Creating blog sections can build up credibility, search returns
Published: November 1, 2011
When the personal blog was a novelty, most writers popped up a daily post and maybe included a list of recommended links in the sidebar. The blogosphere has matured, and now a blog often contains all the features we once associated with a complex website.
Kay B. Day
Bloggers can capitalize on ever-expanding technology by creating special sections. Blogging software usually provides options for sections, also called "pages," and sidebar content like widgets or social media feeds. The tabs for the sections are usually located at the top of the page. This creates an immediate layered impression. I believe several of these sections are critical.
For starters, an "About" section helps build credibility for your brand. You can include a statement about your mission or your goal. Answer this question: Why are you writing this blog? Include photographs, artwork or videos if you have them. Think of this page as a professional introduction but adjust the tone to your readership.
Biographical information and/or credentials are also a good idea for the "About" section. When someone wants to cite what you’ve written, it’s likely that writer will want some information about you. Any accomplishments or real-world experience related to your topic should be included.
Remember to use keywords related to your blog topic in this section and others, too. Doing so could help increase your visibility for search engines. Don’t go overboard with keywords, however. Use them moderately and in a natural manner.
Once you earn standing with search engines, the sections of your blog will often show up in search results beneath the main URL. If you’ve prepared a site index by using Google’s webmaster tools, the search engine may even include links to some of your top-ranked content.
In my opinion, a "Contact" section is critical. That benefits your blog on several levels. Readers may use it to send you tips or to share information.
Alternatively, someone you’ve cited may want to contact you to correct the record. This section also gives other content providers a convenient means of getting in touch if you’ve posted a photo, video or other content and unintentionally infringed on someone else’s intellectual property rights or copyright. Most software will provide a contact form so the visitor can email you without your having to provide your email address.
Have you published books? Capitalize on that by including a bookstore section with an image of each book and a link to your preferred online retailer. Be sure to include promotional copy or blurbs and excerpts of reviews from readers. If you sell the books direct, it’s easy to set up an account at a popular commerce site like PayPal: You simply grab the PayPal code and place it on your page.
One of the web hosts where I blog provides an index-page option. This is a great feature that not only helps you build authority in some subject areas, but also makes it easy for readers to find other content related to your top stories.
Bear in mind that sections are different from widgets or links in your sidebar. Sections link to standalone pages within your website, expanding the breadth of your content.
One poet I knew had a photo album section where she published images of her readings and book signings. That album stood as a welcome mat to any events planner in search of an author.
These suggestions are fairly standard, but creativity is always a plus in the blogosphere. You can set up a special section or page for any subject of interest to your readers.
WordPress, Squarespace and Typepad have the pages option; many others do as well. Pages can return great results for your brand, so take some time and flesh out sections to tempt your readers to hang around longer and come back later for more.
Florida journalist Kay B. Day has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. The author of two books, she has written for The Christian Science Monitor, United Press International, The Florida Times-Union and Sky News. To learn more about Kay Day, see kayday.com. To read Kay's other Web Savvy columns about writing for the Web, click here.||