I’ve been blogging for a long time now, and I’ve also seen lots of blogs. I’ve come to the opinion that not everyone has a good understanding of the most important things their blogs should have for them to be successful in some way.
I’m not talking about making money. What I’m talking about is offering your visitors access to information that they might want that can only help you in the long run. It’s the overall combination of certain things that make your blog user friendly, and I’m all about being as user friendly as I can be when it comes to accessing information. So, here’s my list of the 5 most important things your blog should have.
1. Search function. I know that not all themes come with a search function, but I believe it’s imperative. Sometimes your topics might not fully indicate everything you’re talking about, and allowing people to search for certain terms or subjects helps them find what they’re looking for. It benefits you because you spent all that time writing those posts, so you might as well help people stay on your blog longer. If your blog doesn’t have the search feature then add the one from Google, which means you have the opportunity to make money and still offer something good to your visitors.
2. About/Contact page. Mine are separate, but you don’t necessarily need two separate pages. Showing people a way to contact you shows you care for people as consumers of the information on your blog. If it’s a business blog it’s imperative that you have this information, with at least an email address. If not, if you want to be taken seriously and not have people think you might be a scraper or have something to hide you should have that contact information somewhere. Adding it to your about page is a great way to do it, but if you want to say something more about yourself, which I obviously did, then have two separate pages.
3. Categories. No matter what your blog is about, having categories gives people the opportunity to lock in better on the content they want. For instance, I have lots of categories, but they’re specific to what I talk about. If you want social media you can get all articles in that category. If you want writing, the same thing goes. It’s definitely reader friendly.
4. Archives. This one might be debatable by some, but I think it’s an imperative. Your visitors can come by and see just how long you’ve been blogging, and if you’ve been blogging a long time it enhances your authority for others on your subject matter. It might not be as important for brand new blogs, but once you reach six months worth of material, no matter how often you write, it’s great to have this widget on your blog.
5. Blogroll. This one is definitely controversial to some, but I see it a different way. If you want to highlight blogs you like and want your visitors to see that’s fine. If you only want to use it to link to your other websites that’s a smart business decision. Many people miss this opportunity to always have a link to their personal websites. You get to set up the titles of the categories on your blogroll, so you can have blogs, business, information, etc.
Those are my top 5 most important things. Do you disagree or agree?