This is a guest post by Jessica Sanders.
Keeping your blog updated, looking good and sporting solid posts can be difficult and time consuming. In our crowded blogosphere, you need to stand out. I extend a warm congratulation if you’ve achieved that.
Now that you have, though, you want people to do more than read one post and move on. While great content will invite readers to continue through to other posts, attention spans wane, and it’s easy to lose even an interested reader.
- Link within the blog
You don’t write a great blog post for it to be archived three days later. If you have posts that can be made relevant again through another post, use it! When you link to other stories within your blog, it encourages further exploration. Not only does this give your story more meat, but shows the reader that there are more interesting posts they have yet to discover. Regardless of whether they leave after that first post or not, you’ve given them reason to come back.
- Related posts plug-in
When your visitor finishes the post they came for, you intend for them to move onto another. What you should remember here is that the reader isn’t going to want to work, so you have to do it for them. By installing a related post plug-in you’ll be able to help them easily access another article they’ll like with a simple click. No looking around, no fussing with your archives or home page. Most plug-ins allow for customization as well. You can decide how it chooses the posts based on content, title, tags, etc.
- Video content
While people love great written content, video takes the cake. With over 48 hours of content being uploaded on YouTube every minute, web surfers are becoming more and more attached to online video content. Even better, there are two positives to adding video.
- At the very least, giving the reader a video to watch simply means that they will spend an extra few seconds on the post than they would have before.
- Adding video can also help broaden your readership. While many people bounce through blogs because they enjoy reading great content, YouTube gets over 2 billion views a day.
- Suggest another post
At the end of every post you want to present your reader with a suggestion to do something. When you compel readers to interact within your blog, you’re inviting exploration. There are a few ways you can do this.
- You can ask a question and suggest they give their opinion in the comments section. That extra two minutes they take to comment might make the difference between whether they look around more or not.
- You can suggest they check back in a couple days for a follow up blog, etc. If you’ve put together a good post, this will give them a reason to come back when they have more time.
- You can point them in the direction of a previous post that backs your point or emphasizes what you’ve discussed in the text. If you gained their trust in the article, they are likely to read another one based on your recommendation.
- Make use of your widgets
Within your blog, you can do so much more than write a post. With the addition of widgets, you can add more depth. Giving your readers more to interact with will give them a reason to stay longer.
- You can use a Polling Widget for multiple things, including emphasizing or enhancing a particular post.
- A Top Commenters widget may give avid readers a reason to be more active, coming back to read and comment more frequently.
- Adding a Twitter Widget can give them better access to your posts. A Technorati study found that more than half of bloggers use Twitter to promote their posts. Assuming this is a tactic you use, they can easily click through to new blogs as they are updated on your Twitter feed.
Your blog is your baby. For those of you who put a significant amount of time into crafting great posts, there is a sense of pride in the work that you do. Whether for personal or business, you want to get the most out of the hard work put in. By enacting various tactics you can get your readers to stay longer, and perhaps grow your readership as well. You put a lot of effort in your content, so don’t let it all go to waste.
Image credit: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About the author
Jessica Sanders is an avid small business writer touching on topics from social media to merchant services. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including credit card processing for b2b lead generation resource, Resource Nation.