Before I began promoting Authors and Books I always said that I encourage bloggers to display their latest posts instead of using a static page. The two methods serve two different purposes to me, but both are effective if used properly. I’ll give you my opinion on them and also on how I use featured posts.
I would use a static page if I were promoting something, selling something, or if I was just super hot and used my hotness as a welcoming photo portal for new visitors. Other than that I always encourage people to simply display their latest post. Here is the thing. Some themes are incredibly “simple” and are so simple they overlooked giving easy to find links to your latest posts in favor of a clean, Japanese garden type of feel. That is cool and all… but if a blogger has to literally search your site for the newest post they will give up pretty quickly. This isn’t Easter. We aren’t hunting for eggs here… unless there is candy. Is there candy?
Give us links that are easy to find or on a sidebar in ordered row. If you want pages then work on your menu and make that more “interactive.” Here is a tip for you people wanting to self -host. I have already shared my opinion on moving over and why I think people approach it with the wrong attitude. My goal for the two sites is not to transition my subscribers from the WordPress site to my new personal one. Instead I use both sites to bounce traffic back and forth. My links on my WordPress blog are actually all sub links to my self-hosted site. But they are displayed as the menu for this WordPress one. It may seem confusing, but to boil it down I basically made a “portal” by any secondary click.
Which reminds me of another thing we need to speak on. If you take a business or marketing course you will hear about the “law of clicks.” Either that or I was really stoned in college and the voices I heard told me some crazy shit…
Anyways, the law of clicks when I “read” it (browsed it) stated that a viewer will only normally click one more time once landing on your webpage. If you can’t get that visitor on your website to where they want to go in that one click you lose. The attention span of a human is incredibly small and an online human is like an infant real-life human. That made no sense, but it was fun to type. This is why I harped on authors with “author sites” that people can’t find their books on! WHY?!? It may of been mean but seriously… if we can’t find your book IMMEDIATELY upon visiting your website then it sucks as an author website. Change it.
This of course leads us back to why I think a static page is sometimes a good idea. If I were an author or someone promoting almost anything, I would place a static page on my blog with a big ass image of that “thing” right square in the middle of the screen. Have your book punch us in the face.
I almost forgot about featured posts. We all have posts we thought were amazing, but people just didn’t get a chance to see them. If they had they would have gone viral… obviously. Featured posts on a blog are a great way of displaying your work you are most proud of. Don’t allow your featured posts, the number that you set as “featured,” overwhelm your current posts and push them down too far on the screen. No one is going to scroll two miles down your blog to find your latest blog fart. Maybe do three to five featured posts and allow people to dig from there. Here is a tip, change those featured posts up occasionally or even on a schedule. It is a great way of “double posting” without actually posting a second time. Remember that a reader who visits from the “reader” will come to that post only at first, but a new visitor that types your website into the address bar will see whatever you display for them to see as YOUR WELCOME! Control that first “display” of your website and make sure it shows everything clearly you want to be seen. If a click or a scroll is necessary to see “something important” you should probably move it where we can see it to begin with. Think as a visitor or a viewer, not as the creator.