Top 3 Reasons You Don’t Need a Blog Sidebar

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Top 3 Reasons You Don’t Need a Blog Sidebar

Oh feeling like you need to have a sidebar, for “info” or “navigation” but you aren’t sure that it really fits your aesthetic or your template in squarespace?

No worries, because in reality, good web design doesn’t NEED a sidebar. 

The history of a sidebar. 

Here’s the thing, sidebars are back from the day when and blogger were the options for blogging. They weren’t websites, but blogs - so in order to truly achieve any info transferring to your readers you had to stick it in the sidebar. If you think back even just 5ish years ago, what blogs did you read, did they have a sidebar? 

Blogging as a Business not a Hobby

Today, what is blogging? It’s a way to up your SEO, provide valuable content, showcase yourself as an expert and keep your readers up to date with your business life. How do bloggers make money today? Well there are three main ways, and if you have done ANY research you know 1 & 2 are the future and not 3.

  1. Sponsored Content
  2. Selling Services/Courses/Products on SITE
  3. Advertising

So why does this matter? It matters because of how a website and sidebar are designed. There is only 1/3 of the above where it HELPS to have a sidebar and that is Advertising. But here’s the deal with that - only those who are truly getting 1mil and above website hits A MONTH, then you aren’t making enough to pay your water bill off of your blog. 

Here’s a few alternatives to sidebars based on your squarespace template:

Pacific: Pre-Footer! Use this baby to get your content SEEN y’all. Try adding your featured posts to the pre-footer, or even your prompted opt-in download. For bloggers who don't want that seen on every page, try only showing it on your blog page. A little custom css will be required for that :)

Brine: Blog Page INTRO and FOOTER. You should use your intro section on your collections (events, products, and blogs like a space where you can organize and pre-emt your content. What should they expect. Our favorite is either an archive block sorted into categories, or adding buttons that navigate to blog categories to filter the posts. We also love doing a featured post section in the intro!

Other Tips & Tricks: Use your footer in all sites to provide a secondary home-base for your readers. Don’t just keep them bare, pull in your readers, mini-site maps are my favorite ways to do this: think adding a FOR READERS or FOR CLIENTS sections in the footer with links for each kind of audience member. 

Don’t Forget

Welcome Pages, good navigation, and well informed footers can take the place of all of the needs of a sidebar, if you think about it, what good is the sidebar if it's just a repeat of the actual website? Instead create curated content where your reader can move around your entire site, not just one blog post.

Design Reasons to Ditch your Sidebar.

  1. Clean Layout — stop distracting your audience from the content in your post.
  2. It’s useless in Mobile Anyway — I hate when someone says, oh well I need to have all my readers see this content. Yeah, have fun on mobile with them scrolling through your entire sidebar for a year. A blog intro in Brine will at least show on top of your blog-roll page.
  3. Creating functional pages instead of blurbs — Having big organized pages will allow your audience to actually take in your content! Give them a full page of beautiful photos and summary blocks to organize your categories, or your about section. One paragraph just doesn't really pull a reader in.