Each blog is personal and you should include the things that are most important to you as a blogger and a person, but there are something that you should always have visible on your site. It doesn’t have to be the number one item at the top – but it should be easy to find.

  1. Contact Information.
    Alison (AlisonCanRead.com) and I host the #FF meme on Thursdays and each week we visit blogs and contact them if they will be featured. We find that a lot of newbie bloggers have no email address listed ANYWHERE on their site. If you want authors to be able to get in touch with you to request book reviews, they need to be able to contact you.
  2. Consistent Branding.
    If your blog url is and Header says I Love Books by Linda – then that should be your blog name. Do not have it listed as Loving Books by Linda in different spots. This can get confusing since you WILL be known by your blog name. You will not be Linda you will by I LOVE BOOKS LINDA.
  3. An About Me Page.
    Most of us want to see the face behind the blog. Include an About me page and have on it simple things. What part of the world do you live in? Are you a teenager, or you a grown man? What type of books do you like to read, why did you get into blogging. You don’t have to include your CV, just a few simple statements to let readers place you.
  4. Search Function.
    Not everything you’ve posted is within the first page of your blog and going through archives can be troublesome. Allow users to stay and play on your blog, a search function allows them to do that. I’ve gone to a blog knowing that I saw they reviewed a certain book and dying to read that review again, but because they do not have a search function I’m forced to go away unsatisfied.
  5. Subscriptions Services.
    Pick your subscription and stick with it. Post it at the top of the page prominently and allow visitors to follow you easily. Whether you choose just a simple RSS subscription or an Email subscription, have it shown prominently on your sidebar.
  6. Archives.
    Showing your archives allows readers to see how prolific you are and your past posts. It will also give readers a concise idea of what you blog about, show tags, dates etc.
  7. Social Media links.
    Are you on twitter and Facebook? Let readers connect with you by including your links.
  8. Easy Commenting System.
    You want comments! Make it easy for your users to comment. Implement spam filtering, but take off hard to navigate captcha and other crazy techniques.
  9. A Different Look.
    It doesn’t have to be crazy. It doesn’t have to blow your mind. Just have a look that stands out from other bloggers. Whether it is a simple header, or a nice background. Just have your blog look different from other blogs so people will remember.
  10. Popular Posts.
    A list of your popular posts, or post you would like to be popular. An area that lists posts and events that you want to drive traffic toward.

There are many other items that you can include on your blog, but I think this about covers the most important. Good luck!