Hello bars are simple and powerful – such as been my experience with them. They are a hidden spot on your website that will never annoy any of your visitors, and I consider it a hot spot on the blog. It’s where visitors like to click and without being forced, hello bars simply work. Creating your own bar is not a big deal!
I’ve tried a few of those services and WordPress plugins that create a simple top bar at the very top of the blog and allow you to add links to it. Some plugins were very basic, and some had cool features like tracking clicks and page impressions, and even calculating the converting average of the link, but most of these are slowing down the page load.
Most of these services and plugins that allow you to create the Hello bar are available for use for free, but most of them add a link to the developer site, which is something I don’t want to have on my blog. Don’t get me wrong! I like to give back, but not a link at the very top of my blog. This link is worth more than these services and plugins can give. However, this is only my personal opinion. You don’t have to agree with me!
I thought to create my own Hello Bar and share it with Thesis Theme users, and I will let you know what I think about the bar best practices!
How to create Hello Bar for Thesis Theme
Easy.. beasy, here is the code you need to add to your custom_functions.php file, plus the CSS styles that you need to add to your custom.css file!
Check out ThesisAwesome.com → Thesis Skins
[box type="note"]You can change colors easily by editing the CSS above.[/box]
What about Tracking Clicks?
Not a problem. You can use something like Thirsty Affiliates plugin which allow you to track your links and show you how many times a visitor has clicked them. Or you can track your links using HootSuite or any other free alternative tools, for example use a trackable link shortening service like Bitly.
5 Best Practices for using the Hello Bar
- Pronounce news or coming events
- Sell your own product
- Special offers
- Grow your list subscribers
- Affiliate marketing
There are many ways to actually use a link on that spot, so I am going to share a few cool ways with you.
1- Announcing News
Sometimes you will need a hot spot for announcing news or events on your blog. The top bar is very handy and simple. You can activate it occasionally depending on your needs. So, let’s say you have some upcoming event – you can then share it with your visitors in a very noticeable place at the very top of your blog.
2- Sell your own product
This is what I am doing right now. I’ve added a link to my Thesis Skins site. This way, I was able to let every visitor know about it with no doubt. Also, giving some quality backlink to my own product page is very useful.
3- Share a Special Offer
Have a special offer? Why not highlight it to your blog visitors?
4- Grow Email List subscribers
Another very useful way to use it is to actually create a landing page for your free e-book or product. Derek Halpern explains how to get more subscribers using the Hello bar, really nice stuff.
5- Affiliate Marketing
If you are into affiliate marketing, then why not use the Hello bar to recommend products and earn more commissions? It’s a cool way to increase your affiliate earnings.
It’s only limited by your imagination. It’s all yours! Use it the way you like, and let me know what else the Hello bar can be useful for!