On almost 96% of blogs that you visit on the internet, you will notice that there is a sidebar on the right side of the blog, on the left side or sometimes on both side. Even I use it on my blog.
This sidebar is a really important addition to each and every blog. It is important as the content/body of your blog and you have to make good choice of what you place inside your sidebar. You might not think that your sidebar doesn’t have that much importance, but think again.
I bet if you do a survey on your blog’s sidebar, you would be surprised on some of the responses that you get from your visitors because they take keen interest in what you place there.
So, What’s in your sidebar? What should be placed there?
15 Sidebar Items
Make sure your readers can subscribe to your blog through a feed reader or emails by putting your RSS subscription options in a prominent location on your sidebar. Most blogs place the RSS Feed at the top of the sidebar so that their readers can sign up easily.
If you are promoting an eBook, the best place to hang it is on your sidebar. Placing it in your sidebar will make it visible on every page and this way they will be sure to see it. Write a short description of the book so this will make them want to download your book.
The sidebar is a great place to establish who you are, so visitors will immediately understand your level of expertise or interest in your blog’s topic. You can do this through a link to your “About Me” page or a short bio that displays on your sidebar.
Many bloggers use their sidebar as a way to promote their various social networking and social bookmarking activities. For example, you might want to include links to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg or other account profiles in your blog’s sidebar, or you may want to include your Twitter feed in your sidebar.
You can promote your Twitter Profile/ Facebook Fan Page in your sidebar with some cool and easy to customize widgets.
If your blog readers are not finding the information they want, why not include a search box. This will make searching easier for your readers by including it in your list of sidebar items.
Another way to make it easy for your readers to find old content on your blog is through links to your archives (typically listed by month) in your sidebar.
Make it easy for your readers to find your recent blog posts by including a list of links to those posts in your sidebar. This is a great way to encourage additional page views and keep visitors on your blog longer.
Your sidebar is a great place to display links to your popular (highly trafficked or highly commented) posts. People will see those links and want to read those posts to see why they are so popular.
Similar to including recent post links in your sidebar, you can also include recent comment links. Including recent comment links in your sidebar can encourage conversation.
This will encourage your blog readers to make comments on your blog if you have a top commentators displayed in your sidebar. They will make comments just to make it to the top of that list.
To make it easy for your blog readers to find your old content, it’s important to create categories to archive your posts and include links to those categories in your sidebar.
One of the most important things you can put in your blog’s sidebar is a blogroll. Your sidebar provides many ways you can further promote your other blogs, websites or online businesses. In addition to a traditional blogroll, you can add links to your other blogs and websites in your sidebar.
This is another popular sidebar item, ad space. Most bloggers sell 125x125px banners on their blog.
Your sidebar can hold a lot of ads such as Google AdSense, Affiliate Links and more. Don’t overload your sidebar with ads, but do take advantage of the revenue-generating opportunities that your sidebar presents by including some ads on it.
The sidebar can be filled with anything the blogger chooses, but there are a variety of items readers might expect to find in your blog’s sidebar.