Let’s discover ways to drive traffic to the older content on your site.
Given the ephemeral nature of the internet — from breaking news to memes to reader attention spans — it feels like we, as online publishers, are pushed to keep pace with the web, writing post after post each day.
Most blogs are set up for this kind of schedule, with front pages displaying your latest posts. But while your readers (and search engines) love seeing fresh content on your homepage, we encourage you to promote your archives, too: your best posts, your hidden gems, your timeless content. It’s great to drive traffic to older posts and different parts of your site.
You’ve got handy tools on WordPress.com to promote your older content, including the Archives Widget and the Categories Widget. But let’s look beyond these and discover other ways to drive traffic to your archives.
A custom menu of pages and categories
At Little Grey Box, established travel blogger Phoebe Lee has a custom menu with various tabs of categories and pages, including travel destinations, travel tips, and blogging and branding advice, shown below. Her menu is a “table of contents” of sorts, and is an effective way to organize older content across many topics.
A showcase of your best work
You can create a “Best Of” page and curate a shortlist of your favorite and most popular posts, then add the page to your menu, as I’ve done on my personal website. The Top Posts & Pages Widget may generate a similar list for you, but if you want more control over your selections — and want to display this list on its own page rather than your sidebar — this is a simple way to do it. (For users who like tinkering with shortcodes, consider the Display Posts Shortcode: using various shortcode options, you can fine-tune the posts you want to display on a page, too.)
Custom image widgets
At LifeAbsorbed, Bethany Meyer uses custom Image Widgets in her sidebar to attract and direct readers to various categories, including her writing on hikes, comedy, and Los Angeles. The widgets not only jazz up and visually enhance her site, but drive more traffic to specific areas.
If you’d like to create something similar, read our image widget tutorial for non-designers — this is a great way to direct readers to specific pages and posts, and can enhance your blog’s overall visual look.
Featured post sliders
Some themes have the option to activate a post slider — a slideshow of featured images, often at the top of the homepage, that highlights selected posts. In the Theme Showcase, you can browse themes that support post sliders and the different ways your featured posts can be displayed.
Recurring posts, roundups, and anniversaries
Another way to direct traffic to your archives is by publishing an ongoing series, like the “Straight Outta Fresno” series at Tropics of Meta, a publication on history, current events, and culture. The category is organized under the “Features” menu tab, and is a thematic way to group older posts together.
You can also curate your own content in “best of the month” or “end-of-the-year” posts. Or, if you’re a food or DIY blogger who writes about seasonal recipes or craft projects over various holidays, be sure to promote and link to related older posts you’ve written. These are opportunities to highlight your writing and work in timely, relevant ways.
Some people create editorial calendars to keep regular schedules per week or month, while others write annual posts, too. Expat and nomadic bloggers pen “travelversary” posts that mark another year of living abroad or traveling the world; in these kinds of posts, bloggers revisit older “travelversary” posts and look back on what they’ve accomplished and experienced.
Not an expat or traveler? You can draft a similar post, no matter your niche, and then call attention to related posts from your archives.