sly : marketing

How Important Is The WordPress Sidebar?

I have done some thinking and I decided to do some restructuring of my sidebar. The reason for this is that I want to focus on what is important to me and what I think is important to my visitors. First of all, I always enjoy it when I visit a new site and actually get to see the person behind the stories. Itīs a little comforting to see the author and it make me sort of trust the content a little more as well. Not sure why that is, but when you see that there is actually a “normal” person writing, I get the feeling that he or she is writing to me. Yes, like a personal message and not something the whole world are going to read.

As a result of this you can now see my picture together with my son in the right corner of my sidebar. And please no comments about my hair (just kidding). I might be changing the picture, but at the moment it was all I could find. Not saying it is a bad one, only that I am not sure if itīs the best that I got for this particular task. What I am trying to do with this is to make the blog and my posts a little more personal.

…and now to the main ingredients.

After I finished with the information about myself and my blog, I added a box with links to some great affiliate programs. Programs that I recommend that my visitors should at least take a look at, I have made money with all of them (except for the free traffic with traffic exchanges) and therefore I do recommend them. These programs might change over time, as I am always testing new ones. The one I recommend the most is the one I just signed up for and that is the Blog Mastermind, you can see that this is my favorite by the size of the banner. Most of my visitors will only see the first two boxes when they visit my blog, thatīs the information about me and the links to the recommended marketing resources. So, I should probably be kind of careful what kind of content I put inside the boxes.

I find what I have just told you to be the most important part of my blog at the moment, but I am not sure that it really is the most important parts. I will be testing it for a short while to see if something happens, either to how much money I earn from the affiliate programs or from the bounce rate in Google Analytics. Hopefully (maybe it will be the picture), people will become a little more interested in what I have to say and what I am recommending and so on.

I had a pretty tough time finding a place for my newsletter subscription form. Most people would probably find that this form should be at the top, because we all want to grow our lists. But it just didnīt fit that well at the top, at least I didnīt think so. This might be a design question and not a question about what I would benefit the most from, using the links to the affiliate programs or moving the subscription form to the top. Thatīs why I am going to test the sidebar as it is right now and see what happens.

When I say that what I have at the top of my sidebar (the two boxes) is the most important parts of my blog at the moment, I am not telling you the truth. What is most important and that will always be the case, is of course the content of my blog. Itīs the stories that will be driving people to my blog, and it will be the stories that will keep them there and hopefully it will be the stories that will make them coming back to my blog.

…but the two boxes in the sidebar is the most important parts when it comes to monitizing my blog with affiliate programs. First, the face behind the stories, then the recommended products. Hopefully you get my point, because right now as I am writing this, I am not sure if I get my own point 🙂

I am not sure how important the sidebar really is, but my experience is that whenever I visit a blog I always take a brief look at the sidebar to see what they are showing. Now itīs time to test how important my sidebar is at my blog. I will let you know about the results.

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