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Most blog designs these days include a truncated post view, either on the homepage, archive pages, or both (all of my themes do). These layouts optimize reader engagement; they can scan the page for interesting posts, but the also encourage the reader to click for more information. These designs also give the page an elegant and polished design improving the quality of the blog design.
Most bloggers do not take advantage of the ‘Excerpt’ functionality. In WordPress, an excerpt is a term for an article summary. It can be auto-generated by the theme (as I mentioned above) or you can manually generate it using the <!–more–> inside your blog post.
You can also enter a summary of the article in the Excerpt field (my recommendation). This way you can customize the summary text to encourage readers to click through. This text is generated on post previews on social media. If you have a Mailchimp RSS Newsletter setup, it will pull this text.
Using the Excerpt Field
When you create a post, a field should show called ‘Excerpt’. If not, go to SCREEN OPTIONS and select ‘Excerpt’ from the checklist. The Excerpt field will now show in your post editor often at the end of the post, after YOAST SEO.
When you are entering text in this field, it needs to be in a text editor format (i.e. with unformatted links). If you are unfamiliar with HTML, then I suggest you write what you want to say in the Visual Editor of your post, switch to Text Editor, and copy the text code. Once you’ve copied the code into the Excerpt box, you can delete it from the post.
You can customize your excerpt by include one or two sentences and then affiliate links. The video tutorial and images show you how I customized the excerpt in one of my premade themes.
RewardStyle Users: If you use the RewardStyle widget, copy in the html/css of your widget. If you copy the RewardStyle shortcode, it will not show up on your RSS Campaigns or Feedly.
If your theme auto-generates excerpts, then it will pull the first few words of your blog post. Keep this in mind if you use RewardStyle or ShopSense links in your blog posts, they might not format well if pulled this way, i.e. the links might not show up as links!
Manually Generated Excerpts with the MORE Tag
This approach works if you don’t have a built-in truncated post view. You can manually turn your blog to show abbreviated post views on the home page. I don’t recommend this approach. If you redesign in the future, you might need to go through each post and remove the more tag. Just be aware of it before you use it.
Simply include the text you want to show up first, then enter the <!–more–> where you want it to cut off.
Similar to Featured Images, if you really focus on using them consistently, you can completely transform and optimize your blog design!