What I like about this week’s challenge at Better Blog community set by Simon Thomas (Oak Innovations Blog) on Mobilize your archives is I have already done it for my Day 4 task of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. The task involves going back through your old posts and looking for opportunities to link to new posts mainly in the hope of driving readers deeper into your blog. As Darren says “One of the challenges that faces blogs that have been around for a while is that they end up with a wonderful collection of posts in their archives that are rarely read by readers.” The other 31 Day task aimed at driving readers deeper into our blog was Day 18 Create a Sneeze Page and propel readers deep into your blog.
Why do I like it? Well it has been:
- 2 months since I interlinked old posts with newer posts
- 20 days since I created my squeeze page
So is an excellent opportunity to stop and reflect, for my situation, how effective these tasks were for driving readers deeper into my blog.
Lets start with my squeeze page — what I have called my Want a Specific Article page. Readers are definitely using this page to locate posts they want to read and are using it more than my categories (the subjects in my sidebar that tells my readers what I write about).
Now Gary disagrees with Darren about squeeze pages – his comment on my post was “if people can’t find the information in a well formed index (navigational) list then how are they going to find it if it’s a click away on another page” and went on to recommend that I improve my use of subcategories. I agree Gary — especially for my blog where I am writing on a range of subject areas which must be soooo confusing for my readers — so I have set up subcategories under my main categories. I have also set to display number of posts, which makes my side menu look more cluttered but provides information readers probably want to know.
How successful is interlinking old posts with new posts?
Really hard to tell! What I can say is the posts I did choose interlink with aren’t ranking high in my top 100 content – when I did this task originally I was not using Google Analytics so based on current statistics it would appear that I chose the wrong posts for the task. As I have said previously why didn’t I install Google Analytics sooner! So may re-do the task– will think about it!
The best parts of originally doing Darren’s interlinking and creating a squeeze page was I worked through all my blog’s posts and this made me reflect on:
- how my site looks to visitors and so I made time for improvements
- posts I had written e.g. what I liked/didn’t like about the post and what improvements were needed for future posts
- posts I maybe should have written
- how easy to my blog was/wasn’t to navigate your blog
Realistically it is hard to propel readers deeper into a blog. Readers are busy people.
Reflecting on my own blog reading habits when I find a new blog to subscribe to I don’t have time to go back through their old posts and will only skim read their first 10 posts that load into Google Reader unless a post grabs me. But I will go back to a person’s blog for an article on a specific topic if I know they provide great information on that topic — but are more likely to use the search their blog feature.
The 31 Days to Build a Better Blog were never for fame or fortune for me. My goals are to help others and blogging is one of the methods I share information with others so I decided it would help me be a more effective blogger.
- Working through these tasks from the 31 Day Project customised for educational bloggers
- Or doing the shorter 5 days tasks for people just starting to blog
- Join us at Better Blog community