What is important in a blog footer design?

I had an inspiration for a WordPress theme. And as I thought about the custom homepage, translating it into a wireframe, I began to think. What’s so important about the blog theme’s footer?

My search for an answer wasn’t very accurate. All I got were inspirational blog footer designs which highlighted the end of the posts and not the general footer itself. I was looking for the purpose of a general blog footer. What type of content belongs in it?

google screenshot

From Google

The closest and only answer which I got was 1 article titled; 3 Things to Remember When Designing a Blog Footer. And in the article, the author’s tips were:

  1. Attention decreases from top to bottom
  2. Your footer is not a navigation bar
  3. Keep it interesting

Close, but still didn’t answer the purpose of the blog footer.

From Twitter

I got responses from friends saying:

@kamigoroshi: My theory is that they aren’t important hence there are placed at the footer. The reader would have to scroll far down to view it.

@aio193: since ur user made it all the way there, make it worth while 🙂

@parasquid: it’s your final chance for a call to action. pique the interest enough to keep him in the site = more chances to get user action.

My friend; parasquid (Tristan), did make a point. It’s really the last chance for you to get an action from your visitor since they visited your blog and took the effort to scroll all the way down.

However, this isn’t a website but a blog. When you imagine the default blog template, what would it display?

  • Most recent entries
  • Most recent comments
  • Introduction to the blog
  • Archives (Categories, tags, monthly and more)
  • Search
  • Links
  • Advertisements

These are the basic content you’d find in a standard blog. Note, I’ve defined standard blogs to include ads. But let’s say I give you this scenario.

You’ll have  search portion at the top and your main navigation would have a category dropdown menu, including the RSS subscription. The recent posts will be displayed in a catalog style with a reserved space for 1 advertisement with an approximate size of 300 x 250. The bottom of the catalog would have a pagination for you to cycle through your posts.

Now, what other relevant or important information would you include into your footer?

And to make you think a little harder, here are my arguments of some ideas:

Archives/tags

Why would I need to display a monthly archive or tags, when the user may already find it via categories or search?

Recent comments

Why would I be interested to know who commented on a post if I wasn’t interested in the post written?

Recent posts

Why would I read this if it’s the same information displayed already?

Pages

Why would I create a repeated navigation of the top menu, if my custom homepage already displays a lot of posts thanks to its catalog view?

Contact details

Why again repeat this information when it’s easily accessible from the top menu?

Sharing tools

Why would I share a blog which I’ve not read any articles yet?

Twitter

Do my users really care to know, I’m in the 4th cubicle in the toilet of some shopping mall?

Even when I wireframe, I’m constantly questioning the existence or requirements as I tend to draw them out. I keep asking questions for its purpose and how would it benefit my user on the website or in the case, the blog.

As I thought about the examples I’ve seen, the tips written and what Tristan said, I’m considering only the items listed below which is important for a blog footer.

  1. Search
  2. Social networks (Links to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter – link to account)
  3. RSS/Email subscription
  4. Ownership and recognition (copyright and platform used)
  5. News or announcements (if it’s a corporate blog)
  6. Contact details (if it’s a corporate blog)

Besides this, I can’t think of any other items which is important to have in the blog footer. Even if it were, I’d ask myself again, why should it be here? Especially when it’s accessible from say, the top menu. With less clutter, the footer would be more focused and easier understood by the user.

But, what do think about your blog footer?

How to Ask for a Complete LinkedIn Recommendation?

LinkedIn is a professional social network for business people. I’ve heard some successful stories from friends who’ve used LinkedIn to get connected to the person in charge. Some of which have turned into successful dealings. Hence, LinkedIn is a business-oriented social network to be precise.

linkedin screenshot

And recently, a client of Simpleet joined LinkedIn. They provide online printing services from business cards to large format printing. All at an affordable rate you’d second think, “how do they make money?”.

The last part was a snippet of the recommendation I gave them on LinkedIn. And if you’re in business, you’d know (or read) testimonials are a very powerful marketing tool to have in your profile and portfolio. Plus, it’s free!

This was the full recommendation I gave them:

You can only expect the best quality at affordable rates from Colourman. More so, you’ll want to ask him “are you sure you’re making enough money?”

He’s well-versed in printing and has now gone into saving the world by recommending recycled paper for business cards. Only one of the providers I know and will recommend to my own friends who need printing done.

After acknowledgement of our recommendation or reference, he decided to recommend us too. Now, that’s great to hear. Because when clients or people recommend you, it means they like your work or services or product.

However, something was missing. He didn’t describe what inspired him to recommend us. It was a missing the story.

linkedin recommendation screenshot

And I was pondering on what to do with it. I could’ve accepted this recommendation without any description. Or, I could’ve accepted but hide this recommendation because it felt incomplete. The latter wasn’t an option because what if he checked my profile and didn’t see his endorsement there.

So the next best option I had was to request a replacement. However, in my request for a replacement I explained how this LinkedIn recommendation is similar to a testimonial.

Thus, I decided to help him start on the testimonial for us on a neutral level.

Danny and his partner; Hawk, didn’t only provide the expertise and solution for us to setup our online printing business. They’ve also given us insight to available opportunities of doing business online and have continue to advise us along the way.

Nothing fancy. General and simple. And seriously, this is a recommended method from a book. It’s an initiative you take to help the client kick off their own testimonials for you.

But of course, it has to be approved by the client. Falsifying an endorsement is easy to spot and is the worst crime to your ‘webutation’ – as Hani calls it.

And after I requested a replacement, my thought was “never settle for second best”.