When was the last time you took a good look at your blog’s sidebar and thought about cleaning it up?
A year ago? 2 Years Ago?
Do you want your blog to LOOK amazing?
Do you want to grow your readership?
If the answer is ‘Yes’, to anyone of those, then read on!
Let’s Spring Clean That Sidebar!!!
Okay, it’s not spring yet, but your sidebar is most likely CLUTTERED. You may think, ‘oh, she’s talking about other blogs. Not mine, my sidebar is clean!’. Maybe it is, but take a real good look. Is it? Do you really need half the stuff on there? First glance ‘Yep, I do!’. Really? It might be hard to let some things go, but it’s important.
Why should I clean out my sidebar?
It might seem obvious. It might not. Less is more on any site. When you visit a site, you want everything nice and tidy. Not one billion glaring fonts, every color of the rainbow, 4 different songs playing in the background, and 1 billion pop-ups. You want to come to a quiet site, lots of white space, a welcome mat and a cup of tea *some biscuits, if you please*. So, if you’re sidebar is exploding or just overloaded, you need to clean it out and make space for that tea party and that eager reader!
Okay, How Do I Spring Clean?
Stupid Question. Or not. You might just think ‘I’ll delete these’ and ‘add this’. Nope. You need to know what’s important and what’s
Hit ‘Delete’ On These ‘Waste Of Space’ Widgets
1. Recent Comments
It’s amateur, it’s unnecessary, it weird. I’ve seen it on so many blogs. SO MANY. Nobody clicks on them. They serve no purpose. It’s a waste of space. DELETE IT! Why would I want to click on someone who’s commented? I don’t really care. I want CONTENT!
2. Tag Cloud
Please stop. They look ‘cool’ on some blogs, but still. I’d rather click on a category (we’ll talk about this later) then some random bunches of words stuck together. Please, get rid of it!
I used to be guilty of this one too. Chuck out your trophies and display them on your ‘about’ page instead. Your sidebar just isn’t the place.
Must Have Widgets
1. Popular Posts/Pages
I hardly ever see this one! I mean seriously? This is a widget that is amazing and so useful for your readers. Replace your ‘recent posts’ with this widget. WordPress does all the work for you, so use this! I don’t why Recent Comments & Posts are so popular. They are hardly useful. Popular Posts are just amazing and help draw your readers into the best posts!
2. Follow Via Email
Chances are, some of your readers aren’t WordPress Users and need other ways to follow your blog, so keep this! Even if they are, if people love your blog, they’ll want to stay updates via email! I’ve only got a few email followers, but it’s worth having one.
Categories are the next best thing to ‘pages’. Keep your blog organized and have your posts put into special categories for your readers to navigate around. If you’ve got a lot of these, keep it as a dropdown. Maybe Archives on your footer but Categories are a must!
4. Search bar!
Make it easier to navigate, and add in a search bar for people to find what they are looking for. My theme has a built in one, but some don’t. Be sure to add one!
5. About me
Your readers want to know about you straight away. They don’t want to click. Give them a little bio about you and what you do in the blogging community. Don’t forget to add in your social media icons as well! Need help with creating one?
Now you’ve got your sidebar sorted, how about that tea? Come on in, (mind the welcome mat!!) and tell me all about how your spring cleaning went! Still unsure of what to chuck out or keep, carry on the conversation and comment below!