31DBBB Day 18: Creating a sneeze page for your blog

eslkidstuff.comThis is Day 18 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a group project 60+ of us bloggers are doing together in an effort to help each other become better bloggers.

The idea behind creating a sneeze page for your blog? Quite the opposite of spewing bacteria all over your friends, family and co-workers while wondering why no one says God bless you anymore, your blog’s sneeze page encourages your visitors to stick around for a while, hand sanitizer optional.

If you still haven’t installed a statistics tracker, today is a good day to get that done. Tracking the hits to your blog is the only way to know if these exercises are doing your blog any good.

Creating a sneeze page can be done several different ways, and if you’ve been blogging for more than a minute, you’re probably doing at least one of them.

  1. Your about me page is more than a mini-bio. Link to your favorite posts that tell your readers more about you.
  2. Create a page that lists the most popular posts on your site. For you WordPress users, there are plugins that will do this automatically, but why not stroll through your archives yourself? Link to the ones you like the best, the ones with the most views, and the ones that generated interesting discussions in your comments. Mix it up.
  3. When you use words like “yesterday’s post” in your current post, take the time to hyperlink yesterday’s post. Write your blog as though every single visitor is reading for the first time.
  4. Each post should be a sneeze post. Link your commonly used themes, references and cast of characters in each post. Tell us who you are every chance you get, and be interesting. Readers won’t read your blog for an hour without compelling content and easy navigation. Don’t bury the goodness.
  5. If you’re using a blogging platform that won’t allow separate, tabbed pages, you can use your sidebars just as effectively, but on a smaller scale. More of a slightly runny nose than a sneeze, you can still get your readers to click around your site by listing your must-read posts.

Discussion questions:

  1. What is your current method for getting your readers to stick around on your blog?
  2. Do you change your sneeze or sticky pages frequently or just kinda let them collect dust?
  3. What’s your way of knowing if anything you’re doing on your blog is working?
  4. Do you like cats?

The Extra Mile

A few other things you can do to take your blog, other bloggers, and this project even further today…

  • Reply & give other bloggers feedback on the little things they do.
  • When other bloggers include a link to a new article they’ve posted today, click, read, and comment on it.
  • Check previous posts in the series for new comments.
  • Tweet, share, & bookmark this post.
  • Please review the blog of Becky Beery (aka TiajuanaBecky), and give her some feedback.

Blogging daily about nothing in particular at freefringes.com and tweeting about even less as @hmx5, Erica Mullenix is a writer and special needs parent living in Texas with her three extraordinarily normal children and Lab mix pound puppy.

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