The Ginger’s Blog Tips: Sidebars

We talked a lot about blog designs last week, and I felt like sidebars needed their own separate post. Sidebars are so important, yet no one ever seems to talk about them. Some of your most vital information can be found quick and easy on your sidebar. You can find a lot of information on your sidebar, but if you’re good with presenting it, people won’t get overwhelmed.

Your sidebar can be a goldmine of invitation for new readers, but what exactly do you need  to have on it?

In order to have a great sidebar, here are just a few of the things you need:

1. About Me Blurb

Personally, I think this should always be first on your sidebar and it’s the most important. An about me blurb gives your reader a quick idea of who the person behind the words is. It doesn’t need to be super long or anything, but be sure to include a link to your about me page so people can learn more! Unless you have a separate widget for this (like on my blog), you should also include social media links here.

2. Categories

What do you talk about the most? Whether you have a drop down menu or you create a custom menu design for it, have links to what you talk about the most! If you pick the right categories to show, that can tell a lot about what your blog is about and what you want to focus on.

3. Archives

I love being able to scroll through old posts and see what people have written about. If someone finds your blog and then comes back later to find a specific blog post. Archives are a good way to let them sort through all your posts quickly without having to load every post.

4. Popular Posts

You need a brag corner! These are the posts that everyone is looking at, and these are most likely some of your best content! You need to show everyone what you’re all about!

Also, I just want to talk about a few “rules” about sidebars.

-Use a good photo. I don’t mean an iPhone selfie, I mean a professional, or at least a photo taken with a good camera. Make sure you look inviting and happy. No one wants to read a blog of someone who looks like they’re brooding.

-Make all your images the same width. It looks so much cleaner when you do.

-Just be smart. Some of these widgets may not be the best bet for your blog, so don’t use them if they don’t. Overall, just be smart buy cymbalta about how many goodies you put on there. The more you have, the longer it’ll be to load your blog.

What are some of the things you think someone needs on his or her sidebar? 

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12 Comments

  1. August 21, 2014 / 12:03 pm

    drives me bonkers when people don’t have categories. i love being able to search through the different kinds of posts they put up 🙂 and even if it’s not in the sidebar–if they just don’t categorize their posts and all and there are no tags to be found anywhere? ugh! 🙂

    • August 21, 2014 / 10:58 pm

      YES! I’m always looking for cool ways to display the categories! I love yours!

  2. August 21, 2014 / 10:42 pm

    This is a great post for me!! I’ve been recently revamping my blog and today I couldnt figure out what it was missing. This helps a lot!!! Thanks!! 🙂

  3. August 22, 2014 / 2:23 am

    For a friend’s blog I created category buttons so for all her cooking recipes there was one button and then another button for another topic. Clearly that’s a lot of work if you have a lot f categories but can be handy to draw attention just to a couple of main topics. I plan to make a button just for all my “Dear Jaxon” posts and the “Dear Blueberry” ones that were written before Jaxon was born.

  4. August 22, 2014 / 2:24 am

    P.S. Do you think it’s better to have a smaller number of categories rather than lots? I keep thinking I need to tidy up the list as I seem to have heaps but I haven’t managed to so far.

    • August 22, 2014 / 8:35 pm

      I think the amount of categories you have doesn’t really matter, but for showcasing them on a sidebar, i’d do only a few that you really want to focus on.

  5. August 23, 2014 / 4:14 pm

    I love reading these posts! It always gets me thinking about things I can do to improve/add to my blog.

  6. August 23, 2014 / 4:33 pm

    These are great tips. I am always updating my sidebar because I have so much I want to add but don’t want to get too crowded.

  7. August 26, 2014 / 5:02 pm

    I think that every good blog needs a search this blog widget in the sidebar.

  8. August 28, 2014 / 6:56 pm

    Thanks for the tip. I have had my blog for several years on blogger and I feel it’s time to upgrade into a new territory. Do you use word press as your hosting site? I would love some advice from you.

    http://nomoreramennoodles.blogspot.com

    • August 29, 2014 / 10:49 pm

      Well, yes and no. I’m “self-hosted” which means WordPress.org is my blogging platform but I pay to park my domain and all my content on a host’s server.