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Leave ‘Em Wanting More

No matter how long you’ve been blogging, there is always more to learn. As part of the Weekly Writing Challenges,…

  • Ready to write? We’ll give you a new challenge each Monday. Publish a new post on your blog that interprets the challenge. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More

No matter how long you’ve been blogging, there is always more to learn. As part of the Weekly Writing Challenges, once a month, we’ll highlight a feature in the WordPress.com Dashboard and challenge you to incorporate it into your blog. We want to help you take full advantage of all the tools available on WordPress.com to make your blog the best it can be — and to make your friends jealous of your web wizardry.

To participate, tag your posts with DPchallenge or leave a link to your post in the comments. Please be sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge; obvious attempts to link-bait will be deleted. We’ll highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed on Friday, and in our monthly newsletter.

Every writer knows the importance of using a good hook to get a reader’s attention. We carefully craft the first paragraph of our post to engage, connect with, and draw our readers in. Beyond keeping a reader’s attention, the beginning of our blog posts act as a central part of storytelling where we construct the foundation of our tale and build an eagerness in our audience to read on. More, more!

With blogging, we have unique tools available to us that can aide in developing our stories: a strategically placed image, an audio clip that adds ambiance in the background, a gripping “To be continued.” In our Longform Layout post last week, we offered even more options for keeping readers engaged through the use of graphics and subheadings, diagrams and ellipses. But did you know that on WordPress.com we have a built-in way for you to give your users only a taste of your post from your blog’s home page?

The More Tag in your Visual Editor lets you add a "Read More" link to split your post content.

The More Tag in your Visual Editor lets you add a “Read More” link to split your post content.

When writing your post in the Visual Editor, you will find a small icon with a dotted line in the center. This is the More Tag. The More Tag is a tool for splitting your post content — wherever the More Tag is placed, a Read More link will be displayed. In fact, you used the More Tag when you clicked through from the Daily Post home page to read this post.

If you like playing around in your Text/HTML editor, you can also customize the More Tag to add your own version of Read More.  By entering the More Tag in the Text editor, you can append more with the message you’d like visitors to see as the linked portion of text.

<!--moreWhat's behind door number three?-->

In the example above, What’s behind door number three? would show in place of Read More. One small note: while it’s technically possible to add more than one More Tag to your post through the editor, only the first one will be active on your site.

For this week’s writing challenge, explore using the More Tag as a way of building a sense of anticipation into your post. Take advantage of customizing the Read More link to offer a tongue-in-cheek continuation or thoughtful segue into the next portion of your post. Want a few ideas to get started?

  • Save your More Tag for later on in your post and give your readers a choose your own ending post with multiple finales to your tale. (Note: this is also an excellent place to use page jumps as well!)
  • Go for a classic genre of suspense: write a horror story, using the break to build tension as your readers move to the next page.
  • Write your own prompt, and answer after the jump. Then, you can ask your readers to weigh in as well.

We can’t wait to see what more you can do with the More Tag!

_______________________________

When participating in a challenge, it’s common to link back to our Weekly Writing Challenge post, which will result in your post being included in the list of Pingbacks under the comments. If you’d like to create a pingback to a Daily Post prompt, make sure you’re on the individual post page — you can get here by clicking on the Read More link or the title of the post — and copy the URL from your browser (that’s the http://daliypost.wordpress.com/2013/08 . . . bit). Paste the URL into your own post, or use the Add Link button to turn some of your text into a link.

(If you add a link to your post, but aren’t seeing your site included in the Pingbacks section, go to your Settings >> Discussion page in the Dashboard to make sure that you have pingbacks enabled. Of course, if you run into any trouble, just let us know!)

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  1. Really? this sounds interesting and it would be great exposure for my blog. I’m not asking for you to favor me but do you think you could take a quick look at my blog and if you like one reblog it? I could really use the publicity. Keep in touch and we can talk deals. Thanks

  2. I’d be lying if I said this didn’t completely confuse me. But it seems like a cool feature that I probably won’t use that much. Maybe for writing games and progression in fun stories.

    Is this the same thing you’d see on the Reader when you have to click to read the whole post?

      1. Aha! So what I just did is wrong? (Edited a post with a recipe, so the ‘more’ bit comes up just to link to the recipe details.)

        Now what I really want to know, is do readers prefer short snippets, that they then have to click on, or do they prefer being able to skim through the homepage, without lots of clicking back and forth!

      1. Thanks! This challenge is not relevant to our theme/format, but going to try that out with notification. You’ve encouraged us to make some other updates to the site as well after a year and a half of having it the same! Hoping the rest of the Collective will like the updates!

      2. Very helpful! Thanks for this tip. BTW, on the Readings settings page what does “Syndication feed shows the most recent” option mean?

    1. I just took a look at your site, and it looks like your theme shows a featured image on the home page, rather than text. This may be the intended design of the theme, but you can always reach out to the theme developer if you have questions about certain features and compatibility.

    2. I had the same issue with my original theme and since I was getting bored with the layout I changed it to one where I am able to use the feature. However, I am finding it a bit confusing so I am sticking with the good old fashion “to be continued…” method.

    1. Hi, I had this same problem when I first started experimenting with . Somewhere, in an WordPress article I can no long find, I discovered that I needed to go into the text mode, and add the following at the very beginning of the post:

      After that, I start writing. At the point where I want the , I insert it. Everything after that is hidden. I have no idea what this command statement does, but it works. At some level that bothers me. Someday I might try and figure it out.

      I also noticed that, when I preview my changes, I cannot see the effect. But, if I save the changes, and look at it without being logged in, the is working.

      Happy trails,

      Pat

    2. (reponse to PCHtraveller)
      I think the system has processed it and eaten it up!

      I tried to put it in a reblogged post, but couldn’t get that to work. When I put it in an ordinary post (microwave mug brownie – see pingbacks below) it did work, but it took several goes because I tried to change the text. You have to leave in the ‘more’ bit in front of whatever you want to appear, then it works. Does that help at all? I think I also found that you need to go back to your original page other than by using the back button, or it won’t show up.

  3. Hi, interesting idea, although like one of your commenters above, I’m also a bit confused. I tried using the “Read More” feature you discuss, on this new piece i just wrote this evening, –

    http://arranqhenderson.com/2013/08/26/nabokov-perec-joyce-and-bloom-ulysses-maps-and-games/

    I’m quite proud of this little piece, (about games and puzzles and maps in literature) and in fact i think its an ideal candidate for that device. But I can’t make it work. :(
    So far I’ve tried highlighting a section of text (where I’d like to make the “read more” break) just as you would if you were inserting a link/hyperlink, and then hit the “read more”button on the tool bar. But when i update the text in editor, it appears just the same!
    What am i doing wrong? Any tips?

    Any advice gratefully received- Arran.

    1. Hi, I am using this feature from the beginning. It is saving space and makes possible to put more post per page.
      What you should do is make a space after a paragraph (hit Enter 2 times), put cursor in the middle and then click on this icon. Then save/publish, etc.
      You will be able to see if this ‘Ream more…’ is showing either directly on your blog or on the tetx tap (when writing a post in WordPress you have 2 tabsw: Visual and text).
      What I ahve noticed however – sometimes it is inserting this break text line but it is not visible in your Visual tab. I think it has to do with browser.
      Try it! Success :-)

    2. You don’t need to highlight as you do for links, as far as I can tell. You just click the ‘more’ button in the place where you want it to break the text, just like adding an extra word.

  4. Hi,

    I love this description. I have goggled through WordPress articles, trying to make sense of some of the WordPress features. You described it all, clearly and succinctly. Good for you! Your article ties the features together in a coherent pattern. From time to time, I have tried to add these features into my blog, with limited success.

    This is exactly the sort of stuff I have been looking for. I have been trying to tidy up my blog, which has become cluttered and even confused me. I hit on the feature to summarize my articles. And I have used the to go from tables of contents to specific articles. I will try using the feature to get from the articles back to the table of contents.

    Thank you very much,

    Pat

  5. Strange! my last comment and ping isn’t showing up again?… I did experience this before – I wonder if it has something to do with my blog being on a private domain?

  6. Sorry, but I am a little confused. I use the more tag a lot. My front page shows my latest posts and I use the more tag to take people from the front page to the rest of the post. If I give them the address of the post they do not see the more tag. Do pingbacks take people to the front page or the post. If it takes them directly to the post the more tag will not work for me. Am I missing something or not read something?

  7. Psst.. last line?

    We can wait to see what more you can do with the More Tag!
    you mean can’t wait?

    Wanna borrow my editor? She’s good but she’s evil.

    Feel free to delete this when you edit that line.

      1. We have a lot of

        “Dear Author”
        “Dear Editor”

        conversations that she’s 99.5% right in but don’t tell her I said that. She might ask for a pay raise and want me to send her chocolate chip black walnut chocolate kitchen sink cookies every week as payment.

    1. Apparently it did work. It is just that you have to be arriving at the post a certain way to see it. I logged off and found the post without logging in and I then I saw that it work. I guess this is helpful but I don’t get to posts that way. I generally click on them from my reader. I would think most people with a wordpress logon may not see it either if they are using the Reader.

  8. Hi, WordPress,

    I want to participate in the challenge. But I use a theme that automatically uses ‘more’ tag in every post. So I can’t do what this post says, such as playing around in the HTML editor. I definitely know how to use ‘more’ tag as I’ve used it in some of my posts before I changed theme. So, can I still participate? :)

    Thanks.

      1. Hi, Erica,

        I have no idea why the pingback doesn’t work. It always did before. I’ve checked the discussion page and had pingbacks enabled and still it doesn’t appear below. Is it because I put the link on the third page of the post? This is the first time I split my post into different pages.

        Thank you…

      2. Unfortunately, yes. With NextPage, the link to the post will need to be on the first page for the pingback to work. However, you’re also welcome to add a link to your post here and tagging it with DPChallenge will add you to the feed in the Reader as well.

  9. The More tag is much easier to use, especially to those who are not really techie. But it can be tedious for bloggers like me who shows excerpts only on the homepage if you’ll be using a ‘read more’ link on all your posts.

  10. This tool is handy only for certain themes where your homepage shows all your posts all at one time unlike those blogs that have images in their homepages like mine. :)

52 Responses Ready to write? To participate, publish a post on your blog that responds to the prompt. Include a pingback and we’ll list your post below. Learn More