Imagine this. Let’s say, that like a whirlwind romance, you all of the sudden get popular on StumbleUpon or hit the Digg homepage and hoards of traffic are coming in to see your work, what could you do to keep them coming? Many new bloggers live under a mis-belief that landing on a popular homepage will increase your traffic for the rest of eternity, when in reality you will be back to normal in a few hours. But there are a few things you can do to increase the amount of people that come back on a regular basis.
The goal with any social bookmarking service is to gain popularity regularly to keep your levels of traffic high and sell them on staying while they are there. As you can imagine the larger your reader base is, the easier it will be to climb to the top of any social bookmarking service. So below are your 10 easy steps towards keeping that traffic!
- Always keep a great “pillar” article on hand. When you hit a popular home page and the traffic starts flowing publish that article immediately. This will show all of those people that you write great content frequently and they will be more likely to check back.
- Consider giving away a prize in relation to your article. For instance, if you wrote an article about the Apple iPod, have people register on your blog to when a free iTunes download. Not only will this keep them coming back, it also gives you access to their email addresses for future promotion.
- Keep your RSS feed subscription easily accessible on your page. You can also include a link to subscribe to your feeds on the bottom of your posts. If you can entice them to sign-up they will take notice of everything you write in the future.
- Usually an increase in traffic will bring an increased number of comments as well. Stay by your computer and respond to the comments, try to start a conversation to build interest.
- If your using WordPress, you should be, install a plugin that allows people to be notified of new comments on the post. This is also a great way to keep your blog fresh and remind them to come back without direct solicitation.
- Cross promote the other social bookmarking services from within your post. Just because someone is coming from StumbleUpon doesn’t mean they don’ t use Reddit. Keep these buttons highly visible to allow them to post your article to other services while they are there.
- Advertise article “teasers” on your blog. A teaser would be something like “Check back next week for my exclusive interview with Bill Gates”. Most likely, they will be back and subscribe to your feed. This is the same tactic retail stores use for the upcoming sale.
- Create interaction. This could be polls, quizzes, contests as mentioned above, forums and games. Add a page to your blog with mini flash games for people to play. This keeps them on your site for longer periods of time and may bring them back because they enjoyed their experience while they were there.
- Offer email subscriptions to keep them notified about what’s going on at your blog. Great for future promotion and keeps them coming back to see more.
- Include a job board. Aggregate listings from some of the freelance directories and include them for instant content. You can also charge for inclusion and make extra money. People will check back frequently to see if any new jobs are posted.
Sujan Patel is Director of Search at Single Grain, which specializes in Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing