What do you do when your website has so much content, people just aren’t finding much except the very latest content?
The Problems With a Growing Archive
Browsing by date is not a great way to find old content, if the content is timeless. Who cares when the content was posted? Who would even know where to start looking, if you force people to use date-based navigation?
Categories are better, but they suffer from either being too full, too spread out, or too disorganised.
Popular content plugins can help a bit, but they rely on built-in metrics such as comments, pageviews, or shares.
The key is manual curation of your best content. This takes time, but it can give a massive boost to reader engagement by cross-linking your best posts together.
Here are some tips for how you can highlight your best posts.
1. Show Popular Posts
As you add more content to your site, it becomes increasingly difficult to find older content by clicking through page after page of old articles.
One way to address this is to showcase some of your best posts on your homepage. You could highlight the posts with the most comments, or the posts with the most views.
2. Show Classic Posts
If you have a lot of content in your archives, why not showcase one of your older posts on the homepage? You may find they start to receive comments as a result.
3. Display Related Content
Have you ever seen a site where it says “You might also like…” at the end of the post? If you can help readers to find posts that are similar to the one they’re currently reading, it’s quite likely that they’ll click onto those posts.
4. Link to Relevant Posts
Whenever you write a new post, look for old posts that are relevant to the subject you’re writing about, and link to them from your post. Readers will then be able to read additional information without you having to explain the same things over and over.
You can also establish a more direct link to previous posts by writing a follow-up post that picks up where an earlier post left off.
5. Share Old Posts on Twitter
Twitter is a great way to share your latest blog posts. Ensure that you keep things balanced, though – if you post a lot of links, it can be overwhelming. Mix things up so you aren’t only posting links to your own content.
6. Build a Quick Start page
For small sites, a page that gives new readers a fast introduction to your blog with some of your best content is a great starting point. A Quick Start page can start as a single page, but for any sizeable site, you’ll probably need the next tip instead/
7. Build Custom Category pages
If you have lots of posts in a category, why not build a Quick Start page just for that category? Although this will create some extra work for you, it’s a lot easier than trying to cram everything onto one page.
It’s also a good way to force yourself to keep your categories to a minimum, as you’ll have fewer pages to update.
8. Build Your Own Hall of Fame
If you’re sick of always seeing the same posts at the top of your “most read” or “most commented” lists, why not trawl through all of your posts and choose a favourite from each week? Or perhaps a favourite from each category?
Drawing up your own plan instead of forcing yourself to use existing tools can bring up a lot of posts you’d forgotten about. Why let your oldest posts sit unnoticed?