The WordPress Sidebar is a staple to blogging and has been for over a decade.
***Disclaimer*** UPDATE: With the evolution of the internet, I have recently decided personally not to use “Sidebars” but for those of you who do wish to use them … here’s some stuff to think about.
NOTE: If you do not plan on blogging you can skip this step. But, I don’t recommend it. There are many benefits to blogging and I’d recommend that you take advantage of what is there.
If you are using a sidebar, you will want to have a few things for sure:
Search Box – If your going to be blogging you will want a way for people to search for the different posts on your blog. This is a must-have for any active blogs.
About Link or Short Bio – When you are blogging you will find that some people will find your posts before they look at the main pages on your website. So having a short bio and/or a link to your About page will let your blog readers know a little bit more about you than just being the person who wrote the blog.
Popular Posts – After you’ve been blogging for a while you will find that there are 4-5 posts that are really popular and you should showcase these because if the majority of your readers like a select few posts more than others then why not drive more traffic to them.
Recent Posts – This helps make the rabbit hole deeper. If your reader finds you via a blog post and they like what they read, they may want to read more and if you don’t have an easy way to send them to more content you may lose out on getting them as a customer
Contact Information – This doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple text with your phone number, address & maybe a button to your contact page can be an easy step towards getting your visitor to becoming a lead/customer.
RSS Subscription – This is a way for people to get emails any time you publish a blog post. It isn’t hard to set up and is very helpful.
Call-to-Action – You want to have a solid call-to-action in your sidebar to get them to take a step closer towards becoming a customer. This could be a simple (Call for a FREE Estimate) or (Click here to download our White-paper on X)
Social Links – If you are using social links in your header you may not want to use this section for all of your social media links. Instead, you may want to use this to spotlight the top 2 or 3 social media sites you are active on the most. For example Facebook & Instagram This will make sure you don’t overwhelm them with links but still gets them to connect with you.
Of course, there are a ton of different things that aren’t listed here that you might want to have on your WordPress sidebar. Don’t feel like you can’t be different and have something I don’t have listed here. Remember this is your website, so make it yours.
Now that you have an idea of what you want to have on your sidebar it is time to go put it together. You get to the area for your WordPress sidebar within your Dashboard by going to Appearance → Widgets