It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the widgets (the stuff in a blog’s sidebar) you can add to your blog. And they all have a purpose and can be useful. But there are five that I believe are fundamental to making a blog inform new visitors of what you’re all about when they find you for the first, and keep them coming back:
- Feed subscription: After a while, your fans are going to get tired of having to remember your url. Let them subscribe via a reader or email.
- Recent Posts: Put the new stuff in front of them so they know what you’ve got cooking.
- Top Posts: Show off what your readers consider to be your best stuff. They’re rarely wrong.
- Search Box: Just basic website navigation, and it’s amazing how many people consider it the only type of navigation.
- Blogroll/Links: Share the love and link out. People will take notice when they start to see that you’re driving traffic to their site. And they’ll do it for you in return.
If you don’t have these five widgets on your blog, stop reading and go add them. If you need help with setting them, email me. Make them visible toward the top of your page so they can’t be missed (or at least most of them).
Honorable mention: tag cloud and recent comments.