Onboard New Readers with a Start Here section

Onboard New Readers with a “Start Here” Section

If you’ve been blogging for a long time, you probably have a lot of content. As of this post, BlogWorks already has 29 published articles from just a few short months of writing – it adds up fast!

How can you ensure new readers are engaged and don’t get confused among a mountain of content?

Create a Start Here section or Top Posts section to place on your sidebar.

WordPress automatically places a “Latest posts” widget on your sidebar. But, let’s face it – not all of your content is going to be great.

You want your readers to see your greatest posts, not just your latest posts!

You want your readers to see your greatest posts, not just your latest posts! Click To Tweet

In this article, I’ll explain how to find your best-performing posts and create a “start here” section (or top posts section) to guide your new readers and keep them engaged and interested.

Let’s do it!

Step 1: Find Your Best Posts

As we’ve already talked about, you can find your top performing posts (based on traffic) using Google Analytics. Just go to your dashboard and click Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages.

Measuring your most popular blog posts using Google Analytics

The pages with the most pageviews are you top performing pages. The “/” is just your home page (which is usually at the top), so you can ignore that one.

Step 2: Create a Start Here Section

If you’re using WordPress, changing this section is really quite simple. You just need to install a plugin like WordPress Popular Posts or Posts in Sidebar. Once you’ve installed the plugin, navigate to Appearance -> Widgets in your WordPress dashboard.

Creating a "Start Here" widget in wordpress

 

From there, find your widget and drag it into your sidebar. These widgets will automatically add your most popular posts based on view count – however, they only start counting views after you install the plugin, which is why we found them ourselves in step one! You can also rename the header to say “start here” instead of top posts.

Now, simply enter your top posts. Keep in mind you can put any post you want in there, which is helpful if you have some posts you want new readers to visit, such as a hub page which links to most of your other content.

Step 3: Analyze the Results

As bloggers, we want to know how readers interact with our content, right? Analytics help us understand how to measure our blogs’ success and know what works and what needs to be changed.

If you haven’t already set up Google Analytics on your site, now is a better

What we’re looking for in our analytics and our WordPress stats are traffic, comments, shares, and clicks. If certain posts get more views or shares than others, you may have stumbled onto something! Personally, when deciding which posts to display in my own top posts widget, I ask myself:

  • Which posts make a specific promise, and deliver on that promise? (Such as this post – I promised to help you create a “start here” section, and if I delivered, you should now have one!)
  • Which posts are well-written? (i.e. Formatted well, use short paragraphs, proper grammar and spelling, etc.)
  • Which posts deliver so much value, when someone reads it they think “How is this free?!”

Use those posts!

Conclusion

Creating a start here section on your site for newcomers to easily find and dig into your best content engages them immediately and earns their trust. You have a greater chance of keeping them on your site and pushing them to opt into one of your lead magnets.

I hope you now have a top posts section on your blog! As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. Don’t forget to share this post if you found it helpful! 🙂

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