As I have maintained time and again, your blog subscribers, regular readers, followers and friends of your blog are the goodwill ambassadors of your blog. These are the people who comment, promote, share and spread what you write. However, when it comes to making money out of your blog content, the new visitors play a huge role.

A quick glance at your Google Analytics traffic data on visitors (New vs. Returning) will probably reveal that more than 80% of your blog visitors are absolutely new visitors. Your blogging success and sustainability really lies in converting these new hits into long term readers and associates for your online marketing success. But have you done enough to convince (and convert) them?

Types of new visitors

New readers or visitors to your blog are mostly coming out of the following sources:

  • Internet search (mostly)
  • Social bookmarks (sporadically)
  • Reference links (again sporadically)
  • Via ad campaigns (predictably)
  • Word of mouth (rarely)

The first two of the above traffic sources are of interest to us as in most cases – unless you run a high budget ad campaign – they contribute to more than 90% of the fresh traffic. Now the question is ‘how do you convince and convert them into potential money or at least subscribers to your ideas?

The following are some of the steps that you can take in order to get the best out of your new visitors:

#1 Adding them to an email list

Well, how to increase your RSS subscribers is a stale idea. The trend nowadays is moving away from increasing RSS subscribers towards building an email list because of the following three reasons.

  • Click through and conversion from RSS subscription is very poor
  • Email lists are for both genuine readers and potential campaign targets
  • Email list programs are well managed and can create, manage and track campaigns whereas sometimes we can’t really get hold of all your RSS subscribers
  • Offer and subscribe model works well with email lists – Also a good mechanism to

Hence, building an email list throwing the right bait is one of the methods that work. Be careful not to throw your popups right on their faces as most bloggers do of late. There has to be a sensible approach towards this, something like what I discussed in the MaxBlogPress Subscribers Magnet review.

#2 Direct sale proposal

This is something that always worked for me. The idea here is to showcase your latest deals and offers via the right plugins and scripts to show it only to your search visitors, referral visitors etc. For example, one could modify a plugin such as wp-greet box to get the best out of your new visitors without being too intrusive. The alternate option would be to use the affiliate links without causing much disturbance to the first time visitors (By the way, we have extended the $30 OFF offer on MaxBlogPress Ninja Affiliate Plugin till September 02, 2010)

#3 Prolong the visit time

Prolonging the per visit time is not only good for your ranks (such as Alexa) but also increases the chances of getting a long term reader. A few ideas to prolong the average stay time include:

  • Having recent posts above the fold
  • ‘You may be also interested in’ or ‘real related posts/topics’ linked at the end of the post
  • Having an enticing commenting provision
  • Throwing an interesting offer for subscribing
  • …and most importantly the seo part whereby you have to make sure that he’s landed on a page that he was actually searching for. Or in simple terms ‘be relevant’ (See #6)

#4 Comment follow up

Now, you got somebody to comment on your blog for the first time. That’s even better than a casual ‘hit and run‘ and you have to get the best out of it. A few things you can do to him will include a follow up message using a suitable plugin, or even better, have a confirm link within it to subscribe to your email list. This is something that most bloggers don’t do (including me) but it works like a charm.

#5 Easy to find/subscribe fan pages

Well, not all fan pages have really resulted in providing any immediate impact. However, they are like mouthpieces of your blogging and online activity and they can slowly replace other intrusive mechanisms like email lists. If you can provide a highly visible ‘one click join’ to these fan pages, it can do wonders for you in the future. This will also help to get hold of the laziest-of-all visitors who hate to type in anything.

#6 Declare what your blog stands for

It is a very good idea to ‘describe your blog in one or two short sentences‘ and add that as the greeting in order to assure the new visitor that the place he has just landed is the right one for him. This can actually increase the stickiness of really interested visitors. At the same time, it may not always be a good idea to add a ’subscribe to my…’ link in the greeting box.

The avoid list

Long back, I had written about those things that can rub your visitors the wrong way. Some more additions to that list will include:

  • Offering worthless e-books
  • Subscribe-to popups
  • Offensive marketing language
  • Over selling

What about the returning visitor?

Why not a ‘posts since your last visit‘ or ‘things that you missed‘ kind of bullet list? Anybody want to write such a simple plugin?

Happy blogging!

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