How to optimize your blog with an awesome Sidebar Bio
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Your Sidebar is a key part of your Visual Strategy
The sidebar is easily one of the most argued upon pieces of blog real estate in the blogosphere. You will find the no-sidebar bloggers right alongside the classic sidebar-bloggers discussing whether it’s important to have one or not. It really comes down to how you Brand your Blog and your Visual Strategy.
Do you know the importance of what a sidebar can do for you in terms of clicks? Do your readers pay attention to the sidebar at all? If you do have a sidebar, then you should optimize your blog with a sidebar bio today!
What do you have on your sidebar?
Badges, Links, Ads, any other stuff?
Does your sidebar have a SIDEBAR BIO?
I believe that a Sidebar Bio the single most important piece of information you should have on your sidebar in order to optimize your blog for Social Media and Beyond!
What is a Sidebar Bio?
A sidebar bio is basically a mini “about me” blurb right at the top of your sidebar. It’s a glorified author box. It’s your personal signature, It’s you saying “hello” to your readers. Sure, there are plenty of generic sidebar bio widgets out there like the Google one but none of them make a greater impact than one designed especially for you and your blog.
What is inside the Sidebar Bio?
- Your photo
- A blurb about you and your blog (About the length of two tweets at most)
- Fun info about you that will make your readers smile
- An invitation to follow you, read you, create community with you
- OR A link to Read More in your About page.
Why do you need one and why does it need to be Branded?
When someone arrives at your blog posts from Social Media, they will be glad to meet you straight away when they start reading. Being able to virtually “see” you as soon as they arrive will make the experience more personal and unique. Why would you want to hide behind your content? Be proud of your blog, show off your personality. Your readers will appreciate it and they will stay longer. Make your sidebar bio part of your visual strategy.
A standard sidebar bio widget can look ok if you are in a rush but if you want your site to have a unified, branded look, then the sidebar bio needs to follow the same guidelines. If your site is full of straight line shapes, then your photo might not look too great in an oval cut out. If all your blog graphics have faded out photos, then your bio photo should be like that as well. The fonts should be the same and if there are any shapes or graphics in the bio, then they should follow your colors.
Optimize your Blog with your own sidebar bio
I offer sidebar bio creation as a services as part of my Design Services but today I will give you a quick look at how you can make your own on an editing program like Canva or Visme. If you still need help, just send me a message and let’s have a chat about it.
Get an awesome photo taken of yourself, preferably by a photographer but if you can’t afford one or don’t have any photographer friends you can find a photo you already have that follows these guidelines;
- You are smiling and looking at least straight ahead or ¾ towards the right.
- Colors of the clothes you are wearing are similar to your brand colors.
- Background is plain or can be cut out completely.
- The quality is good and not grainy.
- There are no harsh shadows on your face.
- Your hair looks how you like it.
- It isn’t a selfie
Once you have the photo sorted out, you can start creating your very own Sidebar Bio.
- Open a blank canvas on your favorite editing software that has a vertical rectangular shape. A good size is 200 x 450
- According to your branding, decide if your photo should be square, rectangular, circular, oval or even inside a fun frame and get creating.
- Under or above the photo, write your name just how you appear as an author on your blog posts
- Under the photo (and your name if it’s there), insert your mini text, preferably center aligned or justified.
- leave a little space and add a call to action like; follow me on Social Media or Read More About Me.
- Download the graphic when you like the final product.
- Insert into your sidebar as an image widget and link to whatever the call to action is talking about.