The Many Ways that Bloggers Retain Readers
Similar to other authors of advice and useful content, bloggers employ many tactics to attract first-time readers. It’s mostly in the form of writing creative & useful advice, commenting/linking throughout the blogosphere, and optimizing their posts for search engines.
After attracting readers for the first time, turning those new eyeballs into devoted, repeat readers takes work. As I’ve discussed before, it starts with the constant creation of fresh, new content. Beyond that, there are many creative options – here are the main ones I’ve seen:
- RSS Feeds are a great way to build a regular following and to monitor readership stats via services like FeedBurner, but this does not always bring readers back to the blog to interact via comments or discovery of old posts. The Simple Dollar proudly displays their RSS feed.
- Email Newsletters are not all that different from RSS feeds. And, with all the emails that people get nowadays, newsletters might get lost in the mix. Lots of great food blogs, like Chocolate & Zucchini, Foodista and Tasting Table offer beautiful newsletters.
- Downloadable PDF’s and Excel files allow readers to take the blog’s advice one step further for life tasks, like creating a meal plan. These downloads are great for deepening the quality of the advice, but may not always drive return readership.
- Bookmarking and Sharing Services allow readers to store and distribute a blogger’s advice and related brand. They both re-engage readers & help to reach new readers. To see how they work, check out the bottom of any of 101 Cookbook‘s posts – you’ll notice the integrated del.icio.us, StumbleUpon and Facebook buttons.
- Blog Carnivals solicit other bloggers to submit links to articles on a particular topic. The benefit to the “carnival host” is the ability to both create return traffic and aggregate a lot of great content with minimal effort. The contributing bloggers get the chance to distribute their advice in hopes of driving readers to their site. Check out Org Junkie on Mondays, Rocks In My Dryer on Wednesdays, and Delicious Baby on Fridays.
- Contests encourage readers to comment on posts, driving repeat readers and encouraging interaction. Within the Corners of My Kitchen runs a weekly product giveaway and Rookie Moms is currently offering a prize for feedback on their new site design.
While some of these methods are a one-time setup, many of them require a lot of work and commitment from bloggers. Based on their widespread willingness to do this work, we believe that reader retention and re-engagement must be of high importance to these talented content creators.
Here at Spring Partners, we are developing a tool that might just help…
We believe that by helping readers to interact with bloggers’ advice we will not only be helping users, but also helping bloggers to further extend their advice, their brand, and their devoted readership.