The Fundamental Parts of a Blog

Headers, sidebars, RSS feeds, and other major blog components

Blog header on WordPress

Every blog has a unique structure and page layout, but readers have some basic expectations when browsing a blog for the first time. If your goal is to gain a loyal following, you should know what the major components of a blog are before you make your first post.

Blog Header

Blog header on WordPress

Your blog's header is the first thing most visitors will notice, so it's important to make a good first impression. The header could just be the name of your blog in a fancy font, but it's better to have a banner image that reflects the theme of your content. Blogging tools like WordPress and Blogger have built-in tools for customizing headers, or you can design your own using a program like Adobe Photoshop.

Blog Pages

Blog page on WordPress

Many blogging applications allow you to create pages where you can offer additional information about your site For example, you should have a home page that welcomes visitors as well as an "About Me" page that tells readers more about you as a blogger. Links to this information should be directly under your header so that they are always accessible to visitors.

Blog Posts

Blog post on WordPress

Blog posts are obviously the most important part of your site, since they are what draw readers in and hopefully get them to come back for more content. In addition to an attention-grabbing title, you need to write an introduction for your blog post that instantly hooks readers. You should also vary the types of posts you make to maintain reader interest in your blog. Research ideas for blog posts on the internet and follow best practices for writing blog posts.

Blog Comments

Blog comment on WordPress

Adding a comment section makes your content interactive and helps build a community around your blog. Without comments, you're really just talking to yourself. That said, moderating comments can be a big challenge, so it's a good idea to have a blog comment policy.That way, you can let readers know upfront that things like spam, offensive language, and anonymous posts will be taken down.

Blog Sidebar

Blog side bar on WordPress

A blog sidebar can contain ads, links, and other content you want visitors to see. There are several things to include in your blog sidebar such as your contact information, a short author bio, a blogroll, and links to your social media profiles. You can also put widgets for your blog in the sidebar to make it easier for readers to share your content on social networking sites.

Blog Categories

Blog category creation on WordPress

Creating blog categories helps readers find the content that is most interesting to them. The sidebar is an ideal place for categories, but they can go under your header or on a separate page. Many blogging applications have tools that automatically organize your posts by topic and presents them in a searchable list.

Blog Archives

Blog archive page on WordPress

Blog archives are where all of your old posts are saved for future viewing. Depending on how your site is set up, visitors can browse through your blog archives by date, title, or topic. Keep your eye on your blog traffic to determine which types of content generate the most interest.

Blog Footer

Blog footer on WordPress

The footer sits at the bottom of any page or post on your blog. Your footer should contain copyright information as well as links to your blog's privacy policy and terms and conditions of use policy. Some footers also include ads and additional links, but most readers don't scroll all of the way to the bottom of a page, so it's best to only provide helpful information that's not critical to the user experience.

RSS Feed

RSS feed generated by WordPress

Your blog's RSS feed is needed in order to invite people to subscribe to your blog via email or their preferred feed reader. Make sure you include an invitation in your blog's sidebar or another prominent location. Read more about blog feeds in the articles below:

Blog Images

Blog image library on WordPress

A blog without images is dull and looks more like a dictionary than an interesting read. That's why including colorful images is so important to a blog's success. Don't go crazy with too many images. Your content is always most important. However, images can help relax visitors' eyes so pages aren't too text heavy, and they can guide readers through your content. Use the resources in the articles below to find and edit images that you're legally allowed to use on your blog: