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The First Week of Your Blog: Set Up Key Pages

Update: this post has been updated and compiled with other similar posts into ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging – a week long guide into getting your blog going on the right foot.

One of the series of posts that we’re building here at ProBlogger is all about what to do in the first week of your new blog. We’re assuming you’ve already got your domain, chosen your blog platform and have installed a template/theme/design – but what comes next?

So far we’ve covered:

Today we’re going to look at some of the key pages on your blog that can be worth setting up.

Why ‘Pages’ are Important

When a new person arrives on your blog there are a variety of types of pages that they may look for that will help them to decide whether they want to remain connected with you (or that will help them to actually make that connection).

Many blogs come with some of these set up by default but you’ll want to personalise these defaults as much as possible and possibly create some new pages of your own. These might include:

  • About Page – setting up an about page is really important – it’s one of those pages that a new reader will head to in order to help them work out what your blog is about, who is behind it and to decide whether they’ll keep reading it. Read more on how to do it at Add an ‘About’ Page to Your Blog and How to Write Your “About Me” Page.
  • Contact Page – some bloggers get a little nervous about being contactable either out of a fear of being overwhelmed by emails or over privacy concerns. While I get this – there are many benefits from being contactable (it opens up opportunities to be contacted by potential partners, advertisers, other bloggers, the press and readers) and there are ways of safeguarding your privacy. If you use WordPress there are numerous contact page plugins that will help you to set up a page that will safeguard your privacy.
  • Subscribe Page – most blog templates have subscription buttons and links built in by default – however not all of your readers will be familiar with what they mean or how to use them. While most of us as bloggers understand what that orange RSS symbol means – many will not. Over at my Digital Photography site where I have readers of all levels of tech savyness I have a subscription page which outlines the different subscription options that we offer. This page is visited a lot and converts very very well both with RSS and Email Subscription methods (note: later in this series we’re going to explore the idea of ‘subscription options’ to help you think through how to let readers connect with your blog).
  • Other Pages – there are a variety of other types of key pages that you might want to consider setting up, depending upon the goals of your site. These might include a ‘Advertise with Us‘ page, ‘Press‘ page, ‘Disclaimer‘ page, ‘FAQ‘ page, ‘Resources‘ page (if you’re selling something for example), a ‘Privacy Policy’ page, ‘Testimonial‘ page (if you have some good ones from previous customers), a 404 page, a ‘Resources’ page, an Archives page etc. Not all of these would be relevant for new blogs but for more information on these and others – I’ve previously outlined 20 types of pages that bloggers should consider.

What pages have you got set up on your blog?

Position Links to Your Pages Appropriately

Once you’ve set up the pages that are important for your blog it is also important to think carefully about where you’ll link to these pages on your blog. Having the pages is one thing but you’ll also want to think about how you’ll be driving traffic to them.

This will depend upon your blog’s design but as with anything – make sure that the pages that are most important to you (for example an ‘About Page’ or a ‘Contact Page’ might be included in this category) ‘are linked to prominently on your blog. This might mean setting up a navigation area across the top of your blog or having one at the top of your sidebar.

Other less important pages might be linked to from your About Page or even in your footer (in this case I’d be putting things like disclaimer pages).

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Jon Bergan says:

    If there is more than one author on your blog, its sometimes worthwhile adding a “Meet the Authors” page (or similar). An About Us/Me page is great for individuals, however sometimes its worthwhile splitting this page into two pages if there are two or more regular authors.

    Just my two cents! Nice post as always! :)

    JB

  2. Kate says:

    Thanks Darren. I’ve just relaunched my blog with a new domain new and am in the process of setting up my key pages. I need to work on my subscription page, I’d quite like to add an explanation of what RSS is and how to use it.

  3. That is why I love reading this blog, you always explain in real terms what it takes to make blogging work. You have to always start with the blog the frame of it the design and then the content.

    Great Stuff!

  4. Annemieke says:

    For me pages are very important. I am always trying to improve the structure of those.

    At some point I had them all into subpages that could be reached from the dropdown navigation menu.

    But I found out that I could not change things that easy anymore because of the urls that became to complicated.

    Now I make each page its own and link to them from a few pages that I put in the navigation menu.

    That way I can change things as much as I like.

  5. Straight to the point, easy to read post as always. As someone new to blogging, I appreciate everything I’m learning here, it’s been a great help. Thanks for talking to us and not at us.

    Bob

  6. Nathan says:

    From all the above, on my primary blog I’m not using only the press page (can’t see the reason now), and on my fresh blog, pages like FAQ or disclaimer are yet to come.

    I agree on the about, contact and subscribe pages – this is the absolutely must have thing :)

  7. I need to work on the pages aspect. I have my privacy policy in place finally, as I kept hearing that it was a good idea to have one.

  8. omaigot says:

    Yes you are right the structure of a blog is very important,I use blogger and is very easy to config the url.
    Another page to add on the menu would be a Sitemap page.

  9. Previously, I had the contact items (RSS, email, Twitter) in widgets in a sidebar. I recently moved this to a “subscribe” page – things are much cleaner now.

    When I started, I had my email address in the footer and in any articles that I wrote. One of my fellow writers couldn’t find this contact information (even though it jumps right out at me). This told me that there was a need for the contact page, so I added it.

    The pages I currently have (in a nav bar) are: Our Store, Subscribe, Advertise, Contact, Archives, Schedule, About, Privacy.

  10. Chris Cobb says:

    You know, I never really considered a Subscription page but it definitely makes sense if your niche market is not particularly tech or blog saavy. Perhaps even a short video on the page would be effective as well.

  11. This is very important part of new blog design process. I started off with only About page, not knowing what other pages can be added. But I guess its part of process and some of the pages, like advertise page or FAQ page only seems proper when you have sizable blog and good reader base.

    Darren, one addition I would like to make to this list is sitemap page. It provides reader with opportunity to skim through the blog contents at a glance. But otherwise, this post is very useful for blogging newbie.

    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Noel says:

    As a newbie, I never think of the importance of pages. Thanks for giving us your great tips!

  13. Srinivas Rao says:

    Thanks for sharing this Darren. I’ll be adding a subscribe page this weekend to my site. It’ll be interesting to see how that impacts conversion rates.

  14. Zack says:

    Getting your theme/template ironed out I would say falls in the first week as well. Even though you’re never really satisfied with your design, a lot of the setting-up and grunt work surely fall in the first week.

  15. Morten Juul says:

    Great, great point on creating a Subscription page. We often take granted that everybody knows about RSS feeds and Feedburner, Aweber etc.

    I’ll implement a Subscription page on my blog straight away. Thanks.

  16. Today as I was looking at other blogs that cover subjects that I’m interested in I was beginning to get frustrated since I had to search long and hard to find a way to subscribe to their updates.

    And it’s also so true that not everyone knows what the big orange RSS feed buttons are, so I’ll be adding a subscription page to my site (as well as a few of the other 20 pages your recommended in your earlier blog).

  17. Thanks for this, my blog has been up an running for 2 months now, and there are some pages suggested here that I never thought of.

    I will get to working on this, this weekend.

  18. These pages are like the backbone of your blogs, many people overlooked this step and is really blogging backwards.

  19. ESN says:

    I totally agree with your point on positioning links to pages appropriately. I have recently created a primary nav area at the top of my layout with links to most important pages and it made a huge impact on pageviews for those pages.

  20. Adrienne says:

    I’m so glad Blogger finally created the ability to have pages and instead of creating pages as posts. I rarely check out someone’s about page so it took awhile for me to realize I didn’t have one.

    I’ll had an explanation on what the RSS button means. I shouldn’t make the assumption that everyone knows what that means.

  21. Key pages are very important.I often update the old pages with new styles and headings so that my reader remain on my blog for a long time.

  22. Brad says:

    Thanks Darren. What do you think about setting up a page for products you sell as an affiliate and identifying the link as such on your home page so you are being totally transparent?

  23. Hi Darren,
    Really very informative post.
    Pages are the most important part of any blog.It shows the identity and credibility of the blog.I can say pages are like complete front desk of the blog which deal with readers and newbie guests.

  24. scheng1 says:

    Good advice. Blogger just has the pages feature, allowed up to 10 pages. I’m still thinking about it.

  25. Clarabela says:

    I have an about page that is a combination of a landing page/contact/about page. Perhaps it would be better if I made separate pages for each function.

    What do you think of it?

  26. KS Chen says:

    I prefer to have the page button at the footer region. However, i do not know how to put them there. I just manage to put the blog title at the footer only. Can you please teach me how to put them in my footer? Thanks!

  27. rick says:

    Thanks Darren, great read. I am surprised how many bloggers omit or skip the ‘about me’ page. Nothing turns me off more than seeing a blog with a substantial amount of content, but the About page is ‘under construction’.

  28. ooo… i think it new thing for me. i try to make it now. thanks dude

  29. faizsuberi says:

    these are really useful tips. i just launched my primary site and these extra pages will be a good addition on my site. thanks

  30. Nicholas says:

    Good post Darren.

    We were initially a bit hesitant about having an ‘About’ page for our parenting blog, but came to terms with the fact that it’d be a necessary feature if we wanted to connect with our readers and let them know who we are.

    Having a ‘Contact’ page is also a good way of letting readers know that we encourage communication and want to engage.

    Thanks for another helpful and informative post.

  31. KristenAC says:

    Darren,

    This post could not have been more perfecly timed. As I sat down with a steaming cup of coffee in my hand and my laptop in front of me, I planned to do ‘something’ in the way of adding pages to my blog.

    But what would that ‘something’ be? I checked my email first and landed on ProBlogger.

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    KAC

  32. KristenAC says:

    Five or six steaming cups of coffee later, I have added pages to my blog!

    It feels good. It improves the blog. And I’m glad I did it.

    Thanks again, for your inspiration, Darren.
    KAC

  33. The “About Author” is probably the most important part of your content. You can use it to get your reader to take a specific action, get a backlink to your website, use a keyword as an anchor link to increase PR. Thanks for your suggestions.

  34. Jordan says:

    Darren,

    ProBlogger has helped me soooo much with my website, it’s truly unbelievable. Thank you!

    - Jordan

  35. This is exactly the type of clear and concise advise that I need to improve my site. Thank you.

  36. jay says:

    I agree with you, contact pageis important for anyone who has started businesses in the blog, I will also put the contact page on my blog soon

  37. I put the Subscribe link with logo in sidebar beside Twitter and Facebook Fan Page link. So I skip any extra Subscribe page.

  38. Brian Asis says:

    This is the article that I absolutely need! I was just starting my blog and I’m lost to what I’m supposed to add. I’m looking forward for the other articles in this series! Kudos!

  39. carte iedge says:

    Thanks for sharing this Darren. I’ll be adding a subscribe page this weekend to my site. It’ll be interesting to see how that impacts conversion rates.

  40. TutoriaLog says:

    Thanks for this post. I’ve made many social media subscription icons on my sidebar.

  41. Hi Guys,

    I just wanted to say setting up key pages is very thoughtful and helpful to your readers. Thanks for posting this blog.

    Kind Regards,

    Sam
    X

  42. Ed Baxter says:

    Great article and a topic that I have been thinking a lot about coming up to the launch of my new blog. I will be doing a very customized about page after this article to really pull the user in and help them to engage with me and what I’ve done in the past and why they should continue reading.

    I’m also curious about subscription pages and what impact it has on conversion rates – will be tracking that one for sure. Could be worth an article in the future.

  43. Aglolink says:

    I always forget to create About page when first publish a blog. About page is describes our theme blog, that’s really important thing.

  44. kelly says:

    Thanks for the info. It’s really helpful.

  45. Wonderful illustrated information. I thank you about that. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would like to see some other posts on the same subject!

  46. Okay.. I’m done with my 1st week. Move on the 2nd week now. Thanks for the great guidance.