Face it, nobody lands on a blog Home page. It is like that front parlor in homes of old, pretty, comfortable, neat, inviting but unvisited. Think about it, how do your readers get to your posts? They follow a Twitter link or see your notice on Facebook, and go right to the post page. If someone searched for something they too wind up on a post page and not your Home page.
Yet the “look and feel” of your Home page can make a huge difference in your success. There are two important reasons why showing less and revealing more by using the “Read More” tag can do magic for your blog.
What is that magic “Read More” tag?
In the WordPress editor it looks like a squared-of hamburger and is right in the edit tools bar above the edit area. In Live Writer it is on the Insert ribbon in the Breaks area (on the left) called “Split post”. The Blogger editor shows it as a torn sheet.
The read more tag inserts this HTML code: <!—more—>, not even a real HTML tag, but it is understood by most blogging themes or templates and stops listing the post at this point on your Home page but not on the individual post page. You get just the first part of your post showing.
So your Home page is compact, tight, “svelte” – hey I had to play up the diet idea. It shows just the front part of the post. If you have managed to get a visitor to go to your Home page (a topic for another day) you can display an enticing array of introductions. Visitors can see past these excerpts and won’t get annoyed having to scan down a long article, they just might check out more of what you are offering. So that is the first bit of magic, your Home page shows less of each post, but reveals effectively more of what you have to offer. A big plate of appetizers!
And that brings us to the second reason for employing the read more tag. By showing just the introductory sentence or paragraph you will almost instinctively work on that to make it enticing, inviting, captivating. Wordsmithing just these few words is easier than doing the whole article, so you are likely to spend the time doing it. These are the words that may show on Facebook and in search returns. Having spent the time to make this into an effective little ad for your post will get you more visitors. Magic!
One word of caution: Do not make the introductory paragraphs into teasers. Teasers are just as nauseating in blogs as the are on the local TV news. Make the reader want to read more of what you have to say, not “find out” some bit of trivia.
Good blogging to you!
© 2016 Ludwig Keck