By now, you’ve read dozens of articles offering tips and hacks to boost your blog’s traffic, right?
You've applied all that you learned and follow your daily traffic stats feverishly for signs of life, but you’ve learned the hard way that bringing traffic to your blog isn’t all there is to it. Backlinks and social media promotion bring people there – but they don't stick around.
That’s not what you’re looking for, is it?
The other half of boosting your blog traffic requires keeping readers on your blog when they visit, and I've got three actionable hacks you can use right now to make that happen.
And they won’t even notice.
Start by thinking beyond the research.
So you’ve researched your readers’ pain points, learned how to write killer headlines, and you even include a compelling image or two in your posts, yet you’re still not enjoying the fruits of your labor.
People visit and say, “oh, that’s nice,” and take off again. It makes you want to pull your hair out.
Why won’t they stay?
Well, here are some possible reasons:
- The image and the post don’t work harmoniously – it instead demands equal or more attention than the body of the post
- You use a lot of long words in your posts (unless your readers speak that way, it’s working against you)
- You only deliver your content one way (such as all articles or all videos)
If any or all of these apply to you, no worries – there’s an easy solution for all three.
3 Subliminal Hacks You Can Use Right Now
Hack #1: Use images wisely
Position your images in a way that leads people’s eyes to your text. Photographers use what are called “leading lines” to navigate your eyes across an image. You can use the same thing to move people’s eyes from the image you’ve chosen to the body of your post.
Look at the image at the top of this post. No seriously, go back and look. I’ll wait for you.
See what happened up there? You didn’t notice that before, did you?
Your readers won’t, either. Their eyes will naturally fall on your post’s image first, but a compelling image positioned properly moves their eyes right where you want them – on your content.
Hack #2: Be brief
Rockstar Comms’ Ian Harris provides this quirky tip: use as many one-syllable words in your post as you can. Give your readers words their minds can easily digest, and their eyes will flow right down the page.
There’s nothing wrong with long words, mind you – I love using them myself. But if reading your blog post feels like work in your readers’ minds, they’ll leave before they reach the end of it.
Hack #3: Be different
If your peers do mostly articles, start mixing in slideshows and infographics in your posts.
- If they mostly post videos, mix your content with a few articles and audio interviews or calls.
- If they’re mainly podcasters, start posting videos.
We could go on and on from there, but you get the idea. Sometimes the easiest way to get noticed is to not do what everyone else is doing, or vice versa.
Now this hack may sound counterintuitive, but it works subliminally because most readers follow dozens of blogs daily, so they’re used to seeing a variety of content anyway. However, if they’re used to seeing one or two forms of content in your niche and you do what your peers don’t, you’ll have their attention – and they’ll stay.
So you get the best of both worlds.
And believe me, it’s crowded.
Nielsen reports there are over 181 million blogs screaming for readers’ attention – including yours – so gaining and keeping them will be a never-ending quest for you, but it doesn’t have to be an uphill battle.
You can take solace in two things: first, many of the blogs tallied are personal blogs, so they may not compete for your audience. Secondly, there are a lot of sub-par blogs out there, even in your niche, so the smallest tweaks can make the biggest difference.
And these three hacks do that for you.
You’ll create a more comfortable experience on your blog for any reader by guiding her eyes from your catchy image straight to your content; you’ll coax her right down the page with a smooth mix of one-syllable words (with your longer words peppered in, of course); and invite her to stay by offering her content your peers don’t.
As Rich Melman said,
It’s hard to be 100% better than your competition, but you can be 1% better in a hundred ways.
Here’s your first 3%. The rest is up to you.
Which of these hacks is most applicable to your blog? Let us know in a comment below.
Mellissa Thomas is a freelance writer who makes entrepreneurs and businesses sound polished and alluring to their audience on the web and in print. When she’s not making people sound great, she helps new and growing entertainment industry entrepreneurs up their game on her blog, E.i. Geek.