How to Keep Readers on Your Blog Longer

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Blog traffic is different from typical website traffic. Thanks to the Tweeting out of blog links and social voting websites (e.g. Digg, ReddIt, SERPd, etc.), a lot of blogs tend to get one-time hits from visitors who randomly came across a link to one of their posts.

While that traffic is nice, it’s even nicer to have those drive-by visitors stick around for a while, explore your blog, and hopefully become a loyal reader. And that all starts with getting readers to stick around after they read that initial post they land on.

How can you keep visitors on your blog for longer periods of time?

  • Use the Related Posts plugin—Yet Another Related Posts Plugin is a good tool for keeping visitors clicking forward on your blog. With this plugin, you can have a list of posts related to the current entry the person is reading. So once they’re done reading the initial post they came into your site on, they’ll see a list of a few similar posts that might also grab their interest.
  • Show Popular Posts—WordPress Popular Posts is a plugin that displays a list of the most popular posts in the history of your blog. It’s a good way to show new readers your greatest hits so they can get sucked in by the very best content you have to offer. Typically, the popular posts plugin is embedded in the blog’s sidebar.
  • Link internally to relevant posts—I’ve found internal linking to be a powerful tool for keeping readers clicking around on my blogs. Whenever you have the opportunity to link back to another one of your posts, do so. Not only does this keep people on your blog longer, but it’s also good for the user experience as it allows them to dig deeper on subjects they’re interested in.
  • Offer some freebies—To me, the HubSpot Blog is incredibly well run. The thing they do best is at the end of each post, they have a call to action encouraging the reader to download some sort of eBook or freebie related to the topic of the post. This keeps the reader engaged, and it’s a good way to build up the email list for future marketing.
  • Place your subscribe link in a prominent location—Ideally, you want new visitors to become repeat visitors/loyal readers. The easiest way to do this is to get them to subscribe to your blog feed. And the best way to do that is to have a subscribe button placed in a prominent location on your blog.
  • Showcase your personality—If your blog is the same as every other one in your niche, why should readers want to stick around, much less come back? You need to write with personality. Be yourself. Talk about your personal experiences. Harness the power of storytelling. This will help readers connect with you, and it will entice them to read more of your posts.

What are some of the things you do to keep readers on your blog longer?

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