The web is a congested cyber jungle. Whenever someone is looking at your blog, the odds are he/she isn’t devoting full attention to you (never have, never will). While someone is reading (or skimming) through your posts, a lot of other websites and applications too are competing with that short attention. And unless you own Facebook, you probably have to make the make do with a 1-minute page view visit.
So now we have the problem – attention span.
Readers (hint: that’s us) don’t have much luxury when it comes to time, and certainly not when we’re online. But as people who run and go through lengths to write long, meaningful posts, we definitely want to make the most possible impact out of that short attention we’re bound to have.
Mercifully, I’ll drop by 3 ways on how to do this. Some of them might require drastic changes, others, well, they just take practice.
Rule Number 1: Be identified through proper branding.
Imagine yourself in a mall with lots of people gazing, walking around in circles. This is how web traffic sometimes feels like. Now, if you’re a salesman trying to convince people to buy a promo of some never-heard-of product, unless you got good convincing skills, no one would hardly take notice. However, say you’re a salesperson for a new fragrance from (say) Lacoste, chances are all you need to do is smile, call out a bit, and wait for the people to go to you.
The point is that a familiar identity grabs attention. And by familiarity I mean establishing a connection between the reader and your blog – this is where branding comes in.
It’s a broad stretch of topic in itself, but basically, you need to set up your image (from the seen and tangible ones like your logo, blog theme to the abstract concept of authority and trust).
Rule Number 2: Make it worth the visit – write quality posts.
Content is king. Content is king. Content is king. Repeat to self as many times until it’s etched at the back of your head. For first time visits, sure, looks (branding) matter a lot. But then the crucial step follows- give the readers a good reason to go back. And back for more.
Attention-grabbing content exists in a variety of forms- from controversial, to witty, to professional, to entertainment, to downright funny, to nsfw (not safe for work). Assess the niche you’re in and figure out what kind of attention-grabbing content your should work on.
Do note though that whatever kind of content that is, the point is that you have to communicate clearly and in such a language that is conversational. Write as if you’re talking directly to the person reading your content. Write as if you are speaking directly to a person.
Rule Number 3: Network With Your Readers
Always be reachable. Offer RSS feeds, build a list, and of course, develop your social networking strategy (have a Twitter and Facebook account that’s visible!). Did I mention to never forget a ‘contact me’ page?
The most important thing is to be able to create a line of communication so you can keep up with your visitors and look for more. Networking is by far the best and most efficient way to snowball your way to popularity.
Remember to always engage in the discussion (even if it isn’t about your blog). Make it a healthy relationship- spread other useful posts too while promoting your own. That and never ever forget to reciprocate.