September 17, 2014
Welcome to our series on promoting and marketing your own content. Every other week, we’ll debut a new post designed to help you push your blog content to a wider audience like a marketing rock star, and show you how to build a larger and more engaged community of readers along the way.
As a blogger, there is no better feeling than seeing a post get a lot of attention. People are commenting, sharing the link with their friends on social media, and you're feeling the buzz of a successful post. But what about those posts that you put just as much care and work into that haven't quite taken off?
It can be frustrating to look through your old posts and see content that you worked so hard on that hasn't reached its potential. In our first post about marketing your content, we talked about leveraging social media to drive new readers to your blog. Today, we'll explore some ideas for showcasing the posts that aren't getting so much traffic so they get the attention they deserve.
Use Popular Posts to Direct Readers to Related Content
If you have a post that's doing particularly well, you might take that opportunity to link to other posts from there. A simple list of links can be very effective. Using the Unordered or Ordered List option in Compose, you can add a short list of related links of your choosing to the bottom of the post. It could look something like:
Creating the list yourself allows you to handpick the links you want to include and easily change those out later if you want to highlight different content. Positioning the links at the bottom of the post is a natural way for readers to locate related content, so they shouldn't find it intrusive.
For a more automated option, check out the Recommended links and posts feature. The feature's primary function is to link to content on other sites but it can be used to link to just your own content. Zemanta designates content on your own blog with a special icon for easy selection.
Another simple way to let users find more posts like the ones they like is to use the Categories feature. For instance, if you post a book review, you can categorize that with all of your other book reviews and they will all show together on an archive page for that category.
If you add the Category link option in Blogs > Design > Content: Post Footer, a reader will easily be able to click that post footer link to find more reviews.
Use Your Sidebar to Showcase Content
There are several options for directing readers to quality content via your sidebars.
A Link TypeList allows you to create a custom list of links of your choosing and easily add that to your sidebar. It can be edited and updated at any time, so you can easily switch out links and track how content is doing over time.
You can take this idea one step further and use the Sidebar Image module to add image links to your special posts. You can use an image that you included in the post itself, or get creative and make an image just for the sidebar link. Make sure to include a caption so people know where they're clicking to!
If you're a Beta user, the Spotlight Posts feature allows you to showcase posts from a specific category in your sidebar. We recommend creating a category just for posts you want to highlight and then use that category in Spotlight Posts to direct your readers to that content. These can be posts that are getting a lot of traffic but it can be used for any posts, including those that could use some extra attention.
Do you have a favorite way to drive traffic to the hidden gems on your blog? Share those in the comments and stay tuned for more posts in our series about marketing your content.