I write a story. I hit 'publish'. Hopefully a few people will read my post before it slides its way down the page and off into the archive. I suppose it might never be seen again, which is all rather sad, especially as practically all my posts are ‘evergreen’: they don’t have a use-by date.

Of course most of us have discovered the LinkWithin gadget which is an easy way to encourage readers to sample a few old posts. There at the end of each post is a line of suggested links: you might also like… (I wonder how many people ever click onto the links.)

A while ago, I had another idea for promoting old posts. I made some linked post buttons for some of my favourite archived posts. I like the look of the buttons. They add a bit of colour to my side-bar, as well as being functional. I made the earlier ones using the photo editing website Picnik, and I put the later ones together at PicMonkey

Here’s what I did…
  • I went to PicMonkey
  • clicked onto ‘Create a Collage’, 
  • clicked onto ‘Open Photo’.
  • chose a photo associated with the post
  • clicked on the ‘Layouts’ icon. (A square collage with 3 cells appeared)
  • removed 2 of these cells by clicking on the x in the top right-hand corners of the cells
  • clicked and dragged my post photo into the one big remaining cell
  • clicked on the ‘Background’ icon on the left side of the screen (it looks like a palette)
  • adjusted the spacing, giving a border to the photo, wide enough to accommodate text. (I could have adjusted the colour of the background but was happy with white)

Voila! A blog button. All it needed was the text
  • I saved my button to my computer before closing the collage page
  • opened the ‘Edit a Photo’ page
  • uploaded the button photo 
  • clicked on the text icon
  • added the blog post title
  • saved my completed button to my computer

Back at my blog..
  • I headed to 'Layout' 
  • added an 'image' gadget to my side-bar. 
  • uploaded my button from my computer
  • added the blog post link. 

Finished! One button linked to an old blog post, sitting in my side-bar, ready for someone to discover.

This procedure sounds very time-consuming but it isn’t. It only takes several minutes to make a button once you know what you are doing. But yesterday I found an even easier way to display archived posts.

I found the Blogger Plugins Random Posts gadget. All it took was a minute or two of clicking as I chose my options, and the gadget was installed on my blog. 10 random posts from my archive are now displayed in my side-bar. There’s thumbnails and snippets and links… the gadget looks a bit like the popular posts one, and can be configured in a similar way.

I’ve been having fun with my gadget. Every time I refresh the page of my blog, a new selection of posts appears. I keep thinking...

“I forgot I wrote that post!"
"I enjoyed writing that one!"
"I think I’ll just go and read that one again."
"Perhaps that story needs deleting."
"Shall I refresh the page and see what comes up next?” 
"Did I really write that?"

I’ve been dipping into my archive and reliving the memories.

I wonder if anyone else would like to dip into my archive? Or perhaps you’d like to install the gadget on your own blog, and then I could come and sample your old posts.

Now that I've sorted out my archive... onto my next blog design problem…

Does anyone know how to place the labels gadget inside a page? Or how about a random blogroll generator?  I know this can be done on Wordpress blogs but Blogger ones?

I love playing about with my blog. How about you?

Post a Comment

  1. Sue, I'll definitely be poking around in your archives. I know I've missed so much that you wrote before I discovered your blog.

    I really agree with you..that it's kind of a shame how so many posts just die off into the archives without having seen much readership.

    Some of my own favorite posts are items I wrote when hardly anyone was reading my blog. And then there is always the turnover factor..some people never return, but new ones are always showing up.

    Glad you were able to create your button method to give older posts another chance :) I know I'm looking forward to them...when I get past today's diagnosis. (Sure hope this week will be more fun than the last one!)

    1. Patricia,

      "Some of my own favorite posts are items I wrote when hardly anyone was reading my blog." I know what you mean! I sometimes wonder if anyone will notice if I publish them again. Do you ever republish posts? I feel like I am cheating when I do that, but if no one has read them maybe it's okay. I think many of my early readers have disappeared. It's funny how readers come and go. My most faithful reader and commenter is Noreen. She has encouraged me from start to finish. She is definitely a daisy blogger!

      I hope your doctor is able to help you today. Praying for you!

  2. I love knowing I can easily find posts you wrote before I discovered you... thank you! This is a terrific idea.

    1. Nancy,

      Thank you! Everyone has great posts in their archives that haven't been read by everyone. I like your BASICS page on your Cloistered Heart blog. It is so helpful having your past posts listed here. I have worked my way through most of them. And I've enjoyed them!

      God bless!

  3. I never really thought much about my archives and then a while back I started to delete them and my husband threw a fit. Turns out he treasures them and reads them often. Who knew! :-)

    1. Lady M,

      Your husband reads your archives? Mine doesn't even read my current posts. He gets too embarrassed reading about himself. I don't write anything too awful about him, but still... At least he doesn't mind me writing. No, don't delete anything!! So many memories are stored away in old posts. Your husband has the right idea.

      Thank you for stopping and saying hello. I appreciate it.

      God bless!


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