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7 Sidebar Widgets for Your WordPress Blog

7 Sidebar Widgets for Your WordPress Blog

Quality content increases the traffic you receive as well as boosts your rank in search engines. To help take your blog to the next level, WordPress has tools that you can leverage. Here are 7 Sidebar Widgets for Your WordPress Blog.

Purpose of the Sidebar

Meet the sidebar. Every theme comes with a set of widgets that you can use for your blog. The locations may vary for each theme but you can add a sidebar when you want to.

A sidebar gives your readers a preview of the topics you are writing about. It is also space where you can gather leads and invite subscribers.

Widgets for Your WordPress Blog

Widgets are tools that you can use to add specific features to your blog. They are not plugins, but there are plugins that can provide you with additional widgets.

To find the widgets you have on your theme, just go to Appearance > Widgets. When you install a plugin that comes with a widget, you will find it stored there as well.

There are basically three sections in the Widgets area. One is the Available Widgets which your theme has by default. It may also consist of the new widgets you’ve installed.

Below that section is the Inactive Widgets, which pretty much speaks for itself. And at the top right corner is where you’ll find all the widgets locations available on your theme.

To use a widget, simply drag one from the Available Widgets section and drop it under your chosen widget location at the top right corner. Afterwards, click on its arrow to customize the title, order, and other display options.

Here are 7 sidebar widgets for your WordPress blog:

1. Search Bar

Typically a reader would land on your blog through a shared content. You publish a blog post, share it on social media, and there you’ll have readers visit the post you shared.

Another way for them to find you is through the search engine. They typed in a keyword and found your blog post in the list of results.

But what’s next for them after reading one of your blog posts? That’s when the search bar widget steps in.

Through it, readers can look for other interesting things that you are offering apart from that specific shared content. It could be another blog post, an infographic, or a consultation.

It gives them a way to explore your brand and stay engaged.

2. Follow Blog

How do readers stay updated with your posts? With a self-hosted WordPress website, you can provide an option for your readers to subscribe via email.

Nowadays, there are email marketing tools like ActiveCampaign and GetResponse. They come with an opt-in form that you can display on your sidebar for people to subscribe to your blog.

Another way to enable your readers to follow your blog is by installing a subscribe plugin. There are many of them stored in the repository. Check to see their features and reviews before installing them in your theme.

3. Social Media Icons

Connect your blog to your social media accounts through these icons on your sidebar. Just like the Follow Blog widget, Social Media Icons on self-hosted blogs are available through plugins.

An example plugin is Easy Social Icons. It allows you to customize your icons and make them friendly to search engines.

Consider the sites where you are most active. You could be on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Plus
  • YouTube
  • Others

Keeping your readers engaged on social media opens your brand to opportunities from a vast number of social networks. But, you also have to consider whether it’s the site where your target readers engage most often. Otherwise, you just might be sharing your brand to a sea of uninterested individuals.

4. Recent Posts

This widget creates a list of the posts you recently published. It comes with the option to limit the number of recent posts to show. You can choose to show only three, five, or more depending on your preferences.

The thing is…

You could have a number of blog followers who missed your recent stories. The widget provides a rather more convenient way for them to access them directly.

A popular alternative to this is the Top Posts widget, which displays your best-loved stories according to the title, number of comments, or number of views.

5. Categories

What major categories do your blog topics fall under? You can present them in a list or dropdown at the sidebar. That way, your readers will have a glimpse of the other topics you like to discuss.

As you set up your categories, take note of them and group them accordingly. Here’s what you can do:

  • Go to Posts > Categories
  • Customize your categories and identify which ones are the “Parent” categories and which ones will fall under them
  • Be consistent with your categories’ name length and capitalization

By doing so, you will have a well-organized list and one that aligns with the experience that you want your readers to have.

6. Text

Do you want to display a static greeting to your readers? Or, do you need to support a widget with more descriptions? The Text widget can make it possible for you.

Simply drag it to your chosen widgets location and write the text you want to display. You may have as many Text widgets on your sidebar by dragging the Text widget from the Available Widgets section accordingly again.

7. Image

Similar to the Text widget, you may have as many images on your sidebar by dragging the widget from the Available Widgets section accordingly.

You can use it to display an image on your sidebar. It could be an image of:

  • An award you won
  • Your blog logo
  • Yourself as the author
  • Books you published
  • Publications where you got featured
  • An inspiring quote
  • Others

Images can help direct your reader’s attention to the sidebar and get him to explore the other things you have in your blog.

Final Thoughts

Widgets are optional features that you can use to optimize your blog. They can help build and inform your community of readers as well as encourage them to know what else you have in store.

Do you know other widgets or tools apart from these 7 sidebar widgets for your WordPress blog? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

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