Well, there’s a way to keep your posts current and always-accessible, and it’s not about using categories or tags. It’s not even about publishing a page with links to all your best posts.
I’m a lateral thinker, so I reckoned there must be a way around all these irritating roadblocks to blog communication. And I’m a bit of a rebel, so “but that’s the way we’ve always done it” was never, ever going to be a convincing argument for me. (More like a provocation, really – think bulls and red rags…) So I thought about it for a while, looked at it from various angles, and then… I Did It My Way (feel free to sing along).
Time will tell if this nifty system works well, and I’ll write about it again as things unfold, but these are the basic principles if you want to try it for yourself.
1. Publish newsy stuff as posts
If it’s only worth reading right now, and will have no relevance in six months’ time, it becomes a post in my Blog category, which then appears as the menu item “Blog” thanks to the way WordPress works.
I have no other categories, only Blog, because they’re not really the sort of articles that people will want to read later anyway. (Simple, huh?)
2. Publish timeless stuff as pages
The article you are reading right now is a page, not a post. That means it appears in my drop-down menu structure at the top of the screen. You may well have come to it via a post — more on that in the next point. But if you surfed in via a search engine, you found it easily from the menus.
I have activated comments on the page, so we can have a discussion about it, just the same as if it were a post. In fact, we can discuss it for years if we want to, because it will always be in the menu.
3. Write a blog post to point to the new page
This is the little nifty bit that makes the whole system work.
- I write a short one or two paragraph ‘teaser’ post, with a ‘click here’ link to the page on which the article appears.
- I make the text of the teaser a bit different from the first paragraphs of the article on the page, in the hope that Google won’t be too offended by my apparently repetitive content on my site! But I’m not going to get in too much of a panic about that. This is genuine content, and hopefully the algorithms of Google etc are smart enough to discern that.
- Because I publish this little post, a kind of Article Announcement appears in my Blog stream every time I publish a new page on the site, and is automatically distributed to my Feedburner subscribers.
- I turn comments ‘off’ for the post, so that people comment on the page instead. (I forgot to do this when I first started blogging by this system, and my poor readers didn’t know where to write their comment!)
So there you have it. Outside the Box Blogging, which automatically keeps my old posts ordered and easy to access, and at the same time automatically keeps my subscribers updated with new articles.
What do you think about Outside the Box blogging? Any thoughts or suggestions of your own? What have you tried, or seen somewhere else?