So if you have read our what is a blog article, you will know what a blog is and that people from all walks of life have their own blogs. We will now look at the common components of the average blog.
Below is a screen shot of this blog. Apart from the background there are four significant sections to all blogs: the header, the content area and the footer are found on all blogs and are described in this article. The fourth section, the sidebar, with its widgets, is very useful to improve site navigation and add enhancements to the blog will be described in a later article.
Headers usually consist of an image, the name of the blog, (in this case Blog Basics .com), a tag line, (Giving a quick slogan to the site – in this case – Welcome to the world of blogs). Usually it will also have a site logo, but as I really like the eyes through the slit image I have decided to use the image as the site’s logo for now.
On many sites the blog’s name and tag line are displayed as text, usually stylised, rather than as an image. This very marginally speeds up the access to the blog and again very marginally helps the search engines.
In addition there is usually one or two navigation menus. In this case I’ve got two: one, the grey one, for the business side of the blog – about, contact and as the blog expands I will have a section for contributors, a media pack, (for selling advertising), terms and conditions, and a privacy statement, (which is often required by advertisers).
The second menu, the red one, allows access to the content. It will be expanded as the number posts expand to include links to different stages of blogging – from starting to becoming a professional, or possibly even a star blogger.
Trouble is I plan to have two other methods of helping visitors access the content:
- through activities, such as writing, handling images, technologies, promoting a website;
- and through writing posts for different types of users: personal bloggers, business users, freelancers, those campaigning or supporting people and of course those wanting to make money from a blog.
I still need to plan the navigation for these pathways, which will probably placing code in the sidebar, which I will describe below.
Then posts could be summarised, as in the diagram, which is now the most common format. The technology now allows designers to produce very clever layouts and so for example I can show extracts in a wider variety of ways, such as different image sizes, different amounts of text and even two columns in the main content area.
As I only set up this theme yesterday you can probably see that I have not made any changes to the standard footer supplied by the theme. Usually a footer displays copyright, some basic information about the site and ownership.
However, some footers can be very elaborate. This encourages his visitors to carry on clicking to view content in other sections of the site.
For more information about the components of a blog, be sure to check out my article on sidebars and widgets.
Finally, if you’re ready to start your own blog, be sure to check out this blog training course called “How to Start a Blog That Matters“.