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6 (And A Half) Must Have Sidebar Widgets For Your Blog


Whatever type of website of blog you look at on the internet, it will always have a sidebar. The location of the sidebar varies depending on the template of the blog (however, most are on the right). Choosing what gadgets and widgets to include in a sidebar is a very important decision for bloggers considering that your web traffic will want to use it for different purposes such as quick access to important areas of your blog. For this reason, here are the ten widgets blogs should have in their sidebar.


#1 Popular Posts

Through including the most popular posts widget in your sidebar will not only give the option to new visitors to participate in previous popular articles but also ultimately increase the pageviews your website achieves. A mention of warning should be included: if your most popular articles are not related enough to the overall type of traffic entering your website, don't include the widget. For example, if your most popular post is 'Top Ten Most Followed Footballers On Twitter', and the majority of your traffic came to your website for help on rebuilding a car, they are not likely to click on the most popular article.


#2 Subscription Option

Again, you should only use this widget if your blog is consistent in delivering content about the same topic over a long term period. There are some websites that literally post the most random articles in an attempt to gain traffic: even if all the content is unrelated to each other  Only include a subscription link if your content is on the same topic. In doing so, you will build up an audience to write your articles to.


#3 Google Search Box

I include 'Google' because although Blogger's search box is good - it has not got the potential to generate income. By creating a search engine through Google Adsense, you can earn a few extra bucks from the way Google displays adverts above search results. Simple!


#4 Categories (Tags)

If you have included tags below the header of your blog, then this won't apply to you. If not, you need to think how is your traffic going access certain topics on your blog? By including your categories in the sidebar will help your web traffic find exactly what they want. In doing so, you will help in reducing your bounce rate greatly. When I first introduced tags to Ask Will Online's sidebar, my bounce rate had reduced by 10% because web users don't leave the website because they are not frustrated because they can find the content they want to read!


#5 Advertising

Although most people won't like to include advertising in their sidebar, because the sidebar is looked at quite a bit by web users, it is one of the prime locations to put advertising units. As well as this, most templates for WordPress or Blogger adopt a sidebar to match a specific Adsense size. This will in keeping your sidebar looking professional if the advertising unit fits perfectly into it. A good option is to, if you have enough traffic, include a BuySellAds.com advertising unit in the sidebar.


#6 Social Media Links

Most blogs nowadays will take advantage of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to maximize the audience of the blog and therefore it's performance. If you have not already included social media buttons to your blog's or your own social media profile pages, do it now! The chances are that your traffic liked your article and therefore would want to stay updated of future articles through social media.


(Optional But Worth Looking At) AddThis

From my own experience, I have found that AddThis are great in providing relevant widgets for your blog. AddThis have expanded from just supplying social media buttons to sidebar widgets including:
  • Content of yours trending on social media sites.
  • Most shared content.
  • Most clicked upon content.
Therefore, if your sidebar is looking a bit bare, try out Add This and their services. They are simple to install (HTML Javascript) and require a minimal loading speed.

If you have any other sidebar widgets you feel need to be mentioned, please comment below and let's get a conversation going!

About Will Green

A student in England studying Automotive Engineering with Motorsport, Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money. You can follow AskWillOnline via @AskWillOnline.

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