Teacher-blog Branding Day 5: Organize Your Blog

Organize Your Blog

Day 5 of Blogging 201

Ahh the power organization. I the classroom it’s a huge focus. We spend hours every year teaching students how to take care of their things. For younger students, it’s all about where to put lunch-boxes, hang backpacks, and store papers. As kids grow older it becomes how to organize a binder and keep a locker clean. For writers and bloggers, organizing is just as important.

Today we looked at how to draw readers deeper into our site. The idea is that when people come to your blog they see your first post at the top, and then scroll down chronologically. You can entice readers to explore more by using different widgets and blog features. I’ve chosen four.

Menu Categories

My menu is primarily made up of categories, which are broad topics. Organizing content this way provides a readers with an easy way to look for information. It’s a great, an easily found, alternative to the chronological search. In addition to the categories I do have three pages that include more static information: My Story, Becoming a Teacher Blogger, and About Me.

Tag Cloud

In the sidebar you’ll see a tag cloud. It’s a quick way to search for specific content. I personalized it by limiting the number of tags shown and changing the label to “A Few of the Things I’m Writing About”. Due to the Nucleare theme it’s more of a tiled bar than a soft and fluffy cloud. However, the style changes depending on the theme so think about that when choosing your theme.

Popular Posts

When I discover a new blog I like to see what others find valuable. It’s one way I discover what’s positive about a site. So I added the “Top Posts and Pages” widget to my sidebar. The name I chose is “Popular Posts on This Site”. One tip is to make sure your posts include visuals. That way, the posts catch the reader’s eye with both the icon and the title.

You Should Definitely Read These

The last thing I’ve done is to add the category “You Should Definitely Read These” to My Story in the menu at the top of my blog. “You Should Definitely Read These” are posts that I am proud of, and want more people to spend time on. I added them to the My Story page because that’s a place many people go when they find a new blog.

What Do You think?

I’d love to know your experience. How are you arranging your posts to draw readers in? What tricks are you using to categorize and share your writing in visual ways? Where do you go most often when you find a new blog?

 

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7 thoughts on “Teacher-blog Branding Day 5: Organize Your Blog

  1. Your changes are great. We are using the same theme now, but your sidebar offers so much more information than mine. I’m going to be honest and tell you that I’m going to copy a lot of what you have done here. I’m curious about your “Blogs I’m Reading” list. Are you able to choose which ones get listed? I follow quite a few blogs and wanted to only list the education-related ones on my blogroll but wasn’t sure if it would allow me to pick and choose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Becca – Ready for a long reply here?!

      Nice choice – great minds think alike :). I learned most everything from Blogging 101/201 so copy away!

      “Blogs I’m Reading” is the widget called “Blogs I Follow” so it shows a list of what I’m following, not just everything I’ve clicked on. I decided to show 10 but you can show up to 50. You can display as a list or grid. The list view seemed cleaner to me.

      I can’t pick what shows on the list but I mostly follow blogs that are somehow related to education/learning so that what shows up.

      If you use a “Links” widget, you can show specific blogs. I changed the titles of mine to “Teacher Tools” and “Teacher Inspiration” and then linked to specific blogs that I think are important. That said, that links only update when I go in and change them. You could do a “Links” widget for “Education must-reads” or something like that and link to the ed. blogs you trust the most. Let me know how it goes. I’d love to check yours out!

      Like

  2. I never saw what it was like before, but your blog now is very clean, and cool. Also, I like the theme. It’s similar to mine, but yours has a wider column, and I like that for photos.
    You are a good student!

    Like

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