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Getting people to visit your site is only one part of creating a successful blog and increasing your business’s sales. You also need to encourage readers to come back regularly. One reader who looks at your blog every day is much more valuable than several people who only visit your site once. Without loyal customers to add positive comments, give great reviews, and tell their friends about your interesting, informative posts, search engines won’t give your site a high ranking. Here are some useful tips to encourage even casual readers to keep coming back to your blog.
Image via Flickr by LaMenta3
If you post articles that aren’t useful or entertaining, your readers won’t come back. Make sure you provide excellent content with a variety of subjects that appeal to your target audience. For example, a travel blog can contain information about the activities available at different destinations, recommendations for places to stay, tips on saving money while traveling, and more. That way, the blog will attract a range of people who travel or are interested in traveling. A blog that only focuses on travel products like suitcases will seem less credible, especially if a business related to the site sells these products.
Also, you should post articles regularly so returning readers will always have something new to enjoy. If someone asks a question in the comments or gives an article a good review, answer the question or say thank you to make him or her feel valued.
Ask readers to subscribe to your email list for an easy way to remind them when there’s a new post. That way, you can email a full copy of the week’s most popular articles or a list of links to your blog’s best new content. Add a few links to older material that’s still interesting, and send subscribers coupons and information about sales as well.
Insert a call to action or CTA at the end or in the middle of every post. This is just a term for asking people to take some sort of action. A short sentence like “Subscribe for free updates” or “Sign up for weekly emails so you won’t miss useful content” works best.
Premium content protected by a paywall is a great way for you to keep your most loyal readers interested. Add a small icon to the links to your premium articles, and display a popup that invites casual readers to sign up when they click on a premium link. Charge a low fee, like $10 per year, for the extra content, and make sure your audience will be interested.
You can post a monthly interview with an expert in your field, produce podcasts with your most popular content, or make premium how to videos that complement your existing articles on the same topics. After a reader pays for premium content, he or she will keep visiting your blog to make sure they get a good value for their money.
Many people spend more time checking social media that they do reading their email. Make sure you offer options for readers to like or follow your blog on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and other popular sites. When your blog has new content, posting to these sites can remind readers about it quickly and easily.
Most social media sites notify people’s friends and followers whenever they like or share a post. This is a great way to attract new readers. To make visiting your blog easy, add a link to every post on social media. You can even offer a small gift, like an ebook or a week of free premium content, to people who share one of your posts with their friends or followers.
Become a guest poster and comment on sites with a similar audience to your blog. That way, you’ll have a chance to persuade some of those readers to check out your blog as well. When you post on another blog, you also get an endorsement from the main author or administrator. He or she may not actually write a compliment about you, but readers know that a quality blog would never post an article from someone who doesn’t know much about the topic. When you comment on a blog, add interesting insights or advice along with a link to your site. Always be polite and respect the opinions of other bloggers and commenters.
Blog contests can create a sense of community among readers. They also encourage people to visit your site and see what cool contest you’re running. Hold three or four different contests every year, and give people one or two months to enter each one. This builds anticipation while keeping your contests special events instead of normal features.
You can let people enter contests by commenting or liking your blog on social media, and then have a drawing for prizes. Many people also like more specialized competitions. Ask your readers to design your company logo or create a new product for your business to sell or use.
Just make sure that the prize is appropriate for the contest. Drawings should have smaller prizes, like a gift card for your store or a set of interesting coffee mugs. People who win difficult competitions should get larger rewards. You can give away a larger gift card or one of your most valuable products, let winners have a lifetime discount to your store, or let them have permanent access to premium content.
Use these tips to attract more people to your blog and make more casual readers loyal customers. Remember, every successful blog needs a group of dedicated fans.