Link It And List It!

There is something I’ve been wanting to bring up about writing. It has nothing to do specifically with writing a manuscript, novel or book. But about how chapter stories are posted on blogs. How does a successful blogger keep readers coming back? I haven’t posted a chapter story on my blog yet, but have been thinking about it. So I’ve done some research, taken a blogging course from WordPress and done some digging through other bloggers’ stories to see what they’ve been doing to keep the readers returning.

I love reading serial and Chapter stories on blogs. There are some out there that have hit it on the nose as far as organization goes. I figure not everyone is aware of some simple tricks that can keep a reader reading and help them navigate your story with as little frustration as possible.(I wasn’t)

The following have been observed on a few blogs I follow and I think they are great ways to keep a story organized for your long-term followers and for new friends that stumble into your blog space.  (These are suggestions, not rules.)

Each Chapter would ideally get their own blog post. You can include a picture or just a standard title all the tricks you need to post and edit blogs can be found here:  http://learn.wordpress.com/

The blue arrow is pointing to the icon to click on to add content or a picture into the body of the post. The purple is what you select to add a featured image or the post’s image(What shows up in the feed or reader)

aa add picture

First, post a chapter or two of your story by creating separate posts.  Now you’re ready to make it easier for a reader to navigate your stories. This is very important if you have other posts in-between or if you don’t post regularly.

So in each chapter, you can do one or two things to make this easy. One add a “Start from the beginning” and link the first chapter or you can link(I will explain how in a moment) this to a Story Chapter Page (I will explain this shortly)

And/or at the end of each chapter, you can put a link to the next chapter of the story(See orange arrows below). This allows for continuous flow through your chapters so the reader doesn’t have to jump around. To add this one you have to wait until the next chapter is posted and physically go back to the previous chapter and add this to the body. (Note this link will appear as a pingback and you need to approve it in your comments)

aa story links.jpg

To Add links to the body of the post:  you can write the text and highlight it or you can create it during the link in the link options(C).

Red A – click this to open the URL-link creator
Red B – This is the URL that will link. This will fill in automatically when you select Red D
Red C – This is the link text. You can fill this in manually or if you highlighted text before clicking ‘link’ that highlighted text will become the clickable link on the page.

AAA ADD LINKS.jpg

To add a page link and not a post link copy and paste the URL into the URL line(Red B)  you can get this by opening the page and copying it from there. I found it easier to open the page in a private window or “incognito window”. Once I’ve added the link(which I would recommend testing) I like to make the link Bold and change the color to make it obvious. Many other bloggers do this to make them stand out. The default is an underline and light blue which doesn’t stand out when posted.  The bold option is shown below by the orange arrow and the option to change the color of the text is indicated by the blue arrow below.

aa colour

Okay so now we can add links to the post. How about creating a “Story Chapter Page”?  This is a page for the story with each chapter listed and links to each(That you can easily add with the link button now) So your reader can now come to this page to continue on where they left off instead of being adrift, lost in a sea of posts.

To add a new page to your blog. This will appear in your blog banner. From your main menu screen click “ADD” beside pages.

aa adding a page

This next example shows that a new page will come up for you to create a new page for your blog.

aa new page

Enter the title of your story and any information you want in the introduction
Then make a chapter list so you can add links to each chapter. This page is the page you will link to at the beginning of the story if you want to have a link to the chapter page as I mentioned above.

1 in yellow shows chapter one with a link (Bolded and color changed)
2 in yellow shows a chapter title highlighted and ready for a link to be added
3 in yellow is a chapter not yet posted. I’ve seen one blogger add “coming soon” to add anticipation for upcoming chapters.

aa chapter links on page.jpg

So now each post has a link to the Story Chapter Page dedicated to the story with a clickable linked list to each chapter. AND each chapter has a clickable link at the end of the chapter to bring the reader to the next chapter automatically(Done after the following post is posted by going back to the previous already posted blog and adding the “next chapter” link)

This isn’t necessary but I find it makes it a whole lot easier when you want to binge read a bloggers story easily without having to fish through their posts to find the next one.

Yes, this is extra work, but a happy reader is a repeat reader.

Here are some examples of Fantastic blogs that have agreed to let me use their pages as examples for how linking stories or chapters in a list on a separate blog page can help a reader. I couldn’t include everyone I love following, some said no and others don’t have the specific page-link formats I’m looking to use as examples. Because chapter stories are best started from the start these bloggers clued in and made it easy to find the start.

CLICK ON THE BOLDED NAME TO SEE THE PAGE EXAMPLE
(Don’t forget to look around they have some fantastic stories)

Lost Property – Serials Super fun stories, both short and long that are deep and captivating.  The link I have here goes to a list of short stories that are easy to navigate. I have been reading these stories and the chapter stories in the daily prompt and have enjoyed them immensely.

Devil Doll Musings – Short chapter, chapter stories that are imaginative and captivating. A little on the naughty side but a wild ride. Poke around on this website to see how fantastically it’s laid out. This link is to Rock Star a whirlwind romance worth reading. The chapters are listed in link form and it’s easy to follow. At the bottom, this blogger uses “continues HERE” to make it easy to keep reading.

WriteMeBad – Romantic and smutty stories that are so beautifully written they captivated me instantly. Each story has their own page and chapter listed from top to bottom. (First to last) I started you off with the link to the first story Jay & Dee that made me an instant fan.

CimmerianSentiment – This one’s more than a bit naughty and has told me the format used was learned from reading others’ blogs and expanding on them. This page uses all the tricks I’ve mentioned above. The story I’ve linked is Blythe & Mac. A lovely romance with a touch of erotica. If you like spicy(very erotic) short stories or romantic chapter stories. Take a peek. There are 18+ warnings on this site.

All in all I enjoy the effort and creativity that I keep coming across on different pages. If you have a trick or technique you use that you want me to blog about(Relevant to writing advice please) Please either private message me or leave it in the comments below. I hope I didn’t miss anything. This was a fairly long post. (Sorry)

I don’t have a chapter story to try this on, but I did create a page using all the tips above to create a click-able link to every post I’ve posted (Minus award posts). I don’t expect anyone to actually use it but it’s there in case someone does. Oh and I’ll make sure to update it regularly. My Posts From The Start

My advice about creating chapter links in a post and separate Story Chapter Pages.
It’s never too late to go back and add them. Once you get the hang of it (I tested this on a non-published page) It’s actually easy. Tedious? Maybe but is it worth it? I think so. It would definitely be easier if done from the start.

-Sheryl

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26 thoughts on “Link It And List It!

  1. A very useful post as usual. Just wanted to add – I am posting chapters too but I do it under Pages with Child Pages – much like a book . Although it helps to have a link to the next chapter at the end of each chapter but since they are all in sequence, I can get away with updating the links on chapters only once in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, well that’s the thing I dont need to post links to the chapters. On my main page if you scroll down on the left panel under Pages comes the story Moonshine and the chapters are its Child Pages (as WordPress likes to call it). I have a couple other Pages before it – oh best to visit! If anyone is interested that is – here’s the link – https://mysilverstreaks.com/ Thanks!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. This is a great resource! I’ve done similar on blog posts in the past, and will definitely do so in the future. I’m sharing this to my Twitter followers, because it’s an awesome crash course.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll have to explore this. I’ve bookmarked this blog post.

    I have so far written three blog post series (one a 1-5, and another a 1-4, and a third 1-3) and plan to write more. I’ve been manually putting the links to the other posts within the series. Two of my post series do equate to chapters in my working memoir.

    I’ve just categorized my post series as “Story series”. As I said, I’ll explore what you wrote above.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s kind of you, Sheryl. I’ll take you up on your offer. I’ll just post the 1st of only one of my story series. People will see that my linkages are not that sophisticated. As I said, I want to take some more time to explore what you wrote. If anyone is interested in my other two story series, they can find them under my category pull down “Story series”.

        I guess https://birdflight.blog/2017/04/23/mental-chaos-half-across-the-world-part-1-of-3/ might be the most interesting to the largest number of people.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Your so welcome. My “like” post doesn’t show whether I’ve responded. I’m not confused. I thought I did, but anyway… Your blog is so worthwhile, and this information right up my alley. I have to wait to show it to my son and see if he can configure correctly as I can’t see it well enough. I try to memorize locations…once he shows me, I should be able to do it myself thank you ever so much! I really appreciate this as I’ve tried to figure it out myself and didn’t get very far, I found it confusing… XOXOXO

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It took a while for me to figure it out, don’t worry once you get it, it’s not hard. Tedious sure, hard not really. I think it is easier to do as you go along. I can see going back to chapter link an older story as work. I did create a page and link all my blog posts, it took a couple hours and I didn’t even link each post just the one page. Still I’m contemplating a chapter story for the blog so this was something of interest to me.

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  4. I’d just like to say that while Sheryl has done a good effort here, I am very lazy. What she linked to on my site hasn’t been updated in months, so long in fact that none of the current stories I write are on there.

    I’ve had four stories going for more than 3 months now, and about to start another one but I just don’t bother making links for them. It probably is a good idea and WebDesign101, which I passed back in about 1995, would tell me I should get off my butt and update the site, but I honestly can’t be bothered.

    On this platform very few, if any, people are going to start from scratch on any of my stories and given that one of them is over 65,000 words who would expect them too. There is other platforms that work better for such stories. That’s part of the reason I don’t bother going back and linking or editing, another reason is because I don’t write for anyone else but me. I may not have an end goal for any of the stories on my site but I do have goals in my head which I wont share that make me write what I do, navigation isn’t really a big thing to me because the entire story is stored in one file on my hard drive.

    I constantly get caught out when someone asks me a question about something I’ve posted, even a few hours after it’s posted I’ve forgotten some of the finer details and moved on so linking to previous stories is not something I worry about. I tend more to summaries the previous chapter in the first paragraph of the next episode. So while I agree with what Sheryl is saying I’m not a great example of the way to present it, I write and if people follow fine, if not that doesn’t worry me either.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh of course, I recommend them 🙂

        Just as long as people don’t expect great navigation 🙂 I’m like an owner/builder who never finishes his house. I’m a web designer who finishes everyone elses site but my own.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I appreciate the mention and link to Blythe & Mac. It is more of a romance with a smidgen of erotic and one of my favourite creations. I definitely did not come up with the chapter link idea myself; WriteMeBad was the first one I noticed to use them(Thank you MsBad). You did a wonderful job explaining how to link chapters to the next chapter and how to link them all to a dedicated page. It does take some effort, but as you said, it is totally worth it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Too funny I noticed her’s first too. There are so many amazing stories to read I struggle to keep up lately. I had no problem linking Blythe & Mac it was such a fun and romantic story. If you haven’t read Ms Bad’s Jay & Dee, it’s fantastic and well written.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks for the information. I will need to read it more than once to really get it to stick in my Teflon brain. There are so many things available here that I don’t know about so it’s nice to read this. I am almost done with my first book Calling all Zombies. So I might post a few chapters when I figure it out.

    Liked by 1 person

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