too. I've listened to digital jukeboxes available on sites and have enjoyed them, but being subjected against our will is cruel! X!

  8. Great advice! I don't know what to do when a blog doesn't have an about page.

  9. good points van. i think i use my own search bar more than anyone! lol it's handy for looking up old posts to link to (speaking of linking things).

  10. Ana: I probably use my own search bar more than anyone, too. It's so helpful for organizing posts and figuring out what you already wrote.

    Great for your Archive Dives, too!

  11. Very useful advice, I'm new at blogging so I have a lot to learn. Thanks for all the tips on here!


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