When business blogging, it's very easy to get caught up with producing great content, coming up with blog post ideas, and optimizing each post with relevent keywords. But, there's another very important aspect of business blogging that often gets overlooked: the blog sidebar. Most business blogs will include blog navigational features, which includes the blog roll, previous blog posts, most popular posts etc. Although those widgets are helpful in the sidebar, if that's all your sidebar has, then you're wasting valuable real estate that could be used to further engage readers,to generate a few leads, or to increase your social media following. Here are a few more things to considering including in your blog sidebar:
- A Call to Action - You ought to include a top of the funnel offer (like an ebook or whitepaper) or a bottom of the funnel offer (a free quote or consultation), or both. For e-commerce businesses, there should be a call to action to purchase something.
- Subscribe via Email - Make it easier for regular readers to get your latest posts. A short field for someone to enter their email address, and that's it. The email subscription could also be for your newsletter, if it covers similar topics to your blog.
- Social Media Sharing - These should be included with each post as well as in the sidebar. Social media sharing would allow each individual post to be shared, while giving readers a chance to connect with your companfy as well.
- Contact Information - This should be included if you have goals to increase appointments or leads. Contact info is especially important for local or service businesses.
- A Special Message - Is your core business incredibly niche, or maybe so brand new that not many people know about it? Or is your business blog the opposite end, where it's so broad that it might need some explaining. Having two or three sentences to explain your company, product, or the topics of your business blog isn't a bad idea.
When deciding what to put in your blog sidebar, consider what your goals are for the business blog and which elements would be best to reaching those goals. Having all of them will lead to an overcluttered blog sidebar, and it won't serve the purposes you want it to serve. Coming up with the goals and the strategy is the hard part. Organizing the elements in the blog sidebar will come naturally once the hard part is done.