Six simple ways to keep readers on your blog

We all want to drive traffic to our blogs but what are you doing to keep readers on your blog once they get there? If your strategy is to provide them with high quality, relevant, actionable content, you’ve got the right idea, but you also need to create ‘pathways’ around your blog, to keep readers digging deeper and consuming more content.

Remember, readers need to know, like, and trust you before they take the actions you’d really like them to take (like signing up for your list, investing in your products, or joining your Facebook community). Leading them around your blog, to more content they can use, builds that relationship.

Six simple ways to keep readers on your blog

Disclosure: Links in this post (and anywhere on The Savvy Solopreneur) may be affiliate links. Find out exactly what that means here.

Here are six super simple ways you can keep readers on your blog

Interlink to other posts within your content

If you’re running a tightly focused niche blog there should be plenty of opportunities to link from one post to another. Many of us remember to do link back to older posts when we put up a new post, but don’t always remember to go back and link forward to newer posts from our older ones.

This is important, especially when you consider how SEO works (if you don’t know, I recommend this ebook). Your older posts should start to attract search traffic as they mature and hopefully attract incoming links. So new readers are likely to land there via the search engines, and click through onto other, newer posts, if the pathways are there.

Tags & Categories

Tags and categories are complex and somewhat misunderstood. Kelly over at Love People Make Money explains how to use them to enhance reader experience in this post.

When it comes to categories in particular, some people get it all wrong and write a lot of posts that end up in all their categories. Super user unfriendly! Here at The Savvy Solopreneur I’ve made a decision to cover just five broad areas and they all have a separate category. There’s a tiny bit of crossover but not much. Most posts fit neatly into one category and one category only.

List your categories somewhere obvious. I put mine over there in the sidebar.

Related Posts

A simple plugin or widget can automatically pull around three related posts and add them to the end of every blog post. Three is about right. You don’t want to overwhelm your readers. You can always add a related post manually if it’s a logical next step or if it’s part of a series. (Series are awesome – see below.)

Popular posts

Again there are a range of plugins and widgets that might work for you, depending on your blogging platform and theme. I put popular posts in the sidebar as well, and my widget automatically refreshes and pulls up whatever’s popular that week. Just be aware that popular posts become self-fulfilling because the more readers click on them, the more your blogging software registers them as ‘popular’.

I get around this by making little graphics for some of the posts that I think readers will find super helpful and adding those to the sidebar as well.

Tip: If you work mainly on a laptop (I do) just keep in mind that many of your readers (perhaps most) are accessing your site on mobile devices, where sidebar content typically shows up below your main content. Always check your site looks neat and user-friendly on mobile.

Series of posts

I love series on a specific topic that’s just way too big for one post. I’ve created a six-part series on affiliate marketing for example, and it gets great traffic. Use a series to go deep on a topic that you know a lot about and just couldn’t cover in one post. You can even use your series content to create an ebook or opt-in gift.

A strategic footer

If you’re using your footer for boring stuff like your privacy policy or disclosure statement, you’re wasting valuable digital real estate. A strategic footer sends people back to where you want them to be.

Remember that on mobile, anyone who is enjoying your content may potentially scroll all the way down to your footer, AND they’ll end up there if they click a broken link. So you want to keep them on your site if they do that. Here’s what it looks like if you click a broken link here at The Savvy Solopreneur.

 

Broken links are never good, but this gives people logical options. My default error page suggests readers go to the homepage or search for what they were looking for, but straight below that is  the footer to allow readers to go back to recent posts, browse the archives or sign up for their free gifts.

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Comments

  1. Kim Watt says:

    Oh, so many things I need to go fix on my site! Great article – now let me just find the time…

    1. Karen says:

      Just focus on one thing at a time, Kim. I go over things in ten minute chunks if I have to, just doing tiny tweaks each time!
      Karen recently posted…8 Things That Improve Your Success in Business and in LifeMy Profile

  2. I’m glad I found your post via Facebook! This is a great post and it reminded me that I need to update my footer with a featured widget 🙂 I have a craft blog as well as a blogging blog and I’ve found that writing super helpful and engaging content is the ultimate way to keep readers on your blog and then adding all of the tips you mentioned works for keep them there even longer!

    I’m off to peruse the rest of your posts 🙂
    Claire – StartACraftBlog recently posted…9 Proven Marketing Techniques To Help Your Blog SucceedMy Profile

    1. Karen says:

      Thanks for stopping by Claire. Super helpful content is top priority, but the pathways you put in place are what takes readers to that content. 🙂
      Karen recently posted…How To Fill Your Blog With Quality Content, Without Having To Write ItMy Profile

  3. Jamil Ahmed says:

    These are extremely helpful tips.
    Regards,
    Jamil

  4. Also, as far as interlinking goes….
    I always find it intriguing when a link is displayed in its own, separate line as a suggested read. For example: (right after a relevant paragraph)

    Suggested Read:
    Blog post title goes here

    To me, this often makes the link stand out so much more than a traditional, contextual link embedded within a paragraph. Granted, both instances have their own unique uses at the end of the day, of course (depending on context).

    Enjoy your day, Karen 🙂

  5. Karen says:

    Yep, that works as well, for sure, as long as the post is relevant. 🙂
    Karen recently posted…Blogging on a budget: How to save money as a new bloggerMy Profile

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