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10 Ways to Keep Visitors Coming Back to your Blog


A hugely frustrating problem for me is the growing number of websites online that are there for one reason and one reason only – to appeal to search engine crawlers. You know the type. They’re stuffed with keywords to the point of making no sense and they have no benefit for the reader at all. Anyone with an ounce of common sense will know that the long term success of a blog does not depend on what the crawlers think, but on whether or not the people who do find your site will return and become a part of the community built upon it. A blog is nothing more than pointless words without a readership and community. So just how can you get your readers to return?

Blog frequently

There’s no point in even having a blog if you’re only going to update it once in a blue moon. Why would someone keep checking your blog if, for the past three months, every time they have checked there has been nothing new? Plus, blogs that aren’t updated frequently are simply out of date. That news story you told six months ago…. guess what? It’s not news anymore. And out of date blogs are hugely unappealing for readers.

Keep your language simple

Reading blogs is considered a light reading activity for many. I personally don’t like the idea of getting out the dictionary and spending an hour translating a 300 word post from pretentiousness into English. Keep your language straightforward and simple. You don’t need to show off your vocabulary. It’s not enjoyable reading when it’s more confusing than a lecture on rocket science in Swahili. Know what the point of your post is, get to the point and do so in a way that people understand. This has SEO benefits too, given that people generally search in simple, straightforward terms.

Ask yourself what the point is

It might seem harsh, but before you hit the ‘publish’ button, read back over your material and ask yourself what the point in it is. Has it been written to educate or inform? Has it been written to entertain? And most importantly, does the final piece do what it set out to do? What’s in it for your readers? There has to be some sort of benefit for your readers in reading the posts you publish, otherwise, why would they bother?

Let your readers get to know you

If a blogger does not apply a little of his or her personality in the posts they publish, they don’t come across entirely human. In exposing some of your personality when you write, your readers feel as though they get to know you as a person and become familiar with your style. People feel much more comfortable commenting when they at least feel as though they have an idea of who the person they’re commenting to is. Blogs that lack personality, to me, feel as though they’re auto-posted by bots! And even if this isn’t the case, I find them bland and never return to them more than once.

Invite Guest Contributions

While you may have a readership loyal to your posts, it’s always nice to inject something a little different. I think that a guest post offers a different perspective and can be refreshing for your readers. It’s also a great opportunity for you to invite members of your community to share their thoughts. This, in turn, can bring a whole host of new visitors to your site, as the poster passes the link on to their friends and contacts.

Don’t Over Police Your Comments

While spam is the bane of all our lives, closing comments altogether or getting a little too tough with the moderating is a sure fire way to put people off. By all means, delete those comments laden with links to sites offering ‘cheap Viagra’ but don’t go all power-trippy on us! Don’t completely delete someone’s comment because you don’t agree with his or her opinion, for example. Yes, any insults, expletives etc should be moderated. But if you want to build a community around your blog, you have to be prepared to let people have their say. As I see it, if you blog, you’re putting your opinions out into the public domain and then have a responsibility to hear out people who wish to respond to them.

Be an Active Part of the Community

This means not just blogging on your blog, but contributing on the blogs of others as well, either as a guest poster or taking part in the discussions through thoughtful comments that contribute something to the conversation. As a part of the community, people will be more likely to revisit your site frequently to engage in the discussions there.

Avoid Repetitive Posts

Even if your blog is particularly niche, you need to ensure that you have enough scope in the area to blog frequently without repeating yourself. Of course your opinions and beliefs on the topic area will echo throughout many of your posts. But if you frequently post pieces that are almost like rewrites of previous posts, you are not telling your visitors anything they don’t know by coming back a second time.

Stay on Topic

Getting the balance between this and the last point (avoiding repetitive posts) is tricky but critical. You need to vary your posts within your niche and, of course, from time to time your posts may wander off topic. But people subscribe to your blog because they like your writing style and are intereste din your topic area. Wandering completely off topic too frequently will alienate your readers.

Blog on a topic you’re passionate about

Blogging on a topic that bores you to the point of sleep will make your posts bland. The best blogs are written by people with a passion for their subject matter. It keeps the blog alive and the material dynamic. This, in turn, keeps the readers awake!

Of course search engine traffic is critical in referring new visitors to your site. But I personally find the best blogs are the ones written to keep the visitors coming back!

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  • http://website-in-a-weekend.net/ Dave Doolin

    Not over-policing comments is huge in my book.

    I couldn’t say how many times I’ve just left a blog because they moderate every comment, use obnoxious spam filters, or simply make it hard to comment.

    When I remember which websites are doing this, I unsubscribe from their feed.
    .-= Dave Doolin´s last blog post: Made to Stick: Earworms for your brain =-.

    • StaceyCavanagh

      Hi Dave,

      Yes, absolutely agreed. Who wants to be a part of a community discussion when the discussion is completely moderated?

      Surely if someone puts their opinions out there, they havea responsibility to accept feedback!

      • http://ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

        While 100% comment moderation is annoying, I recently initiated a reduced rule to combat increased spam: Your first two comments are moderated before automatic comments are posted.
        .-= Ari Herzog´s last blog post: What I Did For 5 Minutes Last Night That Could Have Changed How Blog Comments Are Added =-.

        • StaceyCavanagh

          I like that idea, Ari.

          Do you find that you’ve pretty much eradicated spam? Or do you come across more “sophisticated” spammers who just post 2 comments nicey nice and then flout the rules?

  • tony ramirez

    Blogging on something you are passionate about is probably one of the top most important things to have for people to keep coming back and overall, a successful blog.

  • Aminul Islam Sajib

    Nice list of tips. I always follow these ideas and I believe that they work.
    .-= Aminul Islam Sajib´s last blog post: How to Match Your Adsense Unit Color with your Theme by ColorZilla =-.

    • StaceyCavanagh

      They’ve always made blogging in general a more pleasant experience for me too.

      Thanks for reading, Aminul

  • Karl Foxley

    Top tips Stacey. The only exception to the rule of keeping it simple is if you have a targeted niche blog where your readers will understand and expect to see jargon words; tech blogs, SEO blogs etc.

    A great read and well worth a retweet.

    Karl
    .-= Karl Foxley´s last blog post: What Are The Best Links For SEO And How To Get Them? =-.

    • StaceyCavanagh

      Thanks, Karl.

      Yes, I agree with that. Though I tend to gear my posts in such a way that if a novice happened upon them by mistake, they would at least be able to get the gist. I think technological vocab in the niche you’re writing in is essential. But putting it together in short and simple sentences just as important.

      Thanks so much for the retweet and loving your blog, by the way!

      • Karl Foxley

        Absolutely.

        ‘But putting it together in short and simple sentences just as important…’ nothing can really beat accessibility and even jargon-filled articles created with short and punchy sentences are more appealing to me.

        I’m glad you like the site and I see we have a shared interest.

        Warmest regards Stacey,

        Karl
        .-= Karl Foxley´s last blog post: Guest Blogging Welcomed At FMS SEO =-.

      • http://cookingmanager.com Hannah @CookingManager

        As a novice trying to improve coding skills, I run away when I read “you just have to” or “simply” do x, y, or z. Taking the time to explain why you want to change your website in a certain way is something that tech bloggers also ignore. I find them through search engines, which don’t distinguish between beginner and advanced levels.
        .-= Hannah @CookingManager´s last blog post: From Tuna Surprise to Persian Chicken: Interview with Ariela =-.

        • StaceyCavanagh

          Yes, absolutely Hannah.

          I think it’s human nature when told to do something with no explanation… to do the very opposite!

  • StaceyCavanagh

    Hey Tony….

    Absolutely. It’s so easy to tell when you read someone’s blog if they actually care or not about their topic. And if they don’t it tends to make for really dull reading!

  • http://shirleyszone.com Shirley

    Great points, Stacey. Passion is always something one must go with in everything they do, especially blogging :).
    .-= Shirley´s last blog post: Review: 10 Deadly Business Mistakes You Should Avoid =-.

    • StaceyCavanagh

      Hi Shirley,

      Thanks! It does seem indeed that a lack of passion is always, always clear on a blog. Makes it kind of bland to read.

      Thanks for your input!

  • http://www.evolutionarydesigns.net/blog element321

    Great list. I try and follow those rules everyday. I think posting everyday and have something to write write about the readers want to read.
    .-= element321´s last blog post: New Computer Has Arrived! =-.

  • http://www.evolutionarydesigns.net/blog element321

    Great list. I try and follow those rules everyday. I think posting everyday or close to everyday and have something to write about that the readers want to read might be the most important thing to remember/
    .-= element321´s last blog post: New Computer Has Arrived! =-.

    • StaceyCavanagh

      Thanks, Element.

      Yes, I agree… and if one day I cannot think of anything worth saying, I say nothing! Missing a day here and there won’t be the end of the world!

  • http://www.famousbloggers.net Hesham @ FamousBloggers

    Staying on topic is one cool advice, thanks for sharing the good post!
    .-= Hesham @ FamousBloggers´s last blog post: Join The First Making Money Online Social Network and Bookmarks website =-.

    • Car Transporters | Serge

      Pick some good topics and write something people would like reading about is the best way to make them come back to your blog. I’m trying to start my own blog these tips really help.

    • StaceyCavanagh

      Hi Hesham,

      Thank you for commenting! I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  • Milan

    I guess it’s all about patience, because like me (Im just a young teen), Im not always available. Maybe it would be easier to find a friendly support!! For more ( http://urbansplasher.blogspot.com/)
    .-= Milan´s last undefined post: If you register your site for free at =-.

    • StaceyCavanagh

      Hi Milan,

      I think time constraints are one of the biggest obstacles for bloggers. Particularly if you are working on more than one blog, it can be tricky balancing time.

      I have the WordPress app for my iPhone and tend to blog on the go if I am really tight for time!

  • Alex Davis

    Great list…. I am definitely going to print this and keep it next to my desk at all times. Keep up the good…

    • StaceyCavanagh

      Thanks, Alex!

      Glad you found it useful!

  • Car Transporters | Serge

    Pick some good topics and write something people would like reading about is the best way to make them come back to your blog. I’m trying to start my own blog these tips really help, thanks ppl.

    • StaceyCavanagh

      Hi Serge,

      Thanks for your input! Good luck on the new blog!

  • Clinton Skakun

    Hi Stacey!

    I agree with Tony, blogging will take you as far as your passion does. I think one reason why I haven’t closed up my blog and called it quits is because I’m extremely passionate about whatever I write. Any blog with valuable content often has had much passion injected into it. It doesn’t take a lot of writing skill, or a fancy vocabulary to write a blog. Being passionate about blogging has improved my writing skills. When I first started writing you’d think a 4th grader had hacked my blog.

    All these other points you brought up are important as well…just wanted to touch on the last one:)

    Really like how this blog is coming, you’ve done some amazing things to this blog Ben :)

    Cheers,
    Clinton Skakun
    .-= Clinton Skakun´s last blog post: Book Review: Outliers, the Story of Success – Bill Gates, the Beatles and the 10,000 rule! =-.

    • StaceyCavanagh

      Hi Clinton,

      Yep, your blog definitely has a chance of a longer life if you have a passion for the subject matter. Everyone gets demoralised at times or doesn’t feel like posting. And if your blog is something you are just indifferent too, then recovering your motivation is a near impossible task. On the other hand if you have a real passion for your topic, that motivation always finds its way back!

  • Lee Ka Hoong

    I strongly agree with you point “Don’t over police your comment”. You know comment that criticize your blog sometimes helps to improve your blog, never delete them! When you agree with their critique, they will stick with your blog, trust me.

    Anyway, these tips are great one!

    Cheers,
    Lee

    • StaceyCavanagh

      Hi Lee,

      Yes, completely agree with you. Even negative feedback or disagreements should be permitted. Of course, negative feedback should always be constructive but even when it isn’t, the only comments I ever police are spam and obscenities!

  • http://phillipdews.com/ Phillip Dews

    Great post Ben I love it. you got some sound advice here Ben and I will be following you for years to come! I have just written a blog post about my Favorite bloggers and your included so please check out my post!

    All the Best.

    Phillip
    .-= Phillip Dews´s last blog post: By: Yogesh Mankani =-.

  • Car Transporters | Igor

    Will defiantly use this tips to help my new blog site that i will be creating shortly. Thanks for the post, keep em coming =)

  • http://www.bluepop13.com Eric

    I find it kinda sad that most people look at blogging so differently than other things in life.

    Honestly, if you think about common sense and courtesy and what you would do for another human being and apply it to blogging, you’d create something spectacular. Nothing is perfect but something good is better than a lot of bad.

    Great post and good reminder to so many people. I enjoyed reading this. :)

  • http://www.mypanim.com eli

    thanks stacy great advice on all the topics

  • http://prabhu-movies.blogspot.com/ manik

    i don’t have traffic to my site what can i do
    and bounce rates 60% i think to bad
    what can i do

  • Buy herbal Products

    i agree that the language should be kept simply..
    Great post thanks for sharing the post keep writing :)

  • http://www.guidegoods.blogspot.com Ed

    Thanks for the great article.
    .-= Ed´s last blog post: Scuba TV =-.

  • http://tech.spotcoolstuff.com Spot

    I’ve found that social media (like Twitter) is a good way to get people to come back to. There are readers who are keen to return to a blog with a little reminder of what they’d find if they did.
    .-= Spot´s last blog post: MagicJack, Meet Cell Phone. Cell Phone, MagicJack =-.

  • Chio

    That’s some great tips you wrote.

    It is, indeed, boring to find a blog that hasn’t been updated for like a year. Also, you have to show your personality in your posts, otherwise your readers will look at your blog as a robot-site heh.
    .-= Chio´s last blog post: Canon EOS 7D Review =-.

  • http://blog.web6.org MrsMoody@Video tutorial blog

    Another good infos for beginner like me, I like it. Thanks
    .-= MrsMoody@Video tutorial blog´s last blog post: Earn or Make money Online with a simple way =-.

  • http://www.seobrighton.com seo consultancy

    I completley agree alot of the time seo companies create blogs just so they can post their spammy articles that link back to their site.

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  • http://xpdrivers.com/realtek/_2_135928.cfm Ashton

    Nicely list.
    I perfectly agree with the list. I also think being a human without the bad attitude :)

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