If you decide to use blogspot/blogger as your blogging platform then you have advantages to use google own widget/product and add them to your blog. Its more safety, so I suggest you if it’s possible to always use blogger official widget. However, not all widget you need listen on blogger widget. You can use 3rd party widget, but always make sure the code source is trusted and harmless. After all, you don’t want virus or malware on your template, do you?. :D.
At early stage, beginner blogger always want their blog look ” pretty and colorful “. But, that’s not necessary and effective. What you need is a simple and clean lay out so your blog will loading faster, engrossed readership and don’t make them lost. So, here’s my list of widgets that beginner blogger should add, IMHO of course :D.
1. Social Network Button.
It is important to connect with your reader or people who has same interest. And to build network and opportunity for the future. 5 social network I suggest you should join are Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIN, and Pinterest. This is also including Google+ profile widget. Add me, if you haven’t on my network :).
2. Social Media Share Button.
When people read your content and find it an interested read, they want to share it with their friends/family. To able to do this, you need a share tool. If you want to use blogger feature, you can find it on blog post customize. Go to Lay Out and click Edit button on Blog Post, then choose Create a Link and check Share Button box. But, I don’t like this option. Sometimes if you use 3rd party template, they’re not compatible or too small. For all my blogs, I use Share This widget. You don’t have to sign up to get the widget, just choose the type, social media, and grab the code.
3. Related Post.
Another way to increase blog page views by adding Related Post widget. There’s no official blogger widget for this one. I use Linkwithin and Outbrain. No need to sign up for Linkwithin. But, for Outbrain you need to register. You can add multiple blogs on Outbrain and see the statistic numbers.
4. Subscribe or Follow Me via Email.
To keep your readers update with your fresh content, you need subscribe button. You can get on blogger official widget list, or create a feedburner address. I usually combine those two. Get the Post and Comment Feed button from blogger, get the feed counter and Subscribe via Email from feedburner. Blogger has their Follow via Email widget as well, but I prefer feedburner tool for that, so I can track the feed numbers.
5. Contact Form.
It is also a must widget to add. Contact Form is the newest official blogger widget. It’s very cool, you just need to add it on your footer. It will deliver direct to your GMail.
Archive/Label are the widget that gives your readers to explore/browse your content category or dig deeper to all previous post. It’s one of the quick way to discover all old post.
7. Search Engine.
Usually, you already have search box when you install 3rd party template. But, they’re not effective. I suggest you add Google SE Customize. You can find it on blogger widget list, or if you have Adsense, you can set them with more option.
8. Popular Post.
Popular post widget is great way for old story to get discovered. Reader will be curious what makes these post popular. Read it and share it with people. It will increase page views as well. Get Popular Post widget on blogger widget list.
9. Recent Post.
When visitor landing to your page, they usually browse around on that single page without visit homepage. This widget come in handy to get your recent post spot on. Unfortunately, blogger doesn’t provide you this widget. You have to browse the safety Recent Widget on Internet.
10. Recent Comments.
People will start to leave you comment on you blog. Add Recent Comments to make your blog look alive. No blogger widget for this one. You can add 3rd part or use comments feed technique. I show you later. :D.
11. Stats Widget.
Blogger has their page views counter widget. I kinda like see my page views number. It’s a proof that people actually visiting my blog. It gets me motivate to keep posting. I usually add it with Alexa rank and Google page rank widget.
These are 11 widgets that I always add on my blog. I try to make it simple, clean, and easy to navigate. What’s your favorite blogger/blogspot widget that I forget to mentioned?. Comment below!.
If you don’t know how to add a gadget on blogspot, watch video below: