This post is part of a five-part series about creating better blog pages. You can see all the post in the series here.
Hands down, the most common mistake I see bloggers make is this: making it difficult to be contacted.
People might want to contact you regarding several things. I most commonly contact people because I want to interview them or because I’ve featured one of their links on Brilliant Bloggers. As a reader, I sometimes contact a blogger when I have a question. You might also be contacted by people who want to work with you on a project, buy advertising on your site, send you to their event to speak, or otherwise work out a deal together.
If I’m trying to contact someone, the very first thing I do is go to their navigation bar and look for a contact page. If there isn’t one listed and I really want to contact the person, I might check the sidebar as well, but after that, I usually lose interest. It’s unlikely that I’m going to search through your pages to find wherever you’ve hidden your email address.
Assume that the person trying to contact you is stupid and impatient. Create a page that stands out so it can be easily found within five second. If it can’t be, you need a better contact page.
Including Your Email Address
I see lots of bloggers with just a form on their contact page. While this is certainly better than nothing, and I understand the need to keep spam at bay, I don’t like it for a few reasons:
- I can’t save your email address for later. I have to use the form immediately or bookmark the page.
- Sometimes, I email more than one person at the same time. I know that forms keep spammers from doing this, but legitimate people sometimes do group emails too!
- I like to have a record of what I’ve said to you and when I said it. Occasionally, I see forms that allow you to send a copy of the message to yourself, but this is a rarity.
- Often I’ll hit the send button and the form page just reloads as blank. So…did it send? I have no way of knowing.
- I can’t save my message as a draft, which means I have to complete it in one sitting (not always an easy thing to do if you’re on the go like me or get interrupted with other tasks often).
- If my computer crashes or there’s another problem in the middle of typing the message, there’s no draft saved.
If you love your form, you don’t have to get rid of it. Just consider including your actual email address as well for us anti-form people. You can include it as a picture if you’re afraid of spam.
Including Your Social Profiles
In addition to including your email address, I also like it when bloggers include their social media profiles on their contact page. When I link to someone within a post, I often don’t want to fill their inbox with an email message. Instead, I just mention them in a tweet. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably see me doing this all the time. I find it more effective than email.
You don’t have to include all of your social profiles. If you don’t use a platform often, I actually recommend not listing it, since you don’t want important messages to go there. But if you’re on Twitter or Facebook or another network all day anyway, it makes sense to include this information on your contact page.
Links on You Contact Page
You can get some extra mileage out of your contact page by including a few links as well. Linking to your about page makes sense of course, but including other links can save you time too.
For example, are you asked a question over and over again via email? Write a post about it and then link to it on your contact page to reduce your emails. You can also create a FAQ section on your page with short answers to the questions you get the most. And if you have a media kit, link to it so people don’t have to ask for it.
Other Contact Information
Email is absolutely necessary if you’re a blogger, but other contact information can be included on your page as well. We already talked about social media accounts, but consider a phone number or Skype username. If you have a P.O. box or office, you can also include a mailing address, though I would avoid listing your home address. List contact information for every way you are okay with people getting in touch with you. Some people like tweets while others like phone calls, so try to accommodate as many people as possible.
The bottom line is this: if you don’t currently have a contact page, you need one immediately. You might have your email address at the bottom of each post or on your sidebar, but without a clearly defined page in your navigation bar, you’re going to miss out on cool opportunities. Don’t let them pass you by, especially when the solution is so easy!
Join us tomorrow for Day Two of our Better Blog Pages series!