7 Ways to Highlight Your Blog Archives

Man On LaptopDue to the way blog posts are displayed by default, it’s easy for your important content to get buried.

Here are some ways to highlight your blog’s archives…

1) Showcase Related Posts

One of the major advantages blogs have over static websites is that you can easily sort/display content based on different criteria (date, category, tags, etc.)

For two years, I used one of the simple Recent Post plugins by WordPress to highlight related content below my posts.  I just switched to the popular Link Within plugin.  It’s compatible with Blogger, WordPress and TypePad platforms.

I like the presentation better than the Recent Post plugin I was using before, and the graphics really make the content pop.  The relevancy is pretty good on most posts, but there is definite room for improvement.  (This post is one example.)

A lot of it may have to do with my tagging, but I really like that it seems to highlight my older posts.  This is something that the Related Posts plugin didn’t do very well.

2) Choose a Day to Feature Archived Content

This week I’m going to start something new.  Every Wednesday I will highlight an older post and announce it on Twitter and my FaceBook fan page.  So be sure to look for my “Way Back Wednesday” links.

Remember, a good percentage of your audience has not followed your blog since inception.   Plus, people may miss some of your posts for different reasons.

I have posts that are more than 3 years old but are still very relevant today.  A lot of my older blog content has been buried and never read by the majority of you.

3) Cross-Link Your Posts

Once in a while I will go back to older posts and look for ways to link them to my newer posts (and vice versa.)  You can really increase your visitor page depth by cross-linking your content.

This is extremely important if you have a lot of posts.  Not only does it help cross-promote your content, but you may reap SEO benefits by creating additional inbound, keyword-rich links.

I haven’t done this in a long time, so that is definitely on my to-do list for the week.

4) Create a Feature Post List

Surely you have posts that you feel are more important than others for various reasons.  I used the WordPress Categories feature to create the “Must Reads” listing on the right side of this blog. This allows me to call out posts I feel are important for you to read.

5) Add a “Most Commented” List

If you have several posts with a lot of comments, highlighting them will not only encourage more discussion, but it makes your blog look more active. This plugin allows you to display your most commented posts and/or pages.

Note: If you have WordPress 2.9 or higher, you don’t really need a plugin.  So if you like to limit the use of plugins, check out this article for more details.

6) Monthly Archive Links

This is probably the most popular and easiest way to highlight older posts.  Both Blogger and WordPress make displaying your archives a snap.

I actually stopped using this feature because I prefer to use contextual links and plugins that highlight related posts.

I used to display my monthly archives, but I got very few click-thrus to older posts this way.  I’m not too surprised.  I rarely click through a blog’s archives when they are listed by month or year.

I’m much more inclined to read older content when it’s linked from relevant posts or listed as a related article below a post.

However, you may find this works for your blog.  It’s one of those things that you have to experiment with to see what works best for you.

7) Wrap it Up!

Active blogs often publish weekly or monthly wrap-ups to highlight important posts, special promotions, etc.  If you blog multiple times per day or week, you may want to consider posting regular wrap-ups and make them accessible to your audience.

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How do you highlight your blog’s archives?


Comments

  1.  technicallyeasy

    I use a related posts plugin (not at the moment, though, as I’m going through an experiment), and found it great to use. The Link Within looks interesting, and I may have to give that a look.

    I have tried some of the tips you provided, and some worked well, while others not so well. It is important to try different methods as each one has a different effect. I always try cross-link to previous posts, not just for my visitors, but also for the RSS scrapers. When they scrape my feed, I get at least one link back to my blog.

  2.  Ileane

    Hey Lisa, I like the idea of creating a feature post list and I did something similar recently with my tutorials. I find that a lot of organic traffic comes to my blog searching for my CommentLuv tutorials. Since I have quite a few screencasts on the topic, I put them together in a playlist on YouTube and embedded the playlist into a post.

    I agree that the LinkWithin plugin adds a nice touch with the graphics, I’ll give it a try.

    Thanks for the tips Lisa, enjoy the rest of your day.

  3. I totally ripped off your Category Nav menu under your header. The Thesis guys offer a tutorial and code on how to place it there. The other thing I did was just make a “Most Popular Posts” list in my left nav. They aren’t really the “most popular.” They’re really just what I think is my best. I don’t trust the bots to select my best work. I select what’s best and put the links there manually. Of course, it’s more work to rotate the content, but it’s a labor of love, right?

  4. LinkWithin is something I been looking at for a bout a month now, and it does gives an pop to older post and prompt people to click on them.

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

  5. Lisa, I have just read your post and within two minutes had installed Link Within plugin. Within another two minutes it had crawled my blog and started to give relevant, rather than random, suggestions for further posts. I am delighted! Thanks so much for your clear and helpful advice. I am a relatively new blogger with WordPress and find your site a great benefit.

  6. Ooops. You can see I am a newbie with Twitter too!! My proper ID should be attached to this post!.

  7.  theamazingpage

    Great tips. I use Linkwithin too and I find that is way better than any related post plugin + it uses less queries to your database.

    I don’t use interlinking too much but I will try to use it more in the future.

  8. Thanks for the post, I’ve added LinkWithin. It’s working as advertised. I’ve tried YARPP and I just couldn’t get it going. I do like how YARPP has more settings to play with.

  9. I use the category widget, Linkwithin (I love it!)

    Recently, I added a Thank-you page for new visitors -it comes up after they comment and it has older blog posts to check out on that as well.

  10. Lisa – you are freakin awesome!! You are so helpful it is unbelievable – AND you tell it like it is NOW….not what worked back in the day like so many other “gurus” who charge BIG bucks! I ran across your 2create…site last year and used some things, but just didn’t understand others and let it go…I regret that. My friend just sent me a Youtube video of you and I couldn’t believe she re-introduced me to you. I guess it is true…when the student is ready the teacher will come!

    Thanks Buddy!!!

    Michael Lee

  11. great post. the inherent limitations of a blog unfortunately buries previous posts, sometimes to where the strategies above become absolutely necessary to revive them from the dead. that said, good SEO on blog posts ensure they are indexed and are found by web surfers as well.

  12. Some great methods that you have mentioned. Surely I have not been to much of an archive highlighter but I have been seeing the advantages of doing so, I will certainly try out some of the methods that you have mentioned

  13. Thanks for the tips and the plugins list, they are truly appreciated, though I used some of them, I would find a way to tweak them a little bit…

  14. Lisa, as ever thank you so much for the ideas. I already use the linkwithin plugin on my blogs and find it is a great feature. I am already working on cross linking posts, as I am not too keen on the available options from Blogger with the monthly archive plug in and will be dropping that soon.

    Have you an example, please, on your site of the last idea – ‘wrap it up’, as I am unclear on that one?

    Blessings from The Faith Lounge

  15. I like your idea of having a most commented list. Is there a wordpress plugin for that?

  16. hi lisa, thanks for a very informative post, i have a question though, why does linkwithin not showing anything after my blog post, it only show “You might also like:” and no thumbnail and blog post title. I also use the YARP plugin, could it be a confict? by the way, I use thesis.

    •  2createawebsite

      I have this problem on my hair blog and can’t figure out why and I don’t use YARPP or any other plugin that should conflict with it. The only other reason I can think is that I’m using a “add on domain” and the domain is actually hosted on the same 2createawebsite.com server. So maybe I should use a different path when I sign up with LinkWithin. I emailed LinkedWithin and they haven’t responded. So if you learn something let me know ’cause I couldn’t figure it out.

      • Oh, that’s sad, i’ve been searching for days and can’t figure it out. hmmm, my original domain is igorotech.com and i also have an add on domain, weird.

        Hope can find a way to this later. Thanks,

  17. Many many thanks to you for share this with us ! This is really great information for us !

  18. I have designed and created a new site with videos/images from moments in life. I have included worldpress blog 2 days back. Just a newbie. lol. I have posted some simple posts, but no visitors/comments yet. I read your article and added blog to feedburner. Hope it may work out. Your articles are really good, have to spend more time and learn, I would like to know how can I improve the contents/traffic and earn some money from site, in a good way. visit my site http://www.vision4life.in Blog http://www.vision4life.in/blog

  19. What a lovely expression you created here, very lovely and overwhelm.
    Thanks

  20. Lisa, I just wanted to thank you for this advice about linkwithin. Since I set it up, my main blog has seen a great increase in page views, and from the site stats I can see that people are being referred through the linkwithin widget.
    Without your post, I would never have known about it. So thanks again for all the info and advice you share here. Have a great 2011 yourself!

  21. you helped me a lot when i created my first site.. but i decided to create another site and this time it’s a celebrity news site .. do you have any special way I can make it work good .. thank you

  22. thank you very much this was very helpful

  23. Those were great tips. I have installed the “linkwithin” and its amazing on my blog.
    Merci…

  24. Interesting tips. I did not know it was important to highlight my blog archives.

  25. I feel featuring old post is as important as promotion you new content in world wide web …
    cross-linking or inter-linking you one post to another one is one of the easiest thing and holds lot of importance when we talk about bounce-rate and backlinks .. for me term “popular post” helped me, since it shows my reader that this particular post has got maximum attention by other readers ….
    thou, i never tried “most commented” term ever before, i guess it will also come up as a performing asset for me ..
    thanks Lisa, for letting us know important key points ….

  26. Those were great tips. I have installed the “linkwithin” and its amazing on my blog.
    Merci…

  27. magnificent points altogether, you just received a brand new reader. What would you recommend in regards to your publish that you made a few days ago? Any sure?

  28. Hi Lisa, Have you had any experience with the plugin Related Content by nRelate?

    I recently received an email from them saying that Linkwithin send readers to another site first and that their plugin (also free) does not. I’d be interested in your comments.

    •  2createawebsite

      Hi Lin,

      Never used it. I also don’t use Linkwithin anymore. Can’t remember why I stopped but it was a technical reason I do remember that.

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