Image credit Sidebar best practices
Image credit Sidebar best practices

Almost every blog theme has two columns. One large column on the left for the blog posts, the other smaller one on the right as the sidebar.

The sidebar of your blog plays an important role. Today I will share a few tips for your to make better use of your blog sidebar.

Left Sidebar, Right Sidebar, Two Sidebars or No Sidebar?

When picking up a theme for your blog, you will find various options for sidebars. My tip here is to keep it simple and have just one sidebar on the right hand side. I see many websites have the sidebar on the right while the main content on the left.

Google has their main search results on the left; YouTube videos stay on the left; the only exception is Facebook where the content in the wall stays on the right. But it’s still worth experimenting the placement of your sidebar. Have at least one sidebar on your blog. Let me share why you need one:

The Sidebar Stays The Same on All Pages

Your blog reader may land on any page or article of your blog but the sidebar and its content remains the same. So you have to make the best use of the sidebar area. You have to put some important widgets and content in this section. Some of the important sections you must add on your sidebar are:

About/Intro Blurb: It’s a good idea to put a small about section on your sidebar. I now have put my face and a little text introducing myself. It shows the new reader who wrote the article and builds trust.

Latest Articles: Almost every blogging platform has a latest post widget. Use this widget to show off the 5-6 latest articles from your blog. When they land on an individual article, they can use this to find and read about the latest articles. It’s a cool way to let them know about your blog posts.

Popular Articles: Why not show off the best articles of your blog? Just like the latest articles section, you can add a widget that automatically picks the top articles (organized by views) and displays on the sidebar. Yet another way to make them read your other great articles.

Subscriptions: Put a subscription widget on your sidebar so people can sign up for future blog posts. You can use an email optin form to collect email addresses. You can also use Feedburner email sign up form for subscriptions.

Have Your Say

Does your blog has a sidebar? Which widgets you are using in your blog sidebar? Have any suggestions you want to share? Post them in the comment section.