Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Make reading your blog easy...Link Back!

Last week I came across a great post on one of my favorite blogs (name withheld to protect anonymity!). The post was the second part of a three part series, and I wanted to read the series from the beginning, but I couldn't find the link. I had to go back to the home page and conduct a search to find the first installment. I was really interested in the story, so I was willing to do the work, but if I wasn't I would have moved on and left the blog.

Bloggers must make reading our blog easy! It's a rule of thumb that blog posts must stay fairly short to maintain the interest of the reader (I like to stay less than 500 words...or try to). Most folks have enough reading to do for work or school that in their free time they prefer small snippets. As the storytellers it is important for us to not only break up the story, but to set up our blogs so that our readers can find the different parts. Hence the need for the wonderful link back.

Note in my example above, that I included the idea that there was a part I to my story in the very first sentence and I created a link back to the first installment. Once I publish the third installment I will create a link back on all pages that relate to the story so my readers can easily locate each part. I have seen other bloggers create a list of the installments at the very beginning of their post.

Adding links back to previous or related posts is such a simple concept, but it is one that can easily be forgotten. Take a moment to do it and make reading your blog easy for your readers!

9 comments:

John D. Tew said...

Here! Here!

I agree completely with your observations about making blog posts of a reasonable size and breaking them up when necessary so as not to become too long. [And would add -- ALWAYS include a photo or graphic whenever possible to make it visually appealing and to break up the text.] A few times I have violated the goal of making a blog post fairly short and I am trying to get better at being short and to the point.

The idea of links back to earlier posts is an excellent idea that I have used, but must admit it has probably not been done consistently.

Another good observation that is useful for all bloggers to consider. Thank you!

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Thanks, John! I completely agree, a photo or graphic is a must. As a visual person, I am just not drawn to posts with them. Very important!

Linda Huesca Tully said...

Heather, I am one of the guilty ones! I just completed a series, too, and thought I had included everything until I read your post. I have gone back to each installment and inserted the links you describe. Thank so much for your timely post.

Elizabeth H. said...

Heather, early on in my blogging, someone else blogged about this need and made the suggestion that periodically a blogger should go back and review older posts and make sure that there are links to newer posts (and vice versa), so I try to do this on a regular basis. (I try, anyway!)
Thanks for the reminder.

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Linda, I'm so glad to help! I don't remember now what blog I was reading that led me to my own reminder, but I'm glad it happened. I need to double check my posts.

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Elizabeth, that is a great point! I need to check my past links, too. I also bet that I have some posts that could use some links that weren't available when I first wrote the posts.

Tray said...

Thanks for the Great reminder Heather, I often forget to do this :)

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Thank you, Tray! I plan to work on my links today!

Wendy said...

I very rarely do a series, but I'm proud to say that I have always linked back to the previous. YAY - go me! But you're right: having to track down the earlier post can be a major turn-off, especially if the homepage is cluttered or difficult to maneuver.