I’ve been blogging on and off for about four years; but it’s only recently I’ve started using a tool that I now find to be invaluable.
I’d always known about this gadget and I see it in use a lot, but I never bothered to discover how it works until a fellow blogger mentioned the value she places on it. And once alerted to its usefulness, it instantly became one of those items to always tick-off the ‘before you hit publish’ checklist.
The tool I’m referring to is the ‘insert more tag’ or ‘read more’ button. You may have just used it to get yourself here, but in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s a way of placing a break into your post’s text so that when people visit your blog’s home page, they only see the first segment of each post: usually the title, the first few paragraphs and maybe an image.
Naturally, it’s completely up to the author as to where they insert this break and many may not want to use it; but for me, it holds three main advantages:
- As mentioned above, it gives your home page a more concise appearance and allows a visitor to skip through your posts nice and quickly.
- When your post drops into your followers’ inboxes, they’ll only see the first few lines – which hopefully will pique their interest. On clicking the ‘read more’ link they are then directed to your actual blog as opposed to reading the post in their email. Of course you may feel that you don’t want to make people use an additional click to read the rest of your post and that you want them to read everything directly from their mail server. Do remember, though, that when people read the post within your blog, all of your lovingly-placed text and images will appear as you intended and not as the mail server chooses to rearrange them. Also, if you’re branding yourself by using certain fonts, colours, &c., then surely you want people sucking all that in as they read your beautifully crafted and poignant post.
- This final reason is the most important for me as I’m terribly prone towards typos. No matter how many times I proof-read before publishing, they always appear as if by magic once I’ve hit that big blue button. Have you ever had that feeling when you realise you’ve made a mistake after publishing and, although you go back in to edit, you are painfully aware that mistake cannot be rectified in the emails that have already gone out? Yep, me too. If, however, you add a read more button, then the only thing people see in their inboxes are the first few lines and not the whole post. Therefore, so long as you make sure these first few lines are good, whatever other mistakes you find (the ones that come after your read more break) can be rectified before anyone has a chance to see them. Nice.
So that’s it. Just thought I’d share my thoughts on this cool little tool with you.
Thanks for reading.