Bloggers, are you laying out the welcome mat?

A guest post by Sarah Arrow

Over in this post I wrote about how to listen to hear your blog’s community. In this post I would like to share with you how to welcome your readers and make them feel part of your blogging community and with careful calls to action, how you can grow your subscribers.. How to make them want to come back again, and again and again.
When a reader first finds you, you can welcome them with two WordPress Plugins – WP Greetboxor What Would Seth Godin Do? Both of these plugins welcome your reader and invite them to stay in touch. WP Greetbox can be tailored to greet your reader from the referencing site:

Greetbox_welcome

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Greetbox_call_to_action

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What would Seth Godin Do? works slightly differently and treats returning visitors slightly differently than new visitors. The messages can be tweaked so a first time visitor to your blog post is welcomed differently to a returning visitor. The settings can be adjusted so that the message is shown a certain number of times. This means your regular readers don’t get annoyed or “ad blind” to the welcome greeting.

The first time someone leaves a comment on your blog, you can use Comment Redirect to take them to a comment policy page. OK, comment policy may sound a little high-brow, but this page explains a little about how you moderate comments, how pleased you are they took the time and how much you would like them to stay in touch.

Calls to action here may include inviting them to join your Facebook page, your newsletter, following you on Twitter. Remember one call to action, don’t overwhelm the person and be gentle. If you don’t like a sales pitch at every opportunity, your readers won’t too and that may turn them off of being part of your social media community.

The downside to the Comments Redirect plugin is that it is not compatible to all commenting systems. It doesn’t work well with Disqus or LyveFire.

Thank me later is a wonderful little plugin that you can use if you use a commenting system such as Disqus. Using Disqus means you cannot use the Comment Redirect plugin. By adding Thank me Later, you can send a message to your first time commenters thanking them and inviting them to stay in touch and visit often. The messages are highly customisable and again you can extend the invitation again to join a Facebook Fan Page or follow you on Twitter.

A blog where you are welcomed means you are more likely to get comments and social shares, give it a go and remember to measure your before and after stats so you can see what works best for your blog.

Sarah

Sarah Arrow is the author of “Always Be Creating”, The ebook for bloggers looking to improve their community and expand their subscribers. She also blogs about the unsexy transport stuff for her Same Day Courier company.

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About Nikki

Author of many 30 Day Blogging Challenges, Nikki spends her time helping small businesses with Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing. With 17 years of experience, she hasn't yet found someone she couldn't help to get more business from their website.

Comments

  1. I use Greetbox on a fe sites. Never really saw any interaction due to it but I recognise the potential value I think. I suppose it is because my tracking and testing isn’t that great 😉
    Entrepreneur Solo recently posted..Positioning and Establishing Yourself in a New MarketMy Profile

  2. Hi Graham, for me the value comes with tailoring the Greetbox. Today I might add the referring URL from Nikki’s blog and tailor a greeting to those people directly. On Birds I have a special one that is seen by members of Last Thursday and greets them in a manner to which they are accustomed . I also have one for Ecademy people :D. I find it works best when you add the URL of guest posts.
    Sarah Arrow recently posted..Circles, Blogging, LinkedIn and inbound marketingMy Profile

  3. I love the WWSG plugin, it does provide an opportunity for a nice cheery note at the top of the blog and has also lead to more subscribers, much to my surprise.
    sally recently posted..Pharma Strategy Blog reaches 900 blog post milestoneMy Profile

  4. I have not tried it on my own blogs, have installed it on a few and have seen it used to great effect 🙂 I may try it on Birds for a while 🙂
    Sarah Arrow recently posted..Circles, Blogging, LinkedIn and inbound marketingMy Profile

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