A blog sidebar is a dedicated space on the side of a blog. Typically, this space is separate from the main portion of the blog and can be filled with anything of the blog owner's choosing. A blog sidebar generally will remain static, meaning that the sidebar's content will not change, regardless of the selection of content to view in the main portion of the blog.
To understand what a blog sidebar is, readers of a blog must first realize that blogs usually are composed of two or three columns. The main portion of the blog generally is the widest column. This is where the main content, usually the blog posts, typically are displayed. The other column or columns are narrower and take a peripheral position — usually on the side, hence their designation as a sidebar.
Many blog owners tend to put information about the blog or themselves on the sidebar. The sidebar is prime space to include a blog owner's name, short biography, picture and contact information. If blog owners don't want to display personal information, they can take the opportunity to use the sidebar as a space to provide a mission statement for the blog.
Lists of categories of topics within the blog, dated archives, listings of recent posts and comments, a search box and links to popular blog postings also can be contained in a blog's sidebar. These things can make navigating the blog easier for readers. Links to similar websites or blogs also can occupy a blog sidebar. Some blog owners might even implement a small form so that readers can input their email addresses for updates or news regarding the blog.
Other blog owners can choose to monetize their blogs by placing advertisements in their blog's sidebar. These blog owners can become affiliated with advertisers such as Google™ or Amazon® and place ads on their blogs, which can then be clicked on by readers. Blog owners can get paid each time readers click on the advertisements and purchase something on the advertisers' websites. Similarly, blog owners can ask for donations on a blog sidebar.
What a blog owner chooses to put on a sidebar depends on his or her goals. If blog owners want to try different content for the sidebar, they can easily test it by placing specific content on the sidebar and analyzing how it performs on the blog. For example, if readers input their addresses for blog updates more than they click on links to other websites, a blog owner might choose to keep that form on the sidebar to ensure that a loyal readership is established.