7 Must-Have Blog Elements And Their Placement

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During my almost-4-years of experience in the Blogosphere, I have come across some really classy-looking Blogs, and also some of the most cluttered ones! And yes, I’ve come across a third category too – that of “black blogs”! But those blogs are not even worth mentioning, and hence they are outside the scope of the following information. Because the fact is that “black blogs”, whether they follow the below tips or not, will nevertheless remain un-reader-friendly! So, for the scope of this article, we are ONLY talking about blogs that have a basic aesthetic sense of colors.

Here is my list of the 7 must-have blog elements, along with their ideal placement in the overall blog layout:

  1. Search:

    The search box gives a quick way to our readers to find something specific on our blog – maybe a post they visited a few days ago, but couldn’t bookmark it at that time. So this is one thing you must have on your blog. Also, it has almost become a standard protocol now to have the Search box in the top-right corner of all sites. And blog readers also automatically look for the box in that location only. So that’s where you ought to put it.

  2. Subscription Options:

    Out of sight is truly out of mind in today’s fast paced times. So we need to make sure that our readers can easily subscribe to our blog, so that we remain visible to them with fresh content. The subscription options include both the RSS option (via feed and email) and the Google Follow option. The RSS options should ideally be at the top of your blog, while the Followers option can be further down in the sidebar or even in the footer.

  3. Contact Options:

    If you are into social media, then you must give links to your Facebook profile, Twitter account, Email, LinkedIn, and Google Buzz profiles etc. Ideally, these should also be within the first screen of the blog, i.e. the part that is visible without any vertical scrolling. Your Facebook Fan Page widget (if you have a Facebook page for your blog) should follow soon after it.

  4. Links to Internal Content:

    The internal links, to other posts in the blog, can be in the form of Category/Tag Clouds, or Past archives, or Recent Posts, or Popular Posts, or even a manually compiled “Favorite Posts” link-list. But all of these should be free of surrounding clutter, and clearly visible. Avoid stuffing these widgets between blocks of Ads, because readers have a habit of scrolling right through the Ads in the sidebar, and they might end up scrolling through your content-link blocks too.

  5. Blog Roll:

    The Blog Roll Widget lets you choose how many entries you’d like to display. Decide according to the template you have. With a basic 2-column template, it would be best to stick to a smaller list of Blog Roll. But, with a template in which the sidebar splits into 2 columns after some way, you can include a longer Blog Roll too. Either way, try to keep the Blog Roll after all the above content.

  6. About Me:

    This is the section about the blog author. In Wordpress, there is a static page on the top for this section. In Blogger also, we can now have this section as a separate static page. But, if anybody wishes to have a small ‘About Me’ section in their blog’s sidebar, they can place it either at the very top, or after all the useful stuff, such as the Subscription & the Contact Options, Tag Clouds, Archives etc. Oh by the way, I have seen some very creative placements of the ‘About me’ section in the blog footer too. Check out a screen-shot of the footer of Digital Inspiration.

  7. Everything Else:

    This includes the Copyrights information of your blog, Recent Comments, any blog directories where you have submitted your blog, any Blog Ratings or Awards, and any other fancy (and useless no doubt!) widgets that you may have added! Just remember that the more clutter you add to your blog, the slower it loads. As far as possible, try to place these things in the footer of your blog. Oh and please PLEASE DO NOT put a Live Feedjit widget to your blog! It is one of the most uncool things to place on your blog! There are other far better and more discrete ways of tracking your site traffic!

At the end of the day, the idea is to create a clean and clutter-free navigation for your readers, where things are easy to find, especially your content. So play around with the above tips in your own blog. Leave a comment below if you need more clarification on anything, or even if you just want me to come and have a look at your Blog Layout.

That being said, these are just some useful guidelines for making your blog more reader-friendly. They aren’t a set of specific rules. So please feel free to add your valuable inputs too. :)

That’s all for today folks. This was my first list dealing with placement of Blog elements. In the next issue of Kadzilla’s Lounge, I will come up with “7 More Useful Blog Elements And Their Placement”.

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Abha Midha said...

Good tips Kadambari.....thanks for sharing :)

October 5, 2010 at 8:22 AM
Kaddu said...

I'm glad you found it useful Abha. Will post the 2nd part of this article in the next issue. Let me know if you need help with anything else - will frame a How-to kind of article around it. Check out the Library-Technical section also.

October 5, 2010 at 8:33 AM
Anonymous said...

Thanks for the useful tips...

December 9, 2010 at 10:42 AM
Kaddu said...

You are welcome, Sasidhar! :)
Chk out our LensView section also, under Studio. Since you're interested in photography, I believe you'll enjoy going through the collections we have here.

December 10, 2010 at 10:24 AM
Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for the tips Kaddu..

January 22, 2011 at 9:11 AM
Kaddu said...

You are welcome buddy :)

January 22, 2011 at 9:32 AM

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