Saturday, April 2, 2011
Blogger Tip - Related Posts Widget
My blog may not look like much has been put into it, but let me assure you... I have searched high and low and worked on into many nights trying to find a great new widget. And sometimes... I worked on into the night trying to fix what I messed up when the widgets didn't work correctly. It can be very time consuming, and not all of us have the time that is necessary. It's also very frustrating... many times it made me want to delete my blog and start over. But, not to worry. I have overcome!
Thankfully, there are many fellow bloggers who are willing to share from their experience, whether it be from success or failure. So I thought I'd return the favor by passing along any good tips I come across myself.
You may have noticed after a while that your older posts don't get many views. You may not care about this if you write more of a diary or current events blog... or, maybe you do. But either way, if you have information that you'd like to share at any time, like recipes or devotions or tips... useful information of any kind, then you might want them to be easily accessible to your readers. I mean.... after a year, or even a few months, not even I want to sit and read all the old posts I've written. And blogging is a lot of work. Fun... but work. So you don't want your posts to go unread.
What's really helpful is a 'related posts' widget. It's a widget that is placed at the end of every post and sort of 'shuffles' your older posts around so readers will see them and maybe click to read them if they seem interesting. You can choose to show as few as 3 and as many as 5 or 6 related posts.
Pretty cool, huh?
There are several versions of this widget out there. LinkWithin is one I tried. It worked great for a while and I was happy with it, until.... I changed my blog URL. After that, it would still show my older posts within the widget itself, but if you clicked on them it wouldn't link to any that were posted before I changed my URL. So it would no longer work for me. I tried un-installing it and re-installing it... but no change.
After that I went looking for another widget and I came across a 'generic' version. This worked just fine... but I couldn't change the font color and it didn't look as good on my blog. So off I went to search again.
This time I found Outbrain. It works great! It matches my blog colors and style automatically. No problem. It gives you a choice between a text or thumbnail version. It also gives you an option for 'rating' your posts using a '5-Star' rating button or a 'like' button. They even offer a tracking service to see if your posts are being read or which ones are more popular. And it's all FREE!
If this is something you might like to add to your blog, just visit them at www.outbrain.com and click on the link at the bottom of the page that says: Are you a blogger? Install our free widget!
Check it out first. Read all about it, including the installation information. And back up your template before you start making changes... just in case.