Regardless of overall traffic, the number of regular followers will define a blog’s success or failure. Blog followers are those who subscribe to email updates or RSS feeds or follow on social media sites. These individuals find your articles so useful or entertaining that they freely ask for more.
Effective blogging and content marketing is important to your inbound sales funnel. Relevant content earns the right to sell. Published content attracts visitors. If the information is valuable, visitors become followers and subscribers. Authoritative content converts subscribers to leads and lead conversions.
If one cannot develop a loyal following, it is unlikely you will ever see significant growth from blogging. Readers must want to come back. Here are our blogging and content marketing tips for turning first-time visitors into regular readers.
Target Audience: One of the best ways to understand your target audience is developing customer personas. These are fictional characters with names and lives. A basic persona will include typical demographics like age, gender, education level, marital status and so on. Ask your persona questions. Find out what makes them tick.
The more detailed a customer persona is the more effective. We want to know the persona’s job and how long have they worked for their company. What are the ages of her children? What are her interests, and what does she do in her free time? One customer persona is a minimum but most will need multiple characters.
Be Interesting: It does not matter what tools one uses to drive traffic to your site. If your blog posts are not interesting, people will leave and never return. Do not just self-promote. One must include articles their target audience will find either useful, informative, or entertaining. This is not easy, but it is simple.
This is where your customer persona will come in handy. Is your ideal customer a 35-year-old mother of three school-aged children? Are you targeting the 50-year-old mid-level executive who has a hobby of rebuilding classic cars? These are two very different individuals who seek very different information.
Be Consistent: Consistency comes in two forms. The first is identifying your niche topic and sticking with it, and creating quality content for that topic. It is not unheard of to occasionally go off-topic to light a little spark, but remember why your readers started following you.
The second part of consistency with blogging and content marketing is keeping a regular schedule. Posting an entry once in a blue moon will not attract subscribers and followers. Whether it is once a month, once a week or once a day, it is important to create a blogging schedule you can keep, creating quality content.
Avoid Tricks: Many websites use little tricks to gain clicks, and we see it done with some major media sites. Things to avoid are multi-page slideshows and articles, and deceptive or clickbait headlines. The reason sites use these tactics is to increase page views and, therefore, increase ad revenue.
Ultimately, these are deceptive practices that will discourage follower growth. Compelling and descriptive headlines are essential. But when an unsuspecting visitor comes upon a deceptive headline or multi-page post, they are likely to have a negative reaction. When a visitor feels tricked they will not subscribe.
Be Conversational: Another best practice for creating subscriber and follower growth is being conversational. It starts with a blog entry that asks readers to add their own perspective, experience or information. Additionally, when a reader is kind enough to comment on a post, one must respond.
Keep in mind, the conversation about your article is not limited to your website. Engage with those on social media. Thank those who have shared your post. Creating a community on social media creates loyal readers.
For more blogging and content marketing tips for turning first-time visitors into regular subscribers, please contact us.