Email, RSS, push notifications…they’re all fine.
If someone likes your blog they’re going to find a way to subscribe and come back.
But the way they subscribe isn’t as important as why they subscribe. The more you focus on the little things like email, design and things like that the more you’re going to get away from what really matters.
Here are the key reasons why blog readers will come back to read more of your posts.
Quantity gets a bad reputation in some circles in the content world. I’m a believer that without quantity you’ll never figure out what quality is for your situation. It’s rare that you meet someone whose first post or even their 10th post is amazing.
Also, consider your favorite sources of content. Your favorite authors. Your favorite directors. Your favorite Instagram users. Chances are you would love if they posted more often than they post.
People go back again and again to blogs because they want to see what their favorite writer has come up with next. If they really like a blog they want as much as possible.
2. Consistent Schedule
Similar to quantity is consistency. Both are important and I don’t think you can have one without the other. If you take the long-term outlook you can set a target to write 500 blog posts. Then you can set the consistent schedule of writing two per week. You’ll hit your quantity mark in about five years.
Look at your favorite blogs and bloggers. Odds are they have been around for 5+ years. They likely have quantity and consistency in terms of posting schedule. Their readers can rely on fresh content regularly and they know it’ll be good because the quantity has been there for a long time.
3. Balance: Consistent + Fresh Themes
Another form of consistency is finding a blogging formula that works and sticking with it regularly. Say you find success writing about a topic or by writing a certain kind of post. Say you find a niche writing about LinkedIn and you find another successful niche writing list posts. Stick with that consistent style regularly.
But you also want to consistently try new themes. Try writing posts that are more stories. Try an interview. Try new things to keep it fresh. Loyal followers like the same content meal over and over, but they also want something fresh to try once in awhile.
An often overlooked aspect of getting repeat readers is to guest. That would be writing guest posts, being a guest on podcasts and things like that.
It’s very common for blog readers to read multiple blogs. They might read a couple of yours and like it and maybe they kind of forget to come back to your blog. Maybe they were turned off by your email popup and didn’t signup.
But if they see that you’ve written a guest post on another one of their favorite blogs they will likely check out your blog again to see what’s new there.
5. Something Different (That They Can’t Get Elsewhere)
This is a simple concept, but it’s not easy to implement. It’s very difficult to be 100% original. But the goal with writing blog posts or even with creating any content is to try to be different. Maybe not completely out of left field, but different in noticeable ways.
The point is that you want to offer something that other blogs don’t or can’t. Something that is interesting to readers in your industry and that makes your blog a must read because they can’t get it anywhere else.
6. Small Experiments
This kind of builds on the idea of trying fresh things from time to time. One hangup you might have is that if you try something a little different that your readers will hate it. But for the most part they will forgive your experiments and they will love your experiments if they turn out to be amazing.
This often happens in music. A musician will find something that works. They will deliver more of the same while also experimenting with new styles on a small scale. Their loyal fans will be okay with the experimenting and if one experimental song is really interesting it could lead to the next level of stardom for the singer.
When it comes to getting repeat readers to your blog you’ll often read about email subscriptions and RSS feeds and push notifications. Those are certainly fine. I would avoid doing them to the point of annoying readers. Instead, I would focus on the items above and the quality of your content. The more you do that the more people will come back to your blog again and again. If they like you, they will find you.