Are You Using This Little Known About Block That Helps Promote Your Blog?

Of all the blogs I follow, I’ve never yet seen them using the block I’m promoting today. I wonder if you’ve used it?

Once I tell you about this block, when showcasing some of the least visited parts of your blog, you’ll want to use it too. I’ll certainly be using it a lot more to help promote some of the parts of my blog that seldom receive visitors.

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Have you discovered the Pages list block?

Do you feel sorry for the ‘pages’ on your blog?

If you’re unsure what I’m talking about, I’m talking about the pages you’ve created that sit behind the scenes of every blog. Blog posts are the performers, whereas blog pages are the behind-the-scenes folk. 

What’s the difference between a blog page and a blog post?

Posts are entries listed on your blog in reverse chronological order. Think of them as articles or updates you share to offer up new content to your readers. Every time you publish a new post, a notification gets sent to your followers, and, in most cases, it appears on the WordPress Reader.

Pages are static and are not affected by date. Think of them as more permanent fixtures of your site — an About Me page, a Contact Me page, and a Home page are great examples of this. When you publish a page, your followers do not get any notifications that you’ve published it, nor does it appear on the WordPress Reader. Therefore, they rarely get viewed unless visitors to your blog click on links to them or on the menubar of your blog (where links to pages appear). 

What happens if the home page of my blog is a page? 

It should already be getting lots of views. I have the ‘about Hugh’ page of my blog set as my home page, which means it’s one of the most-visited parts of my blog.

What’s the block I’m referring to in the title of this post? 

The ‘Page list‘ block. It’s there to help bloggers promote the behind-the-scenes pages of their blogs. I’ve included one on my ‘Meet Hugh‘ page. When you add it to a post or page, it automatically pulls through links to all the pages you have on your blog.

Before I add the ‘Page list’ block to this post, please don’t be tempted to click on any of the links in the block until you’ve read the rest of the post. You’ll discover why towards the end of this post.

Here’s my pages list.

Meet Hugh – this is my blog’s ‘about me’ page. An ‘about me’ page is something every blog should have. Not sure what to put on your ‘about me’ page? My post, Why Every Blogger Should Have an About Me Page on Their Blog, gives full details.  

Contact Hugh – is a secure way for visitors to my blog to contact me without leaving personal information in the comments section of any of my posts or pages. Every blog should have a channel for visitors to contact the owner, other than via leaving a comment. My blog post, How To Create And Add A Contact Me Form To Your WordPress Blog, gives full details.

My Books – details of all my books, what they are about, where they are on sale and some reviews.

Disclaimer & GDPR: This is something every blog should display. Never think or believe it doesn’t apply to you and your blog. It does!

Tales From Under The Rainbow – The first chapter of a work-in-progress I have underway. The blogging community helped by giving me feedback on sections I published on my blog. It’s the final result. Let me know what you think if you give it a read.

The Newlyweds – a flash fiction piece that turned into a short story after participating in the weekly 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch. It’s a strange tale led by prompts. If you read it, let me know what you think about it.   

Those are the six pages I have on my blog. In turn, all of them appear on the menubar of my blog. 

Can the ‘Page list’ block be improved?

Yes. When clicking on any links on the ‘Page list’ block, they don’t open in a new tab on your device. It means you lose the post you’re reading. However, you’re still on the blog you’re reading, although in a different part.

You may not want all your pages to appear in the block, so another improvement is to have the choice to select specific pages you want to appear (as happens in the ‘Blog Posts‘ block).

I’m feeding both suggestions back to WordPress.

Where should the ‘Page list’ block be used?

I recommend not clicking on any of the links on the ‘Page list’ block earlier. I’d recommend inserting the block either towards or at the end of any blog post. Readers will likely have read most of your post before clicking links and taken away from your post.

Therefore, I’m including my ‘Page list’ block again.

Have you discovered the ‘Page list’ block? Have you used it? Will you use it? Can it be improved? Tell us what pages you have on your blog.

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64 thoughts on “Are You Using This Little Known About Block That Helps Promote Your Blog?

  1. Thank you for this tip, Hugh. I just made a reusable block to insert to my popular posts and recent posts going forward, listing the pages I’d like visitors to check out. I was able to choose the pages and also make them open in a new window. It took me a bit of time to get it right haha. Do you have any issues with the block slowing your loading time at all? Just curious.

    1. You’re welcome. I’m glad it helped, Lisa.

      I haven’t witnessed any showing down in loading times, although it can depend on what other images are in a post and what sizes the images/photos are. I always decrease the sizes of any images and photos in a post before publishing it. Does that help?

  2. Hi Hugh,
    I did not know about this method or the Pages block. Congratulations! You won the Inspire Me Monday Linky Party and will be featured on my site tomorrow.

  3. Yes, I have multiple pages (about my writing, Plunge, contact me, my previous sailing adventure and blog…) and they can get accessed via the menu bar on top of my blog. Then there are a few pages that are not publicly accessible (they’re behind the scenes) that I created for a certain purpose and might have linked to in the past (a poem, a photo, a photo gallery). Maybe the page list block can be used as a reminder or as an overview so readers don’t have to find everything in the menu bar…

    1. That’s precisely the purpose of the Page List block, Liesbet. To help promote the pages of blogs that seldom receive visits.

      Do you recall our recent conversation about widget bars? Well, I view menubars very much the same in that they don’t get used often enough. I only ever use the menubar of a blog for the blog’s ‘about me’ page. Other than that, I rarely use the menubar. So this block will help me promote the other pages on my blog that don’t get many clicks via the menubar.

  4. Hugh,
    Super helpful post on this block.😎
    I tend to agree that adding at the bottom may be ideal, though others suggest inserting at beginning, middle and end but use the trick you used here, i.e., “Before I add the ‘Page list’ block to this post, please don’t be tempted to click on any of the links in the block …” but of course who are we? We will still click because we are a curios batch and you have clearly sucked us on.

    I have flipped it so that the team and I dive into it.
    H Emma

    1. Thank you. I’m glad it’s helped. This block needs a lot more promotion given that it helps to promote some pages of blogs that are seldom visited.

      Thank you so much for flipping the post on Flipboard.

  5. Again a very interesting post. As I am self-hosted, I immediately checked to see if I have it and surely the Page list does exist but I would prefer to be able to select those I wish to show as you rightfully mentioned in your post as I do not wish all to show in the list and direct readers to them all.
    Thanks for sharing at SeniorSalon and I have RT this for you

    1. Not selecting which pages to feature is a downside to this block, but I’ve fed that back to WordPress, Esmé. I understand that those bloggers with many pages will probably have certain pages they don’t want to feature. I only have six pages on my blog, although I do also have sub-pages, but they don’t show when using the block.

      Thank you for the RT.

      1. I would love to hear the feedback from WP once they have sorted it that one can SELECT which pages one wish to promote on which post. Thanks for getting in touch with WordPress and getting (I hope) them to add this to the mix

    1. I’m afraid that, as yet, you can’t select which pages to appear when using the block, Cathy. It’s something I’ve fed back to WordPress as an improvement for the block. Fingers crossed, they will add the option.

  6. I never used it neither did I know it was there. Seems I am always waiting for your courses… hehe. Great idea. I will think of including them in the next posts I am scheduling. That’s really awesome to make people aware of the pages on the blog.

  7. Great info, Hugh! I will have to check this out as I rely on my Sunday Stills page to inspire folks for the weekly themes (posted a month out). Perfect timing to try this out as I am getting ready to publish October’s SS themes. Hugh to the rescue, LOL!

    1. I think people are more likely to click on links in a post than on a menubar, Terri. I just wish this block gave an option for users to select which of their pages they want to promote rather than pull all pages through. With only six pages, it’s not bad for me. That list doesn’t look overwhelming, but bloggers with lots of pages could overwhelm their readers when using the ‘Pages List’ block. I’ve given WordPress feedback on what they can improve, so we’ll wait and see if they take any of my ideas up.

    1. I’m sure some people will visit and click the menubar on blogs, but the ‘Page List’ block is a great little tool for promoting those hidden pages even more. Whenever I’m looking for an ‘about me’ page of a blog, the menubar is always the first place I look. If I can’t find one, I don’t follow.

  8. I did test this out a while ago but the problem I encountered is that the resulting list also includes any sub pages which makes the whole section too long. It should be something we can easily edit so that we could feature just the more relevant pages.

    1. I also have sub-pages. For example, under my ‘Meet Hugh’ page, I have the sub-pages ‘Awards’ and ‘Interviews’, but (thankfully) they don’t show when I use the block. Give it another try. They may have made changes to the block since you last used it.

        1. I checked for options the Page Block has, and there are hardly any (certainly nothing about displaying sub-pages). I’ve no idea why sub-pages show on your blog when using this block, yet they don’t on mine. I’m afraid it’s something you’ll need to run past the Happiness Engineers.

        2. Those happiness engineers didn’t bring me much happiness the last time I had to report a technical issue with them. Six months later and I’m still waiting for a resolution. What’s the best way of contacting them Hugh?

        3. I’ve always contacted them via webchat. They’ve always been very helpful to me, although I do have a few issues outstanding – most minor; they keep me updated and sometimes updates solve those problems. I mentioned your problem of the Page List block pulling through sub-pages in an email exchange I’ve also had with them yesterday. I’ll let you know if I hear anything.

        4. You’re welcome, Karen. Considering nobody else has reported it happening to them when using the Page List block, it’s a mystery as to why it’s happening to you. I’d like to know why it’s happening too. I’ll be in touch once I hear anything.

        5. I’ve heard that WordPress has recently retired some of their blog themes. Even though they’re Gutenberg friendly, they’ve decided to get rid of some of the less popular themes. Not sure when you last changed the theme on your blog, but it may be worth giving it try. It may get rid of some of the bugs.

  9. I haven’t given much thought to this block, Hugh, but you make a good point. I think my pages are all mentioned in my menu, but I doubt anyone ever looks at the menu. For the Thursday Doors Recap page, I send a notification. I’ve often wondered whether it would just be simpler to get rid of the page and send the recap out as a post. I wish we had the option to notify people when pages are updated. Of course, then I’d want to be able to schedule those updates 😉

    Thanks for another great post explaining the mysteries of WordPress.

    1. I’ll be honest and say it’s rare that I check out menubars or widget bars on blogs, Dan. I think it’s one of the reasons why some bloggers now choose themes that have no widget bars or hidden ones that you have to click on to open. They seem to be becoming very popular (and I can see why). The ‘Page List’ block comes to the recuse, especially for authors who have book pages on their blog.
      It’s a shame the publication of a new page doesn’t get any notification. It’s all on its own, so the ‘Page List’ blog is a helpful block I’ll be using more often.

        1. Exactly. If you tell people what’s there, they will look. But unless you keep telling them, many will probably forget.
          I forgot to mention that although I said in my earlier comment that I rarely look at the menubar, it is the first place I look when I want to check out the ‘about me’ page of a blogger. If I don’t find one, then it’s almost certain I won’t follow.

        2. I always recommend updating an ‘about’ page at least once a year. I tend to do mine whenever I visit it (which is usually once a month). I have links on it that need updating once a month, so it prompts me.

        3. I updated my About page this morning, Hugh. It wasn’t as badly out of date as I imagined. I don’t remember updating it after I retired, but I had. Thanks for the nudge.

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