#31WBGB: Interlink Your Old Blog Posts

#31WGBGWelcome to Week 8 of 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog!  Our topic this week is interlinking old blog posts.

Why Should We Interlink Posts?

There are three main reasons to interlink posts within one’s own blog:

  1. To help your readers – if you’ve written other posts on a similar topic or that tie into a post in some way, then interlinking makes it easy for your readers to find those posts.

    “A satisfied reader is what I’m aiming for.”

    This leads to satisfied readers, who are more likely to return and also share your post with their friends.

  2. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – search engines look at links within your blog to find content to index and to rank your content for search results.  They like external links, but internal links count, too, and can help push your blog higher in the search results.
  3. Increase page views – this is tied to item #1.  Inserting links increases the chances that a blog visitor will view more than one page.  If someone views more than one page on a your blog, they are more likely to remember it, subscribe to it, leave a comment, and ultimately become a regular reader.

Ways to Add Links to Old Posts

  1. In-post links – this is something that I do routinely when I’m writing new posts.  All you do is add a link to a keyword in the post that links to another post you’ve written that is related to that topic.
  2. Updates – if you’ve written a post that needs to be updated, you can write a new post on the same topic, then leave a link in the older post to the new one.  For example: if you’ve written up what you know about an ancestor or a research project, but have now found new information – write a post about that new data, then link the original post to the new one (and vice versa).
  3. Further reading: many blogs include a Further Reading or Related Posts section at the end of each post.  These are often generated with a plug-in.  I’ve recently started using LinkWithin which works with self-hosted WordPress blogs, Blogger, and Typepad.  Before switching to LinkWithin, I used a WordPress plug-in called “Yet Another Related Posts Plug-In.” I think that YARPP produced more relevant results, but LinkWithin includes a post image, so they both have advantages.  Darren suggests that adding manually-chosen links can be more relevant for the reader.

Make Interlinking Posts a Regular Task

Set aside 10-15 minutes a week to look for interlinking opportunities.  As I said above, I routinely add back-links when I’m writing a new post, but I never go back and add forward-links in old posts.  I’m going to add this to my weekly routine.

Action Items

  1. Spend 10-15 minutes interlinking previously written posts in your archives.
  2. Share your thoughts in the comments section:  a)  Have you interlinked posts in the past?  b) How often do you find yourself providing internal links?

Extra Action Item

Later in the series, we will talk about monitoring blog statistics.  Go ahead and make sure that you have some kind of statistics tracking package installed on your blog, so that you have some numbers to look at when we get to that point.  Google Analytics is an excellent program that can be added to Blogger and self-hosted WordPress blogs.  WordPress.com Stats is automatically included if you have a WordPress.com blog and it can be added via plug-in to self-hosted WordPress blogs.  I use both (because I am just that much of a geek).

If you are just joining us, then “welcome.” You can read the kick-off post about 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog here.  Feel free to start with this week’s reading and action items – you are not behind!

Giveaway

The giveaway this week is a 6-month subscription to World Vital Records for their World Collection.   To enter, leave a comment below your answers to the questions in Action Item #2 (above).  One winner will be selected randomly. Giveaway ends at 11:59 Eastern time on Saturday, August 27, 2011.

*This discount was a blogger gift at SCGS Jamboree.  I have no affiliation with World Vital Records.

Series Navigation<< #31WBGB: Write a Link Post#31WBGB: Participate in an Online Genealogy Group >>

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Comments

  1. says

    Twitter: GenYourWay
    I started interlinking my blog posts about four months ago. I try to provide at least one interlink with each post. I also try to include links to external information that the readers may find relevant. I haven’t yet gone back and interlinked old posts forward. That will be the next ‘action item’ when working weekly with my blog. Thanks!
    Joleen´s last blog post ..Tombstone Tuesday – Eye

  2. says

    Twitter: freefamilytree
    I try to interlink old posts to new ones whenever possible, especially on my personal genealogy blog. If I have written a profile on a specific ancestor, whenever they are mentioned in another post, I make an effort to link back to their original profile post.

    I also use the linkwithin widget. I have noticed it’s not always relevant, but my stats show a lot of my views comes through someone seeing an interesting post on the widget and clicking through to check it out.
    Free Gen Resources´s last blog post ..Another Free Genealogy Resource for Indiana

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      I saw a lot of clicks on the LinkWithin images, too. I switched to a Related Post Thumbnail plug-in last night (see Claire’s comment below), so I’ll be watching to see if the results are similar.

  3. says

    Thanks for this post, it’s an important topic to cover. In the past I had linked some posts, but not with any real reasoning behind it. I’ve gone back and linked a series I have going on now but have a question. How do I link scheduled posts? Where do I find the permalink? Thanks!!

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Hey Jenna, I’m not sure if works the same with Blogger and WordPress, but here’s what I do. After I schedule a post, I have an option to view the post. If I right click on the link and open it in a new tab, then the permalink is in the address bar. This doesn’t work when the post is still in draft mode; it has to be scheduled for publishing.

  4. says

    Great topic, and I think I have a revision of an earlier topic coming up, so I definitely want to post a link to the older post when it’s done.

    Speaking of analytics, is that plugin the same one as in the WP jetpack? Just wondering, since they seemed similar. Also, does anyone know how reliable the deerhounds daily stats are? I dropped by 17 subscribers overnight and I’m wondering if the stats are funky or if it’s something I said! :)

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Don’t you love autocorrect? : )

      I’m not sure how accurate feedburner is. I see weird stuff, too.

  5. says

    Thanks for the advice!! Just discovered your blog today and I’ll be catching up with your previous “31 weeks” posts. I was thinking of some links I could add but now I’m a lot more motivated to get that done.
    My blog is about a month old and so I need all the help I can get. I also got some tips from the comments. Thanks guys!!

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      That’s great, Elizabeth! I haven’t done any “forward-linking” yet, but I have it scheduled in this week.

  6. says

    Twitter: michaelhait
    I usually provide links to previous posts (something I have done for years) but the thought never occurred to me to go back and edit old posts to reflect subsequent parts of a series or related articles.

    This is a great idea – I’d better clear my calendar. I just wrote my 100th post for “Planting the Seeds” and have several hundred others on my two Examiner columns!

    Thanks, as always, for the tips!
    Michael Hait´s last blog post ..Ancestry Errors Wiki is picking up steam

  7. says

    Hi Tonia – The latest post on my blog actually tackles all three of the above suggested ways of linking to old posts (in post link, update, and further reading via the app). For the questions: I have interlinked posts in the past but I have only recently begun to make sure I do it when there is an opportunity. I’d say 1 out of three posts has an internal link, but as I mentioned I do have the ‘you might also like’ app so at a minimum that is there as well (that idea I got from you the first week I set up). http://wp.me/p1FWcA-1S
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Super duper extra bonus and final wrap-up

  8. says

    Tonia — stellar work, as usual! Thanks.
    In the past I have internally linked posts, but not inter-linked. I did an update post (http://geneapoppop.blogspot.com/2011/08/aaron-b-knepper-redux.html) interlinking it with two others. I described my work on this week’s challenge in another post (http://geneapoppop.blogspot.com/2011/08/31wbgb-interlink-old-blog-posts.html). In that second post, I also discussed my brief research on Blogger Stats vs. Google Analytics. In my attempt to follow the suggestions and action steps in #31WBGB, I have been amazed at the significant increase in comments and separate emails. It’s working!!!
    Geneapoppop (Bart Brenner)´s last blog post ..#31WBGB: Interlink Old Blog Posts

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Hi Bart, I’m glad you mentioned Blogger Stats in your post. My understanding is that it provides similar functionality to WordPress.com Stats – e.g. basic stats, which is really all we’ll need.

  9. says

    Found your website last night when I was looking at genealogy blogs. Just started a few months back and found your 31 weeks an interesting proprosition. Am following the suggestions, just linked my blog to your website, added Linkedwithin and going back and starting at week one. Added a few words to my introduction but there’s always room for improvement. Thanks for push to improve.

  10. Tom says

    Late to the party, as usual. In the introductory post, you mentioned that you converted the downloaded eBook to a Kindle version? Would you tell us just how you did that? Thanks.

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Sure, this works for all pdfs. You should have an email address associated with your Kindle account. You can find it in your Amazon account. It may be something like yourname@kindle.com. You’ll modify this to yourname@free.kindle.com. The free part is important, because otherwise you get charged for the conversion.

      Send an email to the modified address with the word Convert in the subject line and the pdf attached. A little while later, you’ll get a reply with the Kindle version attached. Then you just move it on to your Kindle with the usb cable.

  11. says

    Thanks Tonia for more great advice. I must admit I had never even investigated the “Link” icon. I had referred to other postings in my Beginner Bloggers Review and my Discovering Dansons series, but had just referred to the title and month I posted them – or I referred readers to my Labels/Topics list for related posts. However as a result of your tutorials, I have worked out how to do links, and am now trying to add a backward link to most postings, and will look to do forward links from past posts. which is a bit of a major task!
    Susan Donaldson´s last blog post ..A Pet Tribute on National Dog Day (USA): To Beauty, Colleen & Cass.

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      That’s great, Susan! I love it when I look at my stats and see people clicking on outbound links. I feel like I’ve done a good job curating content.

  12. says

    Twitter: senseoffamily
    Tonia, first I have to say I love the “Inter-link” design you created for this post! Your graphic designs show so much creativity :)

    I didn’t do a dedicated post for this challenge, but I spent a good bit of time manually adding links from old posts to newer ones (I was already linking backwards). I also installed the LinkWithin widget, which created links in seconds, although as others have noted they aren’t always the most pertinent ones. So on some posts, I now have two types of interlinks-the ones generated by LinkWithin, and the more relevant manually added one(s). I think the Related Post Thumbnail widget is just for WordPress, otherwise I’d try it. Doing this made me realize the value of having some sort of image in every post. I’m also taking a look at Google Analytics. Thanks for another great challenge!
    Shelley Bishop´s last blog post ..Roush Family Ancestry – Surname Saturday

  13. says

    I didn’t do a separate blog post for this one, either. I did spend some time trying out that Organize Series plugin I saw you using, which was also featured over at the Moultrie Creek Gazette. I like the idea, but I don’t like that it messes up my formatting for photos and text once you click in to the post. You can’t see it unless you click in, but when you do, formatting goes wonky. But still, useful. And interlinking is definitely something I need to keep doing, so thanks!
    Dana´s last blog post ..Society Saturday: Phineas Howe writes of Gold and Lincoln

  14. says

    I had gotten the idea to do this, originally, from reading others’ blogs and emulating their method of interlinking to a past post within a new related post. Then I started adding the links to ethnic pages on my blog, which relate surnames with ethnicity. I really wish I had known about doing this when I first started. Fortunately for me, I have not yet reached my first Blogoversary, so the task is still do-able. But, it does seem a bit of a daunting task.

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      I think the key is to do a little at a time. Don’t feel like you have to add links to everything and make linking a part of your regular workflow.

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