Oh, look who got a makeover last night (it was my blog in case you were wondering). When I work on designs, I've had several people ask me what they should include on their navigation bar (those little links under your blog header) and my answer is usually the same. I think there are a few things that every blog should have, whether you have two or two thousand followers.
About Me Page
I could write a whole post about "about me" pages but I'll try to keep it short and simple. When I find a new blogger, this is the FIRST place I go. I want to know who I am reading about. I want to know if we have anything in common or if they have dogs or kids or pet snakes. Does this make me a stalker? Maybe. I just think readers connect better with people that they can relate to and how are they going to know if they relate to you if you don't tell them?
Things "about me" pages should include: A picture of you. Duh. Your home page should have this, but have at least one or two more. It should also have any pictures of people you frequently mention (boyfriend, roommate, dogs, parents, etc) so that we know what they look like when you talk about them. A little tidbit of yourself outside your blog is nice too. Your readers want to know why you're a person. And I don't know about you, but I love reading about why people started their blogs.
Things an "about me" page should not include: number of sexual partners. Your address. Your social security, bank account, or credit card number. Shoe size (I mean, you could, but why?)
Popular Posts section
Whether you want to list this on your sidebar or make it have it's own page (like mine) I think it is very important to have a "Popular Posts" section on your blog. I do not mean the little widget you can add from blogger. (Because if we're being honest my actual most popular post is a giveaway and that doesn't count). These are posts that YOU think are important.
Things a "Popular Posts" section should include: posts that tell more of your story (facts about me, things I like, things I'm good at). Posts that you are proud of. Posts that received great feedback. Any post that helps your readers get to know you better and gives them a better sense of what you like to write about.
Things a "Popular Posts" section should not inlcude: Weekend updates - they're okay to read once, but no one wants to re-read them. Giveaway posts.
As you can see, I am breaking my own rule because I don't have a contact page anymore. However, my email is located in three different pages so I think I'm okay. I can't count the number of times I've wanted to email a blogger and I CAN'T FIND THEIR EMAIL and it is so aggravating. Also, do yourself a favor and create a separate email account for your blog.
Things your "contact" page should include: email address. Social media (but only if they aren't listed anywhere else).
Things your "contact" page should not include: Home address. Cell phone number. Work email. Personal email. Anyone else's email that isn't yours.
Links to your Social Media sites
Another thing I do when I find a new blogger that I love is follow them on essentially all of their social media accounts. I know tons of bloggers that do this. I think as bloggers we are equal parts over-sharers and stalkers. Because of this, it is important that you put your social media accounts where everyone can see them. Mine are easily accessible as little icons right after my profile picture/intro. Some people also include them in their post signature or contact pages. I also like to drop mine in an occasional post here and there, just to make sure you're paying attention.
Social media links should include: links to any social media account you would like to share with your blogging friends. This can be including, but not limited to, instagram (my favorite), twitter, pinterest, bloglovin, youtube, etsy, and facebook (if you have a page for your blog).
Social media links should not include: your personal facebook (unless you're cool with strangers finding your personal facebook).
Have you ever wanted to have brunch with some of your favorite bloggers and talk about all things blogging over mimosas or coffee? Why am I even asking that, of course you have! Ashten, of Always Ashten, is hosting TWO blogger hangouts (also known as #happyhourhangout) this weekend, except you'll be brunching instead of happy hour-ing. And the best part? I'm co hosting with her on Sunday!
If you're interested in talking about all things blog related over your favorite brunch beverage, CLICK HERE and join us for tons of fun!