Sunday, August 22, 2010

7 Important Widgets for Blogs

We have already talked about the need of attractive themes. Even after adding a good theme it is not necessary that the blog looks beautiful. Indeed there is one more factor which gives blog a beautiful look, the Widgets. Widgets are applications that you use in your blog for the easiness of user navigation and moreover a good look. I have already stated in my previous posts that standing out from the rest of the crowd is where your Blogging Success begins.

The list given below contains small details about most widely used 7 Widgets, which is a must for every Blogs.

Search Box- Adding a Search Box to your Blog is the first and foremost step to do after adding themes. Nowadays, most of the premium themes come up with built in Search Box. Customize it to your own way. Readers will use Search Box when they want to find something specific. It is sure that they will get frustrated if you don’t have one. This means you are loosing important page views.

More importantly try to avoid the use of Google Search. It is better to guide people to your own blog. Why do you need to drive traffic and sales to Google, when you can grab it?

Subscription Calls- Subscribers are the gold coins in Blogging. Why? It’s only because they are guaranteed visitors to your contents. Each one of them is important for your success. Building a relationship with these people is easier. A blog with large number of subscribers represents a successful one.

So, we have to make people subscribe to our blog. Adding subscription calls to the blog is the best way to attract readers. Add a Subscription box in the header section or in the top of Sidebar. Anyway, one above the fold is necessary. Secondly, give one below each post. If someone read your blog post and got impressed, give them a chance to subscribe. Make sure that you give your readers RSS option and Email option to subscribe to your blog.

Popular Posts- Think that you are in a blog containing 10,000 blog posts. How will you find the most featured post in the blog? So it is a good idea to give some space on your sidebar for ‘Popular Posts’ widget. Sidebar is the best place to provide popular posts. Many use it in the footer also. No problem, you can choose what you want. Some use it as ‘Featured Post’ in the header section. This grabs reader’s attention very effectively. You can use it even on the bottom of every post.

Categories- This widget is most necessary for blogs like this, which talks about different subjects. I currently talks only about Blogging and Technology. But if gone deeper these two can even be categorized into hundreds of other sub-divisions. Think about a blog of more topics. It will be difficult to find what you want. This is where ‘Categories’ widget will help readers. I used one in earlier days, but as my topics got decreased I dropped it.

Related Articles- This is another widget which helps people to find related articles in the same category. I use one in this blog. It is a better way of navigating your readers to different pages. This helps my readers to know more about my articles. Many professionals like ProBlogger.com use this widget. Wordpress provides several plugins to add this widget to blog.

Share This- This is the closing part of each post (comments are not in author’s hand). Submitting articles to Social Bookmarking sites is one way of driving traffic to the blogs. So it is necessary to give away a sharing option for readers. Which blogger would love to loose traffic? So many bloggers have provided this widget. It will also increase a chance of getting Backlinks.

Author Bio- This is the last thing you have to necessarily add to your blog. Firstly create an Author Bio for your blog with some of your personal information. Just make people know who you are (not a scam). It is good to add a photo of yours in this section. Write some attractive lines about yourself. You can include your age, residing place, what you are currently doing. Let your readers know who is behind the blog.

It is not necessary that all themes support these widgets. I don’t use most of these themes out here only because I can’t. Selecting a good theme, which supports these widgets, is equally important.

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