There are certain things every blog should have. Whether you’re just starting out with your blog or your are a seasoned blogger, this list of 14 things your blog should have will help keep your blog on track. Since all blogs should have all of these things, they’re listed in no particular order. Here we go…
1. A Clear Message.
Your blog should have a clear and straightforward message. What is your blog about? Why does it exist? This blog is my personal blog where I share my thoughts and knowledge. It’s a fun blog – not a niche blog.
2. Social Media Buttons.
Social media buttons that lead to your social media accounts should be located near the top of your blog. You can also include them towards the bottom (in the footer) for good measure. If someone wants to connect with you outside of your blog, you need to make it easy for them to find you.
3. Social Media Share Buttons.
If you want your content spread around the web, you should include social media buttons on each and every post. Of course Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook are obviously at the peak of current social media, other social networks can have a great impact as well. If you write long blog posts, you should have Social Media Share Buttons at the top and bottom of every post. If your posts are on the short side, just the top or bottom is sufficient.
4. Email Subscription.
Every blog should give visitors the ability to subscribe to email updates. If you’re new to blogging, this may sound scary – but it’s not. You can set up the whole process to be automated. Use Feedburner to automatically send subscribers your newest blog posts. Insert a Feedburner subscription form into your sidebar. Need help? Search Google for Feedburner tutorials.
5. Well Written Posts.
Keep your readers entertained with well written content. If you have a very sloppy style, it’s likely that visitors won’t want to stick around to see what else you have to say. Write with good spelling and grammar. Keep your posts clean with left alignment and optimize your posts for SEO. If you use WordPress, you can do this easily with the All In One SEO plugin.
6. Easy Navigation.
Navigation is key to allowing visitors to discover all the nooks and crannies of your blog. You should have a handful of categories listed in your menu bar across the top of your blog and your posts should fit into those categories. For instance, “Foodie” should contain content that is centered around food, not silly anecdotes.
7. Search Form.
Your blog should have a search form located near the top of your site. Almost every website and blog on earth has a search bar located at the top. It’s where visitors expect to see a search form. You should include this as it makes things much easier for return visitors to find the posts that they are looking for. Make things easy and people will return.
8. Google Analytics.
I’m not a big fan of anything Google. I’m a Bing person myself. But, if you plan to sell ad space or work with companies to promote their products or services – they’ll want to know your numbers. Whether you like Google Analytics or not, they are the most trusted source for blog and website statistics.
I’m going to assume you have WordPress, because if you don’t – you should. There are several excellent security plugins that will keep hackers out and keep your blog safe. A few are: Wordfence, Limit Login Attempts, Better WP Security.
If you’re going to blog, you should be consistent. Your blog will fall short if you don’t show signs of consistency such as posting in regular intervals. It’s okay to post once a week, if you do it religiously. Some people post every day or every other day. What ever your schedule provides, post regularly. Those who visit your blog want to see new content, a blog can get stale quickly without regular and consistent updates.
11. About Page.
Your blog should have an About Page. This is a place where you can tell your visitors about you, your brand or your company. You can tell your visitors what your blog is about and why they should visit often.
12. Awesome (Pinnable) Images.
Okay, okay. I’m not one to talk here, because I always fall short when it comes to images. However, a lot of people do great things with their images. Have you checked out Pinterest lately? The best pictures get pinned thousands of times and those blog pages get far more visits than blog pages with poor images. So, use high quality images that people will want to share.
No, I’m not talking about satire (although, if you write satire – disclose it). I’m talking about you being honest with you. Write about things that you’re passionate about. Don’t become a sellout. If you find yourself posting nothing but advertorials or sponsored posts (giveaways, infographics, reviews etc..) than you’re no longer a blogger. You’re just another billboard. Be honest with yourself and don’t be a sellout. It’s okay to post advertisements and things of that nature, but if that is all you’re doing – you’ve lost focus. If you start going down the wrong path – get back on track before it’s too late.
Last but not least, you. Your blog should have you well incorporated into it. Your personality, your perspective, your images and your style. Your blog should be a reflection of you. If your blog looks like an automated pile of
whoops, no one will want to read it. You have flaws, you have a personality – share, show and express. People love reading about experiences, people love getting advice. Make sure to include yourself in your blog.
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— Scrappy Geek (@NHJinx) February 11, 2014