The 3 Parts Of An Ultra Sexy Blog Sidebar
You already know that blogging is the key to driving engagement and gaining trust from your potential clients. You've already figured out what you're going to blog about. You have already created a bomb blogging schedule that fits into your schedule.
That's so awesome! You are well on your way to getting those fab ideas out of your head and to the eyeballs of your audience. But, there is one more thing to get done before you can share those posts.
You guessed it, babe, it's a sidebar for your blog.
Sidebars are prime real estate to showcase your content and help your readers understand a little more of what your blog has to offer.
WITH a blog sidebar:
-Your voice is front and center
-Your content is easily accessible
-Your email list will grow faster
-Your personality will shine through in a consistent way
WITHOUT a blog sidebar:
-Content gets lost and readers lose motivation to read
-No one knows who is writing the content
-Your readers won't have a consistent place to subscribe
-Your blog will look incomplete
Alright, now you know you need a blog sidebar, but how do you implement it? First, be sure that your squarespace template supports sidebars. As of now (Aug 2017) the templates that include sidebar support are: Avenue, Bedford, Anya, Bryant, Hayden, Five, Forte, Galapagos, Ishimoto, Montauk, Julia, Kent, Om, Skye, Foundry, Indigo, Ready, Tudor, Wells, and Wexley. You can find instruction are how to set them up here.
The 3 Parts of an ultra Sexy Blog Sidebar
Just like when you're building your webpages, you can drag and drop content blocks onto your blog sidebar. This makes it super easy to customize your sidebar and create the exact type of user experience that you want.
You can choose to add images, text, video, galleries, links, buttons, and so much more. It's a super robust collection of elements that will make it easy for non-designers to create a pretty and easy to navigate sidebar.
Ultra sexy sidebar element: About you
You know you're pretty great, right? Well, tell your readers about it! The very first thing on your sidebar will be the most seen, so go ahead and make it about yourself. Brag a little! As humans, we like to have personal connections. That means that in an increasingly digital world, your readers will want to know about the person behind the blog.
Things to include in your about you section:
A picture that makes you feel beautiful!
Show a little personality! Include your dog. Make a funny face. Just do something that will grab the attention of your readers. Make sure it's clear and your face takes up the majority of the image. And remember to make it relevant to your blogs content.
"Hi there" space
This is my name for the text block where you introduce yourself. Just a short 1-2 sentence blurb saying hello and explaining what you write about. Don't go into too much detail here because you can always add a link to your full about page. (Just like in mine!)
After the reader has gotten acquainted with you, they might just want to check out where you hang out. Include links to all your social accounts as well as your email.
Ultra sexy sidebar element: Other Content
So wrote a bad-ass blog post that a new reader stumbled upon on pinterest. They read it, loved it, and think you're pretty great. Now what? Where are they going to go next?
At this point they probably want to see what other content you have created. And this is where you're blog sidebar come in. This is the perfect place to add links to other posts so they can keep clicking around your site (and decrease your bounce rate while their at it!)
Ways to showcase your content:
If you have a few posts that you are wanting to advertise, you can do so by adding a summery block. You can then choose featured content as your option of choice and any posts you have deemed as "featured" in the settings on your blog will then be showcased there.
You can also link to your content by date. Many bloggers will have links in the sidebar to view blog posts by month, week, or year. This way your readers can quickly find your content based off when you posted it. To do this, simply add an archive block to your sidebar and choose how you would like your content to be seen.
My favorite way to give my readers direction to content they will love is by categorizing my content by topic. This way they can just click on the link that best suites what they are wanting to learn about. I personally use custom icons for my categories, but you can also link to categories through the archive block.
Ultra sexy sidebar element: Email Opt-in
The purpose of your blog is to gain trust from your readers, who will turn into subscribers, who will then purchase something from you. This funnel is the bread and butter of your business and the whole reason you are blogging your heart out on the daily.
So, it only makes sense that you will use this space to ask your readers to subscribe to your email list!
A few ways to get new subscribers:
This is the most simple and straight forward way to ask for them to hang out with you on their email. Just a plain old "sign up for updates" and a subscription form is all thats needed for this one.
You can also use this space to advertise a super awesome content upgrade that your audience will love. Add a graphic and a button to your pitch page for them to download it and you'll be golden! (Go check out my free downloadable here)
Access to an event/ webinar
Another great way to get emails is by displaying an upcoming event and having them RSVP with their email. Simple and adds that limited time offer aspect that gets your audience riled up.
That's It, Babe!
You don't need to over think it. Your blog sidebar can be ever-changing and flow as you create new content and grow your business. But, overall, if you include these 3 sections, your sidebar is sure to be ultra sexy and keep your readers engaged.
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