You know the feeling of waking up and checking your analytics first thing in the morning over a coof cup of black coffee? Yes? Then you might also feel the slightly uncomfortoble feeling when the results are dissapointing and your looking at a graph that shows steepers spikes than the latest tour de france mountain stages.
Getting traffic and keeping traffic are two different things and the latter is surely as difficult as the former. How do you keep readers coming back? How do you avoid high peaks of Digg and Stumble traffic resulting in dark depths of minimal daily traffic and of a hand full of daily readers?
Subscribing is ‘in’ these days and a subscribe option is a necessary device to inform readers about your latest blog additions, but do your readers know RSS feeds? Many internet users have still not adopted this type of information sharing and it might proof useful to introduce them to the concept with a simple ‘what is this’ link underneath the subscription link. Also, try to offer your content in as many formats as possible, some readers will prefer an e-mail subscription over RSS feeds or prefer to see the news in their facebook’s friendfeed.
It is very likely that not all articles you throw on the internet will be immensely popular. Some can enjoy a blitz career on Digg or Stumble, other will hardly see the light. To level traffic you need to make sure other blog contributions get some attention, when one good article hits the spotlight. One popular way to achieve this, is to insert a caption with ‘popular articles’ or ‘other recent articles’ in the sidebar next to your post.
Much of the social media generated traffic is highly unloyal and can sometimes be considered as junk traffic, but if your blog entry is focused on a specific topic, other articles might appeal too. In case your article got viral, an update announcing a follow up post, dealing with the same issue, can incite future readers to click through and discover more of what you have to offer.
Opening with a series of blog post can also create some expectations for what is about to come. This will only work if your first blog entry in your series is absolute killer post, otherwise it won’t creat too much of a buzz.
Of course other things such as desing, branding and quality writing will decide wether somebody will subscribe to your newsletter or bookmark your blog, so pay attention to the overall picture.