New readers are stumbling upon your blog and joining your community every day. However, because of the nature of how blogs work, users who find your site today may never see all the great content you posted last week. They’re starting from today…which means they won’t benefit from all the information you’ve been working hard to write since you started your blog, because they don’t know it’s there. Creating a Sneeze Page for your blog can help them find it.
The term Sneeze Page was coined by Darren Rowse, aka Problogger, way back in 2007 and describes a page that is designed to “propel people in different directions deep within your blog,” introducing them to posts that you’ve previously written. Basically, it introduces new readers to some of your best content and encourages them to engage with your website. You can create Sneeze Pages based on a time period (The Best Posts of 2010), a theme (Top SMB Social Media Posts), a product (The Complete Guide to [Product Name]), an event (A History of BlogworldExpo), or anything else that you think may benefit readers.
How to Create a Sneeze Page
Because you’re essentially just repurposing content you’ve already written, creating a Sneeze Page takes virtually no time. To get started, go over your archives and decide which topics or content could benefit from a Sneeze Page. Where do you have a lot of overlapping content? What path are you trying to create for visitors? What do you want to highlight?
Maybe you notice you have a bunch of posts centered on one topic or you want to create a Best of 2010 post that you can point people to as we approach the holidays and the new year. Whatever it is, go through your archives and start grabbing the links for those content pieces and aggregating them.
As you put the page together, don’t just make it a series of links. Instead, you’ll want to create some new content to describe what each link is about and the benefit for the reader should they click through. Writing a few lines of content for each link will increase the page’s usefulness because you’re giving people a sneak peak at what they can find. Once you combine your links with your descriptions, that’s your Sneeze Page.
Once you’ve published your page, make sure you heavily promote it. That means displaying your Sneeze Page prominently on your blog and/or website, putting it in your sidebar, incorporating it in navigational elements, and placing it in any other high-activity areas on your site so that readers can easily find it. You’ll also want to promote the page via a post on your blog and link to it from all of your social media accounts. Basically, you want to make absolutely sure that people are able to find this page.
It’s really that simple. I love using Sneeze Pages to point people to evergreen content that they may have missed if they’re a new subscriber to the blog. As the holidays approach, you may want to consider creating multiple Sneeze Pages that you can point readers to while your business slows down for the holidays. It gives you some time to step away from your blog, while also allowing your readers to familiarize themselves with content they may have missed during the past year.More in: Blogging