Serialization as a Tool for Retention

A sometimes overlooked aspect of business blogging is the implementation of strategies specifically designed to increase reader retention. While many publishers and writers talk about marketing and other devices meant to bring in first time readers, or get them to want to share posts within their networks, it can also be very useful to develop a base of consistent readers.

In the digital age, this is why many businesses have switched to subscriptions models. Whether it be subscription to a popular video streaming site or simply signing up to see content produced by an entity, every content creator benefits from having this steady baseline of followers which will respond to overall quality rather than individual articles. Here are three things to remember when looking to retain viewers.

  1. Avoid Clickbait. Some websites attempt to garner views by using wild and sensational headlines, often unsupported by the attached article. While these can work at first, internet consumers are becoming more and more savvy to this tactic, and are quite sensitive. If they feel like your article wasted their time, you have just created the exact opposite of a repeat consumer: someone who will actively avoid any content you produce in the future, even if they might have enjoyed it. Therefore, create content which matches up with your headlines, or is at least interesting on its own merit.
  2. Use your personality. Repeat consumers enjoy feeling connected to the author of the pieces they read. This means that it can be good to embrace your personality and make yourself available Using bland or overly formal writing can make your reader feel disconnected, which is fine for an informative article, but is antithetical to creating an engaged userbase. Using personal anecdotes or inserting (non-controversial) opinions into your pieces can help them to take on some of your personality. Ideally, they will think of your content as YOUR blog, rather than simply the blog of a company.
  3. Create consistent narratives which last for longer than a single post. This means that it can be much better to create 5 parts to your how to guide, rather than creating one very long guide. The small bite sized and digestible pieces will encourage casual reading, and if you can interest them, they might come back to read the rest. This makes your writing accessible, and gives it a chance to hook your readers. However, it is important that your writing be interesting or relevant to your audience. If the subject matter or writing style bore your audience, this type of writing will simply irritate them.