Have you ever heard of the Coattail Effect or “Riding Coat Tails”? It’s most often referenced in politics, and refers to how when a candidate from a political party is victorious, candidates from the same party running for lower offices often win as well. The term comes from how young boys would often hold onto the tails of their father’s coats so as not to get lost while walking through streets. It rose to prominence in the 19th Century when political ballots started to be printed with one political party per side, making it easy for people to vote along party lines.
Within your blog, you should have a series of major Topics that you regularly cover. For me, these are the categories of Beginning Blogging, Advanced Blogging and Blogging Tools, with sub-categories of Email Marketing and Search Engine Marketing. While we’re fortunate not to have that many political parties, think of each of those categories as a different party for a moment. Feel free to think about your own blog categories.
Now, within each category, we have a number of blog posts that have been tagged with that category. Within my Beginning Blogging category I have several articles such as, How To Start A Blog: The Ultimate Free Guide, or, How Long Before You Make Money Blogging?
So when does the Coattail Effect come in to play?
When you take the time to create a particularly good article, and it is well-received on social media, your other articles can benefit!
RELATED: The Ultimate Blogging Planner to help you organize your blog & blogging business.
We have talked about the different elements that make up a great article, as well as how to post to and encourage sharing on social media, so I won’t go over those elements here. What’s of relevance here is, once you have one article that’s popular, how do you make sure that your other articles benefit?
1. Category Navigation
First, make sure that your major categories are linked within your main navigation menu if possible. If not, consider a sidebar menu or jump menu where you can list those major categories. The result should be a blog-view of articles from that specific category.
2. Deep Linking Articles
Second, always be thinking about ways that you can include links to specific articles that you’ve already written. When I was talking earlier about thinking about your articles as candidates, I mentioned two specific Beginning Blogging articles and linked to them. In most of my articles, I can always think of ways to reference older specific articles that readers may want to reference for more information.
So when I had a post on Email Marketing, “15 Different Emails To Send Your Subscribers To Build Trust” get a tremendous amount of readers, several of my other linked Email Marketing articles got far more traffic than usual as well. That was the Coattail Effect in action. Make sure that you’re always deep linking your articles, and be prepared to enjoy the effect yourself!
This does require a certain level of familiarity with your blog content. If you find that it’s not terribly easy to call to mind specific articles you’ve written in the past, then be deliberate in your use of categories and tags. You can then rely on your own site organization to recall similar posts from your archive.
You may also want to keep a spreadsheet of all of the posts you create. You can then note things like Category and Tags of course, as well as the Focus Keyword for each post.
If you have questions about deep linking, please comment below.