Optimizing Your Widgets
Widgets are what goes into your sidebar – and this is a prime monetization spot for most marketers in any niche.
You can have the small search widget at the top, but directly under that, make sure you have a Text widget with the code for your opt in form. There are also plugins you can get to do the same job, depending on what email autoresponder you’re using.
As a newbie, you might have no money for start-up costs. If so, go with a tool like MailChimp. It’s free, but limited. If you have $1 for a first month trial, and $19 a month after that, then go with Aweber.
When you’re in your autoresponder tool, it will ask you if you want to grab the code and you will grab the HTML code and paste it into the Text widget before saving it.
You always want to be building your list form your blog. Marketers don’t say “the money’s in the list” for no reason. They know that it takes multiple encounters with a person to get them to trust your recommendations, and having a list is the only way to ensure they interact with you again.
You can use Text widgets for any kind of HTML code you want to place there, so if you’re an affiliate, you can put vertical banners to promote products, or you can install AdSense code if you want to go that route.
Some bloggers, as they gain footing in a niche, will sell ad space in their sidebar to other marketers. You can do this, too, but just starting out, it’s not a viable income stream.
Include links to your social networking business pages in a Text widget, including:
- Google Plus
The other widgets are all under your control – categories, recent posts, recent comments, etc. Just be mindful of the user’s experience. You want them to see comments because it’s a way of showcasing the fact that you have a thriving blog. You won’t at first – and that’s okay. No need to go pay for phony blog comments.
In part 5 we will look at your Pages…