June 16, 2008
The “Top Posts” area is increasing in popularity all the time on the most well-known and popular blogs and for good reason. If you don’t yet have such a feature running on your blog, I’m here to spend just a minute to tell you exactly why you need to implement this powerful strategy as quickly as possible.
The first factor to remember is just how many blogs there are these days. This means you need to stand out from the crowd and offer something new and interesting.
Secondly, most internet users are time-poor – in other words you need to grab their attention as soon as they arrive at your blog and show them enough interesting, relevant content that they stick around and have a read. Also, you hope, they will keep coming back for more.
Finally is the factor of “link bait” to consider. In the blogosphere, a particularly interesting or note worthy blog post will quickly attract links from other bloggers as well as the social bookmarkeing networks like Digg and Reddit.
So let’s look at these three factors in combination. You want to stand otu from the crowd, you want to make it easy for first-time visitors to your blog to find your very best posts and you also want to maximize the chances of these posts receiving links from other websites.
In short, this means you need to be ruthless. You need to work hard on creating a small number of posts that are so good you could charge money for them. These are your link bait pieces, and the posts that really can make your name.
Because let’s be honest, on *any* blog there are posts that only fall into the “acceptable” category. Not everything you write is genious. Infactm quite the reverse is true in my experience. Most blogs consist of 90% average posts, with maybe 5% rubbish and 5% gems.
It’s those gems you want people to be able to find as quickly and easily as is humanly possible, and the way to do this, of course, is by providing a list of your best posts nice and clearly at the top fo your blog.
Sometimes these are posts that you specify, other bloggers let their readers decide on what the top posts are but either way you’ve got to have this feature enabled on your blog.
So how to implement the Top Posts area?
Well you could of course just manually add them to your navigation bar. Just stick them near the top and manually hyperlink them to the individual posts.
If you’re using WordPress, the most popular blogging software at present, you could add a new category to your links and call it “Top Posts” then add in your top 5-10 posts.
Or arguably the best, shiniest and most impressive solution is to use one of the top posts WordPress plugins currently available free of charge.
Popularity Contest – this plug in allows your visitors to vote on your content showing which are the most popular on your site. You can then just add a few lines of code to whatever WordPress theme you’re using and those posts voted as most popular by your visitors will be shown.
Top Posts By Category – very similar to the above plugin except this one looks at the category level.
Daily Top 10 Posts – tracks which posts on your blog have received the most readers in the last 24 hours and displays a list of these.
Adhesive – lets you tag your top posts so they will always appear at the top of your WordPress blog.
These are of course just a tiny selection of the options available so feel free to take a look around, try a few on your blog and see which you like best. And I hope you enjoy the new visitors you’ll be generating as a result of implementing your Top Posts feature!
Richard Adams has been teaching about ecommerce and online business since 2000 and recently released a brand new course on how to build your own website from scratch in 7 days or less. Take a look today at Ecommerce Website Design