When talking about blogs, one thinks, above all, about the dynamic content that is published periodically, the “posts”, which are the protagonists and the essence of any blog.
But to have a good structure of a blog must also include other elements and information, a static information (little variable in time) that carries vital and essential elements such as, for example, a presentation that explains what the blog, legal information or forms so they can contact you.
There are many bloggers who do not pay special attention to this part that typically appears on menus and that is not linked to their publication dates.
It is a pity that this is so because, as you will see in today’s post, a good structure of pages has many more benefits than it may seem at first sight, among others:
- It makes it easier to attract new readers, because it helps them to better orientate themselves in your blog.
- For you it is a good tool to guide you in the way that interests you the most.
- And it is also an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself personally and connect with your reader more easily.
The crux of the matter is: a good page structure will help you a lot to connect with the new readers who are getting to know your blog and, therefore, to build a faster quality audience.
Apart from this, as you will see, there are things to which you are obligated, even legally, and the pages are the right place to implement them.
In today’s post I will make a tour of 10 types of basic pages that make a lot of sense for any blog and that, therefore, you should consider including in your blog if you have not already created it.
What kind of information should a blog include beyond the posts?
As I said above, in a blog the king are the contents of the posts, which are what makes a blog a blog. Its objective is to add value to the reader, to be really useful to him and to get him back. It is the content that keeps the reader hooked.
But there are other objectives in which the posts are lame because they are not the ideal formula and do not provide all the information.
For example: if someone wants to contact you for some reason, a comment in a post is not the appropriate way. Another example is the legal information that, depending on the type of activity of your blog, you may be required to contribute publicly on your website. And then we must not forget that if you are looking to generate sales with your blog, only with posts you will not take advantage of your sales potential.
This type of information is necessary and for this there is the static part of a blog; pages.
7 Essential pages for an ideal structure of a personal or professional blog
I will start with the pages that I consider absolutely essential in any blog, be it a personal blog or a professional blog and, in a second list, I will talk about other types of information can be included in a blog “optionally”.
All blogs have a cover page (the page you see when you enter the domain). I do not mean to include it; I mean that the covers of a blog usually have by default a format that I recommend you change: the list of the last posts published.
What I recommend and what you will see in the blogs of practically all bloggers with visibility and / or professionals is a cover page type landing page (page landing), which is a page that focuses on a goal, a very specific message, eliminating elements of distraction such as, for example, a sidebar.
There are mainly three reasons for this change:
It is one of the most visited pages of your blog
With time, the cover ends up being one of the most visited pages of your blog; the normal thing is that it is in the “top 10” of the most visited. In our case, for example, it usually oscillates around position 7-8 typically.
You need to center your message to be able to build loyalty all these visits
Here comes the crux of the matter: a large part of these people have no idea what your site is about and you should take advantage of the opportunity to build loyalty among these people.
For this, the most important thing is that this page focuses the focus on the essence of the theme of your blog. The idea is that a person who does not know it immediately takes an idea of what it is about.
You can reinforce this with a lead magnet (an incentive to subscribe as a free downloadable eBook), related to this theme.
If you look at our cover, although it needs a round, this part can be seen very clearly.
Another variant of this idea, very successful in my opinion, is the cover of Pat Flynn that you will see a little below. In this case, it has given much less importance to the lead magnet (which comes very low on your page) and more to the section of the initial guided visit.
A better first impression with a more attractive design
I love Oscar Wilde’s phrase “there is not a second chance for a first impression”; every little time there is an occasion that comes to mind to quote it because it is a truth like a cathedral.
Applied to this means that the people who come to your blog will decide in a matter of seconds if they stay and have a look or if they leave not to return. A well-made cover with an attractive design has its weight to tip the scales.
In addition, with a good WordPress theme, for example, Divi, you have the necessary tools to design with a few clicks landing pages and fantastic covers with modern and very attractive designs.
Why do I advise against a simple list of posts?
The typical reply to this approach is often “But is not much better than people see your posts?”. I myself had that vision for many years.
The answer is no”.
Many times, possibly most, the two or three posts that appear on the cover at that time do not reflect the essence of your blog. In any case, the message that transmits your cover would be simply a matter of chance, according to the post that you touch at each moment, and the cover and its message is not something that you should leave to chance.
- Initial guided visit
This page is closely related to the previous one; In fact, you could choose to merge the previous one with this one and it is the perfect place for you to send your reader to those points that you are interested in knowing.
That’s what basically Pat Flynn, one of the top US bloggers in online marketing, has done on his current cover.
Notice how well he focuses the message of what he does on his blog and how he integrates the reference to his guide for new visits in it (the green “get started here” button):
The guided tour page is also an excellent page to which new email subscribers can send in the email or welcome page to the subscriber.
What should you do on this page?
A brief description of the contents of the blog, why they are relevant to the profile of the reader you are addressing (what is the problem (s) they solve) and what benefits the reader can obtain from them.
My recommendation is that this page is also a landing page and tells a story, your own story, the reasoning behind the creation of your blog and that justifies its existence, its usefulness for others.
During this journey, you will have multiple opportunities to make references to some of your best content, include one or several lead magnets and there may even be opportunities to make some reference to your products or products that you are affiliated with if it comes to mind.
A large part of the magic and attractiveness of blogs comes from the fact that there are real people like you and me behind them. People like to relate to other people, not companies or abstract organizations.
Therefore, you should be proactive in reinforcing that relationship with your reader and that begins by introducing yourself and your blog.
It may seem like a redundant page with the guided tour page; although there is some overlap, it is not: the guided tour focuses on presenting your content, the “about” page focuses on introducing yourself and your blog; they are different perspectives in which different things are spoken, although, logically, some common point is natural that there is.
On this page you have the opportunity to address yourself in a slightly more personal way to your reader and connect with him transmitting some warmth, for example, through a small personal story in which you tell him why you decided to create your blog. These kinds of things like a lot and go very well with the spirit that any blog should have.
What should you do on this page?
Introduce yourself a little more thoroughly (who you are, what you do, the trajectory that has led you to create the blog, etc.). Darren Rowse, for example, does it very well, both in his personal presentation as well as his blog and everything without excessive coiling.
Present “your mission”: what experiences have led you to create this blog? Why did you create it? What do you want with the blog ?, what are your other interests and hobbies ?, etc.
It is good to put some photo and, if you have no problem, it is very good to give some personal information (couple, children, hobbies …) that is not too intimate to make you feel uncomfortable.
As you can see, this page keeps certain points of overlap with the guided tour page, but it has a completely different perspective, which puts the focus on you.
This will help you connect to a more personal level with your readers because those details bring you closer to them.
This page is also a good place to enter references to other important pages that we will talk about in this same post, as a reference of where to find the legal notice or the contact page.
In some sites this page is merged with the “about” page; personally, I think it is better to give the contact form itself since it gives rise to talk about quite different topics of what should be commented on the page about “about”.
It is usually limited to a contact form and, if at all, a postal address so that users of the website can contact you.
On the other hand, I still see people who do not use a contact form, but instead, put an email or even a private phone number. Personally, I advise against this totally; Apart from the fact that it is not efficient, having these data in public will cause them to collect bots in spam in their databases.
A contact form avoids this problem and is very convenient because it converts the data entered in the form in an email that will arrive to the email account you set up for it.
If you use WordPress.com, you already have “serial” of a form of this type that you can customize to your liking and in the case of using WordPress with own hosting, you have an infinity of plugins.
Of course, always take care that the hosting you use is a quality hosting such as, for example, Webempresa (the hosting that uses this blog). This will be essential for your site to go fast and add additional functionality such as the contact forms will not cause problems.
I recommend three additional things for your contact form:
Mention clearly what things you will not answer
You will get many things that do not interest you at all and, having reached a certain visibility, these things can take a lot of time if you attend them, if only to say no. You’ll even see that there are people with an incredible face sometimes doing things like, for example:
- Ask for free consulting, even if you phone them; you have to have a face!
- Send you to press releases to be published (free, of course) of topics that have nothing to do with your topic.
- Chiringuitos that offer you the super-collaboration to place advertising for a client, totally incompatible for its content with your blog.
- Etc etc.
Therefore, it is good to have a list and make it very clear that those things will not attend to you. You can start with a few points and expand as you see more casuistry.
Enter a prefix “Contact:” or similar to emails that reach you by email
This little nonsense, which implements it in Contact 7 (and other products) is extremely useful because it allows you to send with a Gmail filter, Outlook rule, etc. all these messages to a separate folder.
Difference forms according to their purpose
In this same line, if you have a range of different contact reasons, you may be very interested in creating differentiated forms according to the purpose in question.
For example: if you offer services, you should not mix the general contact form with the service form. You should have one for each thing and with different prefixes to have the corresponding emails in different places in your email.
- Landing page (s)
As I commented on the case of the cover of your blog, the landing page is a special page that focuses on achieving a goal. There are many purposes for which one should use landing pages, for example the cover of your blog, the presentation of your blog (page about), attract subscribers with a free download (an eBook typically) or the sale of a product or service.
The reason is that a well-done landing page turns much better than a normal page of your blog. “Convert” means that the% success (uploads, sales, etc.) on the visits of a page like this is much greater than that of a normal page because it centers the message and removes the elements of distraction such as the sidebar, etc.
It is not a matter of you now putting landing pages as a crazy but simply wanted to make sure that you know this important element in blogs and think about it in those situations in which theirs is to use them.
One of the things that readers like the most is the compilations of resources; it is logical, a good list of resources is tremendously useful.
So I think I do not have to convince you that a good resource page related to your niche brings a lot of value to the reader and makes your blog, therefore, more attractive.
It is more: the pages also have a very positive effect for the web positioning, because a good page of resources is a very susceptible page to be shared: both in social networks, and linked in third party pages.
On the other hand, a good resource page is a good way to demonstrate knowledge in your field so that, together with the two previous factors, this makes this page, in addition, a very powerful page for your personal brand and reputation.
But the horniest is that, possibly you end up being the biggest fan of your resource page. In my case, for example, creating our page of the best resources for blogs & bloggers has turned out to be a good way to keep in order and locate the resources that interest me the most.
Little by little we are incorporating more interesting things and the value grows both for blog readers and for oneself. In addition, although this is very subjective, when I want to use a resource, such as a bank of free-use images, for example, it is more natural for me to go to this page than to search for the resource in the browser’s favorites.
Anyway, even so I must confess that we have a little unattended lately and is another one of those who need a return with a little love
And two last tips:
Give this page also a landing page format; It will make it much more attractive and easy to consume your readers.
Take the opportunity to do some affiliate marketing. This page is a place that will have good conversions if you include good products related to your theme. Of course, they should be only really good products that you know well and in first person. So everyone wins: your readers who take a good product, you, that you take a small commission and you reinforce your reputation with a good recommendation and the manufacturer, who takes a sale.
- Legal notice
The last essential page is simply a legal obligation.
At the moment that a blog generates income, you have the obligation to publish a legal notice. Otherwise you may have serious problems for not including it.
The same happens when you collect personal data and that already happens at the time that your blog is saved a simple comment of a person with your email. That is, in practice all blogger must notify the processing of personal data to the Spanish Data Protection Agency.
3 more elements that you can include in your blog
The pages that we have spoken so far seem absolutely essential, but there are a number of other elements that you can include in your blog, which will provide interesting information to your audience. Let’s see some ideas as concrete examples.
- Best posts
A well-chosen selection of your best publications as it does, for example, David Cantone, is always something very attractive to your readers. It is something that, in addition, you can combine with your guided tour page.
It is very convenient that they are publications that have a high degree of social proof (social proof), that is, publications with good social indicators (no tweets, “I like”, etc.) brings great credibility to the articles and image of your blog and generate curiosity in the reader to know what it is that has achieved so much impact on other readers.
On the other hand it is a safe bet, because it is practically guaranteed that the best rated posts will also like whoever visits this page; that will bring new tweets, I like you, etc. and a small virtuous circle is formed.
Another tip: divide the list of your best posts according to the categories of your blog; A bit of order brings a lot of clarity, especially when you already have enough published posts so you can afford to have several dozen posts on your list of the best.
- Custom 404 page
You will always have small% visits that generate a 404 error (page not found); that’s because at the moment when you get links, a percentage of them will be wrong and will lead to sites that do not exist in your blog.
And, on the other hand, if your blog reaches a certain age and scope of contents, some contents will erase them and generate broken links (even within your own blog, if you do not do maintenance with tools such as Broken Link Checker, for example.
Well, that small flow of visits you can recycle for your mailing list by offering some of your lead magnets.
You will not get a spectacular number of discharges, but if you have become accustomed to creating landing pages it is something that you can do practically in a matter of minutes and, apart from the high generated ones, it will always also give a more professional image to your blog than an ugly page 404 by default.
- Questions and answers
The last idea that you want to recommend is a page of questions & answers related to the “core”, to the core of your topic.
The reason is very simple: apart from being simply something very useful for your readers, it will be very useful to you too, because it will prevent you from responding again and again to the same things in the comments of your blog, in emails that arrive to you, etc. . .
The moment you have some visibility, it is a long time that you save being able to simply refer to this page and not have to explain the same things over and over again.