Use the Text widget to promote your posts inside your WP blog

text-widgetAfter seven weeks, I have written more than 20 articles including How to customize your blog with widgets. When I had only 15 or less articles, I did not have any problem listing all my articles on the sidebar using the Recent Posts widget since the widget allows 15 for linking.

But what if you have articles much older than post number 15 which you want to promote and get the most out of those posts? How do you promote them?

I am not sure about others, but I have looked at widgets like Top Rated or Top Posts, and they may not be the answer to my quest. After all, if the posts we want to promote are already top rated or most visited, there is really no point highlighting them for our visitors to notice, is there?

The other approach is to configure your blog Settings > Reading to whatever number of posts you want displayed on your main page. The default is 10 posts. The downside of this method (aside from it being an indirect method) is that your visitors would have to scroll all the way down and may not even notice the article you want them to see. And worst, what if the post you want to show is, for example, post number 75?

Activate the Tag Cloud widget? Again, this is very indirect, and does not immediately display the results you want.

Why not simply be straightforward? As they say, be bold. Stake your claim.

Use the Text widget.

All you really need is insert your promotion text and a little knowledge of HTML coding to direct your visitors straight to your target posts. The top sidebar of this blog is created using the Text widget. See also Personal and more… in my personal website for another demo.

In the hands of an HTML writer, the Text widget is the easiest and most effective method. With the Text widget, you also have better control on how to display your promotion messages.

To me, the Text widget is a powerful tool. Are you going to leave it idle?


7 responses to “Use the Text widget to promote your posts inside your WP blog

  1. Darn it, I don’t know one single bit of HTML, well actually, I do know a smidge, but not enough to take on this task. Thanks, maybe I’ll sit down and learn it one day.

    I have a question for you, why don’t you display a search widget? I’m just curious because you know that I try to read every post, so it is not for my benefit.

    One last question since we are talking widgets, what is the real purpose of a cloud widget? I don’t use them because I think they are so bizarre looking, and just like you said, they might be hiding the thing that you really want people to see on a given day. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks for the post.

    • Hi Ileane

      Nice to hear from you again.

      You’re right. I guess I can display another search box (using the search widget) right at the bottom of the sidebar. A search box at the bottom of the sidebar or anywhere on the sidebar should complement the search box already built into this theme, located at the top corner of the page. I think I will consider that. On the other hand, I doubt if for purposes of promoting specific posts, that will be the real solution. As I said, no substitute for direct promotion.

      With regard to the cloud Widget:

      There are two cloud widgets in my widget panel, the category cloud and tag cloud. I am using the tag cloud widget which I re-titled as Tag//Keywords, keywords being recognizable by many of my readers. In my other sites, I re-titled the tag cloud as Tags // Keywords // Topics.

      Currently, on the sidebar of my blog, you will note that Plugins, PicApp, Themes, Twitter, Widgets really stand out because I have a concentration of posts focused on those topics or keywords which have been tagged as such.

      If someone is looking for a post or article containing certain tags or keywords, the posts tagged with those keywords can easily be displayed by the server. As I see it, tags are effectively like ready-to-use search terms not only within your blog but also outside. This is also the reason why I said that the Tag Cloud can not be a real solution to promoting specific posts.

      Incidentally, some weeks ago you mentioned about the messed-up tagging practice used in the PicApp website where I also observed that practically each word in PicApp posts was being used as a tag. Has that been resolved by PicApp yet?

      Anyway, my position with regard to the cloud widget (ie, tag cloud, “tagging”) is that tags should be used responsibly. By that, I mean, only tags or keywords or phrases that best describe our post and that will help others in finding those posts should be used. And if we have to impose a limit on ourselves like a maximum number of tags per post, then let us do it.

      Our digital world in its present condition is already littered with so much junk. The last thing we want to do is to exacerbate the situation by adding an extra layer of unnecessary information. Your concern that tags “might be hiding the thing that you really want people to see on a given day” is very valid, especially if the tagging system is mis-used and abused.

      My two-cents worth. Hope this helps. Again, thanks very much for your thought-provoking questions.


  2. I found this by doing a search on how to display older posts. Since my blog is a tutorial on photography for beginner photographers, the older posts were important to understand the later posts.

    Great idea and it works perfectly! Thanks for this super tip.

    • Happy to note that you found this post useful. I also have an interest in photography and I’m sure I can also use your tutorial.

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