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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

5 Ways to Keep Readers Interested in Your Blog

If you have a website or blog than you probably want more visitors.  But even if you got the number of visitors you wanted, it wouldn’t do much good if they didn’t hang around long enough to sign up to your list, buy your product, or at least check out a few pages.  You just can’t have a boring blog today.  There are simply too many websites out there and people have shorter attention spans than ever before.

So how can you engage your readers and keep them coming back for more?  Here are 5 helpful tips for keeping your visitors interested and turning them into faithful fans.

  1.  Use lists as much as possible.  Never underestimate the power of bullet points.  I read about 20 blogs a day and I just don’t have time to read every word on a page.  If there are bullet points it allows me to quickly browse through the article to see what it’s all about.  And then if I am intrigued by the content I will take more time to read every word.  Lists are also great because they give you the chance to give the readers steps to follow.  We all love step by step instructions, especially if it’s for a topic we are passionate about.
  2.  Get to know your audience.  You might think you know who your readers are, but do you REALLY know?  Stroll on over to or Google Ad planner, or even to see what demographic you are actually writing for.  I was shocked the other day to find that most of the readers for one of my blogs are between 20-25.  This was a much younger demographic than I had thought I was writing to.  Knowing your audience helps you to write articles that cater to their interests.  You should also encourage interaction on your blog so you can get to know their concerns, questions, and insights as well. 
  3. Run a contest now and then.  You don’t have to have a giveaway every week, but having one at least once in a while does help to keep people coming back.  And no, you don’t have to give away an Ipad2 all the time.  You can just give away something small if you are on a tight budget.  Contests help to bring in new people and to also bring in old readers that had long forgotten about your awesome blog.   Whoever wins the contest will probably end up being a loyal fan of your blog too.  Got an old, tired blog?  Spice it up with a contest.
  4. Do a video series.  We all love pictures, but videos are even better.  Nothing will help extend the length of time for visitors on your site like a quality video.  You already write posts on your blog, right?  So why not just talk instead of write.  It will probably even be a lot easier than typing out a post and your readers (watchers) will get to see a more personal side of you with a video.  So it not only helps to keep their interest, but it also helps them connect with you on a deeper level.  If you are uncomfortable going on video then just do a screencast and show them a cool tip online.
  5. Do regular case studies.  You can give your opinion all day long, but it really doesn’t matter unless you have some concrete proof.  We all love case studies because it allows us to learn from someone else’s mistakes and see some solid evidence to support why a certain method does or doesn’t work.  If you do a case study every week, I guarantee you will have a lot of people coming back to see the results.

There are many other things you can do to keep your reader’s interested in your blog and coming back for more.  One question to ask yourself is this: “If I didn’t own this blog would even I come back?”  If your site wouldn’t keep you interested it probably won’t have a different effect on your would-be readers either.

Phillip is a writer for a few dental related websites.   He actively helps the marketing for a teeth grinding mouth guards website as well as a local dentist office for Shelby NC dentist.

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