Increasing your blog's readership

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When I read a blog, I always think about what the blogger(s) could do to make me a regular reader. Also when I look at the stats for this blog, I wonder what I can do to keep my visitors coming back. I know many of you have probably opened up your web stats and found out that you are getting bombarded with visitors. It could have been caused by an increase in search engine rankings, a link from a large site, getting to digg’s homepage or even tons of blogs linking to you. So with all these first time visitors coming into your blog, how can you convert them into regular readers?
Visitors are people and people don’t like being talked at, so write content that talks to them and not at them. By doing this you can create a conversation and allow visitors to comment. When people comment don’t just leave them hanging, respond back to keep the conversation going. You want to build a relationship with your visitors, thus enabling a conversation and encouraging them to come back to your website.
###You, you and you
You may be the owner of your blog and think its all about you, but without your readers your blog is nothing. So don’t be selfish, help your readers when they need help and if they want something from your blog then listen and take it into consideration.
Writing content that can benefit readers is one way to get them coming back to your blog, but also writing a series of posts is another way to get visitors to come back. If you decide to write a 3 part series and if a new visitor likes part 1, there is a good chance he/she will come back to read part 2 and 3. This is a great way to build that relationship with your visitors.
Do unique things on your blogs. This could include creating tools to help your visitors or even designing your blog to standout from the rest. You can also create unique content, have guest writers write on your blog or interview people in your industry. Whatever your unique thing may be, it has the potential to turn visitors into regular blog readers.
Keep visitors on their toes, spice up your regular routine with something different every once in awhile, it will keep your blog from being boring. If visitors are excited by your blog they will convert into regular readers.
If you want to convert visitors into readers you need to make things easy for them. If your content is hard to read, it is very unlikely that visitors will come back to read your blog. If they want to subscribe to your RSS feed then make it easy for them. Making things usable and easier on the visitor can drastically increase your conversion rate.
There are many ways to convert first time visitors into regular readers; these are just some of the ways that have worked for me. If you know of any other ways to convert first time visitors into regular blog readers, feel free to leave a comment.

Neil Patel
Neil Patel is the co-founder of KISSmetrics, an analytics provider that helps companies make better business decisions. Neil also blogs about marketing and entrepreneurship at... Read Full Bio
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  • Blog The Internet

    Neil, very good post. I found your post searching Technorati for blogging tips. I think you are definatley on to something when you mention that when you publish posts, talk to your viewers directly… because the viewer wants to feel that the post was created for him/her… that’s pretty cool and I will use a lot of your advise with my future posts.

    The part 1, 2, 3 series is very cool too… I like that a lot because when you capture the attention of some viewers with part 1, they will be very likely to come back and read the other parts when they publish.

    Also… I subscribed to your RSS and have it right here in IE and will view your site when you have new content available.

    Nice to meet you, and talk to you soon,
    – Garry

  • Neil Patel

    Garry, glad you liked the tips. Hopefully they help convert your visitors into readers.

  • Dennis Bullock

    These are all great points. I think conversation is an excellent one. Building that relationship is great and will keep them coming back. Also responding on site rather than via email is a plus also so your conversation is shared if appropriate.

  • AaronBSam

    Thank you for this informative article! I’ve been trying to figure out how to improve on my blog and this has some pretty useful tips. If you were to update it, you might want to put in a section about “Connections”, and joining blogging groups, webrings, or even commenting on other blogs or forums with similar ideas/readers.

  • Neil Patel

    Aaron, you bring up a good point about joining blogging networks. Joining 9rules has really helped increase the readership on this blog.

  • Sierra Spencer

    I like the whole idea of ‘successful online marketing’ very much. ANd some good work shown here.

  • Shawn

    I like your thoughts here.
    I hadn’t thought about doing a series.. but should have after realizing that the serial dramas on television keep me coming back.
    Thanks for the thoughts.. I’ll be watching your blog.