How To Clean Out Your Sidebar

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!

3. Awards
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.
3. Categories/Archives

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!

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Author: Ilsa @ A Whisper Of Ink

I like devouring books a lot. Sometimes I stroke them or smell them and I read them a lot too. Books are kind of my life right now. if you want to know when to arrange my funeral, then just ask how many chapters I have left of my book. Want to rob me of my money? Just flash some pretty books in front of me and I will fall to my knees. What can I say? Books and i have a great relationship!

16 thoughts on “How To Clean Out Your Sidebar”

  1. I have a pretty clean sidebar, I’ve seen blogs that have so much clutter on their sidebar and it turns me away from following them! This post was really helpful. I’m reorganizing my sidebar now!

    Like

  2. They will explore your blog more if you have the recent comment widget. We didn’t look at the person who commented but we want the viewers to click on the posts that the person commented on.
    I don’t know, it literally my irrelevant opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see where you’re coming from. But really? Yes, it gives them an opportunity to explore.I, personally, never click on them… But, there are so many more EFFICIENT ways to gain traffic, like popular posts. So, you’ve got to make a choice. But, then again. It’s your choice 😀

      Like

  3. You wrote if we need help creating a social media bar, but then didn’t write what help you were/or had provided! Or perhaps you’d cleared out so much, that you threw the baby out with the bath water! Lol!! A great article though. I do agree with some others who’ve written a response. I’ve often commented based on a previous comment someone has written that has prompted me to read the blog. But yeah, I will be looking at my blog & making it more streamlined. Thanks for posting. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oops, yes! I was supposed to leave a link to a very useful article I had found on the internet, but looks like I forgot! I will be sure to add that in ASAP, so thank you!

      Recent Comments seems to be a very debatable subject. I think there a lot more efficient and cleaner ways to get traffic, but yes it can encourage commenting, i guess. It just looks a little untidy, in my opinion. Though, each to their own!

      Thank You for writing such a lovely comment!

      Like

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