How to Spruce Up Your Blog Sidebar

My blog sidebar underwent a metamorphosis of Kafka-esque proportions over the years.

I’ve gone bare bones. I’ve loaded it up.

Finding the right feel and look took time but following the tips below help you to present a clear, tidy sidebar.

As for why, presentation counts. Most bloggers are unclear on their blog design. This reflects in your haggard or less than optimized sidebar. Craft a neat-looking, clean sidebar to impress readers, to grow your list and to boost sales. When readers easily see and process what your sidebar has to offer your blog will grow. It’s that simple. More importantly, when readers are not confused by a jambalaya of distracting sidebar widgets they will stick around to learn more about your blog and how you benefit them.

Follow these tips to build a rocking blog sidebar.

1: Add an Opt In Form

Add an opt in form to your sidebar. Grow your email list.

Building a list is one of the easier ways to conveniently deliver posts to your readers. Sign up. Read posts from your email inbox.

Even if you use pop ups add a form to your sidebar. Preferably above the fold for prying eyes.

2: Trim Widget Fat

Ad frenzy. Or, non aligned widgets. Sometimes, unneeded widgets slip into our sidebar when we are not vigilant. Nip this fear-filled tendency in the bud with fat trimming sidebar sessions every 2-3 months.

I do a sidebar review frequently to see what needs to stay and what needs to go. Easy way to keep a tidy, clean blog sidebar.

Let go any widget not fully aligned with your brand and blog. Example; blogging tips bloggers should not display Adsense ads related to traveling, or, to anything other than blogging tips. This seems picky but is the easiest way to send a loud, clear message to your audience.

3: Narrow the Alley (or Widen the Road)

Note; ONLY follow this tip yourself if you have design experience. If not, hire a skilled designer to handle this for you.

Narrow your sidebar alley. Tighten up your sidebar space by having your theme altered. Pull the real estate together. Give more space to blog post content. Tidy up your side real estate. Doing so can make your sidebar prettier on the eyes if you devoted too much space to this area previously.

On the flip side some may widen their road to expand their sidebar real estate. All depends on your individual blog. What looks prettier? What looks cleaner? Follow your intuition.

4: Tell More about You

Some sidebars are ad frenzy. Others are bleak, desolate blogging wastelands. If you are clear on either style neither will hurt you but simply telling more about yourself – versus over stuffing or emptying your sidebar – helps you grow a more intimate connection with your readership.

I sell eBooks and audio books and online courses through my blog sidebar. I also tell readers a little bit about me and how I help you. I also link to a contact page. Doing so forms a little bond between you and me. The blog owner is the blog source; before you trust the blog, you check the source. Let the source open up a bit. Pen a few lines. Link to a contact page or page about you. Use your sidebar to bond with your readers.

Your Turn

What tips can you add to spruce up your blog sidebar?

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