Are you slow to attract new readers and followers to your blog? Could your growth be quicker? It is not your opinion as to whether you have reason to be concerned. There is a quick way to know for sure. Look at your blog stats. If readers are considering reading your writing and potentially following your blog, they will check you, the writer, out first. Are readers checking out your blog? Look at the stats for your About Me page. If that number is high, people are checking out your blog, but if you are not getting more traffic or followers, you can correctly assume there is a problem that needs to be fixed. Otherwise, they would stay at your blog long enough to read your posts or become a subscriber.
How To Get Readers To Spend More Time At Your Blog
The answer is engaging your reader with the look of your blog, the formatting. This is what they will see before they’ve even read a word.
Have Interesting Headlines
My post 13 Foolproof Ways You Can Stop Writing Ineffective Blog Headlines explains there is actually a formula for writing effective blog headlines! This is great because it takes the subjectivity out of devising a headline. The more compelling your headline is, the more the reader will be compelled to spend more time at your blog in order to read the article.
Make your reader a specific promise in your headline. Don’t be vague. Keep the promise by telling them how they can attain what you’ve promised in the article. Look at my headline. Number (My headline is specific, not vague) + Simple (Everyone likes simplicity in their busy lives.) + Promise (Your readers will stay at your blog longer.)
People are busy. They can read lists quickly. For maximum reader engagement, your blog should not be an essay. Provide bulleted lists or numbered lists. Lists of steps and ways to do things engage readers. When they see they can skim your steps and not have to read an essay, your readers will be more likely to spend time at your blog and not go elsewhere.
Have White Space
Having extra white space is the trend in graphic design. That is what you are–a page designer. Design your page with lots of white space in mind.
How to do this is simple. (I told you readers like simplicity.) Indent a lot.
I am an English (as well as social studies) teacher. I teach use of topic sentences and transitions between reasons. Then, why don’t you see them here if I know to use them? It’s because I know what your readers know–they don’t want to read an essay. They don’t have time.
Also, use subheads. My page views increased once I started using subheads, so I’ve been using them ever since. Do you make an outline before sitting down to type your post? Whatever the important points in your outline would be should go in your subheads.
There are several reasons why leaving white space is an effective idea. First, it’s more pleasing to the eye. Posters designed to persuade people consider carefully placed use of white space. Your blog is not a collage. Next, your readers will know they can carefully pick out what is useful to them and not have to go on a scavenger hunt through words to find what might be useful. It would be easier to go to another blog–one with lots of white space.
Have colorful graphics. Red, orange, and brown pictures will be more likely to engage the Pinterest crowd to click on your pictures to come read your article. Make your graphics long, and combine words with the picture.
Feel free to mix font styles. My post 4 Simple Ways to Start Blogging Creatively explains how to make pinnable graphics. I’ve written several articles about Pinterest and how to engage its users to click on your picture and come to your blog.
I have more people clicking on one certain blog graphic over at Pinterest far more than my other graphics. Do you want to see it? It was the graphic I used with my MailChimp tutorial, How to Easily Increase Your Page Views. Did you click the link?
I’ve asked myself why that picture is doing far better than the others (and I’m happy to say the others are doing just fine). The one difference that I can ascertain is that the photo follows the rule of thirds, and that makes it different from my other blog graphics.
Can you tell the subject of the photo is not in the center? The subject is the mailbox on the far right. The rule of thirds works when the other two-thirds of the photo is relevant. Those other mailboxes are relevant. The post is about mail, Email.
While infographics do great with the Pinterest crowd, infographics do well with
all visual learners. Look at mine. It sums up the entire post with one graphics. Talk about a time saver.
Of course the readers will spend time at your blog–you can give them all the information they need in one infographic!
My next post is an Easel.ly tutorial, which I highly recommend to make infographics. I made the infographic to the right using Canva.
Follow these tips, and wait to see the concrete proof that your readers are spending more time on your blog. Once again, the views of your About Me page will remain static, but your other page views will rise.
Readers, if you think others can benefit from these blog reader-engagement tips, please share!
Bloggers, have you tried any of these strategies? Please share your experiences. Are there any other tips you can put in the comment section to maximize reader engagement? I look forward to your views.