Today, I'm going to be talking about a feature of our Pro Blogger app called the Related Blog Posts, and what this does and how easy it is to set it up in your store.
First of all, what is the Related Blog Post feature?
It's a way of displaying content within your blog that is related to the content that is already being read. To put that into context, if you have an article about mountain climbing, then it makes sense that you would have other articles that are related to mountain climbing or the equipment related to mountain climbing as opposed to maybe an article about fly fishing that you may also have on your blog.
Its there for blogs which don't already have a recent and new post feature, so you can display other alternative posts for your readers so they don't have to go back into your overall blog page to look at the additional posts. Even if you do have that recent view, this option provides the capability for your reader to go from something that they're interested in to something else that they're interested in. This also provides additional SEO, obviously, by having more content in your page that's also related to directly to the content that you have in that particular post.
What does it look like and how is it to set up?
Well, first of all, like we always like to do, let's take a look and see what it looks like without. Here is my development store, and if I just scroll down, I'm going to go to my old favourite, the Pineapples blog post. You can see here, there's an example article about pineapples. You can see in this particular theme, which is the Debut theme, it doesn't even have a recent or next blog posts option in it. If I was reading this and I wanted to read another post, I'd have to go back out to my blog and then select another post. Then when I was finished reading that, I'd have to go back out again and open another post, which is really inefficient and obviously we want to make things as efficient as possible for the people who are at our store.
So let's set up the Related Blog Post feature. I'm just going to go to my admin dashboard. Here is the Pro Blogger app. When you load it up for the first time, you'll see that the features are all currently disabled. I'm just going to to enable the Related Blog Post feature by moving the toggle across here and clicking save. What that'll do is, install some local assets so that it performs better and will turn the feature green. You can see it's now enabled. That means the feature is enabled, but we still have to a bit of code to place the slider where you want.
So we go to step two here, install. You can see here, there's the options about how to install the respective features. We just go to related blog posts, and you've got a couple of options here by default. Most of the time we'll be installing to the article-template liquid file, which you can click here to open. But first, I'm just going to follow the instructions. I'm not going to back up the theme, but we recommend that you do so that you can always revert your changes in case you make a mistake. We're going to copy this line here, just got to copy of that, click on the article-template liquid link here. This will provide a shortcut to open it. If this doesn't open, use the article.liquid, that'll open up the different template. Here we've got our file. What I want to do is I want to put in the related articles code. I'm going to put it below my social sharing. I'm going to click save. I'm going to go back to my blog post, and there we go.
Really as simple as that, that's how easy it is to install. I now have a slider here of articles that are related to this particular post. There's a button here that also will take you back to the overall blog. Obviously, we can change the way this looks and the number of items that are displayed and in the slider in the settings.
Let's have a quick look at the settings just so we can just go through those a little bit. What are the options here? Well, the first one we have is an option that helps with filling out the content. We have fast, balanced, and accurate. Fast essentially means that we're going to grab a small sub-sample of the blogs, a small number of the posts in your existing blog. We're going to present those and we'll sort them based on the best matches. So you get guaranteed results and because it only looks at a small subset, it's quick.
Balanced, we'll look at a lot more posts so it'll take a little bit of time to go through to find the right matches, and it'll only display those that have matches.
Accurate, we'll look at everything it can in that particular blog, up to a thousand articles, and it will only return back those that have matches on it.
Matching is typically done on the tags of the post itself. So you need tags on the post and by author. So we just go through the options here. We match tags between posts. Using the mountain climbing post, as an example, if you have a tag of 'mountaineering' on one post and 'mountaineering' on another post, that is a match. Those two articles will be matched together and if you load one up, it should display the other one.
We can also match the post tags to title. What does that mean? That means if you've got a tag that says 'mountaineering' on the one that had been displayed and you have 'mountaineering' in the title of another post, then it'll pull back that article as well.
The last option we have is matching on the author. If you have multiple authors and those authors are subject experts on specific items, for instance, mountaineering, then you can say that everything gets related or done by that specific author should be relevant. The settings we have here, essentially, you can slide how important it is. If I want the author to be the most important thing, I would just say that's the best match. If I don't want to match on any author stuff, I'll go to nothing. Note that if you set everything to don't match, you'll get no results, but this gives you the opportunity to decide where the relativity is for you.
In terms of slider display, what we've got here, I'm going to just, you can change the header name to "Read More". It's an HTML so you can change the header styles quite easily just by doing this to whatever you want. We have an option to turn off the slider auto display - it currently just pages through showing you all the articles that are there. I'll turn that off. We have the slider size, which is the total amount of items that are allowed in the slider. Then we have the items to display. If you've got a narrow display, it makes sense to show less, so I'll just change that to three, as an example. We have the option to increase or decrease the level of text that has been displayed underneath. Because I've just decreased the numbers to display, I'm just going to increase that just as an example just to show you, I'll put up to like 20 and we've got the option here to toggle off the link to all the blogs.
I'm just going to make these changes here just to show you how easy and how quickly it is to enhance or change this according to your store. Let's just refresh. What we've done is we've changed the header here. There we go, "Read More". We've got three items displaying out of our total slider, and the slider autoplay has been turned off so you'd have to page through it. This is obviously mobile friendly if you flick it, takes up the old gesture response so that it will flick over. We also removed the (read all blog) button.
That really is how simple and easy it is to set up a Related Blog Posts slider in your store using Pro Blogger. Hope you found this video informative and you really get a lot of value out of using the app. Thanks for your time.