What makes some blogs “sticky“? Why do readers return again and again to certain blogs, while with others they only visit once and never come back? These are crucial questions for every blog owner to consider. Getting traffic to your site is obviously important, but that’s only your first job. Then you have to make your visitors want to stick around and become loyal readers!
Characteristics of a Sticky Blog
A popular, sticky blog is one that gives people a good reason to return. There are several ways you can give your blog this quality.
Tip 1: Make Your Blog Appealing and User Friendly
The first thing someone notices when they land on your blog is how it looks. This has to do with the theme, layout, fonts, graphics and everything else that determines the blog’s appearance.
Your blog should be easy to read and navigate. Some blogs have a dark background and the fonts are difficult to read. Others are confusing because the pages are overcrowded. Look at your blog objectively, as though you were a visitor and ask yourself if you’d want to return there.
Test your blog using several popular browsers. If it doesn’t look good on all the major browsers, such as Google Chrome, Firefox and IE, you will lose many visitors.
Tip 2: Update Your Blog Frequently
If you only update your blog once in a while, people will have no compelling reason to come back. The more often you post new content, the more likely it is that you’ll gain loyal readers. This will also make it easier to attract new visitors, as each of your posts has the potential to be indexed by the search engines and shared.
Make Your Content Memorable – While it’s necessary to update your blog often, that’s not enough by itself. There are many “autoblogs” on the internet that get updated several times per day, but the content is seldom original or interesting to readers.
Whatever topic your blog is concerned with, make sure you stay current on what people want to know about that subject. You can ask your readers this by asking questions and polling them (see below, on making your blog interactive). You can also do your own research and find out what’s going on in your niche or industry.
If you promote products or services on your blog, make sure you also provide valuable content. People are not going to want to return to a blog that contains nothing but pitches and ads. So post informational articles or videos so you are delivering real value to people who visit.
Tip 3: Make Your Blog Interactive
Think of as many ways to make your blog interactive as you can. Here are a few possibilities:
- Start a forum
- Run polls or surveys
- Ask your readers provocative questions
- Create a membership section
You may want to do one or more of these things, depending on your preferences. The point is to think of things that will engage your readers and make them want to come back to your site to see what’s new.
Having a forum or membership site on your blog will make it much easier to get return visitors. Of course, this requires a great deal of commitment on your part. If you have a forum, you have to moderate it every day. With a membership site, you must come up with valuable content that people are willing to pay for. If you have the time, though, such tactics can make your blog very popular and get you lots of loyal visitors.
Tip 4: Communicate With Your Readers
Make sure you answer any questions or comments that people leave on your blog (assuming it’s not spam or trolls just being negative, of course).
Make sure it’s easy for people to leave comments. If you have a WordPress blog, for example, don’t have it set up that people have to register to leave comments, as most people won’t bother to do this. On the other hand, you should moderate comments to cut down on spam. As long as you visit your blog daily and are efficient about publishing and answering comments, it’s fine that comments don’t appear instantly.
Tip 5: Give Stuff Away
Everyone loves to receive things for free. If you give things away on your blog, this will give people a good reason to return frequently. Find items that your audience will appreciate. You can offer people downloads of articles, eBooks, videos or audio files that they’ll find helpful.
You can also do JVs with other blog owners and product creators to give your visitors a special deal on certain items. This can be in the form of coupons or perhaps free trials for certain products or membership sites. Take my website for example, I JV with popular web hosting companies and offer really good web hosting deals. You can find these deals on my website 100Webhosting.com.
Tip 6: Build a Mailing List
When you have subscribers, you can easily direct people to your blog. Publishing a newsletter at least once a week gives you an excuse to keep people updated about what you’re doing on your blog.
People have short attention spans, so they are likely to forget about your blog without reminders. If you don’t collect email addresses, you have no way to remind them. When you have a growing subscriber list, you can also build your blog traffic. Not only that, but more and more of your visitors will be return visitors. These are the most valuable kind, as they have already demonstrated an interest in your site!
Conclusion – Make Your Blog Sticky by Providing Value
There are quite a few ways to motivate readers to return to your blog. The above are some good methods, and you can probably think of more on your own. Whenever you upload something to your blog, remember that it’s for the benefit of your readers, not yourself.
People are only going to return to your blog if they are getting some consistent benefits from it! Your goal may be to sell products or increase your traffic stats, but it’s your visitors and customers who will ultimately determine your success so make sure you’re treating them well!