How to Use the WordPress Sidebar

How to Use the WordPress Sidebar

Are you using your WordPress sidebar effectively? Is it just sitting there, empty space, while you wonder how to use it? Most WordPress themes offer at least one sidebar (depending on your theme sometimes you’ll have more than one) and you can use your sidebar to display one or more items to help engage your visitors. Here are a few options that may help you decide how to use your WordPress sidebar.

Sidebar Options

  • Ignore it. You could just leave it alone. Some people really like the clean look that this provides and depending on the purpose of your WordPress site, this may be a great idea. The pros? You control the focus. After all, where else does your visitor have to look?  The cons? You lose a huge amount of potential “real estate” and there’s less opportunity to engage your readers.
  • Introduce Yourself. People would rather spend time with people they know, like and trust. Why not start by letting people know how to learn more about you? Give them a chance to meet you on Google+, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
  • Build Relationships. In addition to social connections, give your visitors an opportunity to connect directly with you. Offer them an opportunity to subscribe to your blog via RSS and let them give you their email for future updates. You can offer a free digital gift to them when they sign up for your email list. There is a HUGE difference between have 150 friends on Facebook and 150 truly engaged visitors on your email list! Having a direct connection is always better.
  • Monetize. There are so many ways to monetize your site. You could sell advertising space to others. You could place banners with affiliate links. You could connect Google Adsense to automatically show ads. You could even promote other sites you own.

Did these options give you some ideas?  There’s no better time than now to take action and get started on your sidebar!

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