We often hear or read about what a blog is. There are also a lot of articles that deal with different styles of writing, how to start a blog, how to select images, etc… In this post I would like to discuss the different parts of a blog, the essentials so to speak. A blog has different parts, just like the body of a human being. Each of our body parts has a role to enable us to function properly, just like a blog has several parts that we need to look into to make sure that they are strategically and correctly placed so that the readers will not have a hard time navigating our site.
One thing that can really annoy your readers is your site being difficult to read or navigate. You can look into this by checking the bounce rate in your analytics. If you have been slaving over your posts and people still leave your site right away, it can be because of this reason. Or, imagine this… someone has stumbled on to your site and they want to subscribe, but you have forgotten to place an RSS feed button. OUCH! You lose a potential blog follower.
This is commonly found at the top of every web blog. In addition, the blogger has the option to place the date and time. You can also place a logo or an image that will represent your blog. Always make sure that the title of your blog is easy for people to identify with. Just like a book, your title will definitely give your readers a glimpse about what your post topics will be like. Be creative! There are millions of blogs out there, and you will definitely need to stand out.
Tip: Make a list of possible blog titles that you feel tells people what your blog is all about. Then, ask your friends to vote on them.
Installing an RSS feed subscription button is one of the simplest things that a blogger can do, yet there are still some sites that do not have them. One big benefit of having one is the ease of allowing your readers to get notified when a new article has been published. Now they do not need to scan for your articles manually.
RSS (most commonly expanded as Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works. An RSS document (which is called a “feed,” “web feed,” or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. RSS feeds can be read using software called an “RSS reader,” “feed reader,” or “aggregator.” A standardized XML file format allows the information to be published once and viewed by many different programs. The user subscribes to a feed by entering into the reader the feed’s URI or by clicking an RSS icon in a web browser that initiates the subscription process. The RSS reader checks the user’s subscribed feeds regularly for new work, downloads any updates that it finds, and provides a user interface to monitor and read the feeds.
Tip: Make sure that your RSS icon button works properly. Test it before you go live. Another annoyance for readers is clicking on links that do not work.
The Social Media Icons
Social media has been the buzz for a long time now and for a good reason. More and more people are getting into searching for information on the world wide web. They go to sites like Twitter and FaceBook. They use StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, etc… With so many sites and articles available to read, being able to share them easily is a must. Remember that as more and more sites are created, your readers will have less and less time allotted to each one, so having social media icons available is critical.
You also want your readers to be able to find you if ever they want to follow you on Twitter or like you on FaceBook. If you have these icons, with just one click they instantly have access to where they can find you and get information, and share the links with their friends and colleagues. Some people I know design their own icon buttons. However, if you are not a designer, you need not worry, there are so many free icons that are available for you to use. You have created your site, labored on the articles, and now it is also important for your content to be sharable and discoverable.
Tip: Again, make sure that the links you embed on the particular buttons are correct and working. Try to make sure as well that you do not overcrowd your site with too many icons or social media buttons. Only choose the ones that you feel your readers will really need.
The Search Field and Blog Archive
Some bloggers take these two things for granted. When your blog is updated with content a few times a week, after some time, the articles are pushed down and your readers will not be able to see them. Having a search field will allow them to type in a word, and if that word is in your articles, then all related posts to that word will come up instantly. The big advantage to blogs is that anything that is placed on the weblog is archived. The archives are very interesting to read and give a good sense for how often the blog is updated, and whether or not the content is interesting to readers.
Tip: Make sure that you place tags on your individual posts. This will help especially when the search field is used. It will filter all the related posts when your readers type in that word.
This may seem very trivial for some, but I believe that a favicon is an important element for your site. It is part of your site’s branding.
What is a Favicon? According to Wikipedia – A favicon (short forfavorites icon), also known as a shortcut icon, website icon, URLicon, or bookmark icon is a 16×16 or 32×32 pixel square associated with a particular iconwebsite or webpage. A web designer can create such an icon and install it into a website (or webpage) by several means, and most graphical web browsers will then make use of it. Browsers that provide favicon support typically display a page’s favicon in the browser’s address bar and next to the page’s name in a list of bookmarks. Browsers that support atabbed document interface typically show a page’s favicon next to the page’s title on the tab. Some programs allow the user to select an icon of their own from the hard drive and associate it with a website.
Tip: Again, you do not need to be a designer to create one. There are a lot of favicon generators out there that you can easily use to create your own favicon and use it on your website.
Last but not least is your navigation field. The navigation links are usually found at the bottom of the web page. They help the reader scan through the articles with ease. The type of navigation links you use really depends on you what format you feel will be most efficient for your readers. Some bloggers prefer the “previous” and the “next” tabs or they add pages “1,2,3,” etc… The idea here is to make it easy for people to go to the previous or the next pages on your site.
Tip: Use the navigation buttons with the pages included so your reader can just click on the number and be directly taken to the next or previous page easily.
There are so many things that you can really add to your site. What I have included here are the things that I personally watch out for when I go from one blog to another. It is also good to consider the cleanliness and uncluttered look when you are designing and planning for your blog. Think of your readers. Just allow your creativity and imagination to flow, and you won’t go wrong. Maybe you have some ideas that can help our readers in terms of essential blog parts to include.
If so, please let us know in a comment below! your’s crazygiri waiting for comments.