Before jumping heavily into the realm of blogging and internet marketing, I first plugged my head into a dozen or so scholarly psychology books.
This was a very boring way to enlighten myself on the strategies I now know, so consider yourself fortunate that you’re getting the cream of the crop right now!
While you don’t have to be a psychology expert to gain from the principles, you only stand to benefit when you become aware of how they work and where to apply them.
With this post, I’ll let you in on a secret that not only draws interest in to your post, but transforms the post into a sticky web of curiosity that will inevitably get people to subscribe as email / RSS long term readers for massively returning traffic.
You’ve likely heard this term, if not you’re hearing it now: future pacing.
This not only has a lot to do with your future traffic, but also the pressure you feel to produce for your blog.
I see a lot of frustration from new bloggers when contemplating how much content to add on a weekly or daily basis, as if the amount of content were really what mattered.
I recently read a post on a popular blog which many of you know of where the guy posts up to 800 times in a month! I just want to clear the air: that’s not a requirement for you to succeed.
Instead of racing with yourself to pump out as many posts as you can, use these following insights to increase your output, touch your reader’s deepest interests, and keep them coming back on YOUR schedule to constantly learn more.
Reserve knowledge – don’t make each post an ocean of wisdom
Realize that you don’t have to say everything that needs to be said in a single post.
It’s actually a good thing to reserve some of the knowledge for future posts, as long as what you write answers a primary concern.
For future pacing this plays a major role in getting people to subscribe to read your blog over time. This also helps you to know what to write about in the future so that you never feel like you’re running out of things to say.
How does this tie into psychology? It’s important to realize that this only works when you’ve peaked the curiosity on something related to the current post you’re on, but without covering the details.
If you can do this while giving off the pretense that more will be covered in follow up posts, people will feel the sense of urgency to stick around and hear what you’ve got to say.
Every post should be a seedling to future posts
Think of your blog like a forest that’s budding over time. Every post you write is a beautiful tree that should spawn off new posts related to the subject.
That’s how successful blogs build upon previous success. That’s why people subscribe to a blog. That’s how people know that a blog will deliver satisfaction over time.
A blog is never finished, it’s an ongoing project – one that you will hopefully be working on for years to come. With that in mind, take it like it is and use that point to grow it into something amazing.
In every single post, include hints of what’s to come.
Consider the psychological impact of prime time television
What makes droves of people tune in week in and week out to the same great television series?
It’s partially from the enjoyment of the show, but a great portion of their success is what’s displayed at the end – previews to the next episode.
Nearly every episode of a popular television program leaves you wanting more. The story seems like it’s never finished, new ideas and scenarios come up, and then there is the cliff hanger which leaves you with a feeling for more.
After you watch the previews for the coming week you are hooked and waiting for that next episode.
Try to tie this concept into your blogging efforts. It’s best to cover a topic generally and then advance your topics to more specific details on the subject.
Not only does this account for readers of all experience within your subject, but it also leaves room for your blog to expand.
Don’t forget to tell people what you want and what to expect
Every post should have some kind of call to action, even if it is only generally touching a topic.
The action doesn’t have to be in the form of purchasing something…
You can simply tell your readers to subscribe to your blog for the future update on the subject.
Or, if the post is more advanced regarding an important topic, suggest to your readers that they share with their friends, family, and followers.
In your most specific posts that really dig into the concepts of the topic you’re on, you can include relevant products that may help to push your readers in the most positive direction. You don’t want to include products in your posts until you’ve delivered enough information yourself, otherwise you’ll come across as a marketer.
Pacing a blog goes hand in hand with preselling, while also acting as a tool to build a loyal readership that will always come back for more.
How to structure your post planning effectively from this strategy
- Have a topic decided on. For example, driving blog traffic to your blog.
- Define the major elements that make up that topic, such as SEO, guest blogging, blog commenting, and any other methods you may know of. These are just examples, the idea is to do this with the topic you’re writing on.
- Your first posts on the topic should cover the subject generally, but should still have take away value for readers by including action steps.
- In the first posts, don’t detail every method you’ve listed but rather choose some and highlight them.
- Let your readers know you are working on more detailed posts and tell them what you will be covering.
- Eventually your posts may only discuss a method or two, but on a deeper level of understanding.
The build up is important – it teaches baseline knowledge giving readers a foundation, ensures you leave nothing out, and entices them to stick around for more advanced learning.
The psychology behind this is powerful, more so than you may understand on the surface.
Just know that people want to whole story right then and right there, and as the owner of a successful blog it IS your job to give them that entire story… eventually.
Tell them your future plans, your future posts, and to tag along – you’ll be surprised at how well that works!
And now it’s your turn: what do you think of them, apples?
Chris Kahler, once a full time freelancer, now runs Bloggeritus.com which teaches unique systems, strategies, and ideas for rapidly starting and growing a highly successful blog.