31 Days to a Better Blog--Day 4: Interlinking Posts
Yesterday's task in Darren Rowse's 31 Days to a Better Blog
was to interlink posts--more specifically, to go back to old posts and add in links to newer posts. While you can use plug-ins to create "Read More on this Topic" links at the bottom of a post, Darren has found that he has better results when he adds the new links into the body of the old post.
I'm a fairly prolific blogger, so my first task was to figure out what posts I should add to. I decided to look at a few things:
- My "Best of Bamboo" posts (in the sidebar)
- The posts that get the most traffic
- The posts with the most saves to del.icio.us.
It seemed to me that it made the most sense to add new content to those posts that seem to have the most value to people and that these were my best ways for determining that.
My second challenge was to find newer content that I could link to in the old posts. That was a little harder, but with some browsing, I found some new info. I didn't have a lot of time this morning, so I only made changes to a couple of posts--Using Facebook in Your Nonprofit and Does Your Website Suck? But I intend to make this a regular part of my blogging thinking when I make new posts to consider if it's content that might inform older posts and add that content at the time.
I will say that this exercise pointed out a frustration with Typepad. It only allows you to access editing of posts by date and there's no way to search for a specific post. That definitely made things more tedious. Hear that Typepad?
- When I'm writing new blog posts, consider older posts and how I might improve them by adding the new link. It should be pretty easy, since I usually use old post links in the new post--it's basically cross-linking.
Kate Foy has accepted our blogging challenge and Nancy Riffer has emailed me to let me know that she'll be joining us as soon as she gets her blog set up. I think it's interesting that we basically have all women here. . . Any ideas on why that might be?
Also our little challenge got a hat tip from Problogger Darren Rowse himself when Sue Waters and Frances McLean kicked things up a notch by offering a kilo of chocolate(!) to the person who does the best job in meeting the challenge. I'm sorry, but these people are some SERIOUS competitors. Head on over to Sue's to see the rules and to sign up for your chance at some sweets.
Count me in. I'm now up at typepad.
Posted by: Nancy Riffer | August 04, 2007 at 10:42 PM
I knew I wouldn't be able to do the daily blog tasks because of travel, but I definitely agree that the interlinking of posts can be helpful. By far the most popular posts on my blog have been the series on instructional design skills where I linked all the posts back to one another. Some of that popularity is probably the content, and certainly the links to some posts helped quite a bit. I think that having the series of related posts seems to keep people reading my information though.
I'm having trouble figuring out how I would do that for my regular posts though. My instructional design skills was intended as a series of related information, and I always envisioned it that way. Most of what I do doesn't work like that though. So how do I figure out when to do the links? Do I just do links if I refer to an old post (which I don't do much, but maybe I should do more)? Where do I start?
BTW, if Typepad doesn't offer you a search function, maybe you can use the Google search within just your domain to speed things along. (Use your search terms followed by site:http://michelemartin.typepad.com/thebambooprojectblog/ to search just your blog).
Posted by: Christy Tucker | August 05, 2007 at 11:58 PM
Hi Christy--For me, I found interlinking in a couple of ways.
First, there have been times when I've inadvertently created a series of posts without intending to. So, for example, I wrote a post on using Facebook and then over time had a series of follow-up posts. I ended up going back to my original post to add the follow-ups as additional resources.
The second backward linking I did was when I found I needed to update information. For example, I'd written a post on creating a Newbie Guide for your site in which I said that I had been looking at other people's guides and was considering creating my own. Since I've done that, I went back to that post and edited it to say that I'd now developed my own guide and linked to the info. Not quite linking to a post, but similar idea.
RE: the search function---I wasn't totally clear on what I meant there. When I'm in edit mode in Typepad, I can't do any searches of posts to get to the exact post I need. I basically have to scroll through batches of 50 by date to get to the post, rather than just being able to go immediately to the exact post I need. I do agree, though, about putting Google search on the site--I may do that. Although I'm also worried about clutter. . .
Posted by: Michele Martin | August 06, 2007 at 07:33 AM