Food for Class. Thanks Brad. THis is the heart of blogging.
How do you Create Stickiness, Keep Readers Longer, Increase Traffic and Get Visitors Coming Back?
Think of the New York Times, Washington Post or Chicago Tribune and what keeps readers subscribing and coming back? It's obviously the content and the combination of headlines, stories, photos, news, sports, funnies etc. Your Blog is the same as a newspaper in that a variety of interesting and valuable content will keep readers longer, attract new visitors, and also keep them coming back for more.
Here's a few suggestions to help increase the time people spend on your Blog and how to keep them returning to your Blog in the future and often. First, realize there is no right or wrong way to write a Blog post, so be willing to experiment and see what works best for you and your readers. By mixing it up and trying new and creative ideas for posts, you'll discover what works best for you.
#1 - Post to your Blog consistently. If you can post 3-4 times per week, chances are your readers and subscribers will come back more often to see what you've posted. If you post once a month, then when they come back, they'll see the same article and won't likely return for awhile. Posting regularly with a variety of interesting and compelling content will Get Visitors Coming Back.
#2 - Adding Valuable Outbound Links. Adding links to your post will drive traffic to other local and topic related sites. In return, those sites monitoring their traffic and analytics will visit your post or site to see what you've said about them. This can generate new traffic to your Blog. Creating outbound links has a second hidden value. It's called stickiness. Here's a sample of what that means.
- Hover your mouse over the link above - See the descriptive title that appears?
- Click the link, see where it takes you - You'll notice it opens in a new window/tab. This is good.
- Not adding "outbound links" to your posts, people read and leave. It's an open then case.
- Adding the outbound links, your post offers more value and can stay open while visitors explore.
TIP: Make sure you add suggestive and interesting link "description titles" and always have your outbound links open in a "new window," this will keep your post and page open on a separate tab or window in their browser. When they close the window to your outbound link, they will be right back on your post or page. (Don't use the open link in same window option) ActiveRain defaults to opening links in a new window.
Statistic: Average length of time someone spends on your post or site is less than 30 sec. Hmmm...
#3 - Add Images, Graphics and Photos with Links. Adding images and photos to your Blog is a key ingredient to all the above. Imagine a newspaper with just "A WALL OF WORDS!" No photos, no graphics or images, no sports or weather photos... MAJOR BORING!! Adding images makes your Blog post more cosmetically pleasing to the eye and more interesting to your readers and visitors.
Using photos helps bring out the visual aspects of your topic and makes a post more visually desirable.
(Just be sure to use your own images and photos, don't plagiarize)
Add descriptive title's to your photos, and create hyper-links the same as you do with "outbound links" it works the same way. See Below. Last week I went to the Redwood forest with the family, Bob Stewart asked me to take a photo of us in the Redwoods (Bob's Father was a Logger) so this photo is for you Bob. Notice the link, let's see if Bob clicks on it... :-)
"First Generation Redwoods in the National Forest located at Big Basin Redwood State Park"
A few things to remember about photos: Not too large, they don't need to fill up the entire computer screen. Try to adjust them to blend well and flow with your post. Include descriptive titles and descriptions, and if possible, create a link to the photo elsewhere like to your photo blog, or in my case, Flickr. This will allow your readers to see the larger images and more photos if they so choose.
These are just a few ideas and suggestions. Creating stickiness with great content and outbound links, adding images, graphics, and photos will draw visitors in and keep them longer, and writing a variety of consistent content will keep your readers coming back for more.