In the 3 going on 4 years that I have been blogging, my site has taken on many different looks. When I was on Blogger, I messed around with my sidebar constantly because I wanted to make sure certain information (like social media buttons and challenges) were always front and center. When I moved to a self-hosted WordPress site I found I had more flexibility.
How I Organize My Blog’s Sidebar
Using a Visibility widget, I can control what information you see based on the type of page you are visiting. For example, when you are reading one of my book reviews, you will see a list of upcoming reviews, past reviews, giveaways and challenges in the sidebar. But if you visit an In the Spotlight post, you will see a list of all the authors that have been In the Spotlight in the past year (or so) and giveaways.
I recently moved my social media buttons to the upper left hand corner of my site so they were more readily available to visitors and make sure that I have Sharing buttons and a mailing list sign-up box at the bottom of every post. This reduces the number of things I need in my sidebar.
Since I worked in marketing for so many years, I constantly evaluate the look and feel of my site. I try to make sure visitors can easily read my posts, share them and comment on them. It’s all about easy of use and readability. After all, I’m not a famous blogger by any shape of the imagination and I rely on visitors to spread the word about my content. And if it isn’t easy to connect with me and my site me then visitors won’t share my content and return for another visit.
Sound Off! How do you organize your sidebar?
So how about you, how do you organize your sidebar? How do you decide what widgets and do-dads to include? What’s the one thing you can’t bear to leave off your sidebar? What’s the one thing you want to leave off your sidebar, but aren’t sure you should remove it? (Right now, I’m contemplating removing my Reading Challenges widget because they don’t really provide any information for visitors.) Share your thoughts in comments.