Functional Footer: Create One For Your Blog

Steven4 responsesBlogging

We all work hard creating rich, engaging content for our blogs in the hopes that our visitors will read all the way to the end of the page. But when they do, then what? There they are at the bottom of your blog staring at nothing but wide open space and your copyright date. If they want to see anything else on your blog they have to scroll all the way back up to the top for your navigation bar – and we all know how readers feel about scrolling. Since your readers are down there anyway, why not create a functional footer for your blog and give them something else to do?

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functional footer

Surf the Web for a while and you’ll notice one big difference between big-name corporate websites and blogs. Well, you’ll notice more than one, but we’re talking about footers here so let’s stick with that. Those big-name corporate sites make use of that footer space while bloggers seem to look at it as forbidden territory.

That footer is part of your blog and as such it should be producing – something. We’ve talked before about how your blog is your piece of Internet Real Estate and how every square inch should be contributing, either directly or indirectly, to your income. Yet most bloggers seem to overloook that little space down there at the bottom.

Some WordPress themes have widget-enabled footers. Atahualpa, a free WordPress theme you can find through your dashboard, allows you the capability of creating widget areas in the footer. And, since Atahualpa closely resembles Genesis and Thesis which are premium WordPress themes, I’d imagine you can probably create widget areas in their footers, too. If not, someone familiar with php coding could certainly add it in for you.

What should you put in your footer? That’s up to you, but here are some suggestions:

  • Mirror your navigation bar so your visitors don’t have to scroll all the way back up to the top.
  • Feature two or three of your products
  • Use an RSS widget to pull in trending news in your niche
  • Create an eye-catching About Me area to promote yourself for new clients
  • Give readers the Top 3 Reasons they should buy or read or use…
  • Put in an opt-in form to promote your newsletter
  • Use a text widget to manually code in links to your top content
  • Feature upcoming events
  • Poll or survey your readers
  • Point your readers to your other online content

Really, you can do anything you want with the footer. If you think about it, the only thing is does right now is hold a link to the person who designed the theme and your copyright date, so you’ve nowhere to go but up.

Keep in mind, though: The footer is a prime piece of Real Estate on your blog. Anyone who hits the footer will be there because he’s already engaged in your content – he read the entire preceding article and now he’s at the bottom of the page. So don’t clutter this space up with useless banners and junk. Use it wisely with a strong call to action and this might be the most valuable Real Estate on your blog.

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4 Comments

  1. Brent Carnduff

    Good suggestions – it is important to use all available space, and you make a good point regarding the people that make it that far on your blog page. One other suggestion for a footer is your business address(s). Although not an interactive or sales generating item, from a “Local SEO” perspective it is a good idea to have your address on every page. Including it in the footer is a good way to do that.

    1. The business address in the footer is interesting to show to your potential customers that you have nothing to hide. However, if you’re not doing local business, there is not really any point into listing your address there.

  2. Amanda Socci

    Steven:
    You talk about so many interesting things that I had never even considered. You are absolutely right on so many levels. I see lots of stuff in the footer section but I don’t do anything because I never even thought about it. The concept of “call to action” makes perfect sense, but I’m just not sure how to proceed on my own blog. I will have to think about it. Thanks for the good ideas.

    1. Hey you’re welcome Amanda! Let me know once you make changes to your footer and I’ll give it a look.

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