Disclaimer: Opinions published on ShellyRawlings.com do not reflect the opinions of my employers or clients and are not intended to be taken as legal or financial advice or other professional counseling (I am not a lawyer—I’m a writer). For more information on this and other terms and conditions, click here.
Bloggers old and new who want to see success online have an uphill battle ahead of them. It’s not enough anymore to simply publish your afternoon thoughts on Blogspot’s default theme; with such a saturated market, both readers of blogs and the brands who want to reach them have high expectations, which means bloggers often have to go the extra mile to impress.
But it’s not just enough to host top-tier content on your blog. Visitors to your site want to know that they’re taking advice or getting the scoop from someone who is knowledgeable and credible, and when it comes to their first impressions, perception is reality.
This is why it’s vital to not just to put out high-quality posts, but also to present yourself as a professional who knows their way around the blogging world and lives up to—or exceeds—industry expectations. Part of that involves including pages on your blog, in addition to posts, that provide more information about you and your background and make it easier for visitors to navigate your site.
Whether you’re new to blogging or a seasoned online influencer, here are five pages that should be included somewhere on every blog:
1. An About Me Page
Don’t be fooled into thinking your readers aren’t interested in finding out who’s behind the blog. Part of building a rapport with your audience is being personable and relatable—your readers want to know what makes you you. (After all, if they didn’t want to hear what you have to say, they wouldn’t have visited your blog in the first place.)
Your About Me page also gives you the chance to establish your credibility as a blogger and commentator in your particular niche. Don’t overthink it: If you blog about college life and study tips, mentioning that you’re a sophomore at Your-School’s-Name-Here University is probably enough to convince readers that you know what you’re talking about. Alternatively, if you’re giving advice from the perspective of an expert, like a doctor or lawyer, you might use your About Me page to outline your credentials and accomplishments in your field.
Pro tip: While including photos of yourself throughout your site is a good idea, a great headshot is vital for your About Me page. Readers will feel more connected to you if they can associate a face with your name, and including a professional photo will help reassure potential clients and sponsors that they’d be working with a legitimate, qualified partner—not a scammer.
2. A Posts Page
Picture this scenario: A member of your target audience clicks on one of your articles while browsing Pinterest and finds themselves captivated by your writing style and depth of knowledge. They read to the bottom of your post before clicking on a related article and reading that thoroughly, too. Now, they think, where can I go to get more content from this author?
The answer is your Posts page, which displays what is usually a list or grid of your latest blog posts. Most blogging platforms, like WordPress and Wix, can automatically compile a page like this for you, but don’t be afraid to customize your Posts page to meet your blog’s needs and your personal style.
Pro tip: Visitors to your blog who are looking for a specific article likely don’t want to have to go scrolling through dozens of other entries to find what they’re looking for. Displaying a search bar or navigation menu—or both—on your Posts page helps ensure readers don’t get lost on the way to their destination, potentially costing you a sale.
3. A Work With Me Page
Most people start a blog because they want to get something out of it, whether that’s new connections, free products, or paid sponsorships. Alternatively, you may be trying to sell products or services to members of your target audience—perhaps you wrote and published an ebook, or maybe you’re available for hire as a freelance writer, web designer, or consultant. Whatever the case, your Work With Me page should clearly lay out both what you bring to the table and what someone’s next steps should be if they’re interested in teaming up with you.
For instance, if your goal is to get brands to pay you to review their products on your blog, your Work With Me page should likely include details about how much traffic you get to your site and your social media channels, and you should strive to prove that your audience is engaged and trusts your opinion. You may even include links to previously published blog posts where you teamed up with a company to give potential partners an idea of how they could see their brand on your site.
In my case, as a freelance writer and editor, I use my Work With Me page to break down my experience and expertise, share clips of my writing, and provide testimonials to help potential clients get a feel for my style and work ethic.
4. A Legal Disclosures Page
The best way to ensure your blog checks off all the legal boxes is to consult with an attorney, which I am not. But if you aren’t sure where to start, these resources may be able to point you in the right direction:
- 3 Legal Mistakes Most Bloggers Make – Tips From A Lawyer by Boss Girl Bloggers
- How To Legally Protect Your Blog: 4 Easy Ways by Margaret Bourne
- Three Legal Pages You Need On Your Blog and How To Make Them by Meghan at WPkind
5. A Contact Page
Readers and potential sponsors need a way to contact you—and they won’t have the patience to go fishing around for long. Ensure a link to your Contact page is easy to find and includes either a form that users can fill out or an email address they can reach you at.
If you go the contact form route, it’s important both to include slots for inquiring minds to input their name, comment or question, and email address or other method of contact, and to verify that the form directs submissions to an email inbox that you check regularly. I also find it can be useful to require those who fill out the form to confirm their contact information; if someone mistypes their email address, you won’t be able to respond to their message.
Pro tip: Spammers and scammers have bots that scour the web for email addresses they they can add to their lists. It’s not a foolproof method, but if you choose to display your own email address on your Contact page, writing it out likethis(at)example(dot)com rather than email@example.com may help you avoid some of those unwanted messages.
Every blogger strives to be polished and professional, and developing that reputation means putting out quality content—and not just within your posts. If you include these pages on your blog, you’ll be five steps closer to establishing yourself as a legitimate influencer who knows how the industry works and is ready to team up with brands on projects big and small.
Not sure where to go next? Here are some ideas:
Feeling stuck? Here are 61 blog post ideas and prompts to help you keep your content calendar full.Read More
Want to be the first to know when I publish a new post? Enter your email address below to get new content sent right to your inbox.
This article was published October 11, 2020.