The layout of your blog is very important. If you have been writing for quite a while or had writen many articles in your blog, it would have been ‘buried’ deep under the Archives. There are lots of gems in there that will benefit your visitors and other users. The challenge is how to bring out those articles.
For example, I’ve initially started a blog that documents my journey to beat sugar addiction. I’ve even named the blog: Goodbye Sugar (the blog has been transferred to http://healthblog.yinteing.com/). The initial months of the blog were filled with articles on how to cut down sugar, how to get a low/medium GI meals (that helped to curb cravings), how to keep being motivated to exercise and continue going to the gym when one just want to give up. I was able to put what I wrote into practice and motivation to exercise and eat right was no longer a challenge- and thus, I seldom write weight loss articles anymore.
Along the way, I’ve discovered how by eating right, you can control your food triggers and how by exercising can help to improve or possibly reverse certain health conditions. So I’ve change the focus of the blog to write on complementary healing through food and exercise. But many visitors would still be interested in topics on “how to reduce tummy” and “does crunches work to get a good abs”- and they no longer see these articles listed.
The challenge is that if you have switched focus, you will need to bring the old articles out in the forefront that will benefit your visitors. After all, most bloggers love to share, that’s why we devote hours and hours churning out posts.
Consider Adding a bit of Customization to the Blogger Template Layout
Blogger templates normally have very basic 2-column layout. There are many excellent free sources of information that provide tips on how to add a 3 column, create a sub header, make the contents section wider, etc. It involves modifying html (you can find the html via Layout> HTML of blogger) but often, good sites gives lots of step by step. If you notice, my blog’s layout is slightly different than the typical blogger template- it’s the result of hours of trial and error of painsaking searching for information, testing the html presented by different blogs until I come across one that work. No worries, I will share my findings in future articles, giving full credit to sites that have helped me get the code right.
You also need to make it easier for your visitors to search for information that they want. Often ask yourself the question: “what makes you continue reading more and more in a blog?”. Have you came across a gem of a site whereby you spent hours and hours (sacrificing sleep) just reading through the articles? How are these bloggers able to engage you to continue reading without leaving the site?
Here are some tips that I’ve observed, put into practice and had worked:
a. Add Related Posts
A visitor that finds your article useful may want to read similar articles that you’ve written on the same topic. What you can do at the end of every article is to include “Related Posts” whereby you list similar articles. Don’t make your visitor search all over to find if there are similar articles. All my ‘Related Posts” are manually tagged, so it takes time to dig through the Archives and link to it. But the results was worth it as I immediately observe the average page view per reader had gone up literally overnight.
b. Compile past and present articles into a series of articles.
Lots of visitors on my other blog wants to search for information on how to cure their stomach ailments. So, I include an Article Series on Stomach Ailments– compiling and summarizing past articles that I’ve written on the topic. I represent the series with a picture to catch their attention (and also because I felt the site had just too much words).
c. Provide the option of visitors to search for your past articles
Most of the time, when I visit some blogs, I really want to search for very specific topics within the blog itself. If the blog does not have a search option, it will take me time to manually click at each month’s archives and look for the information. Unless I am completely thrilled with the blog, I will normally just click on the ‘Back’ button and continue to look for other sites/blogs that contains the information I may need. Also, if I’ve visited the blog before and now is revisiting the blog again, I will have problem finding a past article that I like if there is no search option. Therefore, if you install a customised Google Search Engine, just like I did, visitors will be able to search around your site with ease.
This article has been a part of the Blogger’s World Article Series
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