Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
When it comes to blogging I like to automate as much as possible. You can’t write blog content automatically (yet), but there are many things that you can set and forget. One of them is adding links to related blog posts in WordPress.
What are related posts and why should they be linked?
Related posts are two or more blog posts which are linked by some context. For example, when I’m writing about automating some part of my blogging set-up I think of other blog posts that I’ve written about automation as something that is related.
Here I’ve written about automatically adding an affiliate disclaimer to all of your blog posts with a WordPress plug-in. As this is quite similar to what I’m writing here I’d consider it as a related post and link them together.
If you are reading this post chances are you would be interested in automating some other parts of your blog as well.
When I add a link to the related post you would probably click on it to see how you can automate affiliate disclaimers as well. This would help you to get more value from my blog post, and help me get more page views.
So the clearest advantage of linking related posts to bloggers is the increase in the page views and decrease in the bounce rate. Meaning that one reader is more likely to open more than just one blog post when he reads on your blog.
Linking related posts together is good for the SEO as well. By linking two posts together you show Google how the posts on your blog are connected, and this helps to build data about the post context and your authority on it. The more you write about a topic and link the posts together, the more knowledgeable you probably are.
How to automatically add inline related posts in WordPress
Now that you know what are related posts and why should they be linked I’ll show you one of my favorite WordPress plug-ins.
Inline Related Posts plug-in
Inline Related Posts plug-in does part of the linking automatically. You have to set it up once and then you can forget about it – the plug-in will add related posts automatically to any new blog posts that you write.
The only thing that it doesn’t really do is the SEO part, as these links won’t give more “link juice” to other posts in your blog. If you want that as well, you’ll have to add the links manually.
The links created by the plug-in look like this:
The biggest advantage of this kind of linking is that it comes as a text within your blog post. It looks nice on desktop and mobile devices. And readers don’t have to read the whole post to be suggested something else that may be relevant to them.
And it all works automatically based on your blog’s categories and post tags.
Other related post plug-ins
The majority of the related post plug-ins that I’ve seen add the related posts at the bottom of the blog post. They add the featured image of the post and maybe a title.
I see two problems with this approach.
First, not many readers scroll through the whole post. With today’s attention span the majority will leave your blog post as soon as they get an answer to their question, or just after scanning the headlines.
Second, many readers have developed advertisement-blindness, and pictures at the bottom of a post partly fall into this blind spot. So even if the readers scroll to the bottom of the post, they just might ignore any pictures there.
How to set up the Inline Related Posts plug-in
Here are the steps for adding the Inline Related Posts plugin:
- Press in your WordPress menu Plugins -> Add new
- In the search write “Inline Related Posts”
- Press “Install now” and “Activate”
- Press in your WordPress menu Settings -> Inline Related Posts
- Fill in the settings that you prefer
- Don’t forget to press “Save”
- Enjoy the automated related posts
Some other things that you can automate on your blog
It’s possible to add affiliate disclosure automatically to all blog posts. Check out here how to do it.
If you are interested in automatically turning some of the links in your blog into affiliate links, check out this post on how to do it.
And if you are sharing your blog posts on Twitter and don’t get the featured image displayed there, check out this post on how to enable it.