The most frustrating thing about writing blog content is that it typically “disappears” after a couple days. Some very popular posts last much longer (I have a couple that are near the top of Google for common searches), but most don’t get a lot of long tail attention. In some cases the content does get out-of-date, or your opinions may have changed and you don’t want the content to be front and center. Generally though, I find a lot of “old” content (written 1-2 years ago) is still very much relevant and worthwhile for readers.
Now that I’m writing daily (who knows how long that will last!) I catch myself writing the same thing over again (or something similar) having forgotten about a previous post. If I can’t even remember what I’ve written, how can I expect readers to find the content and synthesize all the ideas together? Then again, if there’s no good way to resurface old content, maybe rewriting posts (w/ additional thinking or a new twist) isn’t such a bad thing…
I have yet to find a solution to this problem.
Disqus, which I use for comments, shows four articles at the end of each blog post. Often they don’t seem super relevant to the main post though.
Part of the problem may be the nature of my content versus something that’s more entertaining/fun, which catches your attention and gets you clicking through (say Buzzfeed, for example). But I’d love to find a way to get people exploring the blog more, digging deeper, and discovering more of the content.
One thing I’m working on is categorizing content more effectively and highlighting some key categories in the sidebar. I suspect that most people ignore sidebars, but it’s a way for me to focus people’s attention on the key topics of the blog. You’ll see what I mean in Startup & Investor Resources.
Recently I added Angel Investing and updated Building Awesome Products and Raising Capital. These are three broad categories that I’ve blogged about a lot lately, so I wanted to create appropriate summary pages for them. Each of these pages has a brief introduction and a list of articles (roughly organized by date). My hope is that people discover these resources and use them to dig into the blog’s content more than before.
Organizing content in the sidebar is far from a fantastic solution, but we’ll see what happens.
In the past I used to highlight a post’s category inside the post, but rarely saw that lead to additional traffic through the site. So I took that out, along with tags, to reduce clutter on individual post pages.
I’m curious to learn from others if they’ve found ways to get people exploring their blogs/sites further? Or do you even care about it?
One trend we’re seeing is others doing more curation of the Web and aggregating relevant content together on other sites. This makes sense, but it still doesn’t help someone discover the depth of content on a particular site when they get there.
I think there’s a treasure trove of “old” content on a ton of blogs/sites that’s still insanely relevant to people, which disappears too quickly after a few days. And I think that’s a shame for a lot of people out there looking for great content.
Photo courtesy of beginasyouare.