One of the biggest challenges of blogging is getting traffic, but beyond that, once you have traffic, you need to figure out how to keep people actually on your blog so that they read more, view more ads, and potentially, buy something.
It’s one thing to link to a post on Twitter or Facebook and get them to read it, but it’s another thing entirely to get them to stay there and read more, or even subscribe. But that’s the challenge I want to tackle today, because I don’t think that many bloggers handle this issue well, and because I want to help you become the best blogger you can be.
1. Put More Content on the Homepage
Though many blog templates provide the option to list more than one post on the homepage, many of them try to squeeze full length posts rather than using excerpts, which means your reader will have to scroll through entire posts before finding something that interests them.
The best way to solve this problem is by putting as many posts onto a page as you can, within reason. Limit your home page to 300-500 word excerpts, and try to fit at least 5 posts so that people can choose to read what most interests them.
2. Related Posts Widgets
If someone comes to your blog and reads a good post, they are probably in a state of mind in which they want to read more. Why not fulfill that wish by showing them some similar posts that they might be interested in?
There are a variety of plugins that do this by crawling posts for keywords and titles, and it’s a great way to get an extra pageview out of a visitor.
3. Reduce Distraction
Yes, I know – you want people to see all of your products and fancy widgets, but sometimes these can become so much of a distraction that people can’t make a decision and simply click away.
Try to reduce distraction on the page by limiting the content in your sidebar, above and below posts, and in the footer.
4. Reduce Outbound Links
Yes, it’s great to link to other blogger and affiliate products, but unless you are pitching something, it’s better to lead your readers to your content rather than content outside the page. Limit outbound links to specific pages or special posts if at all possible.
5. Cross-Link Your Posts
You will see many of the professional bloggers do this, which is to link to other posts on your website within your posts. This not only helps SEO on your internal pages, but it keeps people clicking through your website to find other content they might like.
These aren’t the only ways to keep people on a page, but they are some of the easiest to implement. Give them a try.