With all the blogs that exist out in the blog-o-sphere, it can be a challenge to keep readers interested in yours. If you add some variety to your topic and find ways to engage your readers, though, you can be sure that they will stick around for a long time.
Regular quality posting
It may seem obvious, but it’s worth stating anyway: The best way to keep readers interested in your blog is by posting interesting material. Keep in mind that most readers don’t expect something from you every day. Posting that often can be sometimes burdensome to busy readers, and will certainly be detrimental to you if let the pressure of posting so frequently lead to watered-down posts. Unless you truly have unique and well-written material to post every single day, it’s far better to post quality material on less frequent basis. That way, your readers will get a regular dose of your blog without being overwhelmed by all of the posts they aren’t able to read.
On the other hand, it’s important to ensure that you get content to your readers on a regular basis. A “how to” blog is most helpful if it builds on information regularly, and a personal blog is most interesting if it builds on stories. As you add posts to your blog, you are building a book; as you build that book, you will build momentum over time. Keeping that momentum going is crucial to keeping your readers on board. Posting quality material one or two times a week is a compromise that prevents your posts from becoming watered-down and yet keeps your readers interested.
I like to stick to a schedule but in the blogging world it does not always work out like that. As long as you don’t lower your standards and post any old article when you get desperate. If it gets to this stage, open your blog up to receive guest posts as Ileane has done here. Accepting guest posts can be both a good and bad experience and it will pay to get your rules made up before opening the doors.
Variety within a Topic
Although your blog will need a central, unifying theme, it is important to find ways to insert variety as well. A parenting blog, for example, might have some “how to” posts about parenting, some funny stories about mothering, and some insightful posts about the difficulties of motherhood. A natural living blog might have posts with recipes for green products, personal stories from people who have chosen to “go green,” and tips for dealing with the challenges that come from making green choices. Each type of post—funny, insightful, how-to, testimonial, personal anecdote—plays an important part in building a blog. Rely on only one type of post, however, and you risk boring your reader.
You will need to experiment with some different subjects within your topic and see which ones are the most popular. Then you can stick more closely to these subjects. For example I have a website that teaches people how to build WordPress websites, and I presumed that people want tutorials on how to build websites, install themes and so on. But I have found that they are interested in other things like making money online, making a SEO checklist, and getting traffic to their blogs.
Variety of Content Formats
Adding multimedia to your blog posts is another way to keep your readers attention. You can mix things up with an Infographic (like this one), a YouTube video or even a podcast. Ms. Ileane is always raving about the benefits of podcasting and what it can do for your blog as well as your personal development. Watch this video to learn more about why podcasting is so hot!
Give it a try and you’ll see that your readers tend to stick around longer when they have something they can listen to or watch that enhances your message. Sometimes we all need a break from reading.
Engage with Your Readers
No matter what the topic of your blog, it’s a good idea to keep interest high by getting your readers to engage directly with you. There are lots of different ways to do this. One way is to present a scenario in a post and then ask a question about it. If you are writing a mommy blog, for example, you might describe the difficulty you are having with bedtime and then ask your readers for suggestions. Then, upon solving your bedtime dilemma, write a post about it and reference the suggestions you got from your readers, giving them a shout out in your blog as you do so.
Alternatively, if you are writing a blog on how to live frugally, you might write a post about finding coupons online and then ask your readers to share their favorite spot for finding online deals. Directly involving your readers in this way gives them a chance to feel connected to you as they offer their own advice, stories, or thoughts back to you. Think of it like a conversation—if you are always talking, people will get bored eventually. Giving others an opportunity to talk back makes them feel more invested in you and your blog.
It’s very important to remember that when you do get comments on your blog, you’ll want to respond to them. Readers will love knowing that you read their comments and will be eager to hear what you have to say back. A blogger who responds to and converses with her readers is much more interesting than one who does not.
Showing how you really do something can really build your readers. For example you can show how you make money online, show your earnings, or even reveal some blogging secret or tactic you have been successfully using.
Spice It Up: Give-aways for your readers
There are a number of fun ways to really hook blog readers, too. One of them is to host give-aways on your blog. The idea is simple: Offer up a product that you are going to give away on your blog. Ask your readers to comment on your blog to enter the give-away. You can have your readers answer a question in their comment, or to simply make any comment at all to be entered in the contest. You can also ask readers to “follow you” on your blog or “like” your Facebook page for extra entries.
You can also make your own products by using common viral marketing strategies but a mix of giveaways is always the best.
At first, you may need to dole out your own cash for the goods you give away. As you earn followers, however, you can look to see if businesses want to sponsor give-aways on your blog. Select businesses carefully; make sure that they match the subject in your blog. Then, approach the business armed with information about the number of followers you have and the number of page views you get each day, week, and month. Sell the give-away as an opportunity for the business to advertise to a target audience. You might even offer to write a post with a review of the product you are giving away to make it even more attractive for the business to participate. Eventually, if your blog grows enough, you’ll find businesses approaching you with products to giveaway.
Of course the best way to give back to your readers is to offer tremendous value to them on your blog.
Keeping your readers interested can seem like a daunting task at first. In reality, though, it comes down to a few simple steps: Post quality material on a regular basis, add some variety into your topic, and find fun and new ways to engage your readers. The more you do these simple things, the easier it will get, and the more interesting your blog will become.
When you have mastered the skill of keeping your readers interested and engaged in your blog you are now ready to learn how to monetize your website traffic.