A few weeks ago, I wrote on a few things that other’s say you shouldn’t include, that I believed were subjective. Now this week, I am telling you what you should absolutely include on your blog, to not only help you get more views but also protect you in the future.
There are two types of disclaimers I have: copyright and opinion. I believe both are necessary to keeping yourself legally protected and to keep you protected by angry readers if they decide to appear.
In the copyright notice, there is, of course, the actual copyright itself. It has the official language and will keep you protected, especially if someone steals your work and uses it without permission. Other pieces I include in my copyright disclaimer is that I use images that are not mine and copyright belongs to the respective owners, that I do not control what happens on outside links, and that I use affiliate links. If any of those apply to you and your blog, you should include them to cover yourself legally.
The opinion disclaimer is basically stating that what I write it my opinion and is not intended to be factual and may include inaccuracies. This is especially important if you do reviews of any sort. I included it for the peace of mind to write what I actually think and feel, and not steer away from topics because I feared what my readers would say. It can protect you from trolls and hate comments too because you can reference it when handling those situations.
Social Media Icons
These icons are to connect your visitors to your social media. When I find a blogger I like, I want to go to their Twitter and follow. It is super easy when there is a list of icons that link to all of your social media, usually in your sidebar. If you want your readers to find you on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or whatever, you need these icons.
I am that person who will scroll through social media and only stop on images or videos. We are visual people, so it is important to have strong visuals supporting your content. Plus, you will look way more professional when the visuals are strong because they are a reader’s first impression.
I’m not saying you have to produce all of your own visuals, unless you want to. There are some great stock image sites that are free to use, like Pexels. And for us geeky bloggers, we can more easily get visuals for what we write about from the content we are covering. If you want to make your own photos or videos, awesome! And if that isn’t in your wheelhouse, no problem. But definitely include visuals in your posts to make them more appealing to readers.
When I can’t easily find a search bar on a website, I get incredibly frustrated. Not having a search bar is a huge pet peeve of mine as a web designer, a blogger, and just a user. I know readers like to use search when trying to find something specific, or a topic you talk about often. It’s incredibly easy to include a search bar and makes it easier for your readers to navigate as well.
What are your blogging must-haves? Leave a comment letting me know.