How To Ensure New Readers Stick Around
As bloggers, we're always looking for ways to attract new readers and grow our traffic. But what about afterwards? If all you're doing is getting new people to look at your blog but they're not sticking around or coming back for more, it's not going to do much for your blog growth. In regards to growing your audience, it's important to work out how you're going to catch potential readers' interest enough to make them want to look around your blog for awhile (this will help with your bounce rate) and become regular readers. Here are some ways to ensure readers stick around...
A Fantastic Design
The design of a blog is like the cover of a book, and guess what? People tend to judge a book by it's cover. Your design is a major factor in someone's first impression of your blog, so keep that in mind when choosing how your space will look. Try to keep things clean and easy to navigate, while still adding your own style to make your blog stand out from the crowd.
The simplest way to get someone to stay on your site longer? Give them more to check out. If you're writing about a certain topic and have already written a post similar to it in the past, share a link so people have further reading. You can also share related articles at the bottom of your posts (that link to things you've written, of course - your goal is not to send them to someone else's site but to hopefully keep them around long enough to create genuine interest in your blog). And don't forget to have available links to all of your important pages, like your About Me, Disclosure, and Contact information.
Share Your Secrets
I've talked about the importance of high quality content several times before, and I truly believe that it's the key to growing a successful blog. If you want to turn a random passerby into a faithful reader, you need to make it worth their while. Give them something beneficial and improve their life by being generous with your knowledge and sharing your secrets. Think of it as paying it forward - you learned something that helped you, now share it with your readers to help them.
Feature Your Best Work
You never know which article will turn a stranger into a regular reader. Make it easier for people to find your best work (and more likely to click around and stay longer) by featuring it in prominent places on your blog - a popular posts or "Reader Favorites" section in your sidebar, recommended reading at the bottom of your posts, a slide of some of your most-viewed content at the top of your blog, etc.
Readers Are People Too
I know being a blogger can seem like it's just you and no one else, but keep in mind that, even though you're typing your thoughts into a metal hunk of computer, there are actual people all over the world reading your posts. Write with a friendly, personable voice. Get to know readers and visitors (aka potential readers) in the comments and on their blogs. Treat them like you would treat any friend in real life - with compassion, politeness, and gratitude.
How do you ensure readers keep coming back to your blog?