From the beginning of my blogging career one thing I believed which I was right about was creating a sticky blog, but still I really didn’t know the exact meaning of stickiness, like most people today I believed that a blog can be called as sticky based upon its design, but I recently found out what really a sticky blog is, its the readability and usability of a blog.
Certain aspects of a blog such as bounce rate, page-view’s and avg time which are crucial for making money depend upon the stickiness of your blog. As I mentioned above, stickiness has no relationship with your blogs design, its your blog posts which have to be optimized. I could never find the exact definition of sticky blogs, but the meaning is pretty clear and has developed over time, its something which causes an attraction to a particular blog post and keeps the reader interested till the end. In this post I’ve managed to compile everything that would make your post look attractive to your readers.
The title of the post
Many of our forefathers have said never to judge a book by its cover, but I think these are a few human instincts that are unavoidable. For us bloggers this is one of the best ways to take advantage of our readers. Whenever I come across an attractive title I can never resist visiting the post to skim it to see if it is of any interest.
I once used to be very bad at this, but after reading blogs such as Budgets Are Sexy and Punch Debt in The Face, I got the touch of choosing attractive titles and very soon I deployed it on my own sites. The most attractive titles include lists and case studies, but looking at my experience, small blogs usually do well if the titles seem like personal recommendations.
Maybe this is because people expect blogs to be more like personal diaries instead of just guides, your content inside doesn’t matter, but your title must not sound like a guide. For example, instead of ‘How to use Stumbleupon’ I’d write ‘How I generated 20000 visitors from Stumbleupon’. I’m sure most of you would find the second one more attractive.
The font of text – stay simple but unique
The one thing that your readers value most is your writing, so as a blogger you’ll have to make it as clear and attractive as possible. The usual times new roman or ariel which are used in most blogs aren’t bad, they are clear and readable, but it doesn’t seem attractive as we read the same format everywhere online and offline.
Interlinking new posts with old posts
I have recommended this in many of my posts in the past, but I myself am not able to do this due to lack of time. When I started to implement this my bounce rate went significantly lower than when I first started. I saw instant change in my bounce rate when I was interlinking posts and it surely improved user experience, they usually left my site only after a few clicks here and there, so this means an increase in the posts stickiness.
Other than this there are many other benefits of interlinking blog posts, some include SEO, increased ad impressions and higher rankings in Alexa and Compete, but the main benefit is for user experience. I have seen many blogs which interlink posts using an automated interlinker, this is literally of no use as some of the content it is linked to is not even relevant.
Wikipedia is one of the most popular sites on the internet and at the same time the one of the stickiest, one of the main reasons is each and every article is interlinked with hundreds of others. You’ll find instant award winning success if you can implement this on your site as well.
Highlighting important facts – making it easier to understand
Like all other readers I never feel comfortable or get the time to read through an entire post and I bet most of your readers are like this as well. So if they fail to see the most important part of the post, then your entire hard work will be ruined. Moreover your readers will prefer reading your posts more than other blogs if they are engaging and well structured.
They won’t openly admire this concept of yours and very few would feel the benefit of doing this, but in the long run if any reader of yours is asked to choose which blog he likes on your competitors and you, then I’m sure that the answer will your blog. There are many ways to highlight, the best way is to bold it, or maybe even use italics on a particular keyword. Some blogs even use colors for this purpose.
Write like a human being
If you’ve ever taken a grammar class then I am sure you know what I am talking about when we discuss, first, second and third person. This has a great influence on your readers and it somehow motivates them to keep reading. The main purpose of this blog is to engage you to take action and provide you some useful tips.
That’s why I recommend affiliate marketers to use the word ‘You’ and personally refer to the reader. This is speaking as the first person and second person. You can see the below example and judge for yourself on which one of these has a bigger impact on your mind,
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Putting up the word ‘You’ creates a feeling in the reader which makes him closer to you as he would feel that it’s you who is speaking out directly to them.
Another way to interlink new posts with the old ones is with the help of showing links to other posts related to the current post, if you have a huge volume of articles, then this is sure to increase your stickiness. Your readers will be able to delve into other posts on similar topics, which you have nicely laid out for them.
This is usually the best way to send traffic to your old posts and keep them relevant as you progress in your blogging career.
There are many more plugins and widgets available for this and many more ways such as popular and recent posts. This is still a very simple system but very effective when it comes to blog stickiness.
Images – a crucial element for a sticky blog
I have seen many blog posts which contain great content and most have followed all of the above methods, but if you remove their images used in those posts, the post is not as attractive as it once used to be. This too is a strange activity of the human brain, most of those images aren’t even related to the post, but somehow it adds a special effect to it.
So the images don’t have to be directly related to the content you write, but must be of high quality and of a bit lower intensity. So if I write a post about website traffic I’ll put an image of a road filled with vehicles, its of no use, but makes your post look really attractive.
I usually get my images from Flickr which has got a huge collection and I do give credit to those image owners in the end of my post. Just search for a similar keyword on Flickr and I’m sure you’ll find a hell lot of images related to your blog post. These images aren’t hard to judge, I’m sure anyone can find out what looks good on your blog. I use the ones that have creative commons licenses available for commercial use.
Attractive color shades
Over the past year, I have come across thousands of websites some which were not well designed and some well designed. One element that stood out the most was the effective use of colors, colors were not clashing and they seemed to compliment one another.
Most of these have been done with the help of 3 different color shades, one for headers, one for sub-headers and maybe another for links. Whatever style you use there isn’t an exact format for this, you just have to put your creativity to the test and test out different colors. Take a look at where I started.
If you could take a close look at the logo at the top of the page, you’ll notice the different color shades which makes this site look awesome and seems really sticky, but this just came out of a simple concept in my head. The tweaks in designs I have used here aren’t very tough to do, all you need is creativity and patience to test.
On to our readers
Stickiness is one of the features of a blog which can not be analyzed, it is basically on the human judgement and whatever feels attractive to you, so there is no definition for it. If your repeat visits increase and your affiliate sales, then you can be sure that your blog’s getting stickier. 🙂
I’ll be glad to post more on this topic, if you have any suggestions, comments and questions please feel free to to use the comments section below and to to keep up with future posts on topics surrounding web design.
If you are a regular reader, you probably notice that I do not focus on the design side of the site, Well I have a collection of posts written that I have scheduled that revolve around the theme of Successfully Starting a Blog. I hope it will be a resource for you to refer to as you grow your
This post coincides with the launch of our latest resource for you.