One of the most common questions I get from bloggers is how they can set up a popular posts page on their blog.
There are a ton of popular posts plugins out there, but you aren’t in control of what posts shows up.
Some generate posts by the most comments on a post. This doesn’t necessarily show your most popular post though. Others use how many pageviews, but it doesn’t work on any traffic before you published a post – most people have popular posts before you set up the plugin.
This method is going to show you how to be in control of your own popular post page. Another benefit of creating your popular posts this way is that it is already formatted! Your popular posts page will match your blog categories pages.
The method I am going to show you today is really easy, actually. All you need to do is create a new category. (Or label if you are using blogger. The process below is for WordPress users, but you can accomplish the same thing by creating a popular post label)
Step 1. Create a new category.
From your WordPress dashboard navigate to Posts – Categories and then use the section on the left to create a new category.
Step 2. Add the popular post category to the posts you consider to be the most popular.
The quickest way to add a new category to old posts is to go to your published posts and then click the check box on all the posts you want to add (you can adjust the screen options to display more posts on a page). Then, select edit under the bulk actions section and hit apply. This will bring up the quick edit options. Under Categories click popular posts and then update.
Include the ones that get shared the most on Pinterest. Use Google Analytics to see which of your posts get the most traffic and add those. You might want to include the posts with the most engagement. The best part about this method is you get to decide what posts are popular!
Step 3. Add that category to your menu bar.
Now navigate to Appearance – Menus and select the menu you would like to add your popular posts link.
On the left side click categories and then click on popular posts. You may have to switch to the view all tab.
Click Add to Menu and then position it where you would like it on the menu and you’re done!
Going forward, it will be easy to add popular posts whenever they become popular.
Anyone else singing:
La la, la la
We’re gonna make
Yeah, let’s make your blog popular!
Add it to your sidebar – a bonus for those with a Genesis theme.
If you have a Genesis theme it is now easy to add those posts in your sidebar with the genesis featured posts widget.
From your widgets page add the Genesis Featured Posts widget to your sidebar. In the settings, select to only display the popular posts category. Then, you can choose to sort it however you like: Date, Title, Random, or Comment Count. I like doing random because it displays different posts every time someone visits my blog.
Hope you enjoyed this article! You can go check out my new, popular posts page. Leave me a link below when you get yours all set up!