Stick Around, Reader: What Makes You Stay?

This post is inspired by Sticky Readers: How to Attract a Loyal Blog Audience by Writing More Better, by Margaret Andrews. I was given a signed copy of this book by the author with no obligation to blog about it. Quotes are used with permission. All opinions are my own. Buy links are provided for readers’ convenience; I have no affiliation with any of the retailers listed.

A blogger can find plenty of information about how to “build traffic.” A lot of the advice covers “tricks of the trade” like using SEO keywords, sharing links, joining groups, etc. But no matter how many tricks you use, if you don’t provide something worth reading, that traffic will come and go–it won’t develop into dedicated readers who stick around and keep coming back.

In this excerpt from Sticky Readers, Margaret defines the terms and the aim of her book.

“…(Y)ou can create sticky content with a well-written blog, too. If you write interesting and compelling blog posts that hold the readers’ attention, they will come back again. In other words, sticky content attracts ‘sticky readers.’ 

“If you improve your content, make it more compelling and interesting to read, here’s what will happen: 

1. Regular readers will perk up and take notice. You’ll hear about it. Probably in your comments section or via email. Boy, will that be good for your ego.
2. Brand new readers will stumble on your blog and stick around for more, hence the term, ‘sticky readers.’
3. Your numbers will increase naturally. And when I say numbers, I mean all of them: Google followers, Twitter followers, comments, Feedburner subscribers. But don’t pay attention to that. Don’t think about it. I shouldn’t have said anything, actually. Just let it happen. It’s a Zen thing. 

“Who says ‘content is king’? Actually, everybody says that, and they’re right, but it’s usually swept under the rug while they tell you all the social media tricks of increasing traffic to your blog. They don’t stop and tell you how to make your content more engaging, and there are so many ways to do it. 

“…I know this hurts to hear, and I don’t enjoy saying it, but your blog bores some people. My blog bores some people. There, I said it. That wasn’t so hard, was it? When you can be more objective about your writing, it’s easier to admit that it can always be better. 

“…This book does not tell you how to monetize your blog, or drive traffic to it through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). What this book does do, however, is show you how to write more engaging content and attract a loyal blog audience.”

Sticky Readers is primarily aimed at bloggers who use personal anecdotes and stories in their blog posts, but I think some of its suggestions can be adapted for the goals of topical bloggers…and that includes book bloggers. It packs a lot of useful advice into its compact 76 pages. It won’t take you long to read, but if you care about improving your blog content, it’s worth every minute you spend on it. It’s available in paperback from CreateSpace, Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble, and as a Kindle e-book.

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