Your special corner on the web is more than just a place to vent or share some of your interests. Blog pages are usually quite personal, and the owner usually puts in a lot of time and effort into the web page. This is one reason why investing in your website, and making it user-friendly, is important. Not to mention that a recent projection said that about 128 million people read blogs each month. One of the easiest ways to spruce up your site is by using widgets. The following will go over some of the most effective free widgets that you can use, no matter what web hosting service you use.
Email Collecting Widget
I believe one of the most effective ways to help readers subscribe to your blog is by adding an email collecting widget like the Mailchimp widget or INinbox. Both of these are effective and clean widgets that can be installed on your blog site.
Many people are interested in blogs, but most of them do not want to deal with complications. Most blog visitors expect to see everything they need in a matter of seconds before deciding it is not worth the effort. Collecting a reader’s email is one of the easiest ways to promote your site by delivering posts directly to the subscriber’s email.
These widgets appear on the sidebar of your site where readers can easily sign up if they choose to.
Social Media Widget
It is no secret that social media plays a big role in the life of any online blogger, but you may not know how big a part it plays. Apparently, around 41.67 percent of blog readers associate post credibility with the number of times it was shared on social media.
It is imperative that you make it simple for readers to share your blog post as soon as it is read. Thankfully, I found a widget that makes this a lot easier called AddThis. The widget allows you to position social sharing buttons around your blog post or site.
Connecting to Your Readers, Live
I have noticed that readers love to have their questions answered immediately. Sure, some will send in an email or post a comment, but they expect an answer relatively quickly. Of course, answering quickly is not the simplest task, especially if you have a full schedule.
There is a solution to your dilemma by meeting your readers halfway and introducing a live-chat widget on your site where people can connect with you or someone on your team. One particularly effective widget that I stumbled upon was the tawk.to live chat widget. There are many options out there that you can upgrade to later on should this prove to be popular enough to hire an online chat service.
Booking When it Matters
The idea of having a widget that helps your readers book an appointment or something similar is a site-specific type of widget, since not every site requires this type of service. Still, sites that do require appointments should consider a widget that is fully automated and syncs appointments with your calendar. I find this prevents overbooking and keeps my schedule organized.
Of course, some widgets require a payment, but there are some effective widgets that are completely free and do not take long to install on your website. Take the Setmore booking widget that easily integrates into your site. The widget can be customized, and it has a very clean design that should integrate into your site without any trouble.
A Picture Says a Million Words
Everyone knows that content readers love to see photographs, which is why you should consider adding a gallery on your page. Research has shown that strong and compelling photographs get 94 percent more views than sites that do not have a lot of pictures or interesting photographs.
One clean widget is the Cincopa photo gallery widget. Of course, I think it is important that you do your research on the photographs that are chosen. Try to use the images that have garnered the most views to ensure that your gallery is as effective as it can be.
Help Them Buy Your Product or Service
Some blog sites do not sell anything to their readers, but some do. If you will be selling products or offering services to your readers, you need to make sure the transaction is easy and successful for you and your clients. There is a widget that you can use that falls somewhere in the gray area of free. The widget is from Gumroad, which makes a very clean widget that can be made to look like it was meant to be a part of your site.
The catch is the free version will cost you every time you actually make a sell. Granted, Gumroad only takes a certain amount that happens to be 8.5 percent, plus 30 cents for every transaction. I found another option with Gumroad, which will cost you $10 every month, but the fee is significantly reduced to 3.5 percent, plus 30 cents for every transaction completed.
Sure, no one wants to pay one more thing every month but, as they say, you have to spend a little money to make some money. Hopefully, you are saving in other forms, like with reasonable web hosting to make this fee not so bad. Plus, you can always add a little more to the cost of your product or service to make up some of the money that you are paying for the service.
These are just some of the free (or almost free) widgets that I think may be helpful, though there are others that you might find for your specific niche. The point is there is usually a widget out there for whatever you might need on your site, and it is likely that you will find a free version of it. Hopefully, these widgets can help improve your blog site and help make it more successful than it already is.