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1. Subscribe Button

First off I’m assuming that you have the worlds most awesome content on your blog, and small business marketingtherefore your readers will want to keep coming back for more.  If this is indeed the case then why not make it super easy for them.  You can help your readers gain access to your latest post with a subscribe button linking to your RSS feeds URL.  Try a service like FeedBlitz to set this up.

Also, don’t forget to include an option for your readers to receive your latest blog post in their email box.  Do this by setting up a email form field that allows them to subscribe via email.

2. Topic List

You’ll hear these refered to as ‘category’ list as well.  Regardless of what they are called, what they do is make it easier for your readers to find content they are interested in.

Most likely your blogging platform can automatically create a topic list for you from the tags you assign to each of your blog post.  It’s important to avoid assigning a single blog post more that 1 to 3 topics.

3. Most Popular Posts

Hey everyone is in a time crunch these days so help visitors to your site find compelling content quickly by showing them the blog post that other visitors are finding the most interesting.   The sidebar is a great place to display this.

4. Recent Blog Posts

Your readers won’t always access your site via your homepage.  They could find an older post via a link, or a Google search (awesome right).  If they do providing a link to your most recent post offers quick access to what you’re discussing currently.

5. Search Box

Often when a person lands on your page the content that got them there may not be exactly what they expected.  In those cases offering a search box makes quick work of finding content based on the keyword or phrase they’d prefer.

6. Social Media Connection Options

RSS feeds aren’t the only game in town anymore.  Including links to your social media profiles, like Google + and Twitter can help your readers access your new or updated content on highly visible and shareable sites they’re visiting daily.

Although Google currently has fewer users than Facebook or Twitter, I’m a fan because of their unique ability to control search engine results.  You’ll find that linking your post to your Google + page will help them get indexed quicker (it’s almost instant).  Something that Facebook nor Twitter will ever be able to accomplish.

7. Calls-to-Action

So you’ve got lots of traffic coming to your site via your blog, now it’s time to add Calls-to-Action (CTA’s) to your post.

A CTA can be extremelly helpful in generating leads for a business blog.  All you have to do is connect them to a landing page where you can collect some basic information like name and email address in return for something of value to your reader.

Placing CTA’s in the sidebar is an easy way to get started since you can have a single one that will show up across all your post or pages.  As you get your blog running on all cylinders try putting very relevant Calls-to-Action at the bottom of a blog post.