Bloggers reveal their expertise around specific topics by publishing original content articles that offer clear value to readers. However, as blog posts are displayed in reverse chronological order when new articles are published the earlier ones migrate off front page of the blog and that means drawing attention to them is a challenge.
In this article you will learn how to rise to that challenge by featuring your older articles of timeless value in ways that make it easy for readers to locate it by using the Display Posts Shortcode to create list posts and index pages and include them as items in a custom menu.
What are pillar posts?
Definition: Pillar posts are not your average blog post. They are usually longer and more content rich. Pillar posts are comprehensive posts that offer great value to readers as the contents are timeless in nature.
What is Evergreen Content?
Definition: Evergreen content is content that is perpetually relevant. The word evergreen is most often used by editors to describe certain kinds of stories, stories that, because of their topic, are always of interest to readers.
Featuring Evergreen Content
Creating index pages and/or list posts provides reader access to posts located deeper in the blog than the front page ie. it’s another way of featuring older content AKA as pillar posts or evergreen content.
If you are a new reader you may want to try building a post index with the Archives Shortcode. Take a look at my All Posts index page in my Custom Menu. I used the Archives shortcode to create it. Note that I’ve also included two other index pages, Popular Posts and Basic Blogging in my custom menu. These are important pages because they direct readers to pillar posts (evergreen content).
What is a shortcode?
“A shortcode is a WordPress-specific code that lets you do nifty things with very little effort. Shortcodes can embed files or create objects that would normally require lots of complicated, ugly code in just one line. Shortcode = shortcut.” Shortcodes
“The Display Posts Shortcode was written to allow us to easily display listings of posts category, post format type, etc. without knowing PHP or editing template files. The Arguments provide added options to display something more than just the title. … This plugin is now available to all users of WordPress.com. There’s no installation necessary, just drop the shortcode in your page’s content area.” Bill Erickson, WordPress Consultant
Display Posts Shortcodes, List Posts and Index Pages
List posts draw lots of traffic both immediately after publication and over the long term. The Display Posts Shortcode can be used to create both list posts and index pages.
In 7 Reasons Why List Posts Will Always Work, Brian Clark points out that “these type of posts and articles are perfect for building your authority and demonstrating a mastery of your area of expertise. If you’re business blogging, that’s key.”
In 10 Steps to the Perfect List Post, Ali Hale says “list posts are definitely a power-keg with the potential to send a traffic explosion to your blog” and offers ways to make your list posts as effective as possible.
Using the Display Posts Shortcode to Feature Content
Using the Display Posts Shortcode in posts and/or pages makes it possible to display not only post titles but also summaries of posts, including thumbnails by categories. There are other display variations too. Here are examples of how you can use the Display Posts Shortcode on a Page or in a Post to:
- Specify display of a list of posts by author.
- Specify display of a list of posts by category.
- Specify display of a list of posts by title, Including the post’s excerpt after the title (and date if provided).
- Specify display of a list of posts with specific image size for displaying the featured image, if the post has one.
- Specify the number of posts to be displayed. (The Display Posts Shortcode has a limit of 100 posts displayed.)
- Specify whether posts are ordered in descending order (DESC) or ascending order (ASC).
Readers are time constrained and research indicates most skim read rather than reading blog posts. Consequently, it’s not likely most readers will trawl through your archives to locate your evergreen content in individual pillar posts or those published in series.
Creating index pages and/or list posts by using the Display Posts Shortcode and adding them as items in your custom menu may be just what you need to make sure your best content is found and shared.