How to Keep Blog Visitors Coming Back in 2009
Loyal readers are the key to success for any blog. It’s not enough to simply have a lot of visitors stopping by occasionally; you want to make sure your visitors keep coming back for more. In the past, I’ve talked about ways to increase the effectiveness of your blog, but I want to offer up some more tips for improving your reader retention.
- Write a Series- Have you ever been hanging on the edge of your seat watching a TV show only to have it suddenly end with a “to be continued?” It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, but when done properly, it keeps people coming back. By writing a series of blog posts on a single subject, you can keep your visitors craving more. As a result, they’ll keep coming back. Of course, don’t just do a series for the sake of doing one; make sure you’re offering quality content that warrants a full series.
- Incorporate Your Readers- The whole reason blogging is so effective is because it’s an interactive medium. Of course, when you think of incorporating your readers into your blog, you probably think about engaging them in the comments section. And while I highly recommend doing that, I also think you should consider taking it a step further. Why not occasionally get quotes from some of your loyal readers to use in a post? Maybe you could even let one write a guest post. Or perhaps you could interview one of your readers who is an expert in a certain niche. The point is this. The more ways you incorporate your readers into your blog, the greater a sense of loyalty they’ll have toward it.
- Offer Something New- I don’t have to tell you there are millions of blogs out there crowding the web. If there’s a topic, it’s been talked about in a blog. That’s why you need to do your best to offer your readers something new. I’m not saying you have to reinvent the wheel, but let’s not rehash the same post over and over again from years ago. There’s nothing wrong with bringing up old topics; just make sure you have something new to add to them. Relevancy is the word to remember.
- Ditch the Filler Content- Blogging is a long-term commitment that can cause you to burn out quickly. Recently, I talked about the importance of having a passion for the subject you’re blogging about. But let’s face it—every blogger has those days where you simply don’t feel inspired. As a result, filler content makes its way onto the blog. My advice—if you’re lacking the inspiration to create a great post, skip a day or two. It’s better to not publish anything than to give your readers the impression you’re just faking your way through it. Great, inspired content keeps readers coming back; filler content causes them to run away.
- Know Your Stuff- Speaking of “faking your way through it,” if you want to create a loyal reader base, you better know your stuff. There’s always someone out there ready to jump down your throat if you give misinformation. And just one instance of doing so can irreparably damage your credibility, ruining your blog. So, stick to what you know, and if you want to branch out, you need to do ample research before doing so.
How do you keep readers coming back to your blog? Give me your best tips, and I might incorporate them in a future follow-up post!