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Quick Tip: Fortify Your Blogroll with Reader Lists

Spread the love to more bloggers: create a blogroll made of Reader lists.

Do you use a blogroll to link to sites you love? Have you considered populating that blogroll with Reader lists to share even more sites you love, organized by topic? Today, we’ll show you how to do it.

A quick refresher on lists

Reader lists are public — you’re welcome to subscribe to my Favorite Magazines and/or my Artists and Sketchers Reader lists. Click on the link and then “Follow” on the right-hand side of the screen.

Reader lists are a great way to collect and keep up on blogs you love on a specific topic.

I have a few different lists I return to: I’ve got a collection of favorite magazines and a list of great artists and sketchers when I need a dose of art.

For full details on how to create your own list, check out our recent post, “Quick Tip: Make the Most of Lists.”

Reader lists as a blogroll

Why do this? Reader list blogrolls solve two problems. First, they allow you to link to ALL the blogs you love — not just a select few. Second, it solves the “which link do I click” problem for your readers, allowing them to choose by topic.

Let’s look at how to use Reader lists to create a blogroll on your site. We’ll use a little bit of HTML to create links and a list that we’ll display in a Text Widget.

Step 1: collect your Reader list links.

Each Reader list has a unique URL as seen in your browser’s address bar. The URL for my Artists and Sketchers Reader list is pictured below. Copy the link and paste it into a blank post, a new Word or Pages document, or any digital scratchpad you’d like use to collect links that will go into the Text Widget.

copytheurl

Step 2: create a list of links in a Text Widget.

Once you’ve copied a Reader list’s link, go to My Sites β†’ Customizer β†’ Widgets β†’ Widget area, and click on Add a Widget.

In the search bar that appears in the new panel, type Text, then click on the Text Widget option that comes up.

searchfortextwidget

You’ll see an empty Text Widget to populate at the bottom of your list of widgets (if you have any).

emptytextwidget

Not sure how to create HTML links and lists? Here’s how to create a link and a list.

Here, I’ve added a title to the widget and used some HTML to create the links in an unordered list:

blogrollwithhtml

And, here’s how it looks on my site. Now, when visitors click on each link, they get to read not just one blog, but all the blogs on each list*. Wunderbar!

howitlooksonmysite

Don’t forget to share your Reader lists and Reader list blogrolls in a comment on this post.

* You might think that the Reader list blogroll approach may deprive sites of a direct link from you — remember you can always have a regular blogroll and one generated by Reader lists too — the choice is yours.

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  1. I had put links in a text widget, but had not known how to make them fall one after another. Thank you.

    But- on blogrolls, how many people click them? I found mine sat by the side of my posts, usually unclicked, so I got a theme without a side bar. How many views do you get, and how many blogroll clicks? Is it worth it?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Those in your blogroll will be more able to answer that question. If someone clicks on their blog, your site is the referrer in their stats. It’s not so much about clicks, it’s more about sharing the blogs you love with others. Somewhat altruistic, yes.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am delighted to share blogs, but I checked my stats and hardly anyone ever clicked on them. So they sat at the side of the screen, unseen. My question was is this everyone’s experience? I have a fair few searches reach me every day, and lots of visitors come back, and I have had visitors from 175 countries and territories- Guam, Bhutan, the Aland Islands…- but no-one would click my friend’s blog!

        Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s another option you can use. I purposely didn’t suggest the Links Widget because it doesn’t allow you to add a little bit of text to organize your list with headings, such as Art and Writing as I used in my example. Also, I wanted to keep this article focused so as not to overwhelm readers brand new to WordPress.com. It’s great to have so many options though, for sure. Thanks for mentioning it!

      Liked by 2 people