The stickiness of your blog is one of the most important measures of its success. You may be able to drive a large number of visitors to your blog, but unless the visitors stick around and engage with your blog closely, and return repeatedly, you may not find sustainable success in the highly volatile and mercurial world of blogging.
Creative Use of Images
Many bloggers commit the cardinal mistake of over-emphasizing on the quality of written content while ignoring the importance of images in the process. Images help to arouse the curiosity of a new visitor, and get him or her drawn into your blog’s great content. An average blog visitor’s attention span is very limited because the choices for readers are too many out there in the free world of blogging.
Therefore, unless you make a creative use of images you may end up with a blog that appears drab, unexciting, and visually unappealing. Many visitors to such a blog may make a quick exit without waiting to check the quality of its content, if the design and appearance of the blog does not appear inviting, refreshing, and somewhat rewarding.
Images are easily obtained through sites like iStockPhoto, Jupiter Images or Shutterpoint. Tools like Zemanta can also help bloggers find images that fall under GPL and Creative Commons licensing.
Encourage RSS Subscriptions
In a highly competitive world of blogging, it has become very important to include an RSS feed and invite the readers to subscribe to the blog. This will help to create a loyal blog readership because the blog posts will drop directly into the subscriber’s mailbox. RSS feed is one of the biggest reasons of the success of prominent blogs around the world.
Tools like RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0 are built right in to WordPress and Blogger so you can get a feed set up rather easily for your readers.
Smart Blog Design
Bloggers who are keen to enhance the stickiness of their blog for the long haul cannot afford to ignore blog design. New visitors tend to judge a blog within the first few seconds of their visit. If they find the blog confusing, cluttered, or difficult to navigate, a majority of them will not wait to stick around to read too much of the content even of the content that was read was marvellously written. If the placement of ads takes precedence over the placement of content, it can put off many visitors and kill the stickiness of a potentially impressive blog (see Myspace).
Clear Blog Branding
Your maximum effort should be invested in creating a great homepage that draws visitors into the blog. A new visitor should be able to know exactly what the blog is all about almost at the first glance itself. Blog design, title, headlines, taglines, logo, and navigational elements should all work to communicate effectively about the blog’s content.
The backbone of any sticky blog, ultimately, is the quality of its content. A blog that makes outstanding promises at the outset and delivers little in terms of content is likely to fizzle out soon. The content must be relevant and sharply focused to the tastes and preferences of the target audience.
Furthermore, it is critical that the content must be updated regularly. Each time the blog should have something new and exciting to offer to the readers. In a fast-paced world of blogging, the blogger cannot afford to take it easy or become complacent about dishing out and providing new content consistently.
While any one of these techniques can help keep your readers engaged longer on your site, a combination of them will help keep your readers focused on what your site has to say to them and will develop a much stronger community around your blog.