Three simple secrets to keep your readers coming back

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There are millions of articles floating around on the internet about how to increase traffic on your blog.  There seems to be a shortage, however, on the number of high quality, informative posts on how to increase reader retention.  The success of a blog is usually measured by the amount of people who subscribe or freqently come back to the site.  The following are three simple steps that you can follow to increase reader retention on your blog.

1. Make it worth their time.

This means you should throw out all the extra fluff or pointless information in your blog posts. People don’t read on the internet like they read a book. They skim through articles and pick out the most important details.  Don’t waste their time by adding in a bunch of information they don’t care about.

Each item you post should also be high-quality. Take the extra time and make the extra effort to show your readers that you really care about their time by making your posts top-notch.  Don’t blog just to blog; make your content valuable to your readers. This means you also shouldn’t “fake it”. Your readers will know when you have researched information for your article and when you are just blogging “off the cuff”. Keep it genuine and meaningful. This will keep them coming back for more.

2. Let them know what is coming up next.

Writing a series is a sure-fire way to keep readers coming back to your site. Be sure to include a teaser within each piece of the series. For example you might title your article something like “Becoming a successful web designer: Part 1″. This tells people what the series is about that lets them know there are more parts coming.  Then you would end your article with something like “Be sure to check back soon for Part 2 of this series where we will talk about….”.  This gives them a preview of what they will get when they come back.

Another way to let them know what is coming up next on your site is to include a small preview on your blog. There are plenty of plugins for your wordpress blog that will let you show your scheduled posts so your readers sill have an idea of what they can expect in the future. (Notice mine on the right sidebar? I use the Upcoming Posts plugin by MrLive.) There is also a great post by problogdesign that teaches you how to customize your own.  This not only lets your readers know what is coming soon on your blog but also forces you to frequently write and stay up to date.

Lastly, to keep them easily updated, offer free subscriptions to your blog via RSS and/or Email.  This will make your information more readily available to your readers.  Speaking if which, you should subscribe to the RSS feed or the Email updates for GraphicDesignBlender.com!

3. Ask for their input and show appreciation.

One of the greatest things about blogging is that they create forums for people with similar interests.  Be sure to include an invitation to hear from your readers about their opinions regarding the content of the article. When someone responds to your post, thank them and engage in conversation with them. This will make them want to come back and keep contributing.

Also, show your appreciation by having give-aways.  Find sponsors and other creative ways to give meaningful gifts to your readers on a regular basis.  This can often be a daunting task, but it is a sure way to gain loyalty amongst your readers.

Following these three simple secrets will help you to increase readership and, most importantly, keep people coming back to your blog.  What other suggestions do you have fo us? Share them by submitting a comment below!

Sources:
How to keep visitors coming back in 2009 by Eric Brantner
Show what’s coming next on your blog
by Micheal Martin
7 Secrets you must know to give your blog the edge by Jacob Cass

avatarAbout the Author: Preston Lee is an award-winning freelance graphic designer and photographer that has a passion for good design. Preston loves to share his thoughts about graphic design with others and is the principal content supplier for GraphicDesignBlender.com.

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About Preston D Lee

Preston is a web designer, entrepreneur, and the founder of this blog. @prestondlee

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