ne of the most challenging aspects of writing a blog is encouraging people to come back time and time again. Often, people will only come to read a single post but will not stick around to look at what else you have to say in the future. With so many other competitors all clamouring for attention, you are certainly in a highly competitive marketplace. But with time, commitment and the right strategy in place, you are more likely to be able to attract the long term readers that you are looking for.
Here are just a few of the top ways that you can hold people’s attention and keep them coming back to your blog.
Establish Your Expertise
People often come to blogs because they are looking for expert advice. One of the most common types of blog post is the ‘how to guide’. If you can provide people with solutions to specific problems, they are more likely to come back to you when they need some advice. Everyone will listen to someone who knows what they are talking about. That’s why it is a good idea to focus your blog on some core subjects if you are running it all by yourself. Otherwise you could risk spreading yourself too thinly and people will not have as much faith in your expertise.
Stick to a Blogging Schedule
You should have a schedule of posts that extends several weeks or months in advance. Nothing looks worse than a blog that hasn’t been updated in a long time. People are likely to turn back as soon as they see your page and not come back again. Some of your posts may not be time specific, so you can be flexible with them if there is any breaking news that you would like to cover. Other posts will be about specific times of the year, so these will need to stay in place. Stick to your schedule as closely as possible to show that yours is an active site that is worth coming back to.
Respond to Comments
If you continually write interesting content, people are likely to want to comment on your posts. You should make sure to respond to each comment individually, therefore encouraging more people to get involved. This shows that you actually care about what your readers think and you’re not just focused on creating content that fills your site. It also demonstrates that you’re committed to your blog. As well as this, it helps you to build up new relationships – potentially with other bloggers who write about a similar subject area.
Connect with Social Media
The best bloggers nowadays are active on social media, as well as keeping their page updated on a regular basis. This can be one of the most effective tools to attract new readers, as well as keeping the ones that you have already. Once you have a big following, you may want to do a Facebook privacy checkup to make sure your account is safe as it is likely to be a valuable commodity to you. Social media allows you to let people know about your latest blog posts, as well as post shorter comments reacting to developments in your industry. It is another way to get in touch with your audience to gage what posts are working best and what type of content they are looking for.
Serial Blog Post
Sometimes, you will have a blog topic that is simply too big to tackle in a single post. You should break this up into bitesize chunks and set up a schedule of when you will be posting the rest of it. It may well be a certain long anecdote, so you can leave cliffhangers at the end of each post encouraging people to come back. You should make sure to include links back to previous posts so people can catch up if they are late to the party. If you have captured people’s attention, this is one of the best ways to keep them coming back for more.
Send Out Newsletters
When you create a blog, make sure to include a signup page so people can input their email address and you can get in touch with them whenever you have something interesting to say. Remember not to overuse this technique as people are likely to be signed up to a huge number of mailing lists these days. Try to make your content helpful or exciting, not just a deluge of self-promotional emails. A newsletter can provide a timely reminder to check back on your blog page for any content that they may not have read yet.
Vary Your Posts
People are much less likely to come back if they see that you are posting about the same type of thing again and again. Instead, utilise the range of different blog post styles that are out there. We’ve already mentioned the ‘how to’ posts, but you could also write ‘checklist’ posts, giving people a clear guide of the steps they need to take to complete a certain task. You could also write product reviews, either about a single one or comparing and contrasting different items.
News posts are a regular feature on many blogs, while you could also create ones which are more personal in style, drawn from your own experiences. To get a fresh perspective, you could interview an influential person in your field or encourage people to submit guest posts. This helps to take some of the burden off yourself. Surveys, polls or FAQ posts encourage your readers to get involved, and may also help you to come up with a clear direction for anything you choose to write about in the future.
Write Engaging Headlines
Often, people will judge whether or not they want to read a blog post based purely on the strength of the headline. That’s not to say that they all need to be over the top or sensationalist, but you should take the time to make sure they are engaging and give a good overview of what is in the post. Try to keep them short and snappy if possible. People who glance briefly through your blog may see a whole range of things that they want to read, keeping them coming back at a later date.
You’re Only as Strong as Your Last Post
The best bloggers put a huge amount of time and thought into their posts because they know how quickly people can switch off and go elsewhere. Like a sportsman is only as good as their last game, you are only as strong as your last post. Again, this comes back to making a detailed schedule. If you just sit down in front of a blank page and expect magic to happen, you are likely to be sorely disappointed!
Link to Related Posts
As we said at the start, people are often drawn in to read a single post on your blog page and don’t come back on a regular basis. Make sure that single post is strong by linking it to other related posts on your page. People are likely to open this up and follow the links like a trail of breadcrumbs, showing that you are so much more than a one hit wonder! This is definitely a technique that you should use for all your blog posts as you never know which one people will be drawn to.
Share Your Personality
Posts that tend to be dry and generic are likely to get passed over pretty quickly. With such a wide array of content out there on the internet, make yours stand out by making sure your unique style shines through. Show off your sense of humor and try to make people laugh. Share personal anecdotes and write as if you are only speaking to your best friend. If people get to know you and enjoy your own unique take on the world, they are much more likely to come back to read more of what you have to say.
Optimise Your Posts for SEO
If your posts regularly rank highly on search engines, people are more likely to see you as an authority on a particular subject and trust your site to provide them with the type of information they are looking for. There are numerous techniques for making your posts SEO friendly including using backlinks, keywords and making your content unique. If you are not well versed in these, now is the time to brush up on your skills.
These are just a few of the best ways to keep visitors coming back to you blog time and time again. Ultimately it all comes down to creating fresh and readable content, and making sure you promote it as widely as possible. It may take some time to find your voice and a style that works, but always try to improve wherever you can and you are likely to build up the loyal readership you are looking for.