Bloggers tend to overlook the blog footer as a valuable component of their design; perhaps because so much emphasis is placed on what’s showcased above the fold.
Ironically enough, the blog footer is where bloggers experience the most success. Why? Well, if someone is in the footer of your website, they clearly like what they have seen. They’ve stayed long enough to get to the bottom of the page. Now, it’s your opportunity to direct them somewhere that is just as rewarding for them (and make it beneficial to your brand).
Identify Your Goals
What are you trying to accomplish with your brand? What are the three core components you are working on developing? These vary from brand to brand, but a few frequent examples for lifestyle blogs include the following:
- Monetization Improvements: You want to increase your monetization opportunities throughout the website. General more passive income, and increase revenue streams.
- Build Email List: You are committed to building your email list, and you are running a dedicate email marketing strategy for your brand.
- Increase Your Pageviews: You want to optimize your readers’ engagement on your website and increase your pageviews.
Prioritize Your Goals
Now that you’ve identified your goals, it’s time to prioritize them. Why? You want to make it clear and simple to your readers what they should do once they arrive at the footer of your website. Often bloggers will either include too much, or they will be repetitive. You want to showcase new information. My rule is two touch points per page. If you include more than that, you get repetitive and risk being glossed over. Include fewer than two, things get lost.
If monetization is your priority, then consider the following arrangements:
- Affiliate Integration in Your Excerpts + Sidebar: You include relevant product links within the posts, plus you call out certain brands and products in your sidebar. Including a LikeToKnow.Its widget in your footer is too much.
- Affiliate Integration in Excerpts + LikeToKnow.It in Footer: The other option is to exclude it from your sidebar, but feature either LikeToKnow.It or a product widget in your footer.
With each option, you have two clear opportunities where you are building your monetization. Remember, the downside about affiliate monetization is that it forces the reader to leave your website. With both strategies, you can try it for six months, then switch it. Affiliate integrations within posts should occur seamlessly; they should not take away from your brand but work as part of your brand!
If email list growth is your priority, then you have several different options. Email sign-ups are something that I’m a little more heavy-handed with (include up to four opt-in opportunities) because they integrate more seamlessly than the other two. Plus, they often do not result in the reader leaving your website.
- If you have a sidebar, always include a sidebar subscribe. Most people expect to see a sidebar subscribe, so address those expectations.
- Other places you can include a subscribe opt-in include:
- Blog Footer: I typically include these on sites that are more focused on increasing their email subscribers.
- Pop-Ups are highly converting. You can set the pop-up to show when people scroll down the page or use an exit pop-up.
- After-Post Subscribe widget is also highly converting sign-up, especially when your website traffic comes directly from Pinterest to the individual post.
The biggest thing about including email opt-ins within your website is to make sure that you have some campaign setup. You don’t want to take people’s email; then they never hear from you for months. The easiest way to setup a campaign is to do a daily/weekly email RSS campaign that occurs automatically!
If pageviews are your priority, then you want to encourage readers to view posts. The best way to do this is with either a category or popular post plugin. If you already include one in your sidebar, you don’t want to repeat it in the footer. Use something different to showcase your posts. A site footer best showcases a popular post widget. It’s like a “You Might Also Like” widget on steroids.
I love footer menus! They touch on secondary menu content excluded from your primary menu. For all of my themes, I have a built in Footer Menu where you can add or remove links. Especially since I’m against drop-downs! In your footer menu, you should consider including the following links:
Can you improve your blog footer to make it more effective for your brand?
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