Sidebars in the body of stories not only add a visual flair to stories, they also provide a portal to readers to see your depth of coverage and make their way to those stories.
Adding a good looking sidebar that lives in the body of a story shouldn’t be hard. And adding an in-story sidebar that auto-populates keeps your editorial team free for other work.
You can see one of them over to the left. It took less than 5 seconds to add it, and the proof of that is in the video below.
Auto-updating sidebars also mean that as a story gets older, it still provides a portal to newer content.
We wanted to make adding this kind of sidebar simple – so we recently updated our in-story sidebars to make adding an auto-sidebar super simple.
[Just a note to WordPress users: Contextly uses publishing industry terms to refer to Sidebars and Siderails. Our Sidebars live in the body of stories. Our Siderail module lives in the column next to a story. In publishing industry parlance, the section next to a story is called the rail (right rail or left rail), even though WordPress calls that the sidebar.)
Here’s how adding an auto-sidebar works in WordPress:
1. Put the cursor in the post where you want the Auto-Sidebar to live.
2. In the Visual editor, press the down arrow on the Sidebar button and select “Insert Auto-Sidebar”. In the Text editor, simply hit the Auto-Sidebar editor.
3. Press save.
4. Go have tea.
You can adjust the display, the kind of content and the number of recommendations dynamically in the Control Panel.
Here’s a video of how I added the Auto-Sidebar to this post:
And for our Enterprise API customers using a custom CMS, these work on your sites as well. Just ask us how at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[For the month of November 2015, in honor of National Novel Writing Month and National Blog Posting Month #NaBloPoMo, I’ll be writing a post a day about a favorite Contextly feature. It’s a bit of a love letter and a bit of a how-to.]