As a blogger, I can tell you from experience that certain features should be on every single blog, no matter the niche, or where you are on your blogging journey. Having these features on your blog can help increase your blogs conversion rates.
Here are 5 things you need to have on your blog and why.
1. A Custom Header Design
Even if you can't afford a complete blog makeover, I recommend either creating your own header or investing in a custom header design from a professional designer.
A custom header will help your blog stand out from the crowd, make it more attractive to your readers, and showcase your brand and personality. I recommend having your blog title and a tagline in your header. A tagline will let visitors know what your blog is about the moment they visit it.
My logo serves as my header design:
2. An About Me Page With a Photo
Your about me page will probably be one of the most visited pages on your blog. Why? Because people want to know the person is behind the content.
Along with your about me text, I highly recommend adding a photo of yourself to your "about" page. Again, this is because people want to see the face behind the blog posts. Seeing what you look like allows readers to connect with you on a more personal level. This, in turn, makes them feel more comfortable with you, and makes them more likely to leave comments, and get in touch through social media.
For the first few years in my business, I didn't have a picture of myself on my website. While I was still able to book clients, I noticed that the engagement I received on my blog posts, and on social media increased exponentially once I began using a photo of myself.
If you want to take things a step forward, try placing an "about me" widget at the top of your sidebar so that people can see who you are, and learn a little about you and your blog the moment they visit your site.
3. Social Media Share Buttons
If you don't already have them, please place social media share buttons above or below each of your posts. I can't tell you how many times I've read some really great content and wanted to share it, only to discover that the blogger had no share buttons.
When I notice this, 90% of the time I don't end up sharing the post. Why? Well, because I'm lazy. In fact, most of us are lazy when it comes to this kind of thing. I always say that you want to make it easy for people to share your content. Make sharing your content easy breezy by placing social media share buttons above or below your blog posts.
I use the Social Pug plugin for my social share buttons.
4. Social Media Icons
Having social media icons on your blog is important. I see social media accounts as additional ways for your readers to connect, and stay in touch with you.
Let's say a reader loved your post, isn't into leaving blog comments but loves connecting on Twitter. How will they be able to tell you how awesome your post is if they don't know where to find you on Twitter? I know you don't expect them to go on a wild goose chase looking for you. Allow your readers to easily follow you outside of your blog by placing social media icons on your site.
As a quick tip, make sure your icons open in a new tab or window. That way, readers aren't being taken away from your blog when they click on your links.
I use the Simple Social Icons plugin for my social media icons.
5. Email Opt-In Form
A lot of people seem to think that you have to have a large following or have a product or service for sell before you can set up your email list.
Well, I'm here to tell you that is not true.
It's never too soon to start collecting emails. If you just started blogging yesterday, then today you should look into setting up your email list.
You'll thank me later for this.
I use ConvertKit as my email service provider.
I talk more about why it's important to have an email list in my post 2 Big Reasons You Need an Email List Now.
So that's my list of 5 things that should be on every blog. Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments below.
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