3 ways to link to previous blog posts in WordPress

add-links-manuallyHave you ever wanted to refer to past blog posts as you add a new article to your WordPress website?

There are a number of ways of doing this and today I will cover three.

  • The manual method
  • The recommended reading plugin
  • The special category

There are PLENTY of other ways of using the flexible content management system, WordPress, but these three will be my focus today.

Going old skool: Manually linking to past blog posts

As you will see me doing from time to time, when I refer to previous articles I include its title as a link to help you jump over to it if you wish.

I used this method for the basis of my article, Download my PDF brochure: Simple steps in WordPress, (and in creating that link).

This is how I just created that link, above, and note there are even a number of variations to this method:

  1. Opened a second copy of my website in a new browser tab
  2. Used our search box to search for the word, download, because that is a key word in the title of the piece but I could have searched PDF or ‘simple steps’.
  3. When I found the article in the search results I clicked on it to open it up
  4. I copied the title as pasted it into the sentence, above, making sure I used the Paste As Text button first so that I didn’t get heavy, title formatting, etc. You can read more about the Paste button here: WordPress 3.9 wisdom: A paste in haste saves waste
  5. I then selected the title with my cursor and made it italic (using the Italic button in the editing menu)
  6. With the title still selected, I then clicked the Insert/Edit Link button (looks like a piece of chain) to open up the link pop-up window
  7. In here I simply opened the bottom half of the form, Or Link To Existing Content, typed Download into the search box which left me with a selection of articles that use the term Download in the title or body, clicked on the title then clicked Add Link

That whole process takes about 15 seconds once you’ve done it a few times.

Use a recommended reading plugin

On a few of my websites, I use Microkid’s Related Posts plugin to create a list of recommended reading below each article I write.

I’ve noticed people spending a longer time on our website since installing this plugin a couple years ago because it gives you the opportunity of grabbing someone’s attention at the end of each article.

Once installed, the plugin creates an extra box in the blog post editing screen.

Just like the second step, above, you put a keyword into the Search Items box and the plugin brings up a list of ‘related’ articles.

You click on the ones you want to recommend to people.

These links then sit at the bottom of your article AND on the articles you are recommending, this pluging adds a return link because if this blog post is related to that one, the same should apply in reverse.

I am testing alternative plugins at the moment, so watch this space.

Create a special menu items for special topics

One other method for highlighting past blog posts is to create a special menu item for a particular topic or series.

For example, Patrick Baker wrote a great series earlier this year called The Marketing Summer School.

Because we created a special category for those blog posts, we now have the option of adding a link to that blog category in our WordPress menu.

If you hover over Marketing Minds in the menu of our website, you will now see a link to those articles.

To learn how to create such menu items, read my previous article, Add blog categories to your WordPress menu.



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