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.

Join Hugh on social media. Click on the links below.

Enjoyed reading this post? Check out these posts about the Block editor.

How to Create And Use A Reusable Block For Your Book On WordPress

If you’re an author of a published book, this is how creating a reusable block for your book will put it in front of hundreds of new visitors to your blog.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

How to Create And Use A Reusable Block For Your Book On WordPress

One of the best features of the Gutenberg Block Editor is the ability to create reusable blocks.

Once you’ve created a reusable block, any amendments you make to it get implemented wherever you’ve used it. If you’ve used the block on 50 of your blog posts, the changes take place on all of them regardless of when the posts (and pages) were published.

That means there is no need to visit each and every post to make the amendments. Just think how much time that will save you.

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Reusable Blocks & Books

For authors, reusable blocks save lots of time when doing book promotions, such as offering a book as a free download or when offering a limited-time price reduction. And once the promotion is over, simply updating the reusable block takes care of all the changes all over your blog.

How Do I Create a Reusable Block For My Book?

  • Open up a new draft post.
  • Open up the ‘Media & Text‘ block. You can do this by clicking the ‘+‘ symbol in the top corner of the drafts page and inserting ‘Media & Text’ in the search bar.
Screenshot highlighting where and how to find the Image & Text block on WordPress
Media & Text Block
  • Select the Media & Text block to insert it on your post, or select one of the options available for it (e.g. text on left/media on the right).
  • Next, click on ‘Media Area‘ and upload your book cover by clicking the ‘upload‘ button. If your book cover is already in your WordPress media library, click the ‘Select Media‘ button.
Screenshot highlighting the Upload and Select Media buttons on WordPress
  • Click on the ‘Content…‘ area, and add content about your book in the ‘Content’ box.
Screenshot highlighting where to add content in the Media & Text block on WordPress
  • While adding content, don’t forget to use the toolbar on the righthand side of the page to create headings, enlarge text, etc.

Top Tip: Create and include a link in the ‘Content’ area to where people can buy your book. In my example, I’ve created a link to Amazon by making ‘Available on Amazon‘ a pingback.

I recommend you also make the whole block a link to where people can buy your book. To do this, click on the block and create a pingback (see next image).

Screenshot highlighting and showing how to make a block into a pingback on WordPress

Tip: To stop people from losing your blog when clicking on pingbacks, always ensure you turn on the ‘Open in a new tab‘ button (#4 on the above image).

How Do I Turn The Block Into A Reusable Block?

  • Click on the block and click the kebab menu (three vertical buttons) in the toolbar that appears. From the menu, select ‘Add To Reusable Blocks‘.
Screenshot highlighting and showing how to turn a block into a reusable block on WordPress
  • Give the block a name and click the ‘Save‘ button.
Screenshot showing how to name a reusable block on WordPress
  • Your reusable block is created and is now ready to be used on all your blog posts and pages.

Top Tip: Add the reusable block you’ve created for your book to the top three most viewed posts and pages of your blog. That way, even more visitors to these posts and pages will see details of your book.

How do I make amendments to reusable blocks?

  • Click the ‘+‘ sign in the top left corner of a drafts page, and select the ‘Reusable‘ tab (see next image).
  • Click on the ‘Manage Reusable Blocks‘ link at the bottom of the page (see next image).
Screenshot highlighting how to edit a reusable block on WordPress
  • Select the reusable block you want to edit.
Screenshot highlighting how to select a reusable block for editing
  • Make the amendments and click the ‘Update‘ button.
Screenshot showing how to edit a Reusable block on WordPress
  • Any amendments you have made are saved, even on the posts and pages you previously inserted the block on.

And here is the reusable block I’ve created.

Glimpses

28 short stories and pieces of flash fiction take the reader on a rollercoaster of twists and turns.

Available on Amazon

Paperback – £4.99

Kindle – £0.99

  • Finally, don’t forget to click on the pingbacks you’ve added to your reusable block to ensure they work and take visitors to the correct page/site.

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Any questions? Leave them in the comments section and I’ll get back to you.

Follow Hugh on his other social media platforms. Click on the buttons below.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Is This New WordPress Block The Best Way To Help Promote Your Blog For Free?

Every blogger should be active on at least one other social media platform besides blogging. Why? Because it’s a free way to get you, your blog and your books in front of new audiences.

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Looking to promote your blog for free?

Unless you tell your readers what social media platforms you’re on, then they’ll probably only find you by chance. That’s why you should do all you can to promote where your readers can also find you and your books.

WordPress has made the ‘Social Icons’ widget into a block that makes it easy to advertise your social media accounts on your blog posts and pages. And, best of all, once you’ve created it, with a single click, you can add it to every blog post and page. 

The ‘Social Icons‘ block takes away the ‘probably’ and does the job perfectly.

Let’s get started. Here’s how to create your ‘Social Icons’ block. 

  • The ‘Social Icons’ block can be added to a new blog post (or one you’ve already published).
  • Click the ‘add new block button’.
  • Search for the block by adding ‘social icons’ in the search-bar.
  • Click the ‘Social Icons’ block to add it to your post.
Screenshot highlighting the three steps to find and add the 'Social Icons
Where to find the ‘Social Icons’ block
  • Next, follow the instructions on the following image to start adding social media icons to the block. I’ve also listed the instructions under the image.
Screenshot highlighting how to add social media icons to the social icons block on WordPress
Adding your social media accounts to the block
  • Click the ‘plus’ sign just above the window that shows social icons images.
  • Use the search-bar to find social icons.
  • Click on the social icons you want to add to the block.
  • For a full list of available social icons, click on ‘Browse all.’

In my case, I’ve added social icons for Twitter, WordPress, Amazon, Goodreads and Flipboard. 

Screenshot showing the social icons added to the social icons block on WordPress
Social icons on the social icons block

Useful Tip: Use the ‘link‘ icon for any social icons WordPress does not have icons for. I’ve done this for my Flipboard account.

Screenshot highlighting the 'link' icon on WordPress
No social media icon? No problem!

Note: Until you’ve linked your social media accounts to the icons, they will be ‘ghosted’ out.

  • To link your social media accounts to each icon, click on each icon and copy and paste the URL address of the relevant social media account in the bar that appears. 
Screenshot showing how to add a social media account to a social icon on WordPress
Adding your social media accounts to the social icons
  • Remember to always click the ‘Apply’ button after adding each account. 

As you add each address, the icon will no longer be ‘ghosted’ out. 

Now you’ve added and linked your social media accounts to all icons, it’s time to choose a few more features. You’ll find these on the righthand side of the screen when clicking on the ‘Social Icons’ block you’ve created. Here’s a screenshot of what you’ll see and some features I’ve highlighted.

Screenshot showing the different options available on the Social Icons block on WordPress
Social icons features

The features include –

  • The style of each icon. In my case I chose the ‘Pill’ shape for the icons.
  • The option of wether a new window opens when somebody clicks on one of the icons.
  • Choice of colours for the icons

I highly recommend that you switch on the ‘Open links in new tab‘ feature so that the page your reader is on when clicking on the icons does not close down. After all, you don’t want anybody leaving your blog when clicking on one of the icons, do you?

Can the size of the social icons be changed?

Yes. Click the ‘Size’ button in the ‘social Icons’ block’s toolbar to change the size of the icons.

Screenshot highlighting where to change the size of the social icons on the social icons block on WordPress
Changing the size of your social media icons

You can also change the alignment and the items justification of the icons in the block’s toolbar. 

How to turn your ‘Social Icon’ block into a reusable block.

If you want to add your ‘Social Icons’ block with just one click onto all your blog posts (and I recommend you do), you’ll need to make the block reusable. My post How To Add A Reusable Block To A WordPress Blog Using The Gutenberg Editor gives full details on how to do this, but here’s an image that quickly outlines the details.

Screenshot that gives quick details on how create a reusable block on WordPress
Creating a reusable block

Any edits or updates you do to a reusable block are applied everywhere you’ve used the block. Therefore, if any of your social media accounts get a new URL address, all you need to do is edit the address in the reusable block. You don’t need to visit and make the changes on every blog post where the block appears. Reusable blocks are excellent for adding details of your books to blog posts especially when doing occasional special deals on them.

  • Finally, most importantly, make sure the icons in the block work and go to the correct social media accounts before using the block on your posts.

Let’s Wrap It Up

  • Social media is one of the best ways to promote your blog and books for free.
  • Use the ‘social icons’ block to promote your social media accounts and let readers know where to find you.
  • The ‘social icons’ block is easy to set up and use. Follow the guide in this post.
  • Use the ‘link’ icon to crate a button for social media platforms WordPress does not offer an icon for.
  • To stop readers leaving your blog when clicking on your ‘social Icons’ block, make sure the ‘open links in new tab’ button is switched on.
  • Turn your ‘social icons’ block into a reusable block that can be inserted on all posts and pages with just one click.
  • Any changes you make to your ‘social icons’ reusable block will be implemented wherever the block appears. No need to make the changes on every post!

And here is my ‘Social Icons’ block.

Go ahead and click on the buttons and follow me on my other social media platforms.

Are you using the ‘Social Icons’ block?

Any questions? Leave them in the comments section and I’ll get back to you.

Layout, content, settings and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.

Looking for more blogging tips? Check out these recent posts from Hugh.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.