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Optimize the Most Underutilized Page of Your Blog

This guest post is by Richard Adams of WordPress Traffic Explosion.

Whilst it’s easy to get excited about crafting your latest blog post it’s far less likely you’ll be kept awake at night thinking about your blog’s Contact page. Indeed many bloggers don’t even bother to add a Contact page to their blog at all—but this can be a big mistake. As you’re about to discover, when contact pages are done right, they can become one of the most important parts of your entire blog…

The importance of your contact page

blogging

Image copyright kpwerker, licensed under Creative Commons

A key blogging concept that sets it apart from running a standard static website is the “community” element. Blogs are built for discussion and networking and any blog worth its salt will have a group of like-minded subscribers reading and contributing on a regular basis.

In the same vein, your Contact page is just one more way to interact with your blog visitors. Here are just a few of the many types of email you might get as a result of having a contact page—just take a look at all these benefits.

Site problems

Spelling mistakes. Grammatical errors. Broken links. Strange page alignments. Despite your best efforts sooner or later a few issues are likely to creep into your blog, either because you failed to proofread your writing before publishing, or because of changes to old posts that you haven’t noticed (such as the removal of photos you’ve linked to, affiliate programs closing down, or linked websites changing their site structure).

Sure, it can be both a little frustrating and embarrassing when someone contacts you to say that something isn’t quite right on your site but would you rather resolve the issue or leave the problem to run for the foreseeable future?

Making it easy to contact you allows your visitors to report any problems they are having with your site. That enables you to not only quickly resolve these, but to really take care of your readers by responding to thank them for the heads-up, apologizing for the situation, and telling them what you’ve done to resolve their problem.

Product review requests

Anyone releasing new products—from publishers to manufacturers—likes to get feedback on new products. It not only helps them make their product the very best it can be, but can also help to make their latest release more visible to potential consumers.

A highly-visible blog written by someone who clearly knows what are talking about can be an ideal avenue for this. It’s not uncommon for the blogger to be contacted in person and offered free products to look at that closely relate to the subject of their blog.

Without a Contact page, you make it very difficult for anyone to offer these to you. You miss out on potentially interesting and unique content, and freebies too!

Affiliate program invitations

The most profitable affiliate campaign I have ever run was as a result of being approached through the Contact form on one of my blogs. The gentleman who contacted me was one of the founders of a well-known online company who had since sold it and was setting up a new venture. He’d tweaked his sales process to within an inch of its life and was looking for a few beta testers.

That one affiliate program replaced my full-time income the day I added the links to my site.

And it was all because I ran a visible blog and was easy to contact. Without my Contact form, I’d never have been invited to join this “private” affiliate program and would be literally tens of thousands of dollars worse off.

Visitor questions

Ever wonder what your blog visitors really want to read about? Ever spend hours working on a post only for it to get little or no response from your subscribers?

Actually getting out there and surrounding yourself with your readers is one of the very best ways to create a uniquely tailored blog that’s perfectly in line with the interests and expectations of your audience.

And one ideal way to understand your visitors better is quite simply to pay attention to the questions you get asked. Look for common themes that you’re asked about on a regular basis and construct blog posts that specifically target these.

Advertising inquiries

A friend of mine with a small travel blog recently got contacted by an online advertising company which offered her a monthly advertising deal that, by itself, is equivalent to around 50% of the salary from her job. And all she has to do is paste a few adverts into her blog—a job that will take a few hours at most.

A 50% pay rise just for being easy to contact? Yes, contact pages really can bring in some amazing opportunities.

Media inquiries

The media constantly needs “experts”—for interviewing, fact-checking, raising awareness, consultancy and so on—and a visible and easily-contactable blogger makes a perfect target for these media professionals.

All these benefits from having a contact page on your blog that’s easy to find and encourages feedback? Hopefully you’re starting to see why you need to overhaul your Contact page! But what should you do to make the most of all these opportunities?

Contact page best practices

Make it easy to find

The first step with publishing a Contact page is to make it easy to find. Ensure that anyone who wants to contact you can quickly and easily find your Contact page.

A great service for helping you understand how easy your website is to use is UserTesting, where real visitors who have never been to your website are set assignments (such as “Find my Contact page”). They carry out these challenges on video while describing their thoughts so you can exactly how real-life visitors view your site, and how easy it is to navigate.

Encourage feedback

A well-designed Contact page doesn’t just provide information on how to get in touch with you—it actively encourages anyone reading your page to drop you a line. Let it be known that you love to hear from your readers, that you’re a real person and that you genuinely value their feedback.

Set realistic expectations

What should your visitors expect when they contact you? Try to improve the whole experience for your readers by giving advice on how long it normally takes you to respond to different types of queries, what type of contact you encourage (and what you simply don’t have the time to respond to), and so on.

Even consider giving tips on how you like to be contacted. For example do you prefer email, phone, Twitter, or Facebook? Do you prefer detailed messages, or short, to-the-point contacts? Are there any essential elements that your visitors need to ensure they include in their message to you?

List your social media profiles

Too many contact pages simply provide an email address on which you can be contacted. However, if you’re a blogger you’re probably involved in social media in a variety of ways, so your Contact page is another great place to list these profiles, thus offering more opportunities for interaction and growing your social network.

Add a Contact form

There are two problems with simply providing an email address on your Contact page. The first is that there is a risk your email address will be harvested by spammers who will then bombard you with junk email. The other is quite simply that you make it more difficult for people to contact you—and as a result you will reduce the number of messages you receive.

While it seems like a tiny thing having a Contact form that readers can fill in and send straight from your Contact page will make life significantly easier for your visitors and so encourage them to contact you.

Does your blog have a contact page? Has it helped you connect with your readers, the media, and others? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Find out how Richard Adams generates over 232,000 free visitors to his blogs per year at WordPress Traffic Explosion or visit his lifestyle design blog for tips on building an online business around your passions.

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Comments

  1. Aman Basanti says:

    Great post! Made a strong case for the contact page. You covered all those little reasons that add up and become a big reason for having a contact page.

    • Manuel says:

      Another big reason could be that you can put there a link to your About.me profile. Or wherever you have a portfolio.

      Also, I think it is a good practice to tell people if you’re interested or not in link exchange. I’m not, so I have written down that thing too.

      As a good practice it would be could to keep the Contact page no longer than… a normal (physical) page. If you make it 10 miles long chances are nobody will read it. If you like it, you could unite the pages About me and Contact into just one :D

  2. After reading this and looking at my contact page I have realized that it is quite ugly and uninviting.

    When I get a bit of time I plan on redoing my contact and about pages to make them stand out even more and more inviting.

    I do believe I have made my form easy to find tho (its in the main links up top and in my footer).

    Great post Sid!

  3. Graham Lutz says:

    The social media profiles on a contact page are a good touch. Everyone likes to get in touch a different way, so you should let them.

  4. Marty Weil says:

    Where would I find a contact page form for a Typepad blog?

  5. Great post. One other thing, if you are a business with a blog, put your mailing address on your contact page. It adds a layer of credibility, an another way for people to contact you.
    Now, I need to go revisit my contact page! :)

  6. Hi Sid,
    As a direct result of having a contact page I was contacted to speak at a conference oversees where I got paid to present.

    Like you Sid I believe the value of having a contact page with information that helps guide the visitor on what will happen when they go to contact me has been valuable part of my website set up.

    I have a link to my contact page at the top and bottom of every page.

    I hope many people read this article and listen to your advice.

    Continued Success to all,
    David

  7. Holly says:

    I added a contact page a long time ago to all of my blogs. I have been contacted by most of the companies and advertisers I work with though my contact page. Adding it was the smartest thing I have done when it comes to my blogs.

  8. vanderjohn says:

    This post inspired me to add a contact form to my About page. Thanks!

  9. hey it is one of the very best posts that i have ever read and i am sure that it is gonna help me in the promotion and planning of my web site. thanks to you very much for such great article. will keep on visiting and reading your posts.
    Regards

  10. It’s a good idea to add a simple questionnaire to your contact page. One with multiple choice is good. People who wish to contact you, will often bother to fill out the questionnaire. There’s no obligation to but they often will.

  11. Thanks for sharing the best practices list. I’ve got the first and last covered but there’s a gaping hole in between. I see I have some work to do . . .

  12. I understood the importance of a contact page for easily soliciting feedback from your audience, but it never occurred to me that doing it well could be so potentially lucrative. In retrospect, it seems fairly obvious that advertisers would seek out blogs in their niche as part of their traffic building strategy, so thank you for pointing it out.

    I also appreciated the advice on clarifying your preferred contact methods, length of query, and expected reply time. I’ll need to make those adjustments today in preparation for my launch tomorrow…
    Thanks for the aptly timed post.

  13. Rory Mullen says:

    Thanks for the guest post. I will be fixing my contact page asap…

  14. Tina says:

    Thank you for the excellent advice! I’m going to change my contact page right now.

  15. Tom says:

    I always look for ways to improve my contact page. Just need to set aside a day to brainstorm and think of something different.

  16. Chio says:

    Great post, I have now finally put a contact form on my blog. I’m using Contact Form 7, WordPress plugin, couldn’t be happier!

  17. Thanks for these excellent tips, Richard. I already had a Contact page on my site, but I will use your advice to enhance it!

  18. Awesome post. I have my social networking sites on the homepage but it makes sense to put them on the contact page as well. Thanks.

  19. gazzali says:

    I do not think contact page does good to your blog unless your blog is very popular. Even though, there are millions of blogs out there telling the same thing. What is so good about your contact page :)

    http://mylifepage.blogspot.com

  20. chris says:

    Here’s what I have at the bottom of my contact page regarding timeframe…

    “I typically respond to emails within 24 hours. Many times sooner. Not so much on the weekends. Definitely not during football season when I’m watching the Indianapolis Colts. Ok, maybe during the 3rd quarter because that’s when they fall apart and it’s just too emotionally devastating to watch.”

    • Kendra says:

      Yeah, but the Colts are notorious for making those last second comebacks in the fourth quarter!! Go Colts! And hopefully they will be playing this year…..

      But to stay on topic…..I have contact pages on all my blogs. I’ve only received one inquiry from it, but hoping to get more questions and general contact as traffic picks up.

      Thanks, Kendra

  21. Dave Rowley says:

    Wow. I just checked my site–my contact page consists of contact form and nothing else. No social media stuff, no welcoming message. Essentially it just sucks. Even the fact that I had to go and check is an indication of how little thought I’ve put into the page. Thanks for the heads up :)

  22. I added a WordPress plugin called ContactMe that put’s a form on our contact page. After adding this to the site, I really like the look and feel.

    As for the comments thanks for the suggestion on adding some humor and personality to the contact page.

  23. James Greg says:

    Thanks for the great points it will surely help to improve a lot. Making a site user friendly will surely do the trick which I so longingly need. Most sites have such complex requirements, many times I tried to contact them for some suggestion but found as if I were applying for a visa and in the end just gave it up as a bad task, my head started spinning. Social networking should be friendly not hitting some dead end.

    Very useful article and a must read for all those running any kind of site that requires social contact. Thanks for the points I’ve noted them and will keep in mind to apply the best for the best results.

  24. KalleyC says:

    You are so right about this post–a contact page is not only important, but users should get the whole experience when they do decide to write to you. After reading this, I realize that I need to update and add some social media to my page as well. Thank you for the tip!

  25. Good points Richard. I’m surprised so many blogs don’t have contact pages at all – it just seems such a shame to not try and connect with your readers. I know when I read a book or an article I like to know a bit where the author’s coming from.

  26. Great ideas and testimonies in the comments as well as the article. I will add a contact page tonight! Popular or not, at least the potential for communication is there. I just need to research how to get a contact form…I’m still a beginner! Any guidance would help.

    Thanks!

  27. ClayofCO says:

    I’m at best a “semi-” problogger with emerging WP skills. However, I recently built an elegant and very satisfying contact form for my blog’s contact page using Gravity Forms (by RocketGenius). It makes me look much better than I am. In addition to the basic intake fields, I was able to add check boxes (to indicate the nature of the contact) and Captcha (to discourage spammers). The downside is the annual fee, but I use GF all the time for other forms on my blog. Great tool.

  28. Question! So I have a contact me button on my page and it produces a pop up form. Should I make a point to put that I’m available for advertising, affiliate offers, etc?