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January 18, 2010

Why You Need Static Blog Pages

WordPress offers bloggers two choices in publishing their material. They can choose to publish it immediately as a blog post, in which case it will appear as the first post on your homepage with others following suit.

Or, another choice is to publish it as a ‘static page’…a page that stands on its own…meaning it is literally a separate page with a separate address from your homepage. Your readers access these pages by clicking on a link that you have provided on your blog.

Most often you will find these navigation links listed in the sidebar, on the top near the header and sometimes even at the bottom of the blog page. (Make sure these pages open in a ‘new window’ so that your customer can easily navigate back to the home page…you don’t want to loose them.)

An example of some ‘static’ pages that should or can be included on your blog are:

1) About Page: This is probably the most common page used among bloggers and the first place I head to after I’ve read a post I like on a particular blog. Use your ‘About Me’ page to allow your reader get a more personal view of you. This page gives your new readers a glimpse or snapshot of the person behind the posts. You can and should include a picture of yourself. Additionally, you can explain a bit of why they should subscribe to your blog on this page.

2) Contact Page: Many times your readers will have questions after reading through one of your posts…or maybe something captured their interest and they would like to partner with you on a project. Whatever the reason, you should have a page dedicated to contacting you. Without this page, you will never know how many opportunities you may have missed with your readers and potential partners. Someone may even have been impressed enough to want to advertise with you. Make it easy for them to locate this important page…don’t test their patience by making it difficult to locate…they may walk.

3) Disclaimer Page: With the new FTC rulings about bloggers that came out late 2009, it is imperative that you inform your readers what you ‘get out of your blog.’ If you make money from your blog through affiliate associations or ads, you must inform your readers of this fact or risk big trouble from the FTC. You can balance this revelation by explaining to them some of the costs associated with your blog.

4) Service Related Pages: Any kind of services that you may offer your blog readers such as coaching or consultation services should be given their own page. Your readers will be more likely to buy your services from a dedicated page that you have set up than a flash in the pan mention in one of your posts.

5) Best of Page: Also referred to as a ‘sneeze page’…not squeeze page! All your most favorite or most popular blog posts can be included on this page. Use this page to highlight anything about your blog that you want front and center or you know your readers will enjoy because of its previous popularity.

6) 404 Page: Most bloggers are aware of their 404 Error page. This error page is what someone sees when they navigate to a broken or deleted link or a link that is not working for some reason. What most bloggers are not aware of is the fact that they can customize this page to their advantage so that readers are directed to what they are looking for. Additionally, it provides the reader with something else to keep their interest. A blank 404 Page is a wasted opportunity.

7) Unique Projects: Should you participate in any kind of event…charity or otherwise, it is always a good idea to create page dedicated to this particular event. This gives the event much more importance and allows those with interest a place to follow up on any dates or updates that they need be aware of.

8) Testimonial Page: Selling an item or even selling yourself can be much more impressive if you include testimonials from others that have used the product or service and can provide their details. Once again, there are new strict rules concerning using testimonials so make sure you understand the new FTC rulings before placing any on your blog.

Although there are many more choices for pages in your blog, the choices listed above should be included in most blogs. Beyond those, there are no hard core rules on what pages to set up as each individual blog offers something different. You are only limited by your imagination.

Once you have settled on a blogging subject, visit other blogs with similar interests/topics as yours and check out their pages and how they have set up their blog. Great way to get ideas for your own.

Blogging is a platform that is growing by leaps and bounds. It is here to stay. The more you understand what elements are important to your blog the quicker and easier it will be to be successful at blogging.

Kathy Dobson is a free spirited business owner and entrepreneur dedicated to helping others achieve financial and personal freedom through Internet marketing with an emphasis on membership sites.
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