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.
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!
Well, amazingly, I can say ‘check’ to all of these (I think ;)!!)..
Great list, I’m currently in the process of re-writing my About page to include an FAQ. x
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!
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
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 😛
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!
this is so true and so helpfull! thanks!!
Great list!! This is so helpful!!
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.
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
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. 🙂
Love this short and sweet checklist. Hope my site measures up!
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!
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 🙁
As always, very helpful =).
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!
Thanks for posing! 😀 Love that you broke it down into such simple steps! cant wait to implement these 5 into my blog 🙂
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.
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.
I tag everything with my social media but I don’t tag my blog post. This is my task for the day.
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!
great tips! just went through all my blog posts and did tagging, added a link to my tumblr, but i dont really want to add my email address yet incase of spamming.. xx
http://lesimplyclassy.blogspot.com.au/ (i always follow back on gfc)
This is such a good list, quick and easy tips love it, thank you! 🙂
Hannah xx – fashionwonderlust.blogspot.co.uk 😉
This is a great list, I have most of them. I really need to add the tags though. I’ll figure out how to do that tomorrow. 🙂
I’ve been blogging for a while but didn’t have an about page and added some social media links. Thanks for this!
I finally got my RSS feed up and running today! Thanks for inspiring me to tackle it.
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.
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….
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!
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