On Tuesday, I asked Are You Losing Readers? Why? and gave you some reasons why you may be losing readers. Today, let’s look at how you can keep your readers reading.
There are two types of readers you want: new readers and old readers.
New readers are drawn to your blog through search engines and word-of-blog recommendations. These usually point towards your older posts, though they can point to recent posts, which soon become old posts.
Something in the recommendation to that post caught their interest. If the content on your blog matches that attention-getting content, they will probably put your blog in their feed reader and return for more. You’ve just lured them in and hooked them, turning a new reader into an old reader.
Now you have to keep them.
- Give Them What They Want: Turning new readers into old readers means giving your old readers what they want. They want information similar to what brought them here. They want to be entertained, educated, stimulated, and challenged. They want more of what they’ve come to expect.
- Stir The Pot Once in a While: Like many friendships over time, it helps to stir things up once in a while to keep things fresh and vital. You have to work harder to please your old readers since they’ve come to know you so well in your relationship. Continue to write on the topics that keep them interested, but pull out a few surprises once in a while. Don’t let your writing or topics fall into a rut. Jazz things up. Come at an old point from a new perspective.
- Make The Transition From Pleasing Yourself to Working for Your Readers: Personally, over time, as my readership increases, I find myself working harder to write for them, not me. Many have trouble making that transition in their blog writing. Like making friendship or a marriage work, you want to keep them, you will work harder.
- Build Loyalty: Like old friends, they are there in the good times and there through the bad times. If they’ve come to trust you, don’t let that trust waver. Keep your commitments.
- Listen to them: Ask them questions and let them ask in turn. Show your readers that you care. Have a contest. Blog about their blogs. Have them guest blog. Give them a chance to share their voices and wisdom. Tell them that you care.
- Choose Your Readers: My mother told me many years ago that friends don’t happen. Friends are chosen. Your friends are a reflection on what type of person you are. Thus your readers are like you, or the “you” you want to be. So choose well.
- Make Them One of the Team: When new readers come to your blog and see the content and the conversation, they learn about who you are and who your readers are. If they like what they see, they will want to join your group, your friendship circle, becoming an old reader – just one of the team.
Make sure you respect their friendship by being a good friend – and blogger – and they’ll hang around for a long time.
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.