Visitors are nice, but readers are nicer, and followers are even better.
A visitor lands on your blog once and may or may not be back.
A reader visits frequently, but maybe not as often as you’d like.
A follower, on the other hand, is someone who’s stuck on your blog.
He comes back every time you post something new and he shares it with all of his friends.
Here are seven ways to make your blog stickier so you can turn those visitors into readers into followers.
1. Be Unique and Engaging
Instead of just sitting down to pound out your usual blog post, spend time thinking of ways you can make your content unique.
If everyone else in your niche is using textual content, try making a video.
If everyone else is making the same point, offer an opposing argument.
Study your competition and do whatever it takes to stand out from the crowd.
Engaging your readers means asking questions that encourage conversation and replying to comments.
But it goes further than that.
Focus on engaging their minds, too.
Creating unique content is the hardest part of blogging but if you give your readers something to think about, they’ll keep coming back for more.
2. Promote Your Full RSS Feed
Some bloggers think that by using only a partial feed they’ll force subscribers to come back to their blog if they want to read the whole post.
But the keyword in that sentence is “if.”
There’s always a chance they’ll just say the heck with it and never come back.
Readers subscribe to your RSS feed as a convenience.
Every time you post they get a notification in their email.
Since they’re already reading email anyway, it just makes it that much easier for them to read your post without having to remember and click around trying to find your blog.
Be happy they subscribed because that means they’re still following your blog.
Give them your full feed.
3. Keep readers on your blog
Use inter-linking to lead readers to relevant content deeper on your blog.
Highlight key posts and categories in your sidebar to attract attention.
Link to related posts at the end of each blog post.
Publish a clear, easy-to-use archives page.
Make it easy for readers to find every single post on your blog and use links to lead them around.
4. Publish Often And Consistently
I disagree with bloggers who say if you don’t post often and consistently your readers will forget about you and never come back.
What’s that say about their content? I prefer to look at it positively.
If you get in the habit of posting frequently and consistently then your readers will get in the habit of anticipating and expecting your next post.
If you’ve been posting every day, they’ll visit every day, expecting that new post.
5. Optimize To Improve Load Time
Minimize images before you upload to your blog.
Eliminate dead URLs.
Fix broken links.
Uninstall and delete plug-ins you’re not using.
If necessary, get a premium theme that’s coded with special attention payed to speed and SEO.
You only have a few seconds to grab that visitor’s attention.
If those seconds are eaten up waiting for your blog to load he’s going to go somewhere else.
6. Brand Your Blog
Make it easy for readers to remember you.
Get a custom or premium theme so you stand out from the crowd.
If you can’t do it yourself, have someone design a custom blog logo.
Include a brief mission statement or tagline on your homepage, something that resonates with readers and sticks in their minds.
If possible, choose an appropriate domain name that’s short, easy to spell and easy to remember.
And give your blog a memorable name.
7. Be More Than Just A Blog
There are millions of “just blogs” out there.
Offer your readers more.
Add a forum if you have lots of traffic.
Accept content contributions from your readers and guest bloggers.
Run a weekly Q&A post where you answer questions from your readers.
Mention your readers in your posts.
If possible, talk about their blogs, too.
Work on building a community, not “just a blog.”