If you post every day for a year that is 365 posts. Times 2 years, 3… That is a lot of content! I bet a lot of those posts could be interesting, useful, and or entertaining to your readers today. Wouldn’t you like to have all that content easy to find and perhaps keep new readers around a little longer? Maybe create some new followers!
The two basic approaches to navigate I use are organization and impulse. I think of my site like a grocery store. You have the basic organization of the aisles and the impulse items at the checkout counter.
- My main area of post organization happens on my archive page which can be found on the menu bar. I use the same plugin 3 times. It is called “WP-dTree” and it’s a great plugin that organizes you posts as pull down menus*. I use it to organize my post by date, category, and “tagegories”. Tagegories is a word I am using to describe my tags that I have turned into second tier categories. I think this is my most useful system! I have about 20 tags that I reuse consistently in posts. I would love for this plugin to add thumbnails. In the meantime I need to do a better job using descriptive AND intriguing post titles!
- In my menu bar I have a page called Visual Archive. This page is primarily for me because I can find a post most easily by scanning all the thumbnails. They are listed chronologically and when you mouse over a thumbnail it displays the post title. I am curious to know if anyone ever looks there! For this I use the plugin “Image Archive”.
- I also have a page called Shop which has my Amazon store plus thumbnails and links to my affiliate posts by type.
- And I have a search box in my menu bar.
My impulse items…
- In my sidebar I have 3 post lists with thumbnails. First is my 5 most recent posts, next is my 5 most popular posts, and third is my 5 favorite posts. For these I use the plugin called “Special Recent Posts”.
- I have an animated tag cloud in my sidebar too because I think it is fun! I think people might just want to try it out and then see something they want to click on. The plugin is called WP-Cumulus.
- At the bottom of each post I have “You might also like” thumbnails and titles of a few related posts. For this I use the “LinkWithin” plugin but there are others that do the same.
- I also use lots of text links in my posts to other similar or relevant ones.
- What makes people pay attention to your impulse items? New and relevant things, that’s what! Which is why I am considering adding a seasonal post list to my sidebar as well as a slider. After Bedtime Blog recently shared her slider plugin favorites!
This is how I have organized my blog in order to get readers to stick around but I know there are many other very effective ways and I am always looking to improve so I encourage you to please share the organizing techniques that work for you!
*After you install WP-dTree it shows up in on your widgets pages as 3 widgets, Archive, Categories, and Taxonomies. In order to used widgets on pages I use the plugin “Widgets on Pages”. Archive and Categories and pretty self explanatory. Taxonomies must be configured to grab the post tags you want. Change Taxonomy name to post_tag and if you only want a subset of all your tags to appear add a list of tag id’s to the Include box.
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This post is linked up with Frankly My Dear’s Blog Help Blog Hop, a great forum to share practical blogging advice!