Sticky Blogging: How to Be Memorable [in a Sea of Bloggers in 2022]

By: | September 26, 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , |
sticky blogging
Photo by Ivan Samkov on

Are you interested in learning Sticky Blogging techniques?

Sticky Blogging is a simple enough concept.

The goal is to get visitors to “stick” to your blog so they keep reading.

This improves your bounce rate since people stay longer on your blog.

This improves your social shares since people get to the end where you ask people to share.

This improves your traffic since new readers will come to your site and the previous readers will return.

This post exposes you to the 3 stages of the Sticky Blogging formula:

  • Start your blog post by stating a problem your readers have. Show your readers you understand the problem by sounding relatable.
  • Explain why this problem is so bad. Show them tips that will solve the problem.
  • Recap by going over the tips you shared that now make this problem a thing of the past.

Let’s get started learning the Sticky Blogging technique.

The Importance of Sticky Blogging





Industry Value

31.7 million bloggers 

By 2020, the number of bloggers increased by 10 million. 

409 million people view blogs monthly.

$412.88 billion

Source of data

This data confirms the amount of competition you have as a blogger. Follow these sticky blogging techniques to beat the competition.

Sticky Blogging helps bloggers convert readers to blog followers.Do you feel planning and creating really good content are among your biggest challenges as a blogger?

If yes, you are in good company.

According to a CoSchedule blog survey, bloggers’ report their biggest challenges are planning content and creating really good content.

Which concern can you relate to? Can you relate to both?

Sticky Blogging is the newest trend in blogging that addresses those concerns.

According to Jason Cushman (a.k.a. Opinionated Man),

Humans are busy, and it is on YOU the blogger to interest them in reading your site. When we “follow” your blog we don’t sign our souls over to be your subscriber for life. You must find a way to make me want to be a reader for the moment. Human interest depreciates faster than a new car off a sales lot… Stop moaning about how not enough of your subscriber base cares about your blog. Make them care.

The Sticky Blogging Formula is designed to make your readers care.

According to Living with, you should totally ignore advice on how to write good content because “good content is so subjective”.

With this, I agree.  However, there are factors that can make a post be more likely to have a favorable outcome than posts that don’t have those factors.

Bradley Will, of Learn to, tell his readers:

“Focus on the right process… and I promise you the results will take care of themselves. … focus on the process… and see tremendous results.”

Sticky Blogging explains that process.

Sticky Blogging

 The Premise:

Start your post with a problem that your entire post will center around.  That problem and how to solve it become the central theme of your post.

According to CoSchedule, there are six emotions that are more likely to make a blog post go viral. Two of them are fear and anger. You want to stir those emotions in your reader.

According to Sticky Blogging‘s Kelly Holmes, “An emotional connection is what motivates people to share content online. It’s what motivates them to subscribe to mailing lists or follow you on social media.”

Put the problem that will drive your reader to experience the emotion of fear or anger in your introduction.

[bctt tweet=”Remember, the goal is to make your readers care, so they keep reading your post.”]

Tell them they have a problem.  The problem will move them toward feeling anger or fear.  They will want to know the solution, so they don’t feel anger or fear anymore, and they will keep reading.

Example: Look at the first sentence of this post and the rest of the introduction.  I discuss “challenges” and “concerns”, in other words, problems.

The Value:

This technique is called “Sticky Blogging” since the goal is to make your readers stick to your blog.

This technique not only results in getting more permanent readers, but has a whole host of additional benefits.

For example, your readers will be so engaged by curiosity trying to figure out what your solution to the problem stated in your introduction is, your bounce rate will decrease, and your Alexa score will rise, which in turn will improve your Search Engine Optimization rating.

My introduction stated that according to CoSchedule’s survey, bloggers complained of planning and creating content challenges.

The truth is of the eight concerns they stated, their concerns over difficulty of planning and creating content were in the top three of all blogging concerns. Planning content was the second biggest concern of all bloggers.  20% of all bloggers surveyed reported this as a problem.* Creating content was a concern expressed by 16% and came in third.

Sticky Blogging is designed to help you and these other bloggers.

Sticky SEO

Sticky Blogging works in all aspects of blogging including SEO. 

The premise: You attract people to your blog by describing a problem. You keep them returning to your site. 

Why wouldn’t this work for Google and other search engines?

Sticky SEO does work for Google, Bing, and other search engines. 

Use search engine marketing techniques to get visibility on Google. When people come to your site, they realize you can solve their problems, and they return. Simple!

You can use MozBar, a free SEO tool, for keyword research and competitive analysis to boost your chances of being found on Google.

Here you can find more information about MozBar: MozBar for Chrome tutorial. 

Sticky Blogging Founder

The Sticky Blogging Formula was developed by Kelly Holmes. 

Her husband left his job to care for their four children while Kelly helps online entrepreneurs hone their sticky blogging techniques.

Kelly’s background in writing and editing gives her the insights needed to help bloggers and content marketers keep people glued to their websites and returning for more.

Case Study

Kelly admits this is not the only way to stand out in the Internet jungle, but claims Sticky Blogging is an effective, proven approach that will turn your visitors into loyal fans.

Let’s look for proof as we examine a case study–me!

My post How to Engage Blog Readers Who Are in a Rush followed the Sticky Blogging technique.


The introduction to the Sticky Blogging technique.

The red boxes indicate I started the post by identifying a problem my readers have.

Notice my first sentence: You have a problem.  Okay, the queen of subtlety I am not, but you get the point.  I started by telling my reader they have a problem.


Sticky Blogging, Step 2

Notice, I kept discussing the problem: their reader is rushed with 450 million other choices, lots of competition for their fleeting attention.

Does this strategy work?


The reaction to my post is overwhelming.

  • An online Twitter publication The Miguel Salcido Daily published it.
  • Consider this comment from a reader:

Janice, as everyone has already said, this one is gold! Won’t be surprised if this does not go viral!

  • Social Shares on the post are up, especially on Twitter.  Users are inventing hashtags to retweet my article that I did not think of. For example, one used the #Reader hashtag.
  • My Twitter traffic is up since the post was released.
  • DebbeDeyWrites linked to the post and promoted it on her own blog.  Since I am self-hosting, this is the equivalent of a reblog.
  • It is my best performing post of the week, by far, even though I’ve published twice since then.
  • The page views on the post are still rapidly climbing although it was published a week ago.
  • Based on the strength of the post, I was invited to join a blogging group.
  • Did I receive new blog followers this week? Yes. Is it due to my centering my post around a problem?  I don’t know. What I do know is that I like the results.


October 2020

When you sign up for Kelly Holme’s Sticky Blogging course, she sends you emails of helpful blogging tips.

For instance, she recently sent out a newsletter about the importance of changing your blogging practices if they’re not working for you even if you are used to doing them.

Prior to that, Kelly sent out a newsletter explaining she understands bloggers’ hesitations.

Conclusion: Sticky Blogging Formula

In conclusion, it is important to center your post around a problem. I read recently, “Teachers are not in it for the income, they are in it for the outcome.”

As a blogger, you are a teacher. Teach your readers how to solve a problem in your posts, and you will see an increase in page views and followers.

If you are not getting the results you want to see in your blog traffic, try tweaking your posts.  You will see introducing a problem and centering your post around how to solve it produces immediate results. The best part is Sticky Blogging can apply to any blogging niche.

Note: Many bloggers don’t know their niche.  Bloggers with blogs about “musings” and “ramblings” might have a tough time applying this strategy.


Planning content, complained about by 20% of all bloggers, was a close second to the biggest blogging concern expressed in the survey. Concerns over lack of time came in first at 22%.

Readers, please share, so other bloggers can discover the importance of centering your posts around a problem.

Do you think you might restructure your posts so they center around problems? Are you already doing this and getting satisfactory traffic? What is your opinion of this formulaic approach to blogging? I look forward to your views.

Related Posts:

How To Engage Your Blog Readers

How to Immediately Make Your Blog Posts Go Viral


This post was based on the ideas of Kelly Holmes.

  1. Charles Rogers

    Janice, “Sticky Blogging” uses the absolutely fundamental psychology of selling anything mousetraps to philosophical ideas. My favorite illustration of this is professor Howard Hill in The Music Man! “Trouble, Trouble–you’ve got trouble- right here in River City!” “You need………!”
    If you can get them singing “trouble” a long with you, they will want to buy …..
    This, of course, is demonstrated on your Tube right now: See Donald Trump. Even his greatest critics fly to the flame of the candle like moths! This lesson is Non-Political; we are just talking strategy and techniques. Thank you for the lesson, Teach. Charles

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Chares,
      1. “Teach”: Janice University, yes?
      2. While I didn’t understand the mouse trap analogy, I did see the Music Man.
      3. I loved the Music Man, and you are right. “We’ve got trouble right here in River City. Trouble with a capital ‘T’…”
      4. “Your Tube…” you are in the United States with me, yes?
      5. Are you implying you are critical of Sticky Blogging since Harold Hill stirred up concerns that weren’t really concerns? I don’t care. These are Kelly’s techniques, not mine. My “Reader Who is Rushed” post is continuing to climb even as we speak in comments as well as page views although perhaps it was for other reasons. I am just curious. It’s fun to discuss philosophical differences on a blog.
      Thanks for writing, as always, Charles and for bringing up the Music Man. I am a Broadway musical fan!

  2. John Doe

    This was an incredible post. It had such great ideas on how to capture and keep your reader. I guess it’s not an accident that Jason Cusion has 55,000 followers. Great post jason and great decision by you Janice to give us the opportunity to read it

    • Janice Wald

      HI John,
      I’m glad you enjoyed my description of the Sticky Blogging technique! I am also glad you liked my use of Jason’s quote in my introduction.

      • Anonymous

        Hi Janice I just reread the post again and I sincerely apologize I did read Jason Cushman’s quote “but I guess my eyes were working faster than my brain and thought that he wrote the post now after rereading it I see all the time and effort you put into writing this post and I’m sorry that I didn’t realize that I really apologize as usual your posts and your blog is the bomb

        • Janice Wald

          Thanks for the kind words. I was not offended at all, but thank you for writing back.

  3. Jeanette

    Been doing that unintentionally since I started blogging! Just didn’t know it had a name.

  4. Janice Wald

    Hi Jeanette,
    I am trying to conclude whether people are critical of the technique or in favor of it. Your comment sounds like you like it. It is like with Common Core Standards at school. I am a teacher. It was supposed to be this innovative thing, and then it turned out we were all doing the standards all along.
    Thanks for writing.

  5. Alana

    Well, let’s put it this way. I immediately tweeted the post and pinned it. I am busy enough with caregiving related concerns that I don’t have time time to read a lot of blogs or write high quality posts of my own. I need to be as efficient as possible. I write a weekly post on the issue of falling – I am going to reconfigure it, as a result of reading this post.

    • Janice Wald

      Thank you for sharing (twice). So glad you found it helpful and wrote to tell me. Really very simple–just three steps. Glad I could be of help.

  6. Lysa

    Hi Janice,

    As you already know I took this online class with you but for some reason it makes a lot more sense to me now that I have read your post. lol You see, I have a learning disability which is a comprehension problem. I can read something 100 times and not understand any of what I just read. It made school, especially college rather difficult as I had and still have to put in three times the amount of time reading and understanding what I just read so thank you for helping me to truly understand what Kelly was teaching us.

    You know I love your blog and all of your tips and tricks but I don’t think I’ve ever told you how much I appreciate all the time that goes into writing your posts with research and classes alone. You have helped me with my blog in more ways than I can count!! So, a great big THANK YOU!!

    Hope you are enjoying your Saturday!!

    Much love,
    Lysa xx
    Welcome to my Circus

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Lysa,
      I am glad you liked my post and felt I summarized it correctly. It’s been interesting reading comments and seeing people weigh in about it.
      Thank you so much for the kind words, but you are still my queen of blog promotion! I try to take lessons from you still to this day.
      I am linking to your site in my Sunday post. It should come out about 2:00 am California time. You are mentioned near the bottom. Thanks again for turning me on to Kelly’s class, the kind words here and the help with promoting the post on Saturday.

    • Janice Wald

      It would have been okay with me if you didn’t like the idea of Sticky Blogging, but you are right–it would serve to keep the readers’ attention. They will stay after 8 seconds if they care about the problem stated in the intro.

  7. Charles Rogers

    Hey J,

    1. You are the Teach! (Remember TV’s Happy Days?)
    2. “mousetraps” I guess that dates me. A principle born in the Great Depression was, “Build a better moustrap and the world will build a path to your door.” This evolved into a sales metaphor of “selling moustraps”
    3. There are“professor Howard Hill’s” is on my television set everyday.
    4.yes, I’m here in the US. I guess I caught the term: “The Tube” from my British friends. The Tube= Television set.
    5. No, not critical, I am applauding the importance of Sticky Blogging technique (I will send you the link to my post: “Writers and The Butterfly” inspired one of favorite teachers Annie Dillard. I point out that the American’s attention span is 8 seconds.

    I am much more than A NUT about Broadway Musicals. I am a student of the Broadway Musical as a compendium of The Most Important thoughts and historical events. I can find a Broadway song for every feeling : e.g. “There is nothing like a Dame—Nothing in the World.”, “A Hundred Million Miracles are happing every day”. “There were songs on the Hill, but I never heard the singing ’till there was you” “You’ll never walk alone” “Climb every mountain!, “Whenever I feel afraid…” The well has no bottom!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Charles,
      1. Yes, I did watch Happy Days but don’t remember “teach”. I like it though.
      2. I can’t remember if I’ve heard that mouse trap metaphor before.
      3. I understand Howard Hill: politicians try and upset us to get the vote.
      4. Now I understand why you used the term.
      5. I agree 8 seconds.
      6. YOU are a nut? My SBC Email is broadwaymusicalfan I actually came in 3rd in a Broadway musical Name That Tune content over the summer. I know every song you listed except the second song.
      Thanks so much for writing me here and answering my questions.
      I saw you wrote a piece on Galileo. I teach him. One year my students had a mock trial.

  8. Melinda

    Hi Janice,
    Number 456 thing I didn’t know about blogging that Janice taught me: Sticky Blogging.
    You are a GREAT teacher!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Melinda,
      Thank you for the nice compliments. Had you ever heard of Sticky Blogging before? I should have asked that in my CTA.

  9. Debby Gies

    Janice you are a powerhouse worth of information to the blogging community. It’s like taking a class every we come over here. 🙂

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Debby,
      What kind words. Thank you. A commercial came on the TV for Grey’s Anatomy, and I thought of you! Thanks for dropping by and writing me, and your help on Twitter and Google +. Great promotion on Google + especially. Thank you so much.

  10. Nick #thisyearinmusic

    I agree with a lot of these points. I’ve always thought that as long as I like what I’ve written someone else will do. Some days my stuff is good, other days not so, but I don’t give up and the next day I try harder.

    • Janice Wald

      Hey Nick!
      Thanks for clicking my link and coming over. As far as your comment, can music writers start with a problem and apply this technique? I don’t know.
      It looks like Nicole will be hosting us on the weekends. I really didn’t have time for more than that anyway. Thanks for coming.

  11. Carol Graham

    Although I had already known this was a good idea –you made me realize it is a GREAT idea. Thank you. There are a lot of “teachers” out there but you bring such clarification when you teach.

  12. Carol Graham

    I searched your blog to find contact information but could not find it as I wanted to PM you. I will put my message here and you may certainly delete it as it is not a blog comment. I wanted to direct you to one of the most incredible stories you may ever read about a Broadway musical — a young woman I interviewed a few weeks ago. You may already be aware of her but if not, here is her story:

    • Janice Wald

      It’s find to comment on the blog, always. What is PM? Thanks for the link. I told Charles about it; he commented he likes musicals too.

      • Carol Graham

        PM is private message. I don’t see any contact information on your blog — am I missing it? Enjoy Amy’s amazing story!

        • Janice Wald

          To right on Home Page has Contact & About Me. What is your StumbleUpon name?

  13. Melinda

    No, Janice, I’d never heard of sticky blogging before. That’s why I said You always teach me things!!
    Your BBFF, Melinda

  14. Gilly Maddison

    Fear and anger are not high on my list of emotions to evoke in others or, to have evoked in me. I am strongly attracted to blogs full of humor and I get along best with writers who write about absolutely anything in an irreverent way with a cheeky smile in their words.

    I like blogs that uplift me and make me feel I have connected with someone that sees the futility in all we take so seriously. Everything in this world seems to be about numbers, competition, likes, comments, shares. Maybe it is for people who are desperate to grow their blogs for financial reasons but I see it a different way. I get a huge amount of enjoyment out of writing whether it is online or otherwise and whether anyone else likes it or not.

    My enjoyment stands alone and does not depend on the approval of others, evidenced in stats. If I happen to genuinely connect with someone who has sincerely enjoyed what I have written and is not just dipping in to pick up readers for their own site, I consider it a bonus. It makes me sad to see all the mad scrambling for the top that is rampant in the real world being encouraged in the blogging world.

    In my blogging journey I have got caught up in it just like everyone else and I find it hampers the real joy of writing if you start writing for numbers. I can see that numbers matter to people who need to make a living out of it or have an ego that demands attention, but if you don’t have those needs, just relax and don’t get caught up in the crazy scramble for the top. Life is way too short.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Gilly,
      What a thoughtful response to the Sticky Blogging article. Thank you!
      It sounds like you are saying that even though you, yourself, have gotten caught up in checking your stats, you realize it hampers the true joy of writing, if I am understanding you correctly.
      As far as I go, as an English teacher, (I teach history too), I realize there are many ways to hook a reader. Starting with a problem is just one of them. Asking a question is another hook I default to often.
      However, according to the Sticky Blogging technique, if you want readers to stay with your post until the bottom so that they share it, you have to start with and then develop a problem.
      I say to do what works for you. I fear if I always start with problems, my reader will be bored without any variety to my introductions.
      At the risk of sounding defensive, I wasn’t necessarily sharing what I thought was best but I was sharing what Kelly Hughes thought was best.
      That said, my post that I used as an example is STILL getting page views and comments and being the most featured post at linky parties.
      I am not here to tell anybody what to do. My articles share what others say will be successful in blogging.
      Take away what sounds like something you might want to try.

  15. Susan Langer

    Great post. I sared on all of my social media and pinterest boards as well. I agree that this technique does not work on some niches which are more muse oriented (I have some that are and some that aren’t. I’ve been using this technique on one of my blogs but had called it “my call to action” post. Now, I have another name for it. Thanks for sharing, Janice.:)

    • Janice Wald

      Hey Susan,
      Thanks for checking in with me this week. I really appreciate you reading what I wrote and commenting.
      Did you read the other comments. Reaction seemed mixed over whether starting with a problem is effective. I think it’s definitely effective but wouldn’t want readers to get bored with my writing if I always started this way. Thanks again. Nice to see you.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Susan,
      I saw this comment from you:
      Yes. I read the other comments and saw that they were mixed. I still agree with you that it is a good approach except for some niches where it doesn’t fit. I think your writing is great. Keep it up. 🙂
      I can’t find it here, so I am copy-pasting it, so I can answer you.
      I wanted to thank you so very much for the kind words about my writing. Since they are coming from a writer, it really means a lot. Thank you!

    • Janice Wald

      HI Susan,
      Thanks so much for subscribing to my blog today. I was excited and flattered to see.
      I don’t know if you got my message. I would like to link to your blog this Sunday. I am writing a post which includes examples of bloggers collaborating.
      1. Do the two of you collaborate?
      2. If yes, what on?
      3. Do you share a blog?

  16. Wendy

    Hi, Janice. I took Kelley’s free Sticky Blogging intro a few weeks ago, and thought her technique made sense. Interestingly, reading through the comments, it appears that the words “problem,” “anger,” and “fear” may be causing some conflicted feelings. I think of it like a good book with a strong plot: there is always a “problem” of some sort, even in the most fun books. “Winnie the Pooh” is a great little book, and even that little bear had “problems.” 🙂

    However, the problems we write about don’t have to be negative, nor do they necessarily need to be spelled out as problems or fears. I think most well written pieces (whether a blog post, a magazine article, a tutorial, a piece of fiction, etc) still follow this basic outline you’ve described here.

    A DIY blogger’s problem could be an old dresser; with a little paint and elbow grease, she has simultaneously solved the problems of wanting to toss an outdated dresser and needing a new bathroom vanity (use your imagination — haha). I wrote a post about hosting a huge graduation party. I never said specifically that it was a problem, but anyone who is hosting a huge event recognizes the inherit problem.

    My most recent post is a birthday message to my daughter, and it has been really popular. There is no stated “problem” there, but people can relate to the implied emotions:
    The “problem”: we miss our children when they are away from home, especially if it happens to be their birthday.
    The “fear”: this is something all parents have or will face.
    The “solution”: our kids are fantastic humans, we have wonderful memories, and we have learned so much from this parenthood journey.
    I did not do this intentionally, and only thought through all of that after reading your post.

    Whew! All that to say, I think this “sticky blogging” method is an effective technique that has been taught in writing classes since we were in middle school. But here it has a new name and a specific focus on blogging with tighter, more intentional techniques, and it provides an outline we should use as writers (not just as “bloggers”). It is a very useful method and your post explained it well! (Sorry for the “book” in your comments!) 🙂

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Heather,
      Thank you for the compliment on my post. Kelly’s Sticky Blogging technique takes the guess work out of content. Thanks for the visit. Glad you enjoyed the article.

  17. Logan Can

    This is amazing! I have tons of ideas and drafts sitting on my blog, my biggest problem is finding the time to make them truly amazing. I have two young kids (under 2) and it can be very challenging making to time to create perfect pinnable photos, share on social media consistently and create amazing content. There is just not enough time in the day! haha

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Logan,
      Thank you for writing me. I read recently that lack of time is bloggers’ biggest concern. Can you write less often? I have more and more productivity articles about how to save time blogging. The article I published just yesterday is about how to blog quicker and more effectively.

  18. Nicole Keener

    Hey Janice, Thank you so much for this super helpful post! I can really see myself following your advice.

  19. Jim Bauer

    Very interesting information here. I suppose in a way I am doing this simply by writing about political topics often which can certainly stir emotions in many. The one thing that I always want more of are comments which are generally lacking even though my views are doing well. Not sure why that is. Thanks for sharing some valuable information here. We all, of course, want as much success for our blogs as we can possibly muster.

  20. Mark

    I absolutely love your “Sticky blogging” concept Janice!

    And thanks for sharing those three eye opening stats, about what
    so many of today’s ambitious bloggers are constantly struggling with!

    With just a little additional keyword research, it should be fairly easy to
    come up with a ton of additional, relevant long tail keywords, to build additional
    targeted, problem solving content around.

    You also shared the figure of (a staggering) 450 million blogs!

    Truth told, less than one percent of them will still be active, in the next 12 – 18 months
    or less!LOL!

    So there’s plenty of room!Thanks for sharing another extremely helpful post!

  21. Pingback: How to Write Powerful Headlines [Ultimate Guide]
  22. Sara

    Janice, this is so timely as I just finished reading a book by Dennis Becker. In it, he describes “One Problem Writing”.

    As someone who likes to write but also tends to give too much information or switches from one topic to the next thus confusing or outright exhausting my readers, not to mention writing run-on sentences ^_^, this is something I’m trying to learn.

    I first learned about being “Sticky” from author/blogger Margaret Andrews. She wrote a book “Sticky Readers” which touches on these same principles.

    Thanks for sharing your real example of a sticky post.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for writing. That is interesting, what you wrote. I thought Kelly made up the sticky blogging formula. It was interesting to know that others had written about it as well. Thank you for writing to tell me.

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