Blank man with a wrench.Do you ever go to someone’s blog or website and see so much crap in the sidebars and various ads that you just get disgusted and don’t even want to hang around there? Or how about going to a website that has no basic structure or site navigation to it so you end up not knowing where to go next or even where you’ve been on the site?

I know you’ve been to sites like these. I do a lot of browsing online searching for sites like mine to link to and partner up with, unfortunately, some of them are just not up to par.

So if you own a WordPress blog, like most smart bloggers do, here are a few tips to keep your blog free from too much junk:

  • Don’t put tags in the sidebar. Why? Ask yourself how many times you’ve ever actually clicked on one of those tagged keywords. Exactly, not much if any at all. So instead of putting tags, put an ad in it’s place or a newsletter sign up, etc…
  • Who cares about recent comments. I see a lot of blogs that post their most recent comments and I can only ask why? I can see rewarding the top commentators, but if someone wants to see a comment, they are more likely to be interested on actually seeing the comment in the post itself.
  • Archives, please don’t bore me. Archives are another widget that should stay out of your sidebar. Don’t get me wrong, archives are important, but just not in your sidebar. If someone is interested in a certain category on your site, they’ll search it on their own, but they aren’t going to go back to 2010 and see what random stuff you wrote about back then. Get real man!!
  • Walls work better on Twitter and Facebook. Walls on the sidebar of a blog just take up very needed space that can be used for something else, so stay away.
  • Blogrolls and register widgets. If someone really wanted to become a member of your WordPress blog, they would be able to do this without you needing to show them the url to do so. Safe this space on your site.
  • Too many posts on the home page. If you go to a blog, and you see 5 to 10 posts on the home page, not only does this slow down the speed of your home page, it makes the home page to lengthy and complicates to overall look of your blog. Two or Three is enough, don’t you think?

Now let’s talk about things you probably should have in your sidebar:

  • Categories are important. If you don’t have categories listed somewhere else on your site, you’ll definitely want them in your sidebar. These are your main writing points and should be somewhere.
  • Popular posts. Your best work is probably worth getting more traffic to for credibility reasons, so go for it.
  • Advertisements. Now let’s not overdue it here, but you should take advantage of the space to give you some revenue.
  • Newsletter. This is a must, you need repeat traffic and another way to keep in touch with your visitors than just Feed Burner. If you don’t have an autoresponder, get one right away.

In the end, it’s your blog, it’s completely up to you what you’re going to put on your blog. Just know that most successful websites and blogs tend not to get too complex and keep things as simple and organized as possible.

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