There are an enormous amount of different features and tools available to incorporate into your blog. Some are great for improving your website visitors’ experience, and some, while widely used by bloggers across the internet, are just plain lame. In fact, some of the features I see used the most on blogs don’t even make sense! Remember, being commonly used doesn’t mean you should include them on your website.
Here are three popular blog features that you may want to forget about or rethink how you use them on your website:
What good does listing May 2010, June 2010, July 2010, August 2010, etc. do for your website visitors? Nothing. Including date-based archives in your website sidebar is simply a waste of valuable website real estate. Date-based archive links simply tell visitors that you published a blog post in that month. Frankly, that should be fairly obvious as most bloggers publish posts on a regular basis. Date-base archives don’t add value for your website visitors or help them find the information they need quickly and easily.
Blogging may be a community-oriented activity, but if you are blogging for business, including a blogroll (a list of links to other bloggers) in the sidebar or footer of every single blog post and web page on your website is not a very good idea. A blogroll is basically a list of links sending people away from your website. Instead of using valuable space in your sidebar to list a blogroll, consider publishing a blog post featuring the bloggers you recommend and link to it in your website footer or on a Resources page.
Social networking is important to create, enhance, and strengthen relationships and social media marketing is a valuable tool to expand your brand online and increase your brand visibility. But before you cram your website sidebar full of social media badges, feeds, and links, ask yourself these questions
- If you already have graphic links to your social media sites, do you need to also include badges for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter? How do those badges add value to your visitors’ experience in your site?
- Do you need to republish a stream of your Facebook page updates on your website? How does that help your website visitors?
- Is it appropriate to republish your Twitter feed on your website? If you are truly interacting and engaging in conversation with your Twitter community, your feed will show several posts of one side of a conversation. How do your website visitors benefit from that?
What is more important to you? Building your community of blog commenters, loyal website visitors, and newsletter subscribers, or building up your “Likes” and “Followers” on websites that you don’t own and don’t control?
What’s do you think about these features/tools? Do you use them on your website or blog? Share you thoughts below!