5 Essential pages every blog needs

Many times, when I stumble upon a great blog, I want to know more.  I like diving in and exploring the various layers of a blog.  I like to connect and get to know the blogger.  I want to know who they are and what they do.

I want to be able to quickly access information. It should be easy to subscribe to your blog and follow you on Twitter.  I hate it when I land on a blog and have to search around for social media icons just so I can follow you on Twitter.

If I have to search too hard, it’s very likely that I’ll just leave and say forget it.  I don’t have that kind of time.

That’s why I’m baffled by bloggers who neglect to make available, what I consider basic information.

You never know who’s looking for you and your blog. What if I were Sean “P. Diddy” Combs or someone of like-stature and I was looking for a participant in my new “Making the Blog” reality show… ? I stumble across your blog and enjoy your writing style, but there’s no “About Me” page to tell me a little bit about your background.  I want to shoot you a quick email, but there’s no contact page.  I liked your blog and your writing voice, but forget it – I don’t have time to play “Hide-and-Seek” with your information – I’m P. Diddy, after all!  Moving on to the next blog in 5…4…3…2…1… Sorry!

Don’t let one piece missing information cause you to miss an opportunity of a lifetime.  Make sure your blog has at least these 5 essential static pages:

Home -

This is landing page of your blog that displays your latest posts. This page is usually generated automatically, but you may need to adjust your settings in WordPress to select which features you’d like displayed there.  You’ll want to place your social media icons in a highly visible position on this page, preferably at the top right hand corner.

About Me -

This should be more about you than your company (if you have one). This could include who you are, where you’re from, what you do – why you do what you do and anything about you that people might find intriguing. You can include information about your business, again, it should not be the focal point.

The point is to allow people an opportunity to get to know you.  This builds trust and credibility.  If you are a newsletter subscriber, you received some tips for creating an About Me page over the weekend (Contact me if you’d like me to resend you those tips).

Contact Me -

People should be able to reach you if they have a question or simply want to send compliments. You can also include your user profiles to social networks here as well.  People want to connect with you, make it easy for them.

Affiliate Disclosure -

If you plan on making any commissions from affiliate sales, if you want to keep Google happy, you’d better add this disclosure. This statement is meant to openly share this information with visitors so that they know that you could earn money if they make a purchase.  I think it’s only fair and honest that this information be shared.

Privacy Policy -

You can create a free one at FreePrivacyPolicy.com (that’s the service I used). This is also another important page, if you want to keep Google happy.

Optional Pages:

Tools & Resources -

Make it easy for your visitors to find what they need. You can include important links to resources and useful products. This is a great use of affiliate links that is not a blatant sale, but is more of a valuable service that you could provide your readers.

Hire me -

Include a highlight of your services and possibly a form to submit requests for a quote. Let people know what services you’re offering. You never know who might be looking to hire some with your talents and skills.

Other considerations:

Are you thinking about selling ad space on your blog?  You might want to add an “Advertise Here” page.  Thinking about accepting guest posts?  You might want to create a page that outlines your guest posting requirements that contains a form where they can submit posts directly to you.

Feel free to browse this blog for examples of what a given page might look like.

So have I left out any other essential blog pages?  What other optional pages could we include?

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About Linda Hewett

Linda is a writer, blogger and confidence coach.
Her blog is Positive Spin – Helping You Face Life Full On without Fear – And Feel Great About It!

In her blog, Linda looks for the ‘positive spin’ in our daily lives and encourages you to look for the ‘small stuff’ that’s easy to miss, or even dismiss.She believes that confidence comes in many disguises. All you have to do is…look.
You can follow her on Twitter @LindaMHewett

Comments

  1. Good list
    i think that About Me and Contact Me are very important pages and they are missing on many blog

  2. Hey Kiesha!

    Nice list. Ummm, I do need to add the ole’ Privacy Policy page. I’ll hide it in there somewhere.

    About the only thing I could add would be to have a page for maybe some free reports or making sure you have links/graphics readily available on your home page taking people to those certain pages which will get you the email optins, etc.

    I have also considered adding a “How to Use this Site” page where there could be a video or two talking about RSS, getting email updtes, etc. Many first time visitors may not have any clue what RSS or Google Readers are and how they can HELP them.

    Thanks!
    Brandon

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Brandon,
      A “How to Use this Site” is a great idea! I remember how confused I was when I first started… talk about lost in the sauce for real!

  3. Looks like I must go and add all of those pages (except Home) right now. :)
    Thank you.

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Alan,
      I definitely encourage you to get those added – keep me posted on how much it helps.

  4. Hey Kiesha,

    If someone doesn’t have all of those essential components on their blog. They are losing long term traffic. People like to know who is the author and creator of a blog. By having all of those pages you are connecting with your audience.

    It’s like going on a stage to do a presentation and you just say your speech without introducing yourself or connecting with the crowd. Big mistake!

    Chat with you later…
    Josh

  5. I’ve been playing around with pages a lot. I had a disclosure page up but heard from folks I surveyed that the title ‘Disclosure’ (as well as Privacy Policy) in the nav. bar was off-putting, rules-based, and stodgy. Ouch!

    Right now my disclosure is in my Resource page, but I don’t have a privacy policy so will need to work that in somehow.

    My ‘Start Here’ Page is getting great feedback so I’ll keep tweaking/improving that. Also, I’m considering ditching ‘Resources’ and having a page that just says, ‘Shop.’ That way, when people want to buy something, they can find it quickly. Thinking from a user standpoint, ‘resources’ sounds like going to the library :)

    I love playing around with this stuff though and getting reader feedback.

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Jean,
      To keep from off-putting, rather than place the link in your nav. bar, you could simply place a link at the bottom of your page. It doesn’t have to be a blatant announcement, it just needs to be some where on the home page.
      If you notice, I don’t have either or those in my navigation, it’s all the way at the bottom of the page in my footer.

    • I agree with you and I just found a wordpress plugin that helps managing pages so now I am trying to put all my privacy policy pages in the footer.

  6. Kiesha, I have my entire affiliate disclosure in the sidebar where visitors can easily find it and read it. Even then, I still frequently mention in the body of the post that a given link is an affiliate link.

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi John,
      That’s a great practice. Transparency and honesty are qualities that blog readers (and potential customers) are looking for.

  7. OMG I missed the Policy & Disclosure page!

    Yeah.. it’s true that some types of page have very important functions for a blog and I have to look at it seriously.

    Thanks for sharing and a kind of remind!

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Nasrul,
      I encourage you get those pages up as soon as you can – every little bit helps when it comes to Google. :)

  8. Hi Kiesha,

    This post is very timely for me. I’ve been working on making changes to some of my pages. I wasn’t aware of the Privacy page. I’ll definitely be adding that to the pages.

    Great post packed with very helpful information!

    Take care!

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Evelyn!
      I’m glad this post was able to provide some new information for you. I remember posting my privacy notice and saw immediate improvement in traffic from Google – I can’t exactly give you evidence that the Privacy Policy did it alone, but I definitely noticed a change.

  9. Okay, I will work on these things … my page/site/blog is under construction and with this guideline, it looks like I’m on my way.

    Perfect timing!

    Thanks.

  10. Okay, OUCH!! I can’t argue with any of your points because they are all valid, but you pointed out all the warts (well some of them) on my blog.

    I have struggled with my about page for months now. In many ways, I want my blog to be more about the topic and the community than it is about me. Still, I understand the need to get to know who is behind the words on the page. I share quite a bit in my posts about myself, but new readers may not stick around to find out about me one trickle at a time.

    I used to have a pic, a quick intro, and all my contact info built into my front page. I made a nub mistake and upgraded my theme without backing it up forgetting about all the customizations I did to it. Lesson learned the hard way.

    At least it looks like I am not alone in my missing pages. Come to think of it, I have some social media profiles that need work too.

    • Yea Me! I found a quick fix to my nub mistake above. Since Google indexes my blog very quickly I thought all cached views of my pages would already be overwritten. Thanks to this post I started looking at my policy pages to see if they needed updated, and on a lark I clicked the PR toolbar icon and selected “cached snapshot of this page.”

      Voila! There it was. I right clicked and selected “View Page Source” revealing all the html code I lost for my side bar. A quick copy and paste into my blog’s editor and all was restored.

      Not the best way to back up your site, but thought someone might find the same tip helpful.

      • kieshaeasley says:

        Hi Brad,
        I didn’t mean to step on your toes. Of course at the end of the day what you place on your blog is your prerogative. These are just suggestions for improvements, not laws.
        I’m glad you were able to fix your problem. I’ve had to do the same thing before. I’m not very technical with coding and sometimes I try stuff that screws up things and have to rely on cache views. :)

  11. Hey, great post! Thanks for all those tips, I’m already implementing some of them for my blog. :)

  12. I kind of combine the Advertise/Hire and Contact Me into the same page. But I strongly believe in a good About Me page.

    Even if you are a multi-author blog/magazine site you should have an “About your site” page that lists your sites purpose, goals and your most prominent contributors if possible in my opinion.

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Justin,
      You’re right about the contributor page, that is definitely something a blog with more than one regular blogger should have.

  13. I think if you offer services or consulting, the Hire ME (or similar) should be automatic!

  14. Ha! Ok, so I am missing a few pages, apparently.

    Thanks for the idea & link for the privacy page service – I will check that out this weekend.

    I hope you are having a great night!

  15. Definitely agree with you on the about me and contact pages. I usually merge them into one, but sometimes it works out for them to be separate pages. Great tips for beginning bloggers (and sites)

  16. Excellent write up, It will helpful for newbies who gonna start new blog. Congrats that your blog listed on brain (blogengage) top list. Looking forward good blogs.

  17. This is an excellent post! For people not familiar with some technical jargon, I’ve added a page with definitions. It’s a great way to keep visitors at your website.

    • Ooh, that’s a great idea. I better come there to check it out. While I’m there, I’ll look at the other pages too. 8-)

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Wayne,
      That is a great idea! Instead of just assuming everybody knows everything, you’re making it easier for them to get what they need. Awesome!

  18. I didn’t knew that adding those additional pages is so good for Google rankings. At the moment I only have a home page and it seems that adding several more will be a good thing. Thanks for sharing!

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Daniel,
      Yeah, it’s definitely a good thing. Last year there was a lot of information going around about this. I noticed a lot of people still didn’t have those pages in place -that’s why I decided to write this post.

  19. I have to add that very often the “about me” page is written very frugally, and i don’t find this to be a good thing. In that page I want to find the answer to why that blog was created and what will I find there.

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Mia,
      You’re right an about me page should definitely have an ample amount of information. You don’t have to drag it out, but at least answer the basic questions:
      Who are you? What do you do? Why you do it? Why you’re special? things like that.

  20. Alease Michelle says:

    Hey Keisha,
    Great information. I didn’t think about the contact page. I am currently redesigning my blog. I was all over the place, but now I think I have a handle on what I want to cover on my blog.

    So thanks for the insight.

    Alease

  21. Good list, and you also did a great job of validating the reasons of why you need each page.. and I think you also just added a few things to my “To-Do” list, haha. Thanks for yet another helpful post!

  22. Thanks for the list, FreePrivacyPolicy sounds like a great service as such legal texts can be tedious to make from scratch. Many bloggers also overlook the importance of twitter and facebook icons, items which in recent years I’ve come to expect on every blog I come across.

  23. Came in via Kikolani, very much enjoyed this post. Haven’t sorted through all the comments yet, but if no one’s said that an “index” or “best posts” page is essential, then I’m saying that. In fact, a well-constructed “best posts” page can be just as effective – if not more effective – than an “about me.”

  24. Someone might have alread mentioned it, but I think an “Ask me a question” page, incorporated with an FAQ page, are essentials.

    There is no easier idea stream for new blog posts than a nice healthy flow of questions from your readers.

    • kieshaeasley says:

      Hi Paul,
      That’s an awesome idea for a page – So awesome, I implemented an “Ask Me a Question” page immediately. Thanks!

  25. I haven’t really thought about creating a resource page but I’m going to start working towards that. Permission to take hints from your own resource page ?

  26. Kiesha thanks – looking at my blog, my ‘About’ page was actually just a listing of contact information – very cold and impersonal which didn’t communicate ‘me’ and my gentle sense of humour at all. I think it’s rather more successfully now that it’s had a make-over!

    A great tip – thank you again

  27. These are indeed essential pages in blog. As a matter of fact, they are mandatory pages since the Google Panda update.

  28. Great useful info dear friend. Let me add this pages to my blog too… Thanks for these tips. And waiting for more useful tips like this..

  29. Great Ideas, I’ve since added the affiliate notation to my ‘about ___ blog’ page on my blog. Honesty is always the best policy!
    Though, Blogger is making things a little difficult, i’m begining to think i should also make the move to WordPress soon…

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