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How To Convert New Visitors Into Regular Readers

Friday, April 6th, 2007...9:31 am

How To Convert New Visitors Into Regular Readers


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It’s one thing getting people to visit your blog. It is a completely separate issue convincing them to keep coming back on a regular basis.

A new visitor can come and go in seconds. You have a very small window to make an impression so you have to make it count. Here are six things that will help you do that.

  1. The visual design of your blog is important. People are easily put off by messy, ugly, or simply unprofessional looking sites. You don’t want them leaving before they’ve had a chance to see what you have to offer.
  2. Don’t bombard people with ads. There’s nothing wrong with running ads, but try to make them as unobtrusive as possible. Whatever you do don’t use popups. Nothing will turn people away quicker.
  3. Install the Top Posts plugin, or create a small section in your sidebar with links to your most popular posts. You want it in a highly visible position so it has the best opportunity to be seen and clicked.
  4. Add a small line at the bottom of each article with a link to your feed. Use some text like: “If you enjoyed this post please subscribe to my feed.” Similarly, make sure you have a link to your feed in the sidebar. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to subscribe to your feed. You can go with the big and flashy feed icon or a more subtle design. Just make sure people can see it.
  5. Install the Related Posts plugin and display related posts at the bottom of each article. Every further page a visitor reads is a new chance to make an impression.
  6. Show them your best. This last point is something I do when I’ve been linked to by a high traffic site. Try to have at least one post in your backlog which you would consider to be your a-grade material. When you start seeing a high concentration of visitors coming in publish that post. What I’ve noticed from checking my stats when I’ve been Stumbled or linked to from larger blogs is although the sorts of visitors you get from these sources don’t usually stick around for very long they often click through to at least the front page. So when they do they’ll be greeted with some of your best work.

Are there any other things you do to grab the attention of new visitors?

12 Comments

  • Excellent Tips. Always welcome to visit my blog, and provide any feedback.

    ~Another Day
    http://Buildtomorrow.blogspot.com

  • I think one of the most important things is content! If the stuff your writing about doesn’t matter to anybody, you won’t get any returning visitors.

    regards,

    dave

  • I was once told naked pictures work *grin* I disregarded that advice so it could explain my drop rate - or maybe it’s to do with everything you’ve said.. either way, perhaps I should listen to other people more ;)

  • It depends who is crowding your site. Stumbler are better than Digger - you have to change nothing for Diggers. They do not click ads, don’t comment (fear Diggers WHEN they comment!) and don’t come back. The best way to build traffic is word of mouth. Organical growth instead of fertilizing.

  • I’m becoming increasingly aware that the lack of decent plug-ins will become Blogger’s downfall when it comes to attracting the more tech-savvy users.

    On the other hand, I’m not sure that’s ever been a market for Blogger. I guess I need to revive my pros and cons list about shifting to a Wordpress-based existence.

  • Vics you should definetly listen to other people more. ;)

    Zep I like the the idea of organical growth instead of fertilizing. I’m just suggesting you try to get the most out of the situation. If you implement my ideas and you do grab an extra loyal reader from time to time I think it’s worth it. A loyal reader is worth more than 1000 digg users.

    smp you bring up a good point about Blogger. I guess it’s the same situation on other blog services as well. I’ve never used them but from visiting a few sites they do seem rather limited in functionality and looks compared to a custom Wordpress install.

  • I think for blogs , content is the king .

  • Madhur I agree completely. You just have to make sure people see you have great content.

  • Great post! My blog is slowly but surely starting to build, by using many of your ideas above. I particularly like your last point. I very rarely have a backlog of posts - as soon as I have an idea I publish it. Maybe I should think about my approach to creating content in a more planned way.

  • [...] How To Convert New Visitors Into Regular Readers [...]

  • well, i am 5 out of 6 of that list but i still cant feel that i have a regular reader, you know..? which of course, i know why and my writing style is still in development.. anyway, nice post. i really like it.

    =)

  • Please, can you PM me and tell me few more thinks about this, I am really fan of your blog…

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