One of the most oft-overlooked elements in a blog is the footer beneath the posts. I think it is a vital part of any blog design because most readers are likely to go down to that spot below your post.
If the reader has scanned though the page all the way to the end of the post, he/she must have enjoyed reading the post. So why not take this opportunity to promote a few things? Let me show you what you can do with it and how you can optimise it for best results.
If your blog is well established and you have been blogging for a while, why not show a list of related articles at the bottom of your post? The readers may find something useful and stay on the site to read more.
Here are few examples:
For any blog with an archive of at least a year, I would recommend that you show a list of related articles below your posts. There are multiple plugins for WordPress that does this.
Most commonly used on multi-author blogs. It is usually a small paragraph about the author of the post containing links to his/her website or company. I suggest you keep it simple and tidy. A single paragraph with 3 or 4 lines is quite enough. Link to an ‘about’ page if you have more to say. Use a thumbnail picture of the author to make it more personal.
Let your readers engage with your content. Allow them to use social bookmarking and promote your content on social news sites.
Promote your RSS Feed
Always, promote your RSS Feed whenever you can. When someone has read all the way to the end, they must have enjoyed the post. So why not ask them to subscribe to the RSS? It is simple trick that boosted the number of subscribers of my own blog. I always tell my clients to push the RSS feed as much as possible.
As you can see in some of the examples above, some people promote the RSS along with the Social bookmarking. Here are some more examples:
Things you might want to promote
Do you have an e-book or do you sell design services? Make a small subtle promotion at the bottom of the post. Keep it small and unobtrusive. The reader should not get the feeling that you are trying to make a sale but rather try giving the impression that you are offering something genuinely helpful.
I will not provide any examples for this section because it would be a form of advertisement for the product, even if it is just a screenshot.
Other little things
- Skip to comment form
Give your readers a link to quickly skip to the comment form. Making them scroll all the way to the bottom is bad juju.
- Trackback URL
Let other bloggers link to you if they post something related to your post.
To me the post footer is an important place to focus on when I design blogs. There are so many possibilities, depending on the type and niche of the blog. Another thing to keep in mind is to remember not to clutter the footer by adding too much content. Keep it neat and tidy.