Creating Featured Posts With SmartLink Widgets


Many blogs in the wild these days have Featured Posts listed somewhere on their site, usually along the top of the blog or in one of the sidebars. This is a great way for bloggers to showcase some of their best work, some of their most popular posts or posts that have been rated by readers. I myself have such a list based on visitor traffic. I’d like to show an interesting way to create a Featured Posts widget using SmartLink Widgets from the good folks at AdaptiveBlue. It’s really easy.

Step 1 – Bookmark Your Featured Posts

Adding SmartLinks With BlueOrganizerThe first thing you need to do is bookmark the posts on your site that you would like to be featured using the BlueOrganizer browser addon. What? You don’t have BlueOrganizer installed yet? What are you waiting for?

OK, you do have it installed. Good. Now just browse to the individual posts you want to feature and bookmark them. Before saving though, add a tag that you will use to mark your Featured Posts. I’ve used “franzone featured” for my tag, but that probably wouldn’t make much sense for your site so you pick it. See the screenshot to the left.

Step 2 – Create Your Widget

Creating A SmartLinks WidgetNext choose the Make a Widget option from your BlueOrganizer addon. You’ll be magically transported to a web page where you can create your widget. OK, maybe not magically, but it is still cool. Enter a title for your widget such as Featured Posts (makes sense). Select Bookmarks for the Collection Type. Then just enter the custom tag you used in Step 1 in the tag/filter field. I entered “franzone featured”. Click Next: Configured this widget and you are presented with some cosmetic options to doctor your widget up to make it’s grand appearance.

Step 3 – Install Your Widget

Finally, click Next: Install this widget to get the code for your new widget. You are presented with several options for blog publishing platforms. Alternately you can just use the default code that is on the page. After copying your widget code just install into your blog by whatever means are available to you. It can be directly in a page or in WordPress I use text widgets for this type of thing. The final result for my Featured Posts looks like this!