Earlier this week I wrote a post reminding small businesses why it's so important to consider launching a blog
to go with their web site. At the time, I pointed out the benefit of ever-changing content. Today, i ran across a great post over at ProBlogger
exploring nearly two dozen types of static pages you should consider building into your blog. While the idea of creating static pages on a blog
may sound counterintuitive, it's actually an important part of blog creation many people miss.
Darren points out WordPress's ability to generate static pages through the program's dashboard. These static pages become part of the navigation on your blog and can serve as a powerful way to add value and information for your readers.
(Sidebar: It's important to note static pages are different from blog posts. The blog posts you create are dated and show up on your blog in reverse chronological order; your most recent post display first. The static pages sit on individual web pages and are linked to from the navigation bar of your blog. These pages never move and the content stays the same until you update it again.)
In his post, Darren outlines twenty different types of static pages
that might be appropriate for your blog. I'm not going to summarize all of them, but here are some of them I think most every blog could benefit from.
1. About Page - perhaps one of the most common uses of the 'page' function on WP is the good old 'about page'. Having an about page is essential in my mind as it gives new readers to your blog a snapshot of who you are and why they should subscribe to your blog.
2. Contact Page - I'm amazed how many bloggers don't have any way of contacting them on their blog. While I understand the temptation not to have one you could be missing out of wonderful opportunities by not giving readers, potential partners, press, other bloggers a way of contacting you.
6. Subscribe Page - having a page dedicated to how people can subscribe to your blog can be very useful. I find that having a page like this can be useful as some readers don't understand the idea of RSS or can be worried about issues of privacy or what it means to 'subscribe'.
17. 404 Page - when people arrive on your blog to a page that has been deleted, follow a dead link etc and end up on a default error page on your blog you've got a wasted opportunity on your hands.
Darren lists quite a few other options as well, though many apply only to certain types of blogs. Chances are good you'll stop at least one static page idea you haven't already implemented. If your blog is heavy on the content side of things, check out #8 and #9 (Series pages.) If your blog is used to promote functions or you're a requested speaker, consider adding #16 (Event pages.)
For that matter, read through Darren's list and come up with an entirely new idea, simply because you've started to consider what your readers might want quick and easy access to. Either way, your blog will be better for it.
March 28, 2008
Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.