Most people don’t blog just to hear themselves talk. They do it for others. To help someone looking for information within a particular niche.
So what good is doing that, if no one enjoys reading your blog?
You want your blog to be enjoyable and to create a stickiness that keeps your readers’ attentions for longer periods of time. You also want those readers to want to come back. And believe it or not, there are proven methods to increasing that stickiness on your blog.
This is the number one method for creating a sense of community with your readers. To make them want to come back. If you don’t post often, and your readers continue to come back hoping to find new content, they are going to be let down, and eventually give up on you.
You don’t have to post every single day, or even every other day. Whatever you decide, make sure that it stays the same. Don’t create a post everyday for a week, then switch to posting weekly, or monthly.
If you’re just starting your blog and aren’t sure how often you will be able to post, start with a longer frequency, then when you feel like you can do more, increase that frequency. This helps to gain readers, whereas going in the other direction often gives you a decrease in readership.
Break Up Posts Into Series
If you’ve ever watched a television series like Heroes, you’ll notice the cliff hanger ending that always makes you want to tune in next week for the next episode. Television has perfected stickiness with this method.
Just as with TV, if you’ll break your posts into a series with some sort of cliffhanger at the end, you will cause an interest buildup, and the reader will want to come back for the next post. This often leads to blog subscriptions.
A good example of creating cliff hanger endings for a post series can be found on BossSanders.com.
The reason why website like Facebook and Twitter are so popular is because they are interactive. Sometimes it’s difficult to implement those methods of interactivity on your blog, but you can always do some minor methods.
Whether you realize it or not, commenting is an interactive part of blogging, so you’ve already got one method in place. Three others you can implement are polls and contests, and giveaways.
Giveaways are expecially great because everyone loves to win free stuff. And most will do anything you ask them (within reason) to win. Like spreading word of the contest via Twitter or their own blog.
Polls also help to get reader feedback about thing you could do with your blog that they’d be interested in.
Offer Actions Below Each Post
I’ve written a great article on what to include below your blog posts, so I’ll not bore you with details here. But know that adding specific actions you want the reader to perform, like subscribing, or offering related posts to read, have been proven to be effective.
Often times readers don’t want to search exhaustively for what they should do next, they would rather be lead. Otherwise, they’ll just lead themselves away from your blog.
Offer Incentives For Commenting
Commenting is a big part of your blog, and it helps you and other readers to generate a thought process of creative thinking. And people love creative thinking. That’s why puzzles are popular.
Offering incentives for commenting references back to adding a contest to your blog. A randomly chosen commentator could win a Macbook, or the top commentator each month could win $100.
Whatever incentive you choose to give, be creative. Do something unique and desireable that no one else is doing.
Respond To Your Commentators
Not only do you want other commenting on your posts, you also want to respond to their comments.
How do you feel when you say something in response to someone in a conversation you’re having, only to get a dumb look in return. This is alot like not responding to your blog comments.
You don’t have to respond to them all, especially if you’ve got a large number of readers. People know you’re a busy person because they are too. But as long as they see you making an effort to respond to three or four, they’ll know they’re not speaking to a brick wall.
A Good Blog Design
I’ve seen so many blogs that still use the default wordpress theme, or clutters as many things as they can into every small piece of space they can find. This is counter-productive of your blog.
A blog that isn’t pleasing to the eye will turn away potential readers before they even start reading what may be the best article every written.
A good design will promote flow of the page, and help draw readers deeper into your blog. First impressions are important, but you don’t have to pay your life savings to hire a designer either.
There are many great themes floating around on the internet for free. Will it separate your brand from other bloggers? No. But it will make for a better design.
One of the best blog themes that is very flexible is the Thesis Theme. Many top bloggers such as Darren Rowse, use this theme. I recommend it to all new bloggers who plan on becoming successful but don’t have the money to pay for a custom design.
Display Your Best Content
Somewhere in your design you should have a widget which displays your best content. Not the content you think is best, but the content your readers think is best.
There is a reason it’s labled as your best content. Apparently your readers liked it and voted for it. Your best content is what will keep a new reader coming back to your blog. It’s what will cause a new or long time reader to eventually hit that subscribe button.
Some of my best content is the reason this blog has sky-rocketed with visitors within the last couple of months. It’s the reason I’m already making more money on my blog that most will ever make.
If you’ll look to the top of my blog, you’ll notice a place that says “Most Popular Posts”. Those are the posts that caught my readers attention.
If you’re interested, read my post about the 8 Daily Tasks to Increase Blog Traffic. Alot of my readers think it’s a great article.
Are You Made To Stick?
If you’re interested in finding out how to create sticky ideas or content which fall beyond the ways I’ve given you to make your blog sticky, then check out a great book I’ve been reading called “Made to Stick”. It’s a definite must-have for bloggers who plan on being successful.
What other methods do you use to make your blog sticky?