You website is ready. Elegantly customized. Content varied and spot on. Designed for usability and aesthetics. Just like a shop owner opening his doors for the first time you drum your fingers in anticipation, ready for your visitors to arrive.
The initial rush comes: friends, family, and looky-loos come and poke around. After this initial influx there is a lull, and you once again drum your fingers on the desk impatiently. How do you develop loyalty in your visitors, the kind of loyalty that drives repeat visits and results in strong readership and profit? Create added value for your users to encourage repeat clicks, and grow your fan base.
Any good relationship counselor will tell you to start by listening. Begin a conversation with your visitors by adding a forum or open blog comment thread and then actively ask them questions. People like to talk about their opinions and about themselves.
Drive traffic to your blog by changing the conversation from a monologue into a dialogue. Involve your visitors with daily or weekly focused discussions, ask opinions about your design and content.
Leave conversations open ended so users return over and over to continue the discussion. Fostering relationships with your users often results in those users developing relationships with other users on your site. Whether in harmony or acrimonious, these interactions create a web that continues to pull the visitors back for more.
There is nothing so addictive as competing. Give your visitors the opportunity to compete every time they click over to your blog by hosting mini-games. Think along the lines of the most addictive Google Doodles or even simplistic games along the lines of Line Rider or Minesweeper. You may incorporate games of your own design or even scout the web for free game codes to include. A guaranteed quick gaming fix will attract repeat visitors and lengthen the time spent on your site.
If you are especially cunning, create games that center on content--trivia questions relevant to your subject matter, drawing apps that allow them to submit art, or word games that reveal clues about future events or subjects. Games foster curiosity and interaction, two elements that keep visitors coming back for more.
Free sample day is the most popular day at the grocery store. Everyone loves the opportunity to try something for nothing. Free product giveaways and contests are a great way to drive traffic and increase social media shares.
Many sites give out freebies in exchange for opting in to a newsletter, which is something you could certainly consider. Things like newsletters, ebooks or audio files are great giveaways for blogs. One of my favorite freebies was a free comic book from the BioWars.com blog.
People plunder the internet for valuable lessons on anything from how to tie a full Windsor to math homework help. If you have knowledge or a skill take the time to make tutorials relevant to you content. Users will gobble up the information. If the tutorials do a good enough job instructing, they will get shared with a wider audience building site traffic as a result.
Creating a viral video or meme is an imperfect science. However if you have content that seems like a strong contender for a viral blow-up, push it along its way by getting off your site planting it across various social media outlets. Push your video or meme through each relevant social media avenue like Pinterest, You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Share, retweet, point arrows at your video then sit back and watch the audience grow. Be sure to direct users back to your site, or risk missing out on the generated traffic.