Building a Successful Blog

What critical components must your blog have in order to make sure it’s performing to its highest potential? We’re getting close to the conclusion section “The Right Foundation to Build Upon” section of our series, Building a Successful Blog. This part of our series where I want to direct our attention on few aspects of design that your blog.

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These are only a few of the most important elements that I think must have in order to create an effective blog. The majority, if not all, of them are derived from my own experiences in the past four years. Then there are some that are based on the information that I received from my followers on twitter when I asked them the similar question. I’m sure you’re thinking, “why are we talking about this here?” Onereason is because I want to. Two, before you begin to design You must be aware of the requirements you require for your design. This will help the design process go more smoothly. And you and your design firm will appreciate the fact you considered these things earlier and not in the beginning of your process.

If you have any questions that you must keep in mind when you think about what your blog will look like and how it is going to function , they would be:

  • What effect will this have on the experience of your readers?
  • Can your readers find what they’re looking for?
  • Will your readers feel comfortable participating in the discussion you are posting via your site?
  • If your readers wish to reach you, can they?
  • If they want to subscribe could they do it and is it easy to find?
  • Are you giving them what they need?

Critical Components

1. Search Option

One of your goals as blogger is to keep your visitors engaged on the blog. You want them to be looking and reading as much of your content as you can get your readers. If they’re unable to locate it, they’ll be forced to look it up elsewhere. To make it easier for your readers to find what they are looking for, make the option of searching at near the beginning of your site. Many, if certainly not all of the blogging platforms provide the option of adding this to your blog , especially if you are a DIY-oriented person. Be sure to include this. If you’re employing a designer agency and if they’re excellent, they will include this for you , without having to ask.

2. Contact Information

Even if you don’t supply the readers with an address with a physical address or phone number, you have to have some way for readers to get in touch with you. This can be done through a variety of ways. Sometimes, I may include my email address on an article so that our readers can contact me about an article they want. The primary component we utilize to make contact with us easy is our Contact Page.

The Contact page I offer my address in physical form, as well as the social media/networking services I use and there is also a contact form. The contact form comes directly to my email address after it is filled out by a user. If you’re a company or a professional service firm, how can your readers reach you? Be sure to give them numerous options as you can. One of your goals as a company or firm is to attract leads. Give yourself a way to accomplish this.

3. Call to Action

Together with the “Contact Information” discussed in 2. is called an Call to Action. If you’re a business or a service firm, isn’t it one of your goals within your marketing plan to gather leads? A call to action will help you do this.

You’re trying to get your readers to reach out to your company, request prices, sign up or buy from you. A call to action might include an opt-in form for an ezine or newsletter for free you offer to your readers. The call to action could be as simple as a quick contact form to get more information about the new product you’ve just launched. The possibilities of using to create a “call to action” are ever-expanding.

Additionally, if you use it right, you can build an audience of people who have agreed to receive your information. Make use of this tool to further your marketing strategies.

4. Subscription Options

This is another one of those components which should be at high on your list of blog posts and easy to locate. It should be clear and simple for your readers to sign up via RSS and/or Email. Why both? There are people who don’t know about RSS, let alone understand it. Everyone is aware of email. We have both options on every blog we develop for our clients. We don’t care what blog our users use. The key here is to ensure it’s prominent and easy to sign up to. Also, don’t make a listing of subscription buttons on your blog. They are tacky and you don’t need them. If you choose to use the universal button and then burn your feed using one of the feed services you will be able to select the choice they desire.

One thing we also provide is a hyperlink to a video that briefly explains what RSS is. Although there are a lot of readers of blogs, the usage and understanding of RSS is not as clear as it ought to be. That’s why you need to provide a description of the basics of what RSS is and how they might use it.

5. Categories (Your blog’s Index)

The categories you have to be able to include on your blog are those of your blog’s index. The sidebar section must be on the uppermost part of your sidebar so that it is easy to find. It is also recommended to restrict your categories to not more than 20. (Yes, I know we have too many on Blog For Profit). Every blog post should be assigned a category assigned to it. (One category is the best. If you are required to add “tags” to your post make sure you use Tags and not more than one category). This will help your readers to discover those topics by using the categories in the same way as for an index. You could also create a table with content. Additionally, when you are looking for blog information, they are most likely to search using categories the same way an index. They will be using categories before they will use archives calendars. That’s why I’m not a fan of archive calendars on blogs. I think they are an unnecessary waste of space.

Some bloggers have their categories in their footer or at the bottom of the page. This is acceptable if your blog is already established and has many readers. But for a fresher blog, put them in the sidebar, so that they can be easily discovered. Utilizing categories is another method to keep our readers on our blog longer. They may not be content to read the original post which got them there. They may also look for other posts on the issue or even a different one by using your categories as an index to locate the other posts.

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