A Guest post from Stanford from Pushing Social.
No doubt about it – Content is King. However, the formula for successful blogging doesn’t end there. In fact, content is just the beginning. If you want to make money, create a loyal readership, or attract new clients, you need to keep your readers ON your blog.
In a word, your blog needs to be sticky.
A sticky blog compels readers to read more than one post. A sticky blog immerses readers in an experience that results in comments and retweets. Sticky blogs are more profitable than regular run-of-the-mill ones because they put more offers in front of the same reader.
Got your attention?
Let’s talk about how to create a sticky blog by studying the 500 million-member juggernaut – Facebook.
The Facebook Trance
In 2005 Facebook was catching fire in the US. It had just passed the 5 million member mark after just being in existence for 18 months. Although Facebook’s growth was incredible, what made its college-dropout founders excited was something they called – The Facebook Trance.
If you watched a person interacting with Facebook, you would see them almost hypnotically clicking screen by screen. Every click sucked the visitor deeper into Facebook. Every “engagement” deepened the trance.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO, soon insisted that every new feature should enhance the “Trance”.
It worked. Even today people religiously visit Facebook and get lost in a trance for hours at a time.
You want to create something similar for your blog
5 Ways to Stick Your Readers to Your Blog Like Glue
#1: Interlinked Posts
As you write, look for opportunities to link to other posts that add value to your current topic. Go ahead and note these posts in your editorial calendar along with the topic you are planning to write. Be frugal with these links, only pick one or two of your most relevant posts; too many links can become a distraction (and obnoxious).
#2: Tell the Story in Different Ways
People learn in different ways. Up to this point, blogging has favored visual learners who like reading and viewing charts. Now you can use video and audio to create a great experience for your auditory learners too.
It’s simple to read your post and offer as a podcast, or turn your post’s main points into a PowerPoint slide and offer it as video. You can take this one step further by adding a video commentary or introduction to your post.
The point is to appeal to your reader in the way that gets them to “lean forward” and gobble up your content. Video, audio, and visual slideshows are can’t fail tools that should be in your toolbox.
#3: Comment Responses
Have you noticed that a post’s comments can be more interesting than the post itself? This is actually a good thing. You’ve made your blog sticky when your readers actively respond to your posts.
You can encourage this interaction by quickly responding and following up with an “open-ended” question. Your commenters will get pulled deeper into the experience and “stick around”.
Try this: Take your most provocative comments and republish excerpts of them on Twitter. This will draw in a wider audience who can add reach and appeal of your post.
#4: Mini-Email Courses
Most blog posts are filled with “Why” and “What” information, but many fall short of offering excellent “how to” advice. This means that many readers are left feeling cheated out of the good stuff.
You can make your blog sticky and build a list by creating a “How To” email mini-course focusing on a specific post. Select a popular post and turn it into an email course or even an ebook. You’ll build a list that you can monetize with follow-up products. Bonus!
#5: Extend The Experience
Gary Vaynerchuk is a social media high-roller because he understands how to use multiple platforms to create an experience. He uses Viddler for video, Facebook for community shout-outs, DailyBooth for photos, and Twitter to tap into real-time conversation. Once you get pulled into the Gary V’s world it’s hard to leave.
You can replicate the same experience. Think of each post as a “show” that can be supported by other social media outposts. Ask yourself how you can use still-photos, video, Facebook updates, and tweets to surround your reader in an immersive trance.
How to Get Started
You might be wondering if all of this is a bit over-the-top. It isn’t. In fact, turning your blog into a “Sticky Blog” will soon be the price of entry. Anyone can write a post, but readers will flock to the author that takes it one step further.
With that being said, you can start slowly. Take a popular post and use the tips to make it sticky. Pay close attention to your stats and comments to see if your readers like what they see. I’m confident you’ll be impressed with the results.
Tell me, have are you making your blog sticky? How can your sticky blog be a competitive advantage and make you stand out?
Stanford obsesses about how to get passionate people’s blogs noticed and promoted at Pushing Social… except when he’s fishing for monster bass. Follow him to get the latest about his new ebook “Get Noticed.”
Cheers for this post, gave me a very interesting read. Great explanation of sticky blogs too. Thanks.
Your observations are very sticky indeed.
Blogging is an art form rarely found, where expressing yourself by itself needs to flow and stick to your own “veins“.
Once this happens, your fingers itch and the real you emerges, as though you were Batman.
Be the only you you can be and come out of your “cave“ and let the bats follow your goals and take you to the next blogging level.
Thee Quest For Perfect Health
So you draw people into your blog. Then what? it doesn’t mean it’s going to generate income for you. Where are the real numbers and examples of those who have turned over the readers into consumers? I haven’t seen it yet. Blogging takes a lot of time. How worth it is it? I wrote some really great blogs this summer. But I don’t know if I am really seeing and benefits.
Terrific post, if we are going to cut thru the noise then we have to go that extra step to make our blogs stand out.
Thanks for the great post.
Stanford, you told it like it is. i particularly like #3…those little conversations mean a lot to your readers or followers. If you interact with them more often they start valuing you and want to know you better.
Actually most bloggers derive ideas on developing their blogs and article ideas from their readers via the comments section, Darren knows that and he uses it very well.
Excellent ideas shared! Another thing you can do is offer interactive classes via your blog – ie, have an expert create a tailored post that will be open for real-time answers for X amount of hours.
When I first read your title, I was thinking of “sticky” posts, and although I started reading because I was wondering on how to use this feature, you opened my eyes to something far more important. Once again your advice has been invaluable. Thank you for the inspiration… now to ponder on how to implement new channels of influence.
I can’t tell you how many times interlinked posts keep me on a blog. The site does the hard work for me… connecting me to relevant/related information… great concept.
Great ideas, but one concept that I feel you missed out by implied was “giving value” – unless your offering a service, or information that people value then they’ll have no interest in continuing to read what you have to offer.
I also believe that one should concentrate on quality, instead of quantity. I, my self, when visit blogs, then get bore with the sick content, repeated stuff, and the number of useless blogs, while If the blog is nicely developed ( I just hate bright and dark coloured backgrounds of the blogs), and there are few but informative or interesting posts, then I used to visit that blog at least once a week. My blog is not too old, but is going good. I am expecting a slow, but a long lasting change in the blog :)
This is a very clever way of looking at the concept of ‘being everywhere’
I recently wrote a post on the importance of having a presence in as many places as once to cement your influence and position within a niche, but you have taken it that one step further.
I love this side of the concept. Dont be everywhere to catch them all, be everywhere to show them different aspects to the same experience!
Brilliant. Facebook really did grow at an insane rate didn’t it?!?
Thanks for a great read Stanford!
@Cori, go ahead and give the comment tweets a try. They worked out great for me recently and draw new readers into your posts.
@poorblogger I like the idea of using contests. I wonder if they are good for keeping readers on a blog. They seem to be better at drawing in new visitors. Hmm….
@Iskandar – Pick one or two of the tips and see how they work for you. Watch your results and focus on the ones that work
@David Button – Agreed. Practical and interesting content is the killer app for keeping people stuck to your blog like glue :)
@Swarmkant – Excellent! Tweet me your results at @pushingsocial
@McGarrell – I absolutely love mini email courses they are powerful on many different levels.
@Mike Kirkeberg – Hey 3Ter! Changing up your posting style and medium is a definite winner. I’m guilty of not mixing things up as much as I should.
@trailsnet – I use Feedburner and Aweber for email notifications. Both are easy to use. Aweber has better tutorials to get you started.
@fungeezer – Not a big fan of turning off comments. But it’s up to the blog owner and the goals they have.
@Perez – My advice. Use Twitter and Facebook. ;) If your audience is there then you should be there.
@Nacho – Excellent insight. Most posts are focused on “What and Why” because the “How” is where you can make money. Depends on your goals, but providing a few “How” posts may be a great way to build an audience.
@Carolina – Blogs are not a great way to make money. They are a great way to build an audience that you can turn into an income stream – but that’s another post for another time. By the way – Darren has put up multiple examples of how Problogger makes cash so have other top bloggers. Take a look.
@Barbara Ling – Interactive Courses is an excellent idea. Gotta steal that one!
@Daniel | Facebook Client – I really hope “offering real value” is so obvious that it doesn’t require repeating. But oh welll…
I love the ideas to retweet excerpts of comments. and to create mini email courses from some of my posts. That suggestion especially will be a good fit for my blog because some of my posts are how-to’s but I limit myself to the length of the post. This would be a great way to expand on them. Thanks for the great tips!
As a blog reader, I can confirm point 1 & 3 definitely work on me. As a soon-to-be blog writer, I can say this is a really useful post, thanks.
Definitely true, what you said about creating content just being the start of it all.
Blogs that are meant to get big audiences should indeed keep the visits recurring, and inspire visitors to share posts or the blog as such to others as well.
I’ve seen that a lot of ‘famous’ bloggers from Finland and elsewhere might have started from next to nowhere, but eventually have grasped exactly what was mentioned here, which is the ‘sticky-factor’.
Thanks for the insight!
If you said it, I believe it. YOUR blog is skicky for real! I gotta get some sleep. LOL Thanks a bunch.
Love this post! Thank you for sharing. It made me rethink new ways to market my blog and gave me great ideas I can implement right away!