Updated May 11, 2014
When we think of visitors landing on our blog, we usually think of them landing on our homepage. However, most people land via search engines, links from other blogs, twitter, facebook, and are landing on individual posts.
One of the best ways to increase pageviews and have your newly landed visitors stay around longer and subscribe to your blog is to start using a related post plugin for your self hosted WordPress blog.
There’s tons to choose from with different features and styling to match your blog design and see what works best for you (also be sure to read to the bottom of the post to find the one plugin you should avoid):
nRelate has 3 different related posts plugins with 7 different styling options to make sure you can pick something that looks best with your blog. There is also an optional advertising component where they show related posts from sponsored sites alongside your original content. When visitors click on the sponsored content, you get paid too.
These plugins also come with the added benefit of a sidebar widget to display your posts there as well!
All nRelate plugins are available through your Plugins–>Add New menu in the WordPress dashbaord.
Related Content Plugin
A very simple plugin that sits nicely at the end of your posts, it showcases thumbnails of related posts to help readers further explore topics of interest. Download the plugin.
Most Popluar Posts Plugin
The most popular plugin in contrast to the related posts, uses some social proof to encourage readers to explore different posts from your site. By showing your most popular posts, the reader is exposed to your best content first which may help turn a one time visitor into a subscriber. Download the plugin.
You’ve likely seen this one on sites – the related post flyout. When a visitor gets to the end of the post, a small box with a related post slides out to encourage further reading. It’s a nice change (or addition) other plugins because the movement of the image draws attention but not in a disruptive way since the reader has already stayed long enough to read your post. We’re not talking annoying pop up here, it doesn’t cover content or interrupt the user experience. Download the plugin.
Related Posts Thumbnails
Related Posts Thumbnails is a really simple plugin but its customization is really where it stands out. The most basic application of the tool allows for images of your related content to show up under your posts, with or without excerpts.
Just look at all the customization that is possible right in the settings screen without any coding needed:
You can easily change color, font and borders along with the way the plugin chooses the posts, all with a few clicks. This can help you easily change the look of the plugin to help it stand out while matching the overall aesthetic of your site. Download the plugin here.
One of the great things about the Shareaholic plugin is that it does double (and triple) duty. If your blog is bloated with plugins you’re getting some slower load times than you could. Shareaholic lets one plugin do a lot of different tasks. It lets you add share buttons to posts and it lets you add related post content.
Related Posts Slider
This plugin does the same as all the others but has a cool slider effect added to the mix. If your site leans towards the modern and sleek, this plugin can jazz up your page and help build up those page views. Download the plugin here.
If you’re looking for something different than all the other blogs out there, WP-Thumbie definitely has a different look. With the vertical post listing and excerpt included, the plugin catches the eye simply because it’s very different that other sites. If you’re pretty handy with writing great opening paragraphs, your text, along with your image can draw the reader in. Download the plugin.
Linkwithin is another very common plugin that you can use to display related posts. I’m not a huge fan because when you click the thumbnails at the bottom of your posts, the visitor is sent to linkwithin’s site first, then redirected back to yours. It siphons your traffic before sending it back to you. You can easily get the same benefit with the plugins listed above without the drawbacks. Win-Win.
What related posts plugin is your favorite?