Building a Successful Blog

What are the most important elements your blog be equipped with to make sure it’s performing to its best? We’re nearing the close of “The Right Foundation to Build Upon” section of our series, Building a Successful Blog. This section of the series is where I’d like to focus some of our attention on some of the features of your blog’s design.

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These are only a few of the crucial elements I believe are essential to build an effective blog. The majority, if not all, of them are derived from my own experiences in the last four years. Some are the ones that I received from my twitter followers when I asked them the similar question. I know you are asking yourself, “why are we talking about this here?” First, because I want to. And two, before you begin to design You must be aware of what you’ll need from your design. Knowing this will help the initial design process run more smoothly. The design company will be grateful that you considered these things earlier and not in the mid-way through the design process.

If there are any concerns you must keep in mind while you think about what your blog will appear like and how it is going to function they would be:

  • What effect will this have on the reader experience?
  • Can your readers locate what they are looking for?
  • Do your readers feel comfortable participating in the conversation you are encouraging via your site?
  • If your readers are looking to reach you, can they?
  • If they would like to sign up will they be able to subscribe find it easily? find?
  • Are you giving them what they would like?

Critical Components

1. Search Option

One of your objectives as a blogger should be to continue to have your visitors to your site. You want them looking at and reading as much of your content as you can convince readers to take the time. And if they can’t find it, they’ll need to go look for it somewhere else. To help your readers find the information they require, you should provide the option of searching at on the front of your website. The majority, if not all, of the blogging platforms offer a way to add this to your blog , especially if you are a DIY kind of person. Make sure to add it. If you are working with a design business and they’re competent, they will include this information for you without needing to ask.

2. Contact Information

Even if you do not provide them with physical addresses or phone number, you must to provide a way to let your readers contact you. This can be done in a number of ways. Sometimes, I will include my email address on a post so our readers can contact me about an article they would like. The main component we use to give our contact details is our contact page.

The Contact page, I give the physical address I use, as well as the networking and social media services I use, and there’s an contact form. The form is sent to my email when it’s completed by a reader. If you’re a company or a professional service business, how can your readers get in touch with you? Make sure you offer them numerous options as you can. One of the goals you have as a company or business is to attract leads. Make sure you have a method to do this.

3. Call to Action

Together with the “Contact Information” discussed in #2, you require what is known as the Call to Action. If you’re a business or a service firm, isn’t it one of the goals of your marketing program to capture leads? A call-to-action can assist you in this.

You’re hoping to make it easier for your readers to reach out to your company, request rates, sign up or buy from you. A call to action could be an opt-in to your free newsletter or ezine you’re offering to your customers. It could also be just a simple contact form to get information on a new product you’ve recently introduced. The possibilities for using a “call to action” are really never ending.

If you do it right, you can build a list of individuals who have opted-in to receive information from you. Take advantage of this tool to further your marketing campaigns.

4. Subscription Options

This is one of those features that should be located at on the front of your website, and simple to find. Make it clear and easy for your readers to either join via RSS or Email. Why do they need both? Because there are still people who aren’t familiar with RSS or even comprehend it. Everyone knows what email is. We offer both of these options on every blog we create for our clients. And I don’t care which one of our clients’ readers uses. It’s important to make sure it is very visible and easy to sign up to. Don’t include a long number of subscription button on your website. The first thing to note is that they are snobby, and you do not need them. If you choose to use the universal button and then burn your feed via some feed service providers then they’ll get the choice they desire.

Another thing we provide is a hyperlink to a video that briefly explains what RSS is. Even with so many readers of blogs, the use of and knowledge of RSS isn’t as good as it should be. This is why you must include something explaining what RSS is and the ways they might use it.

5. Categories (Your blog’s Index)

The categories you have to be using on your blog are your blog’s index. This sidebar area should be located towards the top so that it’s easily accessible. You should also try to restrict your categories to not more than 20 categories. (Yes I am aware that we have way too many categories in Blog For Profit). Every blog post should have a category that is assigned to it. (One category is the best. If you are required to add “tags” to your post make sure you use Tags instead of several categories). This will help your readers to search for those topics by using the categories, just as one would do with an index or even a table of content. If people are searching for information about a blog it is likely that they will to search using categories similar to an index. They will make use of categories before using the archive calendar. This is why I am not a big fan of archive calendars for blogs. I think they are a waste of space.

Certain bloggers put their categories in their feeter, or in the lower part of the page. This is fine if your blog is well-established and has thousands of subscribers. However, for a newer blog, place them in the sidebar, so that they can be easily found. By using categories, we can keep our readers engaged with our blogs for longer. They may not only check out the first post that got them there. They can also look for other post on that particular topic, or find a different one by using your categories to locate the other posts.

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