This guest post is by Ranchy Stephan
There’s a famous cartoon where a dog explains that he gave up blogging to go back to pointless, incessant barking. It’s a blow below the belt for bloggers struggling to gain a following, but there’s a lesson in there somewhere.
There are currently 122.6 million blog readers in the United States, predicted to go up to 150.4 million by 2014.
Even so, 60 to 80 percent of new blogs are still being abandoned by their owners inside of the first month.
By the time three months go by, a full 95 percent of new blogs end up as just so much more junk cluttering up the internet.
There’s a good and simple reason why readers gravitate to a few popular blogs while the majority remain shunned. It is called expertise, which means that people will only listen when they feel the blogger understands the subject. They expect the blogger to share expertise and provide information which they didn’t know previously.
This is why subject-oriented blogs tend to do better than blogs where the subject of each post is vastly different. This topical style is just one of five major points which have a major impact on whether the blog has a loyal following.
The second issue is about having the blog plug-ins needed to allow readers to post comments easily. Some blogs require people to register and login first, while others may have a simple one-time moderation requirement. Then there is plug-ins like do-follow which allows bloggers to reciprocate to comments on each other’s blogs as part of an SEO strategy.
Reciprocation to comments posted by blog readers is just as important. When readers find that the blogger is responding to posted comments, it motivates them to come back and talk some more. This is how loyalty gets built, and readers start turning up every day just to see what’s going on and which new post has the most comments where they can add their own 2 cents.
Getting readers and visitors to subscribe to feeds is probably the single most important factor that fosters loyalty. Subscribers are essentially letting you know that they want to read every new post. It doesn’t get any more loyal than this.
To gain this loyalty, Bill has posted one video – 5 most important SEO tips for blog posts, just for the subscribers of TheTrafficProfessor.
For viewing that video, one has to be a subscriber of TheTrafficProfessor. However, that’s easy enough by clicking through and jumping through the hoops.
Then there’s the incredible impact of social media, which is currently the second highest traffic source for blogs after search engines. Whenever a new post is published, a link has to be instantly posted to all the major social networks.
Social media is not replacing blogs, but the same 122.6 million blog readers are also on the networks. So ask blog readers to follow the blog’s social accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Letting readers know about new blog posts is essential to maintain a loyal following, whether it is done via subscriber feeds and/or social network updates.