5 Clever Ways to Make A Sticky Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 7th of September 2010 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

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.”

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. So great to see you on Problogger Stanford. Thanks for the sticky insights! I love the idea of tweeting comments. That is a great one.

  2. Thanks Darren for posting this!

    Everyone, it’s Labor Day in the States so I’ll be around all day to discuss the post.

  3. Thanks for your thoughts Stanford. What are your thoughts on how sticky and good your blog is? Is it necessary to have a great sticky blog oneself in order to write posts on blogging? I’m fascinated with the genre of bloggers who blog about blogging and want to learn more.

    Cheers

  4. Hey Stanford.

    Awesome to see you here man.
    Comment Response is the best way to make a sticky.
    I like the #2 Telling story in different ways. I think telling story in different ways work awesome like on your own blog i see some great post that makes difference.

    It seems everyone is creating why and what blog posts. So mini-mail course looks would work great. I’m going to try the mini-mail course. How-to posts are always great.

    Thanks for sharing this great Post dude !

  5. And Happy Labor Day Stanford. Hop you’re enjoying it.

    Have a great day.

  6. @Yakezie, I guess you may want to judge PushingSocial’s stickiness for yourself. I’m a bit biased :)

    I think your question gets at “Do you have to be a proven expert to blog about your subject?” No one is really an expert in a topic like blogging – but sharing practical tips/discoveries is a great way to get started.

  7. I’ve tried linking posts (talking about a town where I saw a photography exhibition and then talking about the exhibition itself) and it definitely worked. People who came on the blog only to read about the exhibition were compelled to go back to the previous post.

  8. What a great idea! I hadn’t thought about asking readers questions when replying to comments. I’m going to try that and see how it goes.

  9. Thanks for this post, this is very simular to the technique of funnel marketing. You have to draw people in to your metaphorical web. I think the best way to do that is through the second point here ‘telling yout story in a different way’ If you find people that like your style then they will come back to you and not go elsewhere.

  10. A lot of what makes my blog funny are the links I give to other sites/videos/articles etc. Am I making my blog unsticky or “slicky” by giving people constant “escape routes?”

  11. Stanford, you’ve got me thinking. I want my blog to be a “lean in” experience, and it sounds like adding some multimedia to the mix might do the trick. Thanks for this excellent post!

  12. @John – I agree it is very similar to funnel marketing. The key is viewing your blog as a total experience with different types and levels of engagement.

  13. I particularly liked your interlinking posts idea, and the idea of open-ended questions in the comments. I’ve always been surprised at how many websites simply abandon you at the bottom of the page with no links and sometimes even no navigation. It always feels like you’ve gone down a dead-end street. With static pages I always encourage people to provide at least one “go here next” link. With blogs it makes even more sense.

    What’s your opinion about asking for the opt-in at the bottom of a post?

  14. I agree with all your points. By responding to comments you can improve relation and make the reader come back to your blog.

  15. I think listing related posts to a post is also a good way to become sticky. I also plan to have a list of “start here” posts that will lead to a series of posts themselves.
    My problem with series posts is I either end up making one super long post or never finish them.

  16. What an awesome article!! I learned a lot from this… I will be using your 5 suggestions on my personal blog from now on!! Thank you for such an insightful post. I really enjoyed it!

  17. I’m good at interlinking posts, maybe too good. I don’t get as many click-throughs as I’d like, but it may very well be because I include too many links. I’ll have to test using less links per post and see how that changes my metrics.

    Great advice, thanks!

  18. Thanks for the post. You list same great ways to decrease bounce rate. Getting a “facebook stare” for a blog would be an incredible thing.

    Anything that increases readers engagement is awesome. I am trying to do this more and more. Thanks for some awesome tips.

  19. Congrats on being a guest blogger, Stanford. I’ll share the love on this one tomorrow when more people are online – we’ll make sure the world sees it!

    Hope all’s well at your end, just one week until your guest article in In Treehouses goes live…

    Thom

  20. I appreciate this post. I’ve been trying to use different ways to communicate my content and was feeling unsure. You have confirmed I did a good thing. I will continue to try different tools to engage people in different ways. Wow, so much to learn!

  21. Excellent post. Darren thanks for the part of secret sauce of blogging.

  22. Hi Stanford,

    This is a great guest post. Love your idea of republishing excerpts from comments – very clever (and provocative) idea! Thanks for the awesome ideas – btw not everyone’s heard of Gary Vaynerchuk – at least I haven’t – guess I’ll have to check him out.

    One of the ways I’ve made my blog “sticky” is on my Start Here page – I invite readers to visit my archives and choose the one article that resonates with them… do something… and comment. The results? Phenomenal!

    Thanks again! I’ll head over to Pushing Social.

  23. Hi Stanford,
    I sense the Facebook stance comes from our intense human curiosity about what other people are up to and what they look like. People will sit for hours in malls and on sidewalk cafes watching others and commenting to friends.

    As for blog stickiness, I am a big user of my own photos on my website after getting a nudge in that direction from Darren in a prior posting. I always have my camera with me just in case. I believe an interesting photo can make people stop for an extra second to actually start reading the post before clicking away. Here is an example of a posting whose photo added staying power http://growyourwellnessbiz.com/prepare-for-the-unexpected/

    Thank you for the reminder to think in multiple formats (video,slide show, audio as well as written word).

    Cheers,

    David

    By the way your article has sticking power since I read it all the way through!

  24. I’ve had great success with making my blog posts into audio podcasts. Normally I’ll add a story or other material that’s more conducive to the written word while keeping the main points and concepts the same.

    I love the idea of turning the info into an e-book. How have you used the e-mail mini course?

  25. Nice post. I think you have a great idea there with putting stuff up in different ways. Different formats HTML, PDF, podcast. mp3 ect will mean more people are likely to tell others about your blog. This can only be a good thing.

    The only issue is the amount of time you have to spend doing it.

  26. Thanks a lot for your nice points.

    I especially agree with “#5: Extend The Experience”.
    If we can use them all in the right way,
    the popular platforms would help us bring more people
    to the website.

  27. Thank to Problogger for the nice tip. I should follow the advices to became a nice blogger.

    Thanks from Berlin

  28. Hey, Stanford! Is there a better way to celebrate Labor Day than with a post on Problogger? I think not!

    Really like your idea of tweeting excerpts of comments made by readers. I am lucky to have very thoughtful and engaged readers–I think they would make terrific tweets, and it’s a nice way to honor what good readers do for you.

    Enjoyed this!
    Jen

  29. @Jen, It was nice. Mucho thanks to Darren for giving me a slot. :)

  30. how about network blog connections, it wil also helps in stay in touch with blogs

  31. Great post Stanford! You know, I hadn’t even thought of publishing a bit from a comment to Twitter, to spark additional conversation! See? I learn something new every day! lol

    I used to get a bit crazy with the linking, because you always are told link, link out, and link often… however I’ve cut down a bit and like the whole posting process much better because of it. lol

  32. Sounds good Stanford. I really think the genre of blogging about blogging is very attractive, and obviously potentially lucrative. I’m thinking about starting one for sure, and just using what I’ve done as an example as to how to do it. Hmmmmm.

  33. Good post.. I also think to make stick entry you need a networking among readers. Give prize like make a short contest.. You can get more and more readers…
    Nice work

  34. Everyday I learn new things in blogging…. Stanford … you opened up another learning experience for me … sticky blog.. I’m on it … and now I have additional reference point for my blog work….

    Thanks a million…

  35. Great post!

    Keeping readers engaged with an endless list of valuable material and useful tools is a sure-fire way in keeping your blog sticky.

    On top of being valuable, the material presented should be unique and interesting. It should also be relevant.

    Cheers,

    David Button.

  36. I agree with all your points. I will implemented this in my new blog and check the results.

    Thanks

  37. I like the ‘mini email course’, in some cases, i found it is hard to know how to use some the features on one website, then those email courses are really helpful. it is not only show you how to use their website in a right way, but also help to solve some problems, save you a lot of time.
    Thanks for sharing, nice tips

  38. Great tips here, and another great post Darren.

    I feel aswell when your writing blog posts it’s good to just write from the heart (as cheesy as that may sound) and often tell your post like a story.

    It makes the reader more interested! – You do this very well as other good blogs do, but often some not as successful blogs are too boring to read, and don’t bring any character into the posts!

    Thanks again

  39. I’m in the process of improving my blog’s design, and while that’s going on I’m always looking for ways to get and keep readers. This is great info. I’m definitely going to put the comment tweet idea to work right away!
    Thanks for the post!

  40. Hey Stanford,

    From a fellow 3Ter, loved this. I am currently working on my first videos for my blog using ppt and camtasia. We’ll see how it turns out. Do you recommend also starting a YouTube section (or whatever you call it) for a blog?
    MK

  41. I think a good suggestion would also try to be as “real” as possible, it’s really easy to write a blog post on a topic already discussed zillions times, but the hard part is to convey YOUR true, honest view, to add your personal “touch” and make people understand it and feel compelled to reply to it in any way they can, be it leaving a comment (to which, I agree, you will have to reply), retweeting it and so on.
    Of course I am not saying that one’s final goal must be to have feedback, but after all feedback is the best and quickest way to know you’re doing things right.

  42. great tips and food for thought moving forward as I am in the planning stages to setting up a few blogs. thanks!

  43. I know that one way to make a blog sticky is to add an option for people to sign up for an email notification. However, I’ve found that adding these email sign-ups isn’t as easy as adding other blog tools.
    Does anyone have any recommendations for good email notifications blog tools?

  44. This is all good stuff! I do want to comment on you comments comment! :-)

    It seems that many bloggers are turning off their comments. I hate that. One blogger basically said, “I’m the artist and I don’t need you screwing up my art.”

    This person is right. They don’t need me. I unsubscribed. Let the art continue without me!

  45. This is some very good stuff! I am having trouble though! I am trying to get my blog going without the use of those big guys like facebook and twitter. I havent had much luck. I am always adding new content (photos) for people to see but not sure what else I could do to get more feedback from the readers. Anyone with any advice out there..I am all ears!

    Thanks!

  46. I highly agree with asking an open ended question to start a discussion. My most commented posts are always ones where I ended with a question.

  47. Regarding comments, I remember that when I started my blog, I used to put the final questions only because I had to, because all the blogging 101’s around said that it was necessary to engage the reader.
    The funny thing is that, now, I write my engaging questions far more easily, I’m more open and curious about what other people can contribute, instead of suffering the pressure of trying to be ‘absolutely right’.
    I have an important area of improvement in writing more practical posts. When I read that many blogs are filled with “what” and “why”, but few “how”, I felt it was my case. So thank you for the great advices.

  48. Good stuff here! Love the tweet comments idea!

  49. #4 mini email course is new to me and very interesting too. I must try this method and see how it works. Thanks

  50. I love the point on ‘Story’. Story sticks better than anything. It’s best to drive a point into the minds of readers with a story. That is why most blog posts on personal story gets lots of comment.