It's Bloggiesta time, a wild and whacky marathon of blog improvement. Whether it's simply writing posts for the future, or doing major revamps of your layout, Bloggiesta is the time to make your blog better! Bloggiesta runs from March 30, 31 & April 1, and it's not too late to sign up!
One of the most enjoyable parts of Bloggiesta is taking part in mini-challenges--I know that I myself have found tips and tricks that never occured to me taking part in these in the past. This year I'm hosting my own mini-challenge, and, since the organizers have asked for links to be sent to the main site in advance of the weekend, I'm posting it now (I'll be adding a link to the challenge site when it's up).
Here's my challenge--Make Pages!
Pages are simply permentent posts that contain whatever information you want--the titles of your pages generally appear at the top of a blog, beneath the header. Lots of bloggers use pages for information about themselves and their review policies, which is fine, and clears the sidebar nicely. If you haven't done this, it's an easy and useful thing to do.
But I'm challenging you to put pages to an even better use!
If you are like me, you feel sad that so many great reviews are languishing in the depths of your blog, unvisited and unappreciated. You can use a permanent page to index your reviews, which is fine; however, this might not actually draw that many new readers. Instead, or in addition, why not have themed pages?
I myself have several of these. I have permanent pages in which I've organized links to all my time travel reviews, my multicultural sci fi/fantasy reviews, my fairy tale retelling posts, and my reviews of historical fantasy. Because these pages have titles that are search engine friendly ("time travel books"), they bring many more visitors to my blog than searches for specific books. I've also noticed that many more visitors click on my pages than on my labels--labels will pull up a thematic group of posts, but it's hard to skim a large number of reviews presented in their entirety.
My Time Travel page is the fourth most visited part of my blog, and it is awfully pleasing to see visitors click on multiple review links. At the top and bottom of this example pulled from yesterday's blogcounter log are examples of regular visitors; in the middle is someone who came to my blog, saw the time travel page, and stayed for almost 42 minutes to click through a gratifying number of the links (the bright pink box is the Time Travel page, the white boxes are mostly specific reviews. You can click on them for yourself, if you are very curious!):
|ip98-163-107-32.dc.dc.cox.net [Srv]||Mar 27, 15:23:43||[0:00:00]|
|rrcs-64-183-221-202.sw.biz.rr.com [Srv]||Mar 27, 15:17:00||[0:41:58]|
|c-24-60-121-73.hsd1.ma.comcast.net [Srv]||Mar 27, 15:12:59||[0:00:00]|
As a blog writer, this sort of visitor makes me feel like it's all worthwhile, and that I've created a Resource. As a blog reader, I'd love it if more people had thematic lists for me to peruse!
So here's how to make a page in blogger (you can have up to twenty):
click on new post
click on edit pages
click on new page
fill your new page with whatever you want it to have!
And here's how to do it in Wordpress:
Select the Administration > Pages > Add New option to begin writing a new Page.
The amount of information you put in your pages is of course up to you. I think the point is to make it easier for people to find books that interest them, and so whatever you think is useful should go into your list. Here's an example of a nice list at Ms Yingling Reads--the title of the page is "Adventure Books," and inside she's broken her list into various subcategories--outdoor adventures, spies, etc. She's also gone the extra step of short summaries.
So I challenge you--make a page! Make lots of pages! Use your labels as a starting point, perhaps. If you've reviewed lots of books about ghosts, or werewolves, or France, or hedgehogs--stick links to them all in a page on Sunday! Bring your old reviews out into the open again!
And just because challenges are more fun if there's a giveaway, anyone that makes a new page during Bloggiesta, and comes back to leave a link to it here (and I'll add all the links to this post) will be entered to win their choice of the following:
An ARC of Unbreak My Heart, by Melissa Walker (YA)
An ARC of Above, by Leah Bobet (YA)
Happy Bloggiesta! And many thanks to our hosts, Danielle of There's a Book, and Suey from It’s All About Books.