A blog sidebar is a section on the side of the blog that contains widgets — A small application that often takes the form of on-screen tools (clocks, auction-tickers, stock market tickers, daily weather etc.). You can populate your blog sidebar with whichever widgets you think will be valuable in your blog, but if you’re unsure what widgets to put in your sidebar then this is for you. You’ll definitely find this list helpful.
1. Search Box – Putting search box in your sidebar will help your readers and make it easy for them to find old content through keyword searches.
2. Popular Posts Links – Your sidebar is a great place to display links to your popular (highly trafficked or highly commented) posts. People will see those links and want to read those posts to see why they are so popular.
3. Blogroll – One of the most important things you can put in your blog’s sidebar is a blogroll. Your blogroll helps to promote your blog through networking with like-minded bloggers.
4. Recent Blog Posts – If you include links to your most popular blog posts on your sidebar, you will be helping your readers to get exposure to more of your content even if they entered your website through a single blog posting.
5. List of Categories – It’s important to create categories to archive your posts and include links to those categories in your sidebar to make it easy for your blog readers to find your old content.
6. An Option to Subscribe to your Blog – You should add a “subscribe” button to your blog that links to your RSS feed URL. A simple way to do this is to use Google Feedburner to create this URL from your initial RSS feed URL. Your readers will want to keep returning to you to read subsequent blog posts. You may as well make it as simple as possible for them to do just that.
7. Links to Your Other Blogs or Websites – In addition to a traditional blogroll, you can add links to your other blogs and websites in your sidebar.
8. About Link or a Short Bio – Most importantly, your sidebar is a great place to establish who you are, so visitors will immediately understand your level of expertise or interest in your blog’s topic. You can do this through a link to your “About Me” page or a short bio that displays on your sidebar.
9. Contact Information – Including your contact information on your blog’s sidebar is particularly useful for bloggers who use their blogs to generate business especially if your blog is a sales tool, then you should make it as easy as possible for visitors to contact you.
10. Your Picture – It can be helpful to include your picture in your sidebar along with a link to your “About” page or short bio. Adding your picture also helps to personalize your blog. Remember, successful bloggers create a relationship with their readers. A picture can help strengthen your relationship with your readers. You would definitely NOT like talking to just “grey head”, would you?
Now you are taking it one step further by adding important and valuable elements to your blog. You can think of the blog as the empty house that you just purchased and into which you just moved. The elements on your sidebar are the decorations in the house.