This post is part of the How To Start A Successful Blog series.
Having a blog is as simple as grabbing a free blogging service and writing a post. But being a blogger is much more complicated. There are a lot of issues bloggers have to face, especially if they’re thinking about monetizing a blog. There are things your blog needs to include if you’re going to take that step towards becoming a real, profitable blogger.
When you try to join affiliate sites or ad agencies, like Google Adsense, they will check your site for compliance most of the time. There are a few things they look for that every real blog or website is supposed to have. When you’re just starting out with a blog, you may not even notice things like this, but it is very important.
Check out this link to the FTC’s website about blogs that endorse or advertise products.
Five Things Your Blog Needs to Include
1. An About Page
You need a good, informative about page for your blog. One thing that sets you apart from the thousands of pretenders is your story. People want to know where your point of view is coming from. Use your about page to tell your story and promote special places in your blog.
Our about page is a work in progress as everyone’s about page should be. Never stop tweaking it and keeping the content current and informative.
Here are some ideas for your about page:
- Your personal story
- Your purpose for your blog
- Your favorite blog posts
- Posts that will be valuable to your visitors
- Links to your contact options
- Photos of yourself and your family
- Links to your legalities pages (included in this post)
2. Disclosure Policy
It’s the law that, if you are using your blog to generate income, your users are to be made aware of it. Why? Well, the simple reason that you may recommend an affiliate product for the sake of selling something and making a profit. (duh) But if your readers read your recommendation without that knowledge, you have the capacity to mislead them.
Not that you would, but it’s just a consumer safe-guard.
Check out these links to generate a Disclosure Policy (Be careful which one you pick. Make sure it’s legit and free.)
3. Comments Policy
Your users need to know what comments are allowed and what are not. If you’re going to actively censor your comments, recommended, your users need access to how and why you’re going to do that.
It can be as simple as saying you’re going to delete comments at your own discretion, but that might not fly with the higher-end visitors. Be friendly and make sure you let everyone know that you will make sure the comments do not interfere with the enjoyability and readability of the blog.
Check out my comments policy.
4. Privacy Statement
Big Google likes to see a good privacy statement on your website. If you’re going to interact with users at all, they need a place to find out what you’re going to do and not going to do with their personal information.
You don’t have to worry about making on of these yourself. They are kind of made in legalese. You can also find a generator by searching google. The warning also applies to this one.
5. An Archives Page
Linking inside of your blog from page to page is a powerful SEO tool. Interlinking all of your content makes Google realize that you have some authority in what you’re talking about.
An Archives page is a single page that links to every post you have ever written. We don’t have an archive page on this blog yet because there aren’t that many posts. When we reach around 40-50 posts we will be adding the page to the main menu. Then we’ll be generating all that link juice for the keywords found in our post titles.
Do you have any other ideas for things every blog should have? Let us know about them!