Do you like the taste of a cold hot dog? No. What about cold pizza? Actually, that might be kind of good. Anyways, I wanted to highlight what to do once you have started generating some traffic/attention.
You’ve done it! You got some traffic rolling in but how do you keep it hot. In the words of a great rapper, Snoop & Pharrell , you want to:
I think that is a good thing;) Anyways, we are going to do a Hardy Boys adventure on how to keep the readers coming back for more.
1. Eurekah, they have found your site and are rushing in like the gold miners. What do you do?
A) Nothing. Let them read the post and be on their merry way. Game over, YOU lose.
B) Something. They have found you from a friend who linked you or some other relevant source. You need to welcome them with open arms. Give those people some action items. Give them a chance to subscribe to your site, to check out other posts or what purpose you want them to do. I have seen a few online writers who have gotten lots of attention and do 1A. Funnel your people into what you want them to do.
The 10 second rule. After I click on a link from a trusted source, (friend’s blog or A-list or reputable site like CNN) I spend 10 seconds and then decide what to do next. I read the title, is it good? Another 4 seconds on pretty pictures. Yes they help and keep people interested. Okay. Fine. Now I will read the first paragraph. Boring. Gone. Some swear word, staying. Some interesting question/ideas/thoughts, reading a little further. Think about who is going to read it and make sure it is interesting for them. Go to #2
2. After most people read an article they go to the About Section. They are curious to see if you are the real deal or just another one post wonder.
A) Your about section is extremely long like my friend Laura from 15secondpitch, don’t worry she is fixing it:) But at that point they don’t care and CLICK, the window is closed. You lost them. Never again. Go to #5
B) You have a sexy or interesting picture of yourself like James Gross. Sorry ladies he is taken. Or you do a really cool way to talk about yourself like Mike Oliver. Make it interesting, its so simple but all people want to do is babble about themself. Go to #3
C) Your page is pretty . This does make a huge difference. If your design is confusing you may lose them but as well you may keep them for awhile longer if its unique. Go to #3
3. Hook line and sinker.
A) The person has chosen to subscribe to your site and give you a test drive. They will closely evaluate your next posts and see if its material they are interested in reading. Be weary around these corners since a crap post following a huge one means you are done for. Go to #5 to save yourself.
B) Bookmarked. This is kind of like second place. You got on their del.icio.us list but they won’t check you often and put you there so they don’t have to think about you. Got to #4.
C) They read another post on your site. This is key. If the person is somoene you want to be reading and the material is good for them then we have a match. You OWN this person. They like your style, think you write interesting things and are going to come back. Get them. Ask for their email address to stay up to date and provide an easy way for them to subscribe. Not everyone uses a blog reader so email works as well. Go to #5
4. You have them on the edge. Damn you are close to losing them. It is like a runner who has fallen but is not out of the race. What other catchy cliches can I throw in? You are getting tired in the basketball game but a Gatorade could save you. Okay I am hopeless. Anyways, at this point you need to fix it. You almost lost the reader. and you need to do a few things. If fixed go to #5 otherwise back to #3
A) Make sure it is the right reader for you. You know who the right person for you to date is, right? Someone with certain attributes that you decidedd before you met them. This should be the same of your reader. You have a target audience. A group of people who are well sutied to read your site. If the person reading your site is not that, don’t worry about losing them. Done, next reader.
B) Fix it. Give your site to a new person that probably should be your reader. See what posts they view and the actions they take. There will be a dropping off point of where they leave from. Find that place. At that poing you need to revise that page, get them to remember you before they leave and try something new.
5. Ladies and gentleman we have contact.
A) Touchdown! The person left a COMMENT. The holy blessing of an online writer. This person has spent time to actually say something back to you. What would you do if I gave you $5? You would THANK ME. Right? I would hope so. So do that for every reader who comments. There is no reason not to. We each have ONLY 24 hours in a day and this person has given you a chunk of their life. Think about that. Thank them for doing that.
B) Yummy. Check out del.icio.us. See who has bookmarked you. See what else they are reading. (Great way to see what other sites you should be reading, linking to and getting links from).
C) Blog Search. Check technorati or google and see who has linked or talked about you. Not everyone does trackbacks though it would be nice if they would. Go find people who have put you on their blogroll or mentioned a posting you did. Find them and thank them vigorously. Share links back to their site as well.
D) Stalk them. Maybe stalking is a strong word but find the person’s site who has commented and read it. Email them. Start a friendship. With most of my readers I really appreciate their comments, read their websites and try to get involved with them. It makes the writing more personal for them and more enjoyable for me to know my readers. It also helps cause I can find out what they are looking to get out of my site.
I hope everyone can take their readers to step 5 and turn those people into friends. If you liked this post please share it with 1 non-blog reader.