How to Link to a Specific Blog Post and Why You Should

This isn’t about doing genealogy, but it could help you share those stories about your ancestors. If you’re blogging about your ancestors, you need to know the different types of links to your blog and when (and how) to use them.

How Blogs are Structured

By default, most blogs are set up so that the main page  shows the most recent posts, starting with the last one that was posted. As more posts are added, the older ones get pushed down the page. Eventually, they go off of the main page. Those posts are still accessible — they’re just not on the blog’s main page anymore.

Two Basic Types of Links

A link to your blog (in general) will point people to your blog’s main page. The URL would be something like http://www.nostorytoosmall.com or http://familytrees.wordpress.com. When you want people to take a look at your blog, but you don’t care which post they see, send them this link. They will see whatever the most recent posts are.

A link to a specific blog post will take visitors to that post. The URLs are much longer. For example, the URL for my post about finding the origins of my great-great-grandmother is http://www.nostorytoosmall.com/posts/how-i-found-my-orphaned-milkmaid-susan-tucker-kelley/ . This is the kind of URL what you want to use when you want to point people to something specific.

How to Get the Link for a Specific Blog Post

Blogs on Blogger and WordPress (and most other platforms) are designed by default so that when you click on the post’s title, it will take you to the URL with just that specific post.

If I want someone to see my post on 2015 being my “year of collaterals,” I can click on the post’s title:

specific-linkWhen I do that, it will take me to the URL for that specific post:

specific-url
I can now copy/paste this URL when I want to point someone to just that post.

Why You Should Use the Right Link

Sending people the link to your blog (in general) is fine when you’re introducing them to your blog. Maybe you want to send an email to your cousins. “Hey, everyone! I’m blogging about our ancestors! Here’s the link: http://example.wordpress.com.”

But, let’s say you’ve been researching with Cousin Joe and you’ve written a post about how you just broke down your shared brick wall. “Hey, Joe! I finally broke down that brick wall! I just wrote about it on my blog. Here’s the link: http://example.wordpress.com. ” That’s all well and good right now…  But Cousin Joe is wintering in Florida and he doesn’t get around to reading your email and doing anything with it for about 2 months. When he clicks that link, he’s going to see the most recent posts. And if you’ve been blogging regularly, that post you wanted him to see isn’t going to be on the main page.

So Cousin Joe gets confused when he doesn’t see what you’re talking about. The golf course is beckoning, so he says, “The heck with this” and he never bothers to look for the awesome article you wrote.

Don’t do that to your Cousin Joe. Send him a link to that specific post.

18 thoughts on “How to Link to a Specific Blog Post and Why You Should

  1. kakingsbury

    Amy – Since I am new to blogging this is very helpful advice. I am also very grateful for your optional prompts for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks for 2015. I only wrote about one relative last year but hope to do better this year.

    Reply
  2. littlecabbagehead

    I appreciate your covering some basic things like this because I have just started a blog and know that I know very little about it. I hope you will continue to include short posts of this type in the future. I’m struggling to figure out how to classify blog posts so groups of them can be seen together. Of course, since I haven’t posted my first of 52 Ancestors yet, I won’t need that info for some time. Thanks again.

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      You’re welcome! Classifying your blog posts is both easy and challenging. It’s easy to set up, but for me, the hard part is deciding how you want them organized. Categories are broad topics. You don’t want to have them so broad that they’re meaningless, but you don’t want them so narrow that only 1 post will really ever fit. In WordPress, a post can go into multiple categories. Maybe think about major surnames that you’ll blog about, states where they lived, etc. You could have a post be in both a Smith Family category and an Ohio category. And if it’s for the 52 Ancestors challenge, you could also make a category for that and put it in there as well. Don’t worry about it too much — you can change, add, and delete categories as you go.

      Reply
      1. littlecabbagehead

        Thank you so much, Amy, especially for the “don’t worry about it too much” part. Sometimes I end up doing nothing because I want to do it right.

        I just posted my 52 Ancestors #0 post, and am working on #1 and #2, but they won’t be ready until later in the week.

        Reply
  3. Warren Coleman

    THANKS for the “HOW TO” !! Need More ! Thought that this 52 Week thing would be a great way to make a digest of what I think I know…For some future grand kid but BLOGGING isn’t as easy as it looks! I’m no longer sure what it is that I want. Thanks Again

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      No. Are you trying to make a URL for the post? WordPress creates it for you automatically. Also, I went to your blog’s main page and it doesn’t look like you have a title for the post. When you compose a post, put something in the title field. That will help WordPress create the URL (and will give your readers something to click on if they need to.)

      Reply
  4. Jacqi Stevens

    Amy, I just saw this post, thanks to a link back from Jana. Quite timely article. Actually, I’ve linked back to that very same example post you mentioned on the Collaterals in a couple of my own blog posts. I use those links like some people use footnotes. The hyperlink brings a reader directly to the article in question, as you mentioned, and if the reader right clicks (to open in a separate tab), both the source article and the one referenced remain open for comparison. I love it when bloggers do that. It helps a reader delve more deeply into the topic, if interested in more information.

    Actually, it was on account of another post you’ve done that I’ve meant to connect with you: you mentioned your milkmaid ancestor from Perry County, Ohio. My mother in law’s family comes from Perry County. Everyone there is related to everyone else–or so it seems! I keep looking to see if you and my husband are long lost cousins…maybe someday we’ll find the connection 😉

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      We should definitely compare our Perry County notes! You’re right about almost everyone there being related to everyone else!

      Reply
  5. Susan

    Thanks! Just bookmarked on my browser and, also filed mentally under, “Good Things For A Blogger To Know: Check bookmarks At Amy Crow,” (Amazing how a silly little rhyme can help a soul remember. 😀 😉 )

    Reply
    1. Amy Johnson Crow Post author

      I am a big fan of rhymes and mnemonic devices! That reminds me of story that I should write about… :)

      Reply

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