- 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog
- #31WBGB: Write an Elevator Pitch for Your Blog
- #31WBGB: My Elevator Pitch
- #31WBGB: Make List Posts Work for Your Genealogy Blog
- #31WBGB: Promote a Blog Post
- #31WBGB: Analyze a Top Genealogy Blog
- #31WBGB: Contact a Reader
- #31WBGB: 27 Must-Read Tips for Genealogy Bloggers
- #31WBGB: Write a Link Post
- #31WBGB: Interlink Your Old Blog Posts
- #31WBGB: Participate in an Online Genealogy Group
- #31WBGB: Set Up Monitoring Alerts
- #31WBGB: Come Up With 10 Post Ideas
- #31WBGB: Develop an Editorial Calendar
- #31WBGB: Update a Key Page
- #31WBGB: Find a Blog Buddy
- #31WBGB: Solve a Problem
What pages are important on your blog?
Spend a few minutes identifying about 10 pages or posts on your blog that are the most important or most powerful in helping you achieve your goals as a genealogy blogger. Some of these will be unique to your blog, but there are likely some commonalities for all of us.
Your Front Page
This one is pretty obvious. Most traffic is going to come through your home page. It’s probably the page you promote on social media profile sites or the page that others link to when they mention your blog. It’s also a page that visitors are likely to click on if they land on one of your older posts. We’re not talking about a complete design overhaul today; rather we are looking for smaller things that may need to be tweaked.
- First impressions – what first impression does a new reader make when coming to your front page? Do they know what your blog is about right away? Do your header and tag line communicate your intent? What element is the eye drawn to?
- Sidebar – while your sidebar(s) may be visible from all pages, it is probably looked at more from your front page than any other. Sidebars tend to become cluttered over time with buttons, links, awards, etc. You may want to move some of these items to another area of the blog, with the objective of only having useful and important information in the sidebar.
- Objectives and Calls to Action – what do you want people to do when they arrive on your blog for the first time? Subscribe, click on an ad, be driven to your best content, connect with you via social media, leave a comment? Everyone’s objective will be different. Make sure yours is supported on your front page.
Your “About” page is one of the more important pages on your blog. New readers, especially, tend to click on “About” pages to determine if this is a blog they want to read on a regular basis.
Does your blog provide an easy way for readers to contact you? Just last week, I was contacted by a distant cousin who found my blog and he has pictures to share. Make sure you don’t miss those opportunities.
High Traffic Posts
Most blogs that have been around for a while have some posts that consistently generate a higher number of page views than others. This could be the result of search engine traffic, links from other sites, etc. These pages are important because they serve as gateways to your blog. You can make readers want to stick around by making sure these posts are up-to-date and by adding:
- Suggested “further reading” links to other posts on your blog.
- An invitation to subscribe at the beginning or end of the post.
Other Key Pages
Your blog may have other key pages, such as “Recommended Reading,” Subscribe,” “Surnames,” “Research Toolbox,” etc. Any page that is specifically linked to from your navigation menu is a key page. When was the last time you updated them?
- Pick one or two important pages (or posts) that haven’t been updated recently and give them some attention.
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!
This week’s prize is a 6-month subscription to Archives.com.
If you’d like to enter for a chance to win this subscription, leave a comment on this entry with the page or pages that you plan to update. The contest ends at 11:59 pm on Saturday, October 1, 2011. Winner will be drawn randomly.
* If you are following along in 31 Days to Build a Better Blog by Darren Rowse, then be aware that we are skipping #13 in the ebook.. The topic for that day is “Take a Trip to the Mall,” and I just can’t get excited about it.