Monday, November 2, 2015

Indexing Your Blog

by M. J. Joachim

As with any large inventory, indexes make it easier to find whatever it is one might be looking for, allowing information to be readily at one’s fingertips. While blogs have a seemingly built in inventory, mainly an archive of posts for each month they have been posted, they do not have a categorized list of all things published, alphabetically making content effortless to find.

Indexing, particularly when you have hundreds of blog posts, essentially makes it easier to classify one’s work, not only for the individual blogger, but also for anyone who visits one’s blog. Providing multiple indexes arranged by topics of interest can also be extremely helpful for everyone.

I’ve spent a great deal of time recently, making and updating several index pages for this blog. The task almost seemed monumental at first, but taking baby steps, I tackled it a little bit at a time, over the course of several weeks. The biggie, of course, was the master index of every blog post ever published. Upon its completion, it was much easier to make indexes for app, book and movie reviews, as well as poetry and poetry analysis.

Throughout the process of making my all encompassing index for this blog, I glanced at all of my articles, which ultimately led to some of them being deleted and some of them being returned to their draft phase. I’m currently in the process of updating articles, because once I started glancing at them again, it was easy to notice that some were outdated, and others could and should be improved. I didn’t revert all of these to draft form, but rather made a note to myself to go through my alphabetical index, and work my way through each post, updating them as necessary.

How to Master Index Your Blog

1. Create a new page on your blog for your index, keeping it in draft form until it is complete and ready to be published.
2. Visit your posts pages.
3. Open each individual post, and make decisions accordingly:

     a. Determine if you want to add it to the index as is.
     b. Determine if you want to edit it on the spot.
     c. Determine if you want to delete it.
     d. Determine if you want it back in draft form.

Categorize your index in the easiest manner possible. i.e. alphabetically 
5. Add the post title to your index, per #3 on this list.
6. Once your master index is published, use it to make smaller indexes as desired.

Categorize Topic Specific Indexes on Your Blog

1. Follow Step 1 from How to Master Index Your Blog.
2. Copy and paste from Master Index all articles to be included on this new index.
3. Categorize new index in the easiest manner possible.
4. Categorize new index per subject matter as desired. When it is complete, publish new index.

Notes on Indexing Your Blog

Add pictures to indexes to make it easier to share them on social media. Pinterest needs pics to work, and lots of other social media benefits from added photos too. One picture at the top of the page is all you need to share on social media. It is wise to avoid cluttering indexes with things non-essential to their pages.

Update all indexes on your blog as you add new posts to your blog. This is extremely beneficial and can save lots of time. We all know how backed up files can take hours to sort, if we don’t take care of them right away.

List dates for last updated at the top of your posts and indexes to provide essential information. This makes it easier for you to track what needs to be done, and when it needs to be done, on your blog.

As your blog grows, keeping indexes for it will keep things cleaner and easier to manage, both for you and your audience. It’s true, there will be a few more steps when you draft and publish a post, but these steps will help with general maintenance in the long run, providing you with added forethought, making it easier to publish things that are more appropriate and received better by your followers. Indexing and maintaining blog indexes is one more tool you can use to improve your blog, making it much more sustainable as you add to it in the future.

I hope these index instructions and tips help you make the best blog possible, and increase traffic for you because things are so easy to find on your blog, and posts are readily available to visit in a variety of ways.

Best to you all on this fine Monday,

M. J.

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