29 comments

5 Things Every Blog Should Have


We talk about blogs a lot in the office. Would you believe we actually talk about blogs almost all the time? Shocking, I know! We talk about what we love, what bothers us, what we wish we saw more of, less of, and everything in between! We don't agree on everything, but there are a few steadfast qualities that each of us at IFB HQ agrees every blog should have.

5 things every blog needs

1. An amazing about page

  • Adding a page to your blog, one other than your main landing page is easy, no matter what platform you use. There should be easy instructions in the administrative navigation of your blog, and you can also find instructions and tips by running a simple Google search. Your “About” page is the first and most important page to add to your blog. On it you should include, at the very least, your name, where you are located and an email address to reach you at. This is helpful for readers who want to know a little about you as well as brands or PR firms that may want to add you to their press lists for promotions and events.

2. Links to all your social sites and your RSS feed

  • One thing that really bugs me when I discover a new blog is when I have to scour the site high and low to find links to the blogger's Twitter profile, Facebook page, and RSS feed. If you have additional social networks or sites, like Pinterest, Tumblr, Polyvore, Bloglovin' and IFB, you should have your badges or buttons for those easily visible as well. For uniform buttons for your site, try this search tool! (A Google search will also yield thousands of sites and links to ways to incorporate cool buttons.)

3. Easy to use comments process

  • We all hate spam. We hate it in our email, we hate it on out Twitter feeds and we hate it in our comments. This has lead many bloggers to add protective tools to ensure that robots and aliens aren't leaving pointless garbage on our sites. This can mean anything from a spam filter to a Captcha test, but don't take it too far. When the process of leaving a comment becomes too elaborate, you wouldn't believe the amount of people who will just say, “Forget it!”

4. Tags on all of your posts

  • For a long time, I didn't really get how important and helpful post tagging can be. I used to tag my posts with silly phrases or words that were really only funny or helpful to me. I eventually learned though, that post tags increase the searchability of your blog, both internally and in search engines. If you put together a trend story, you'll want to add tags like “Spring 2012” “Spring Trends” and so on. Don't forget to tag designers and brands as well! When I post outfits, I always add the tags “outfit post” and “personal style” so visitors can use those terms in my search bar to easily find all my outfit posts.

5. An easy way to search and navigate your archives

  • This essential quality goes hand-in-hand with tagging your posts. The more tags you use to group and organize your posts, the easier it becomes for visitors to navigate your archives and find older posts they may love. I think it's best to have a link to your archives somewhere very visible. You can create a whole page for them (with a tab on the top of your site) or a link in the left or right side column (more common on Blogger sites). Allowing readers to easily find and search your archives will get them more involved with your content – and keep them coming back for more.

 

Can you check off these essential 5 components of a successful blog? Do you think we missed any? Leave a comment and let us know!

 

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Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) is a community of fashion bloggers who share their experiences and resources to build a better blog.

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29 Responses

  1. Daniel Dunt

    A fantastic list! I’ve not got an “About” page as of yet, but am currently in the process of a redesign, and I’m working on some killer “About” page content!

    Reply
  2. GawgusThings

    Well, amazingly, I can say ‘check’ to all of these (I think ;)!!)..
    Emma xx

    Reply
  3. Sandra

    I totally agree with these 5 things! I can especially relate to #3 because it can get a little annoying having to type in the Captcha words. All I wanna do is leave a comment about your post without having to squint my eyes to decode the letters!

    Reply
  4. Claire at Butterfly Collection

    A really useful list. I was super relieved that we have all of these things, but my social tabs are in my Contact us which might not be the best place. I had a great Blogger Social widget but then it crashed after about 6 months and I could never repair it 🙁 Love your site, so helpful xx

    Reply
  5. Andrea

    yay! that means im not as lost as i thought i was! i have an About page, but i think its still not awesome. i guess most of us got stucked on that one 😛

    Reply
  6. Adela

    Great post. I have it all but trying to redesign. Finally I know where to find cool badges for all my links like twitter etc.
    Thanks million as always.
    Adela

    Reply
  7. Maiah

    Love this! I like to think I’m pretty up on the design of a blog but realized some things I was missing thanks to this great post!

    Xx, Maiah // Writing with Wine

    Reply
  8. kimmiepooh

    I’m happy to say that I can check off all of these things for my blog! I’m going to clean up my tags/categories and get uniform SM links soon but I made sure when I initially set up my blog that all of these things were in place so that I only have to tweak when needed. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Courtney Lane Maki

    Love this short and sweet checklist. Hope my site measures up!

    Reply
  10. Catherine

    Thanks for doing this! As a new blogger these are all things I am working on and the advice is great to get me kickstarted!

    Reply
  11. Jade

    Definitely agree with the About Page and linking social media sites! And I really need to start tagging my posts but I just haven’t had the time! I’m going to have to put some time aside and just focus on that! Sooo many posts to tag 🙁

    Reply
  12. Stephanie

    I think I’m able to check off all of those points for my blog! But I would love some outside constructive criticism. I’m always looking to improve my blog!

    Reply
  13. kate heimann

    Thanks for posing! 😀 Love that you broke it down into such simple steps! cant wait to implement these 5 into my blog 🙂

    Reply
  14. design thrift

    i just redid my about page this week. i think i can check off everything on the list as well. my next project however is to create a tab for “categories” at the top of my blog in addition to having a list on the sidebar.

    Reply
  15. Ruth Crean

    Amazingly I can tick all 5, these are great tips! I made loads of small changes to my blog this year to improve usability and design it has increased my traffic tenfold which I’m pretty chuffed about.

    I’m still learning 5 years later, but if I wasn’t I would probably get bored.

    Reply
  16. Caitlin

    How do I add buttons to my blog? I need more exposure and I’m super confused with these buttons and tagging things, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
  17. Hannah Sweeney

    This is such a good list, quick and easy tips love it, thank you! 🙂

    Hannah xx – fashionwonderlust.blogspot.co.uk 😉

    Reply
  18. Kim T

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been ignoring tagging posts for awhile because with Blogger’s new system the tagging option is out of site out of mind. But, now I’m going to have to go through and make sure all my posts are properly tagged.

    Reply
  19. Sharon

    I’ve done many of these suggestions and can’t seem to get past 30 or so visitors a day. I feel as though I’m doing something wrong….

    Reply
  20. Sarah-Louise

    When I was first thinking about my blog I pinned this as a reference. It paid off, I can now say that I’ve done it all on my blog 🙂 I really focussed on the about page. As I felt it was the most important – reading blogs I always check out this page to find out more about the person behind the blog.

    @Sharon getting visitors is soo much more than just doing these five things, its about your content, how you promote it, your SEO (this takes a longgg time to build on) – If you’re using wordpress like me there’s an SEO plugin by Yoast – along with a great beginners guide to it all its fantastic!

    http://www.notlikethemoviesblog.com

    Reply