As many bloggers know, StumbleUpon can be a great source of traffic to their blogs. But later on, some of them find that most (or all) of the traffic they receive are only one-time visitors.
So how does a blogger ensure that some of those visitors return?
Let’s get into the mindset of the typical Stumbler; stumble a few sites if you have to. What are the first things you notice, the things that either make you want to read more or continue on to the next website?
Your template is usually the first thing they notice. If Stumblers don’t like it, many will stumble on to the next page right away. Most tend to look more than they actually read.
Your website should be visually attractive not only to your loyal audience, but also to the new readers. It should be simple to navigate, easy to read, and free of clutter.
An original template is recommended, but for those who are unable to hire someone or create their own, there are plenty of free Blogger and WordPress templates available for download. If you don’t already know some basic html, I suggest learning so you can customize your blog to fit your needs as time progresses.
If you have ads on your blog, do they blend well with the rest of the page? Advertisements can either make or break a blog, and if there are too many of them or they don’t match your website, it becomes an annoyance to your readers. Be picky about your ads.
Are you providing lots of valuable, in-depth content on your blog? The more you have that interests the readers, the higher the chances that they will want to return and read further.
Keep it organized. Break up long posts into small paragraphs and use subheaders, bold and italicized font, etc. wherever necessary to make it easily scannable. Proofread your work for spelling and grammar mistakes as well. Make sure your content is easy to read.
Ask your visitors to subscribe. Place a link to your feed in a prominent spot on your page. Link to it at the end of your posts. In order to grow your feed count, you need to make it obvious that you have one. If you invite them, they will come.
Consider offering subscriber-only benefits. Give away free e-books, blog tools, or other useful extras to your subscribers. Give them something in return for their time and loyalty.
Also, if you have a high feed count, consider displaying it near the top of your blog. People tend to judge a blog by it’s feed count (if it’s advertised). The more subscribers you have, the higher authority you hold in the reader’s mind. It’s a shallow statement, but it’s true in most cases.
Of these four points, I think having a brand is one of the most important ones to focus on when trying to appeal to StumbleUpon traffic. It’s essential that you make your blog something that visitors are going to remember.
How do you brand your blog?
What phrases, keywords, and images do you use to define your site?
Do they describe your blog?
And most of all, are they easy to remember?
If you can give people a good reason not to forget you, they won’t. And that’s the key to gaining loyal readers from any website that brings you traffic- differentiate yourself from all the others (and provide great content).