What are the articles that drive people to your site? What are the posts that help people understand and benefit most from what you publish on your site? What articles represent you as an authority on the subject?
These are your reference articles.
We all have them, the articles that explain who we are, what we do, why we do what we do, how to do it better, the tips, tricks, and techniques that define our purpose and mission, as well as our passion, on our sites. While it may appear that everything you right is a reference article, these are the landmark articles, the articles that introduce the subject matter and guide the reader through the process.
It’s time to create a resource guide of your reference articles to give your visitors a one-stop spot to find the information they need to know.
A resource, reference, or guide page on your site consists of link lists to the articles on your site that introduce concepts and provide helpful advice. Consider this a form of site map or table of contents guide to specific content on your site. The links are usually grouped by topic and often displayed in order from step one, two, and so on. The link lists guide the reader through the process and to the information on your site.
I need to update mine on this site called WordPress Resources, but you can see the many example resource pages I have on my education site Lorelle Teaches WordPress and Blogging such as WordPress Resources, WordPress Tips, Resources (general), Web Design and Development, Web Accessibility Resources, and WordPress Cheat Sheets, Checklists, and Infographics.
Your blog exercise today is to create such a reference list on a Page on your site for your readers, giving them a table of contents guide to the information they most need to know on your site.
Publish a Page on your site with a name that defines its purpose such as “How to Do X” or “What You Need to Know” “Help” or “Resources.” Be creative but use only a few words to simply explain what the web page offers and that this is a first stop for new visitors to learn more about your expertise.
On that Page, gather the links to your reference articles together into a list using properly formed links. The list should consist of articles on your site, but you may wish to include external resources. If you do, make sure you make it clear that these are links to information you trust that is not on your site.
Organize and group the links by related topics with headings defining their subject matter and a brief paragraph to explain the collection if appropriate.
If the articles are presented in a series of steps, put the list in an ordered list with numbers.
As you create this list, pay attention to the gaps you may have in the information. Have you missed a step or is there an article you need to write to fill in a gap? Add this to your editorial calendar and task list.
Once done, write a post about the page and point to it, directing people to your resource guide.
Then head out to your social web connections and community and let them know you’ve created a great resource guide to help people learn more or solve their problems with X, Y, and Z.