About Link or a Short Bio
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The sidebar is a great place to establish who you are, so visitors will immediately understand your level of expertise or interest in your blog's topic. You can do this through a link to your "About Me" page or a short bio that displays on your sidebar.
To further establish who you are as a blogger (particularly if you're trying to establish yourself as an expert in your field through your blog), it can be helpful to include your picture in your sidebar along with a link to your "About" page or short bio. Adding your picture also helps to personalize your blog. Remember, successful bloggers create a relationship with their readers. A picture can help strengthen your relationship with your readers.
Including your contact information on your blog's sidebar is particularly useful for bloggers who use their blogs to generate business. If your blog is a sales tool, then you should make it as easy as possible for visitors to contact you.
One of the most important things you can put in your blog's sidebar is a blogroll. Your blogroll helps to promote your blog through networking with like-minded bloggers.
Links to Your Other Blogs or Websites
Your sidebar provides many ways you can further promote your other blogs, websites or online businesses. In addition to a traditional blogroll, you can add links to your other blogs and websites in your sidebar.
List of Categories
To make it easy for your blog readers to find your old content, it's important to create categories to archive your posts and include links to those categories in your sidebar.
Links to Archives by Date
Another way to make it easy for your readers to find old content on your blog is through links to your archives (typically listed by month) in your sidebar.
Recent Posts Links
Make it easy for your readers to find your recent blog posts by including a list of links to those posts in your sidebar. This is a great way to encourage additional page views and keep visitors on your blog longer.
Recent Comments Links
Similar to including recent post links in your sidebar, you can also include recent comment links. Including recent comment links in your sidebar can encourage conversation.
Popular Posts Links
Your sidebar is a great place to display links to your popular (highly trafficked or highly commented) posts. People will see those links and want to read those posts to see why they are so popular.
Make sure your readers can subscribe to your blog through a feed reader or emails by putting your RSS subscription options in a prominent location on your sidebar.
Make it easy for your readers to find old content through keyword searches by putting a search box in your sidebar.
Your sidebar can hold a lot of ads such as Google AdSense, Amazon Associate ads, direct banner ads and more. Don't overload your sidebar with ads, but do take advantage of the revenue-generating opportunities that your sidebar presents by including some ads on it.
While a donation button might not bring in a lot of money to your blog, it's very common for bloggers to include them in their sidebars with the hope that someone will make a donation one day.
Social Web Links and Feeds
Many bloggers use their sidebar as a way to promote their various social networking and social bookmarkingactivities. For example, you might want to include links to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg or other account profiles in your blog's sidebar, or you may want to include your Twitter feed in your sidebar.