My vision for Leaving Work Behind is that it becomes a valuable resource for people who are seeking to establish online income streams in an effort to quit their jobs.
The problem is that the blogging format, by default, is not good at showcasing evergreen content. Older posts tend to all but disappear if you are not too careful. That is why I have recently been brainstorming different ways in which I can showcase my best content.
In this post I’d like to give you an overview of the measures I am taking to improve my blog’s navigational elements, and I hope that by doing so you will be able to learn something that you can apply to your own blogs. I am also appealing for help from you, faithful LWB readers, as I attempt to take a big step towards helping you leave work behind.
Blog Navigation 101
For a long time my blog essentially had no direct means of navigation. If people wanted to browse through old content they had three options:
- Use the search box in the sidebar
- Page back through the blog archives of all posts from the home page
- Access posts that have been directly linked to from other posts
Hardly a user-friendly experience. So over the past few weeks I have completely overhauled the categories and tags available on the blog. There are now eight categories:
The eagle-eyed amongst you may spot that there are only seven listed above. The eighth category is Miscellaneous, which is where I keep all of the posts that I don’t think are of much worth, and as such, I don’t link to it.
I also have a select list of 29 highly relevant tags which are useful for three reasons:
- They are utilized by my related posts plugin to help adjudge relevancy
- They can be used as a genuinely useful navigational aid
- They can be used to create custom “content buckets”
A content bucket is simply a selection of contextually relevant posts preceded by introductory text and a call to action. For instance, in my sidebar you can see a link to the One Hour Authority Site project, which is a content bucket:
When it comes to blog navigation I believe that they can be enormously useful to visitors. If you’re interested in finding out how I create content buckets, check out this post.
These new means of blog navigation (accessed via the sidebar) really open up the site to readers — my best content is now available within a few clicks to any inquisitive types. If you want to learn more about the methods I use to create genuinely useful taxonomies check out these posts:
- The Right Way to Use Categories and Tags in WordPress to Boost SEO
- WordPress Tags: Everything You Need to Know
But I don’t want to stop there. I want to provide a clear roadmap for leaving work behind, and there’s only one obvious place I can think of to do that.
My Start Here Page
I am a huge fan of Start Here pages — I think they are an absolutely invaluable blog navigation tool for engaging with new visitors.
I also think that they represent an opportunity to help people straight away. Ultimately I think that a Start Here page should be more than just links to your best content – it should be a starting point. Specific to this site, I want my Start Here page to immediately demonstrate to people what they can do to establish streams of income online and work towards quitting their job.
Whilst my current Start Here page does a decent job, it is now slightly redundant given the availability of categories and tags (and my soon to be unveiled archives page). Therefore, it needs to evolve to offer something more. And that’s where you come in.
I want you to have a guiding hand in the creation of my new Start Here page. I want you to tell me what you are struggling with, what you want to achieve, so that I can (hopefully) show you the solution.
It doesn’t have to be anything particularly groundbreaking or unique — perhaps you want to know how to create a successful blog, or you want to know how to establish yourself as a successful freelance writer. It doesn’t matter — I want to know so I can offer up a solution via my Start Here page. This should mean that new visitors to my site are instantly getting what they want — a solution for leaving work behind.
Think Big Picture
What I’m not talking about is specific questions pertaining to a particular subject — think “how to create a blog” rather than “how to think of a good topic for a new blog”. Whilst specific questions can be answered in individual blog posts, I want my Start Here page to grab people and get them set on the right path. Hopefully then the rest should follow.
So please — take a moment to let me know what you need help with and/or what you are trying to achieve. Leave your thoughts in the comments section and I will get back to you — and perhaps you can become part of Leaving Work Behind by shaping my new Start Here page!