Include a link to other relevant posts – your reader has somehow ended up on your blog because the post you’ve written has gotten their attention either on a search engine or on someone else’s site that has linked to you. Something about the topic you’ve just written on interested them enough to visit your site. A logical way of keeping them on your site is by providing them with more on the same topic. There are a number of ways you can do this:
1. Firstly within your posts link to other things you’ve written that are relevant. For example, if you want to know some of the benefits of internal links in a blog you might also be interested in this post.
2. Some blog tools have plugins that help you point to ‘relevant posts’ at the end of your post. WordPress and Moveable Type have the ability to do this – rather than having to manually find previously written relevant posts they’ll find them for you based upon keywords and title.
3. Include a link to the category you’ve classified the post you are writing in. For example at the bottom of this post will be a link saying ‘More from Blog Promotion’ which will take readers to a page with other articles written on how to promote their blogs.
Email a Friend – each person who stumbles across your blog is not only a potential loyal reader – but they are a potential evangelist for your blog. They have a network of friends and associates who all are potential loyal readers – and they in turn have their own networks of potential loyal readers. Give them a way to sneeze the virus of your blog but allowing them to email a friend about your post. Again there are plug ins that allow this on some blog tools. Its not something I use on all my blogs – rather I try to pick those that I think are going to be more virus like than others.
Get permission to Promote your Blog – once again this is something I only do on a couple of my blogs (as it takes time to maintain) but invite your readers to sign up for an email newsletter on the topic they are reading about. On my digital photography blog I have a link at the end of each individual post that says ‘Receive free weekly Digital Photography Tips and News’. Clicking this link takes readers to a sign up page where I get permission to send such an email each week in an ‘opt in’ newsletter. Each day between 10 and 30 readers give me permission to email them with the latest news from my site. I have 3200 or so email addresses so far – by the end of this year it will be closer to 10,000. 10,000 people who give me permission to remind them about my blog each week. Nice. Of course don’t do this option unless you are willing to actually send newsletters or if you’re going to abuse the trust you gain from newsletter recipients – and make sure your newsletters are of a good quality or you’ll just peeve your subscribers off.
I’ll post the last post in this series later in the day with my last tips for making first time readers into loyal ones.