How To Turn First Time Visitors Into Loyal Readers?
I find many bloggers getting frustrated and giving up blogging saying that they do not get enough readers to their blog. The main reason being that most of the first time visitors of your blog do not visit your blog again. Each new reader has a potential to become a regular reader and someone who will link to your blog.
So how to tap this potential source of traffic and make this one off readers to become regular visitors of your site? The basic and the foremost thing one has to concentrate upon is content. The content of the post should be useful, written in easy language and should get your readers engaged in the topic. If reader likes what he/she reads for the first time it improves the chances that they might visit your blog again in future. Is there any other way to make the readers come back again?
The Individual Pages are Properly Designed
If you have large number of posts then chances are that you are going to get traffic to some of your old pages through search engines. Make sure that each page of your blog is well designed and good-looking as your front page. I very often come across blogs having a nice front page but the old pages do not archive well. Make sure that your pages load faster i.e not too much of flash content embedded on them and are easy to navigate because they potentially represent the rest of your blog. You can take a feedback from your readers about your blog’s usability and ease of navigation.
Be Clear About your Message
Make sure that you let your readers know what your blog is about, preferably on every page of your site. If a reader cannot work out what your site is about in the first few seconds, there are high chances that he will not have the patience to go through the rest of your blog to read and understand. That is what your blog’s header is there for and you should make the purpose of your blog clear using your blog title and header. The purpose of my blog is to help others optimize their blog so that they can make the most out of their blog. Again getting an opinion from your readers about your blog’s message may help you communicate better.
Highlight Key Posts in Your Blog
Make sure that all the key posts in your blog are displayed using appropriate tools for the readers to notice them. Always include a link to the home page of your blog from the individual pages of your blog. You may also include the link to some of the key pages of your blog, the menu boxes at the top of the page serves this purpose. You may also include a site map for your site to help your readers easily find their way around your site.
Deep Link to some of your older posts
Readers come to your post because somebody else (it could be search engine or your link to some other post) has referred them to your site. They come to your site to read about the topic of their interest and you should provide them with content that is complementary to the readers’ interest. Here are some ways to implement it.
1. Try to interlink to all the posts in your blog that cover the same topic. For example, I have written a few posts on optimizing your site for SEO and I would try to link them together.
2. Use Plug Ins to point to the relevant posts. There are a few Blog tools available in WordPress and other Blogging platforms that help you maintain a list of relevant posts depending on keywords and/or title.
3. Categorize your posts. Include a link to the category at the bottom of your post. The link should take your readers to page with other articles written on that particular category. e.g If you write a post on Money Making Opportunities, you can include a link at the bottom of your post mentioning “More Money Making Opportunities.”
Email Your Friends
Each person that visits your blog must is a potential loyal reader. The person visiting your blog will have his own network of friends and these friends would have their networks as well. It is viral system and this will help you develop a huge down line of loyal readership for your blog. Email your friends about your post and if it is useful, chances are that they will email their friends about your post thus generating in huge readership. So all you have done is send a few emails that got multiplied in number for every person that read it and visited your post because he forwarded it others he knew. A great way of marketing your site.
Provide a RSS feed of your blog posts
I had discussed the use of RSS to get loyal subscribers to your blog in my post How to get RSS readers to visit your blog. Another good reason for your readers to come back to your blog daily especially if you pump in the content daily for your blog.
Use a Search Button
Use AdSense for Search on your blog that helps people find a particular post of your blog. It also helps you display ads in the search results. Therefore, it helps readers search your site or the World Wide Web and provides you with a source of Income for your blog.
Break your large posts in a number of small ones
Another good way to encourage people to visit your site again is to divide your longer post into a number of sequential posts on the same topic. It has two benefits- it increases the number of posts and hence your SEO rankings for that particular topic and encourages people to come back to read the rest of the posts in the series. Some bloggers do it purposely and regularly. Do not be too obvious and be caught very easily. Use this technique only when you have a very long post in comparison to your typical post length.
Let your Readers Interact with You
I generally observe readers willing to come back to blogs only when they have a chance to interact with the author of the blog. That is why you have comments section at the end of each posts. You can use other interactive tools on your blog like polls or a shout box.
So my take on the entire topic. You will get readers but you can keep them visiting your blog only when you treat them well. A blog is nothing without its readers and blogger needs to give them special treatment to make them become loyal to him.