Last Monday, I wrote about sneeze pages and how they can help you get readers to delve more deeply into your blog, and hopefully stick around long enough to become regular readers. What I neglected to explain was that the sneeze page in not something that you do just once, but actually something that you do often, over and over again, every few months or so, so that you are consistently giving people a good look at things in your archives. As an exercise, and depending on how often you post, you can use various types of sneeze pages to send readers to different types of content on your blog. Ideally, you would be able to point to several sneeze pages in your sidebar, so that a new reader looking for posts on a given would find them organized in a more coherent way than is provided by basic category archives or tags.
Below, I’ve listed different types of sneeze pages and given links to the examples I’ve created for each. You’ll note by looking at my examples that I’ve provided an introduction to the sneeze page itself, as well as a little blurb of some kind introducing each post so that the reader knows something about the post that they will be clicking through to. This makes it a little bit more likely they will actually follow the link after visiting the sneeze page.
1. Organize by theme.
Chances are you have themes that come up repeatedly on your blog. These may loosely respond to categories, but they take it a little bit further — think of them as the thesis statements of your blog. For this blog, I think of some of the themes as being: “Know your worth” or “Don’t squander trust capital ”; “Look at these bloggers acting like jackasses”; “Here’s another company trying to cheat people out of money”; and “Experiments in Monetizing Social Media.” There are probably more. For now, I’ve decided to create a sneeze page on the theme of Don’t Squander Your Trust Capital.
2. Series of posts
The introduction or summary post of a series is a useful thing for people who were not around when the series was first posted. Most blogging software can tag things in a series, but this will not allow people to look at the posts in order, so making a sneeze page can make things easier for new readers. I created a sneeze page for my monetizing posts: Monetizing the Mommyblog.
Usually time-related sneeze pages are “best of” posts that show up towards the end of the year. But, since it’s just a little too early for that, and because I always am getting searches to the effect of “What’s the deal with Anna Viele and BlogHer ,” on this blog, I thought I would create a time-based sneeze page that seeks to answer that question: What’s The Deal With Anna Viele And BlogHer?
4. Popular Comments
This is kind of like organizing a sneeze page of popular posts, but not exactly because it might not be the post that is really good, it might be just that the comments are particularly interesting. This sneeze page is full of posts that have comment threads that are really great, and it helps if you point out what makes them interesting along the way: Sometimes The Comments Are Better Than The Post.