Photography by Nika
What’s the difference between a one-time visitor and a loyal reader who visits your site daily for a year?
Around 364 unique hits.
You’d be lucky if a link from an A-list blog sent that much targeted traffic your way. The good news is that turning a first-time visitor into a loyal reader is a whole lot easier than getting a link from an A-list blog.
The bad news? Loyal readers are a source of long-term traffic many bloggers and webmasters (and many articles about growing site traffic) seem to ignore.
What if you could build loyal readers from just 5 new visitors? If they went on to visit your site daily for a year, those 5 visitors would bring you 1825 hits. Further, 50 loyal readers of this kind would bring you 18,250 hits over the course of a year. And so on.
In this post I want to outline some basic strategies you can use to turn new visitors into loyal readers.
Generosity leaves an impression, whether you offer new visitors a free eBook, a free review, or some other service.
Make a connection
Responding to a comment or email could turn a one-time visitor into a loyal fan of your site. It’s surprising how many bloggers and webmasters don’t see responding to comments/emails as worth the time investment. It absolutely is!
Be consistent with your topics
If the reader enjoyed your coverage of a particular topic they may keep tabs on your site, hoping for some more great coverage of the topic they’re interested in. If none is forthcoming, they might lose interest.
If you write about a flaw in the iPod screen, for example, you don’t necessarily need to write about the flaw again. You would probably be expected to cover the broader topic of iPods, however.
Pick your general topics and be consistent with them, to avoid readers feeling your site was not what they thought.
Develop a consistent rhythm
Loading up a site only to find that it still hasn’t updated can be quite a disheartening experience. If this happens enough, the reader might stop trying.
This doesn’t mean you need to post every day. You might only post once a week. The key, however, is that your articles flow with a consistent rhythm. If you post 5 times one week, readers will probably expect you to post 5 times next week, too.
Where to next?
Tomorrow I want to provide a longer list of concrete strategies you can use to convert first time visitors into loyal readers, and in doing so, exponentially grow your site traffic. If you don’t want to miss it, consider subscribing to my newsletter.