For the next step in setting up your WordPress blog, we are going to publish a couple of pages. The pages of your WordPress blog perform very specific functions that need to be at the forefront at all times. While articles are commented on and published on a regular basis, your pages that you setup for your blog will rarely change over time.
These pages will be featured at the top of your blog in your navigation so that the information contained within these pages can be easily accessible by all readers.
Some examples of pages that you are going to want to have on your blog are the following:
After I show you how to setup these pages in WordPress, we will go over what you need to fill the blank space with in your blog. On a new blog, I typically like to get all of the formal tasks taken care of before I start really cranking out content. That way…when new visitors hit the blog, all of this is already taken care of and ready to convert causal readers into subscribers.
Setting Up Pages in Worpdress for Your Blog
If you are new to WordPress, setting up pages is extremely easy. Instead of giving you the step by step in this article, please refer to the video below from WordPress.tv on how to write a new page in your blog.
Note: When writing a new page, I uncheck the “allow comments” box under discussion in the new page admin screen. Typically, pages are not a part of your blog that you want to invite conversation or need to for that matter. Pages are informational in nature and should be kept that way.
Your About page will be one of the most visited pages on your blog and many new bloggers completely neglect this vitally important resource in their blogs. After a new visitor lands on your blog through a referral link or search engine, they want to find out the nuts and bolts of who you are and what your blog is going to cover to see if they want to drop by your content again in the future or subscribe to your feed. The About page is a crucial converting page for new readers as they want to get certain questions answered about you and your blog, so what do we need to make sure we list on this page to get the best results for our blog?
What Is In This Blog? – Who is this blog targeted towards? What are you going to find within the articles and pages in this blog? These are all questions that new visitors want answered right away when visiting your about page, so you need to give this information quickly and efficiently.
Who Are You? – After you have explained what is contained in your blog, you need to have a short bio of yourself that gives social proof on why you are able to write the content in your blog. Who are you? Do you have a unique background in the niche? In this section of your about page, you need to list any accomplishments, interviews, top content, etc. that gives new readers social proof on why they should read your blog. If you have nothing to offer, readers will just find someone else that does! (A picture of yourself is normally a great idea here too)
How Can I Subscribe And Connect? – You have done it…you have converted the mind of the new reader by showing them what to expect in your blog and why you are qualified to discuss the topic on a regular basis. Instead of making them guess where to sign up for your newsletter or RSS feed (more on RSS feeds soon), list exactly how they can subscribe on your about page. Do you have a Facebook page? Twitter account? Stumbleupon account? List these accounts (linked of course) in this section as well so readers can find you through other social media outlets on the web.
Any Additional About Type Info – Do you have some pictures or unique information that you want to share with your readers that doesn’t quite fit in with the other topics on your about page? Share these items at the bottom to give your readers a little bit more insight into who you are and what you do. Blogging is all about making a personal connection with your readers, so the more transparent you are about your life the better.
Every blog needs an archives page. The archives page of your blog will make diving deeper into your content easier for new and old readers. Archive pages are typically organized by Date, Category and Individual Post Listings. Many themes actually have a built in archives function that you can find in the Template drop down menu in the Attributes column on the right side of your add new page screen. This will automatically setup an archives page for you.
If you are using the Thesis theme for WordPress, you can modify the original archives page to look like the one I use on this blog by using the code listed in these two attached files in your custom.css and custom_functions.php files. Just copy and paste the code contained in these files into yours…and you will be all set! customcss and custom_functions
Having a properly setup archives page also allows search engine spiders to easily access your content in a more efficient manner, so it is a great SEO tool for your blog.
There will be times when your readers will want to shoot you an email with a question or comment. There will also be other bloggers that will need to get in touch with you about collaborating on guest posts and other ventures. You might also run into companies and potential advertisers that want to discuss a future business venture. It is your job to make sure that all of these people can get in touch with you easily and that is the function of having a defined Contact Page.
For my blogs, I use the cForms plugin that I listed on the previous plugins article to handle the contact form on my contact page. There is also an easier to configure, simpler option that you can try out on your blogs if you do not need the added features of cForms – Contact Form 7. These contact forms allow your readers to fill out a simple form on your blog that will automatically send you an email.
Your advertising page is going to give potential advertisers the necessary information they need to make a decision on whether to advertise on your blog or not. Advertisers are looking for a specific audience and they want to know how much of this audience they are able to reach through your blog. If you are in the beginning stages of your blog, this is one page that you can leave off until you get a regular following. When you need to display information such as stats and subscribers, it is sometimes best to leave that private until you have enough to publish.
Who Are Your Readers? – The first thing that should be listed on any advertising page is who your blog targets and who reads your blog. For my cycling blog, potential advertisers are going to reach mountain bikers who are looking for product reviews, riding tips and ride reports. These readers land on my blog through 1st page placement on search engines for high competing keywords (list a couple of examples), rss feed readers and a strong newsletter subscription base.
How Many Readers Do You Have? – After you list who your readers are…you need to spell out exactly how many of them there are to your potential advertiser. In this section, include some simple stats for the last month – visitors, unique visitors, pageviews, subscribers, alexa ranking. If you have ever received an award or other accommodation for your blog, this would be the time to list those achievements as well. Advertisers like to see that you have positioned yourself as a leader in your niche through social proof provided by others.
How To Buy Your Advertising? – Your advertiser has decided that you have the right target audience that he needs to promote his product or services. He now needs to know exactly how to buy advertising on your blog. While many bloggers simply say “contact me for rates and info via email”, this is typically not a route I would recommend. You need to be able to sell advertising directly off your blog for the best results. Many bloggers do this through PayPal buttons directly on their advertising page for the respective advertising slots.
While this is a great way to sell advertising on your blog, I take a little bit different approach with the OiOPublisher plugin. This cheap plugin for WordPress handles everything you need for advertising on your blog from displaying the ads, rotating the ads, selling the ads on your blog and handling the payment and subscriptions through multiple payment methods (I use the PayPal subscription method as it is the easiest for advertisers). If you want to see an example of how the OiOPublisher plugin works, visit my advertising page at Mountain Biking by 198.
Where Are Your Advertising Slots? – At the end of my advertising page, I provide a screen shot of my blog that illustrates exactly where the ad spots show up on the page. Even though this is technically part of the decision making process before purchasing advertising on a blog, the size of this image dictates its position at the bottom of the page. It is just too big to place anywhere else, but it does provide potential advertisers with an easy visual reference that helps with decision making.
Other Pages For Your WordPress Blog
As you go through the process of growing your blog, you might find that you need additional pages that feature certain aspects of your blogging. On robbsutton.com, I have pages for “How I Make Money Online” and eBooks that serve as a easy to find resource for all readers. As time goes forward, you will start to get a feeling of what you need to have readily accessible on your blog at all times (featured content, forum, etc.) and you can create individual pages to accomplish that goal.
You Are Set Up!
You now have all of the necessary pages setup on your WordPress blog. After a couple more little tweaks, you are going to be ready to crank out content and start promoting. Stay tuned for more on how to get your blog up and running.