Thursday, June 7, 2012

Blog Tip: Encouraging Readers to Explore Your Site

If you blog, you've probably come across terms like pageviews, hits, stats, SEO, and unique visitors. After awhile, your eyes might glaze over...but you know that somehow these terms mean something and if you want to encourage your blog to grow, you better figure out ways to encourage readers and visitors to explore more of your site. 

We all want readers to dig around our blogs...those extra pageviews and clicks can mean more money in advertising dollars, more readers, and more traffic! 

One of the easiest and most common ways to get more clicks on your blog is to add a "plug-in" to your template. At the end of each post, the plug--in adds small thumbnails with links to related posts within your blog. Adding the code to your blog's template makes it so that the plug-in automatically appears after your blog post, directing readers to other posts you have that might interest them. My plug-in of choice is nrelate

For months and months, I resisted the urge to add a "plug-in" to my blog. Bloggers were all saying that this was a great way to encourage new readers to explore, but I was wary of messing with my blog's layout, the ones I had seen looked large and distracting, and it looked hard to figure out how to add the code to my design. 

When I finally decided to take the plunge and add a plug-in to my blog, I went with nrelate after reading rave reviews from other bloggers. I am so glad I did! 

My experience? 

The support team was fabulous, answering questions I had along the way. I've never seen a customer service rep respond so quickly! Installation was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. 

I've found that, for the most part, the archived projects nrelate pulls for my posts are very relevant. This post for Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie ended with some thumbnails for older recipes on my blog:

A new reader would never have taken the time to dig through my archives to find those posts. I have labels on my sidebar, but why not take the extra step to provide links and photos for them? 

I really appreciare that nrelate allows you to customize your plug-in. I was able to choose the number of thumbnails, the size, and if I wanted to include an ad (another way to bring in some extra money!). 

Other great features:
-SEO Friendly (clicking on a thumbnail doesn't redirect through nrelate's site!)
-Increase pageviews by 5 - 12%
-If you have more than one blog, you can set it up to feature content from those sites as well

I've been very pleased with nrelate over the last year. The few times I've noticed an issue, the team has been very quick to step in and set everything back in place. 

You can sign up and install nrelate for Blogger here. It's free! You can also find out more about them on Facebook and Twitter

Do you use a plug-in to help readers find more of your content?

If you liked this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. 

*I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with nRelate and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are 100% my own.


  1. I love nrelate! I installed a couple of months ago and have been very pleased with it. The ads on it have even earned me a little extra money. People definitely click them more than an Adsense ad.

  2. I think it's so great that you take the time to give tips like this to us wee-little bloggers. I am going to try it right now....wish me luck...I'm a little freaked out

  3. Yeah, I used linked within - I was able to customize how many links I wanted, and the size of the images, so I don't think it's intrusive, either.

    I don't have ads on my blog, so don't need an option to have an ad in there. I was curious about the option to have an ad included - is it listed as an ad? I would be disappointed to click on a link, expecting to be taken to another post on someone's blog, only to be taken to what is clearly an ad.

  4. Good to hear your feedback! I've been thinking of installing it but wasn't sure if I needed another widget on my site. I feel like my page is getting overly full.

  5. OK you twisted my arm. I will give it a try as soon as I get home this evening! Thanks for the info!

    Jill @ Create.Craft.Love.

  6. I'd never heard of nrelate, Amanda--thanks so much for the tip!!

    Again, I love this series. You are great. Really.

  7. I recently added a similar plug-in, Amanda. Thank you for posting this info. I have a question - was wondering how/if this plug-in slows my page time to my readers. I know readers don't like slow loading pages. Maybe this could be the topic of another of your great posts.

  8. Installing now! So glad this worked for Wordpress too! Thank you for helping out your fellow bloggers. xoxo

  9. Off to check this out!! Thanks so much for the inside scoop!! Great post! Glad to meet you too... hugs!

  10. Thanks. That's just what I need. I've been adding "you might also like" manually and without pictures. I'm going to look into this ASAP.

  11. This is a great tip! Thank you so much. I'm a small blogger looking for ideas and help. You rock!

  12. This is a great tip! Thank you so much. I'm a small blogger looking for ideas and help. You rock!

  13. Thanks for the tip, I always wondered how people did that! I have it installed now too on my wordpress blog! I love your blog design, been working on mine.

  14. I've been using link within for about a week now. I love what these little additional reading blurbs can do!

  15. Amanda, thank you so much for this. I really appreciate how much you experienced bloggers are so willing to pass on your knowledge. I did go to Nrelate and registered, and now have it on my blog. Thanks!

  16. Late to the party but thanks for the info! I have had this post sitting waiting for me to do the install. It was very quick and easy! I really appreciate the tip!

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