Blogger Hacks, Categories, Tips & Tricks

Thursday, August 17, 2006
10 Ways to Feature Crucial Posts
Like many blogs, this is a two-pronged blog..... There are the "hey did you see?" posts that steer readers & subscribers to interesting content elsewhere in the blogosphere, & then there's the more substantial, meaty, original posts that we want you to read, inwardly digest, and act upon by adopting the suggested hack or exploring the reviewed service! So... how can bloggers (ourselves included) feature and draw attention to certain content within our blogs, & keep critical content alive once it falls off the front page? Some thoughts, in no particular order:
  1. Exclusivity: Be the only person writing about your topic. If there are only a half-dozen posts that discuss Creamaid, for example, you'll be in great shape to have your content found and enjoyed.
  2. Internal Links within Posts: String your own related posts together in a way that will make sense to your reader, and lead them to explore your content. Add "see also" links to your posts as you publish them, whether at the end of the post or in the body, in "as we discussed last week" style.
  3. Categories: Use categories on your blog to organise your content. This will assist folks in following a content thread through your whole blog. Blogger Beta's new labels will make this a much more straightforward process. Maintain a "highlights" category or similar that prominently features the posts that you consider to be critical content.
  4. Sidebar Menus: Use menus on your site to provide obvious and direct links to critical content. Hand code a series of links or a drop-down if that will work for you.
  5. Prominent Site Search: Don't hide the blogger navbar... The search box can be your site's best friend. Add the Technorati site search box too.... Get the most out of site search with a version, such as Aditya's, that provides post previews within your template.
  6. Community: If you're lucky enough to be active in a blogging community, e-mail your colleagues to alert them to the good stuff. Use the for: tag on Del.icio.us to (selectively) push your posts to members of your community who will be interested.
  7. Comments and Trackback: Comment judiciously on related posts with a link to your own. Continue the dialog on your own blog in the comments, and take the opportunity to direct your readers to related critical content as the opportunity arises. Use trackbacks to your source posts to draw attention to your part in the conversation. If you don't trackback every post, be sure to trackback your critical posts. Offer a comment feed (easy w/ the new Blogger) so that readers can keep up with the ongoing discussion on older posts.
  8. Prime your content to be shared virally: Bookmark posts in a shared bookmark manager so that they're ready to be discovered and cloned. Pre-populate social / distributed / voting type link services. Provide buttons for voting / sharing / cloning / storing and emailing your links. Use tags to draw attention to posts on your blog. If you don't tag everything, tag your critical posts.
  9. Judicious branding of your blog. Take advantage of Technorati's blog tags service to advertise the content that readers can expect. Use sub-titles in your blog header to explain your focus.
  10. Create a "hub-post" such as Blogger Hacks - The Series that will serve as an entry point and response point for multiple readers. Direct those readers to both internal and external content of a high quality and related topical focus.
How else do you draw attention to the critical content on your blog? Let us know!

Submitted to Darren Rowse's Group List-Writing Project, which is a hub-post, of course, and will be prominently featured on multiple blogs, I'm sure... especially since this time, submitting a post to the project carries with it the possibility of a hefty prize. (Mmmm, prizes!)

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Posted at 8:45 AM by John.
9 Comments:
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Anonymous Wendy Piersall said...
Nicely done John - a great post. Good things I didn't (and should have!) thought of. I'm posting my own roundup this week and this one will definitely be included!

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Blogger JM said...
good job! re: "Comments and Trackback", comment feed is also possible with Haloscan.

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Blogger John said...
Wendy - Thanks so much! (I subscribed to your blog, BTW. The community-building tips are good stuff!)

Julie - Thanks for the heads-up. I'll amend the list asap.

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Blogger Greg said...
This makes me wonder ... what about endorsements? Does putting tiny choice quotes (not necessarily from "big names") near links help? Would you be more inclined to follow/share a link to some content that had (verifiable) praise attached?

This feedback could be mined from the post's own comments, discovered via trackback or gleaned from (unsolicited) emails etc.

I'm thinking not just "As seen on ...", but more "Hey, this post really helped me turn my life around" or "This answered questions I didn't even know to ask" - that sort of thing.

What do you think?

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Blogger Mama Duck said...
Excellent. I use a related-posts plug-in for wordpress that does some of that for me based on keywords. I also do a best of post - sometimes at the end of the week but definitely at the end/beginning of the month, highlighting the best posts of the month. I also do periodic links back to other relevant articles, etc.

Our list is up if you’d like to look… have a great day!

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Blogger Mama Duck said...
Excellent. I use a related-posts plug-in for wordpress that does some of that for me based on keywords. I also do a best of post - sometimes at the end of the week but definitely at the end/beginning of the month, highlighting the best posts of the month. I also do periodic links back to other relevant articles, etc.

Our list is up if you’d like to look… have a great day!

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Blogger Ray said...
Great ideas. Some of these are totally new to me. Thanks!

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Anonymous haydn said...
Occasionally on one of my blogs I go through the plesk stats and then write a blog on what it is people are reading most on the blog

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Blogger Dave Taylor said...
Careful with the CREAMaid service, though. It turns out that CREAMaid has already gotten into trouble with Paypal and can’t actually pay participating bloggers. See my detailed explanation:

http://www.askdavetaylor.com/make_money_blogging_with_creamaid.html

Me? I’m still waiting for that promised $10 payment. :-)

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