The key to building a loyal base of readers for your blog is to give your audience content they crave. How can you make sure you’re satisfying your readers so that they’ll keep coming back? Start by following these simple tips.
- Pay attention to your comments—Blog comments are great because they give you direct feedback from your readers. You should pay attention to the posts that receive the most comments. Ask yourself: What topics are these posts focused on? What is the format of these posts (e.g. lists, how to, etc.)? What is the tone of these posts?
In addition to identifying the posts that get the most comments, you should also read all of your comments to see what your readers are talking about. You’ll often find that they bring up interesting topics that can be explored further in future posts.
- Use a ratings plugin for WordPress—On the SEO Hosting blog, we use the GD Star Rating plugin for WordPress. This allows you, the reader, to rate posts on a scale of 1 to 10. For bloggers, this allows you to see which posts your readers like and which they don’t really care for (don’t let your ego get bruised). Take a look at your highest rated posts, and do your best to emulate the formula in your future posts.
- Study your blog traffic—If you’re blogging, chances are you have some sort of traffic analysis program. Take a look at your blog traffic to determine which posts get the most traffic and which pages readers stay on for the longest period of time. Again, ask yourself the questions listed above to find out what exactly it is about these posts that makes them popular.
- Follow your readers on Twitter—There’s a good chance the people commenting on your blog also have Twitter accounts. Connecting with them on Twitter doesn’t just help you build strong relationships, but it also lets you see what topics they care about most. Take a look at what they’re Tweeting about and what type of content they’re linking to, and write content that focuses on these subjects.
- Check your incoming links—One of the good things about WordPress is that it alerts you whenever someone else links to your blog. Check out your posts’ trackbacks to see which posts gain the highest number of links. Many of the bloggers linking back to your posts are also loyal readers, so these are the people you’re writing for. Visit the source of these incoming links to see what the bloggers are saying about your posts.
How do you make sure you give your blog readers content they love? Share your best tips in the replies.