Is is just me or do the good ol top of the blog – blog lists – feel a little controversial and perhaps not wholly representational this last year – or more?
Oh, OK. Just me 😉
What ever you think it may be that your own blog roll will seem like an adequate compromise to still support and share your personal favourite, supportive or inspirational bloggers.
A List or a Blog Roll
What’s the difference between a blog list and a blog roll? In my eyes the list is something you promote on your blog at the end of the year, sharing those bloggers you have enjoyed during the previous year. You write a post about it and the list should be representational of those you admire in your blogging community, or wider if you prefer. But also the bloggers you include should have actually posted during the year you are waving good bye to,
It is such a buzz to find yourself on a popular site’s list. And it is such a kick in the balls to be left off when you know your work is consistently good.
I think a good compromise is a blog roll. A linked shortlist of your personal favourites. After chatting with the other Blogable Babes about this I actually feel it may be a better alternative. Less problematic. For example, once I had my promoted my list of 24 bloggers at the end of last year I made that into my blog roll. But then some bloggers stopped writing so much. Others meandered off into the wilderness and a few I still enjoy today. The point is the list was only momentarily relevant – in my eyes.
A blog roll is constantly evolving. You can quietly update it when needed. If a person stops blogging you can remove them. If you suddenly discover a new or indeed old blog, simply add them to the blog role. It is a great way of showing fellow bloggers you appreciate them.
So how to create a blog roll. There are a few ways to do this depending on how creative or sharing you want to be.
One – via a menu
This is really simple. And also if you are not sure how to create a menu follow these steps…
- Go to Appearance in your WP admin and click on menu.
- Click on Create a new menu. In blue below.
- It will ask you for the name – why not call it Blog Roll 😉 Press create.
- Now click on the left custom links tab to add the URL and name of the people you want included on your Blog Roll. Repeat.
- When you have added all the blogs you want then click save menu.
Next we need to put the blog roll menu on to your site. Here’s how to do it…
- Once again hover over Appearance in your left dash and click on Widgets.
- Find the Navigation Menu Widget.
- Click on the arrow to open the widget. It will ask where you want to add the widget. Sidebar or footer are two popular areas.
- Once added you will find it on the right at the bottom of the chosen area. Just give it a title and select the blog roll menu you have just created, and click save.
- Once it is saved press done, then you can choose to move it to any position you want in the area – higher up the side bar for instance. Simply left click to grab the item and drag and drop it among the other widgets in your chosen area.
Two – via plugins
There are a couple of plugins I know off that help you to create some slightly more creative blog rolls than the menu option.
- Meks Easy Ads Widget
- RSS Aggregator by Feedzy
To add one of these go to plugins, on the left of your WP admin page, and click on Add New. Copy the plugin name into the search and then when it appears in the results install, activate and follow instructions. I have not used these but most plugins have settings and a support page which explains how they work. And there is always google.
Marie and Missy use Meks and it looks like this…
It involves a little more work than the menu option but I think it is worth it. You need to upload the icon/gravatar image for each blogger and add their site link.
Mrs Fever uses this plugin for her recommended reading page and it displays the latest posts of her chosen blogs. I like this idea as it always provides the most updated content.
Blogger Blog Roll
In general, here on Blogable when talking abut tech/layout stuff we refer to WP sites. But I would like to mention if you have a google blogger site check out Sir Thomas’ blog roll. It also displays the latest posts of his chosen sites in his side bar. It is a very neat looking tool. I think it may be the Blog List gadget in blogger. You get to it via Layout, Sidebar, and Add Gadget.
NB: there is an old WP widget called link manager. I would not advice using this until they update it as it is not wholly compatible with the latest WordPress update.
Header image adapted from a Pexels photo by Callum Sharp.