Do you ever visit blogs and see that just the first few sentences or paragraph is visible and wonder how they do it? Well, I’m here to show you how you can get that polished look on your blog! As a blogger, I love how clean my blog looks with each post consisting of a header image, optional body image, and the first paragraph of the content. If my visitors like what they see, they can easily click the “more” or “Continue reading” to see that post or they can continue scrolling to preview recent posts that might interest them more.
Here you can see how you only see the very beginning of each post. To read the entire post, you’d just click on “more”-
Before I get into how to do this, I’ll share why you might want to.
- Aesthetic purposes| It makes your blog look a lot cleaner and less cluttered. By only displaying the introduction of your post, you’re freeing up space and the display is generally more appealing. It also improves the reader’s experience as they can easily scroll through your posts, selecting to read the ones that get their attention most and are of greatest interest to them. Personally, I don’t enjoy having to scroll through several posts of over a thousand words to find ones I want to read. I personally consider this one of my best practices in blogging as it’s beneficial to both me as a blogger and my readers’ experience.
- More accurate stats| If you don’t have the “Read More” tag inserted in your posts, a reader can endlessly read post after post once on your blog. It will show up as one visitor with one view even if they read five posts. This isn’t a bad thing but if you want to see which post got the most attention you won’t have a clear picture if they can scroll from post to post without clicking. I know what you’re thinking, the downside is they have to click from post to post, what if they don’t click? I hate to break it to you but they can also get off of the blog at any time without scrolling through… As a reader, I’m more likely to scroll and click on what I want to read than scroll through three or four posts that aren’t of interest in hopes of finding one I am. You could always try it for a week and see what it does to your stats. Do you have the same number of visitors but more views? That’s a good thing! You want to be sure you have the most accurate stats so that you can continue to provide content that’s valuable to your readers. This is a way of ensuring you have the most realiable information to evaluate.
So now that you know what this does and why you might want to use it, here’s how to use it-
- Create a new post or edit an existing post
- Decide where you want readers to see up to
- Click on the screen wherever you want the “Read More” line to be inserted
- Click the “Read More” icon in the toggle bar
- A dotted line with “More” should appear (be patient sometimes it can take a moment)
That’s it! That’s all there is to it! Just remember this needs to be done for every post unless your theme allows you to choose between full posts or post excerpts. In which case an excerpt will be displayed for each post automatically So if you like the way it looks and works, make sure to follow these steps to manually reveal an excerpt whenever you write a post. It’s a matter of getting in the practice of clicking the button. Once you get used to it, it’ll just be part of your posting routine.
Here are two examples so you can see the difference when the “Read More” tag is and isn’t used.
This is how posts with the “Read More” tag appear. Notice you can see two separate posts. The post in the yellow box has the first few sentences visible with “Continue reading” displayed where the “More” shows up in the edit version of the post. The same is true for the post in the second box but my screen wasn’t big enough to display the rest of the view.
This is how a post without the “Read More” tag would look. You could read it without clicking on the actual post and it would have the next full post below it.
Did you find this helpful? Did you already use the read more tag? Will you start using it? Do you prefer to read blogs that use this feature? Feel free to share in the comments. If there’s anything you’d like to see a blogging tip or tutorial on that I haven’t covered here, let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do to help!