A Guide To Creating Sticky Content and Getting Return Readers
Most of the daily websites we use do not hold our attention thanks to Internet ADD. Like scrolling our Facebook news feeds, there’s not much that keeps our attention for over a certain period of time. But for website owners, sticky content is crucial to maintaining an audience and keeping readers on your site longer. But how you do it is key.
What exactly is sticky content?
Sticky content is content published on a site that keeps someone’s attention and gets them to spend a good amount of time on there. The best sticky content has readers returning to a site every day. For example, if you’re a technology lover, TechCrunch might be a great daily site for you.
Tip: Think of your stories as invisible sticky notes that follow someone around for the day after they’ve visited your website. If they keep thinking of what they read throughout the day, you have successfully posted sticky content. This is because they will start to verbally share with others what they read!
“Website content that makes your site “sticky” is informative, it involves your audience and turns them into participants,” says Phebe A. Durand. “By making your visitors “part of” your website, they will talk about it to their friends and keep coming back for more.” If a reader is unable to get into a story, they won’t feel like participants. Granted, you can’t please everyone, but if it’s everyone that’s not interested, you need to revise how you edit and post. Gamification is a subset of creating sticky content, the kind of content a new Google algorithm wants.
True bloggers may brush off celebrity gossip creator Perez Hilton as a commercial package and someone who just posts funny pictures. However, his stories keep people talking and buzzing around the Internet. Sticky content IS his job and he is doing it well for his market niche.
How do you go about creating sticky content?
When creating sticky content, there are factors you have to take in account in order to maintain that audience. For starters, if you’re going to write or post about something that’s already all over the web, make sure yours is the best. This does not mean that you should pack the most information into a set of paragraphs. You should post impactful sentences with relative yet striking photos, videos or other media. Do what’s different from all of the other sites. If you don’t, your website will just be another website within the millions there are. Post content that users don’t already know about. Actually inform them and surprise them. Without this, you’ll just be another site amongst the million as mentioned before. For example, the Smithsonian Mag science blog has a ton of facts and great visuals that make you want to stay on the site.
Making content shareable:
- Create fun games or quizzes for your audience to engage in. Sites like Bloggeries offer free and easy to use polls!
- Award small weekly prizes for your readers to win from these polls, games or quizzes, like SmartSpendingSpot.com.
- Partner up with websites to award winners your prizes. (Remember, sticky content keeps users coming back! This is a great way for people to come back and check your website daily.)
- If you decide on having a giveaway, use Random.org to help generate your winner!
The 3 Main Guidelines: ESC
Emotions, Simplicity and Credibility are the three key terms you want to remember when posting content on your page. Without these, you will have a very unstructured article.
No, this doesn’t mean that you have to make your readers sob like a baby. What this simply means is to create content that’s going to move your readers in one way or another. If it doesn’t have any effect on them whatsoever, they are not going to pull anything away from your article and you’ve failed at creating successful sticky content. Check out the GenerationMeh blog, which uses different media to portray their point that may trigger some thought with your emotions/head.
Tip: Post stories that will have an impact on your reader because it’s something they can relate to or a story that they will feel compassion for.
Don’t forget about posting stories that will make someone laugh! You don’t want to always post Debbie Downer articles because that will lead to people NOT wanting to return. As mentioned before, when your readers feel like participants that means they are able to get into the story. Usually this means they have connected on some sort of emotional level.
Let’s face it, people usually read comments before bothering to read a story or watch a video. So the more positive comments your piece has, the more likely the person will scroll up, read the article, and indulge themselves.
“Communicating ideas whether it is simple text on Twitter or rich multimedia on YouTube is powerful and sticky,” Jeff Bullas mentions. He knows you have to achieve two things:
1. Make ideas sticky (memorable)
2. Make content contagious (shareable)
If you remember these this basic setup when creating content on your website or blog, then you have everything you need right in front of you for a successful article.
If you’re not creating fiction stories or horoscopes, your information should be 100% true and you should have sources to back it up. Without this, your site could get a lot of flack for not having the most credible statements and you will lose viewers. Linking back to your sources helps you with SEO as well.
TIP: ESC is your escape key on your keyboard, ESC is also the acronym of the three key terms you should remember. If you have trouble remembering this, just think that users will ESCAPE your website if you do not have ESC.
Posting original and surprising content will get more people to share your article. More hits on one article can make first time viewers check out your website and want to continue coming back.
Everything you post on your website is either a hit or miss. No matter how much content you post on your site, if it is not entertaining, amusing and/or credible, no one cares about how much is on your site. However, if you have a very little amount of content but it’s all of high quality, then people will stay tuned and eagerly await your next high-quality post! Take your time when putting together an awesome article and make sure the wait is worth it!
Now that you have these great tips, get to stickin’!