One of the biggest challenges most bloggers face is getting traffic to their blogs. You can easily fix this by writing quality content, doing seo, ppc and creating backlinks. However, what’s the point in driving traffic that doesn’t stick? You might get 20K visitors a day or even 50K but if your bounce rate is high, this clearly means your readers are not enjoying your stuff. Simply writing a few quality content without the ‘x factor’ will not get your readers to stick around for long. Today, I have a blog post from Wes Burns who discusses 5 methods that will help you to increase your blog’s sticky factor. I am very choosy when it comes to guest posting and I only accept posts which discuss something new, useful and provide value. So without further ado, take it away Wes…
The “sticky factor” is a completely scientific term that basically means getting visitors to stay on your blog and come back again in the future. A couple of good measurements for your blog’s sticky factor can be found in Google analytics: look at the bounce rate and average time spent on the website. Low bounce rates and high average times are better.
The following tips will all help you increase your blog’s sticky factor. If you implement these tips onto your blog, I guarantee that you will see lower bounce rates and people sticking around longer. You will also get more repeat visitors.
Increase your Blog’s Sticky Factor in 5 Effective Ways
1. Pillar articles and high quality content
We have to start with the basics, and high quality content is where it all begins. You can have the prettiest blog in the world but if it has low quality content, it will go nowhere. I could write a book on writing high quality content, but the main point here is that you need to provide articles that your readers find useful and interesting.
Pillar articles are a great place to start. A pillar article is one of those rare, beautiful pieces that people find immensely useful. Most pillar articles are large “how-to” guides that solve a problem. They don’t just provide the basics; they go above and beyond what you normally find elsewhere. Pillar articles are bookmarked and shared. Pillar articles are unique, useful and loved by the community.
Here’s an example of a pillar article that explains how to write pillar articles:
It’s obvious that the author of this article spent considerable time writing this article. It’s not a quick blog post that was written to hit a couple of Google search terms. This article goes in-depth and explains the whole process from beginning to end.
Pillar articles are lengthy and time-consuming, but they are well worth it. Not only do they make readers fall in love with your website, but they can attract traffic for years. People will continue to visit your pillar article long after you have published it. As an added benefit, pillar articles are great at earning natural links.
A lot of posts on this blog can be considered pillar articles, such as the blog monetization guide, preventing wordpress malware etc. If you notice, these posts are long and contain lot of resources. You don’t have to make every single post a pillar article. Like I said above, pillar articles are long and time-consuming. However, every single piece of content needs to be high quality. Do your research, provide links that back up your claims and spend time writing for the readers. Forget about the search engines; write for real people.
2. Tools and widgets
Tools and widgets are awesome for increasing the sticky factor. If you can create (or outsource) a useful tool, people will come back to that page time and time again. For example, I use the hidemyass.com website all the time to see how my website looks when accessed from different countries.
The trick to creating tools and widgets is to identify a problem and create a tool that fixes the problem better than every other tool out there. Your tool might be some sort of loan calculator, broken link checker or anything else. The key is to make it effective and accurate.
I can’t give you specific ideas for tools and widgets here because every blog is different. You’ll have to come up with the idea on your own – and that also happens to be why tools are so effective. Most people never think of a useful tool to include on their website. You can get ideas by getting involved in your industry and making note of everything that annoys you about your industry.
If you don’t have coding experience, you can always outsource the creation of your tool to a freelancer. The only thing you need is an idea. Once you have the idea, you can reach out to your friends or freelancing websites and get it built for you. For example, if you have a blog that is focused around the backlinking and seo niche, then you can install a script or a widget on your blog that will allow your readers to check for backlinks or search engine ranking. A good example would be seobook’s search engine tools which are used by thousands of visitors, bloggers and marketers. I hope you get the idea.
Discussion is beautiful thing for two reasons. First, it greatly increases the sticky factor. If you have a lot of commenters on your posts or a busy forum, people will come back time and time again. There are some websites that I visit specifically for the comments. I love seeing what other people have to say.
Secondly, discussion is generated voluntarily. Discussion is the one type of content that you don’t have to buy or write yourself. Other people do all the hard work; the only thing you have to do is manage the spam and respond to all the questions and feedback.
There are a few ways to generate discussion on your blog. The first is to have traffic. It takes significant traffic to get active commenters. You also need to post content that is worthy of discussing. That means writing high quality content and/or controversial content. Try to end your blog post with a question to your readers. If you can get people arguing with each other in your comments area or even get them to contribute their own ideas, you have done well.
4. Frequent Updates
This one pretty much speaks for itself. People will bookmark your site and check back often if you update it frequently. You don’t have to publish 20 posts a week (although that’s fine too depending on your niche), but it’s important to get something up at least a couple times a week. There are several political blogs that I love to visit because they have something new every single day.
Frequent updates also encourage discussion because people know that the content is fresh and that previous comments were probably left somewhat recently. New posts are appealing because they are up to date with the latest information. In the quickly changing world of the internet, updated information cannot be overrated.
A newsletter is probably one of the best ways to increase the sticky factor of your blog. It requires some effort, but it’s well worth it in the long run. Capture your visitors’ e-mail addresses and then send them a newsletter once a week or so. Make sure that your newsletter is useful and entertaining. People will unsubscribe quickly if you spam them with ads and useless content. Remember, there are millions of blogs and probably thousands in your niche which means if you bore your readers or send spam, it only takes a click for them to unsubscribe, mark it spam and never look back. Quality and credibility is everything.
Newsletters are useful in a few ways. Most importantly, they encourage people to visit your blog. You can tell people about the latest developments on the website and stick a few links in there. Newsletters also help you connect with your audience on a slightly more personal level. People will be more likely to bookmark your website and check back frequently if they feel like there is a real person behind the curtain.
And finally, newsletters build brand recognition. People will eventually get used to seeing your name and website in their inboxes. These people are likely to visit you, recommend you and buy from you. The most important thing of all is that you provide a high quality newsletter every time. Do not spam your readers or take them for granted. If you can build a long list of loyal craving readers, you will have completed a huge step in blog monetization.
I hope you find this blog post useful. Getting traffic to your blog can be achieved through SEO and PPC. But, getting the traffic/visitors to stick can be achieved through quality and useful content. Let us know what other ways you can increase the sticky factor of your blog.
This guest post is contributed by Wes Burns who earns a full time living running websites. He has worked in a wide range of industries but currently focuses most of his time building a brand new online file storage website. You can visit the site here.