Blogging Basics: Anatomy of a Blog

Last month WCBC hosted a talk about blogging at Next Door Chicago. We tackled the topic of all that little pieces that come together to build a blog – we talked sidebars, widgets, plugins, menu bars, and categories. Here is a recap of the session:

  • Lots of elements come together to make a blog look like a blog. Bloggers use a menu bar to categorize their posts so readers can easily find what the are looking for. If you use WordPress, you can use Categories to have posts populate the menu tabs.
  • Sidebar widgets have many different purposes. They can link to your social media accounts, handle email subscriptions to your site, show badges for any groups you belong to, and display ads.
  • Many bloggers include a photo an a link to their About page at the top of their sidebar.
  • Plugins can ad functionality to your posts. Our favorite WordPress plugins are: Yoast for SEO which gives hints on how to use keywords to optimize the visibility of your posts to search engines, Alphine Phototile for Instagram which adds a feed of your Instagram photos to your site, Disqus which enables easy commenting, Jquery Pin It Button which lets readers pin images from your site to Pinterest with a click of a button, and Nrelate which shows related posts underneath your posts.
  • We also talked about how to get more followers for your site. The number one piece of advice is that there is no magical way to suddenly get lots of followers; they are earned over time. The best advice is to write original, engaging content. Other tips for getting followers are: including a follow button in your sidebar so people can follow you easily, signing up for Bloglovin, commenting on other blogs, hosting giveaways, guest blog, host guest bloggers, and promote with social media.

Next month we are meeting at Next Door on Sunday March 16th at noon to discuss Mastering Social Media. If you have any specific questions, just email us at and we can be sure to address your question during the session.