Why readers are addicted to THAT article: My 5 Secrets

It was pretty random how I decided to write an article of a mere 535 words which would later generate over 11,000 views – a fifth of my current page view total on my entire website! The number of page views keeps growing, to the envy of all my other interesting phenomenal 250+ articles who look on in despair (*Insert tears here*). Here’s proof…

Stats - How to make a chapman drink

Now, before you read any further you have 2 choices:

  • You take the blue pill – You click here to find out what THAT article is then you can go back to browsing whatever sites you enjoy browsing.
  • You take the red pill – You stay in Wonderland and see just how you can get more people to read your blog and how to get more comments

And now for my 5 secrets…

1. Pic 1People are ALWAYS searching for ‘how to’ do something. Think about it. Everyone who uses popular search engines are trying to find some valuable information. So why not write an article that simply explains how to do something that you know people will be dying to know or learn. It doesn’t matter if 10,000 bloggers have already written an article about it. If you write a good ‘how to’ article today and you start getting a few comments, it won’t be long until you climb up to the Google first page search. Why? Because your comments are more recent compared to less active blogs with same content, your blog is frequently updated and you’ve used keywords and tags to help Google find your article. As at Feb 20th 2013 my article was ranked No.3 on Google first page search…out of over 73 million search results:

how to make chapman - Google first page

2. cat reading on computerSimplify your article so that even your cat can understand it. If you’ve ever read an article of about 1,000 words and it had just a single paragraph then it had to be as riveting as the face-off between Harry Potter and Voldermot. If readers stumble upon your article they’ll probably spend less than 2 minutes going through what first appears to be a funeral speech. If it’s a ‘how to’ article then use lists as they are easy on the eye and give structure to your article. If it’s not a ‘how to’ article then be sure to use paragraphs and info-graphics (images that often speak louder than words). Mirth and Motivation combines image and text very well. You can find other great examples at the Daily Post.

3. seeking attentionIn the war for Attention rewrite the rules of engagement. For every comment you start to receive make sure that you leave a corresponding reply e.g. leave an answer to the reader’s question or a warm acknowledgment of the comment. If you manage to get a conversation going then milk that conversation dry! In my Chapman article I sometimes had to respond to questions with answers I had given previously. At first I found it cumbersome but I realized that most people wouldn’t necessarily want to browse through 160+ comments to find a similar question. Can you blame them? Don’t complain, just keep answering repetitive questions and keep that thread active hyperactive!

4. social mediaAfter you’ve used all the social media, hit them with another dose! If you update your blog/website with new articles often then chances are that new visitors may not discover that fantastic article you wrote last month. There’s no harm in reblogging or reposting that article for their benefit. Once in a while I use Twitter to send article links to my to all my contacts – if they get retweeted that’s new visitors for me. You could even insert links in new articles but only if they’re relevant – you don’t want to spam your own article with links that have no bearing on the content whatsover.

5. queue for appleIf it ain’t broke, get an upgrade. The idea here is to give that amazing article a face-lift by adding newer or additional pictures, content, links, videos, etc. as you deem appropriate. You don’t want your article to seem out of touch with the times. But I’m not saying you should update all your posts all the time. Start with the ones that have gotten a lot of ‘likes’ or lots of comments and then use the last two secrets (no.3 and 4) to engage and alert your readers/ visitors. But be sure to pick your popular articles so you get a good first impression and hopefully new subscribers.

BonusBonus secret (from my sixth sense) – Leave some contact info about yourself somewhere visible in the article or as a sticky feature on your website. I found that some of my readers prefer to contact me by email or SMS directly (perhaps either to get a quicker response or to see if I’m really human). Once you’ve gotten their email address you’ve got them right where you want them. Only disclose contact info that you’re comfortable with. Remember, it’s your blog/website; your rules!

If you wish to share your own secrets, thoughts, opinions or contest any or all of mine then I’d be glad to hear from you (…then we can get Secret no.3 in motion 😀 )

Image credits: Google images, WordPress

23 thoughts on “Why readers are addicted to THAT article: My 5 Secrets

  1. Pingback: {Weekly Writing Challenge} Why do we, parents, do what we do? A few visual reasons! « 3rdculturechildren

  2. Pingback: Writing Challenge: image vs. text | Flickr Comments

    • let’s hope that moment NEVER comes, lol. By the way, how on earth were you able to include all those Tringbacks & Pingbacks in your post? That’s a trick I’ll like to learn!

  3. That’s pretty awesome! It’s so different an article from your usual amusing stuff that was, at first, unsure about whether you wrote it or not. I really like it. You reckon I can really repost some of my earlier posts? Some of them, I hadn’t even learned how to insert pictures!!! (gasp!!!) People had to rely solely on my wit and writing skill to be amused and engaged. 🙂

    • Yeah, I do think you can repost some of your old articles once in a while. It may suddenly become relevant in the near future or perhaps you want to do justice to it with that perfect picture it was lacking. About the writing style, I’m trying new things and hopefully still engaging my readers. Thanks for your honest feedback!

  4. Hey guess how i found you? yep i was looking for a chapman recipe ages ago…well, i read other articles and concluded…’Amazing’.
    i still haven’t got round to making the chapman yet but at least i read your blog…lol

  5. Good one, a lot of people will not divulge these ideas. I run a travel blog and its relatively new. Do you have any idea on the areas i can write about especially “the how to” topics. Thank you!

    • There are so many areas. You just have to put yourself in the shoes of the traveler e.g. How to apply for a UK Visa, How to book online flights, How to redeem your VAT abroad, How to avoid paying for excess luggage, etc. Make your how to’s catchy and useful. Before long your readers will flood you with questions.

      Thanks for the mention on Flynaija – I’m honoured. If you have any other enquiries you can send a mail 🙂

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