How to Welcome New Visitors to Your Blog
When designing your blog, you probably take a good bit of consideration into the likes and dislikes of your blog’s current audience. However, what about visitors arriving at your blog for the very first time? The new visitor could end up being your biggest fan if you take the opportunity to make them feel welcome. Adding elements to your blog design can accomplish just that.
Welcoming new blog visitors should accomplish three main things:
Acknowledge your visitor: You probably have new readers on your blog daily so make them feel welcome. In your sidebar, gear an About blurb to newcomers so they get a sense of who you are and what your blog is about (regular visitors already know you anyway).
Show your visitor around: Just like you would show a new visitor around your home, give your new reader a tour of the place. Direct them to a Welcome or Start Here page that provides new visitors with resources, articles, and other information they might otherwise miss. If you don’t have a page like this, encourage new visitors to visit your most popular posts to get a sense of your blog.
Give visitors something to do before they leave: While you might not ask a houseguest to help with the dishes before they leave, don’t be shy about asking new readers to follow you on Twitter, like you on Facebook, or join you on Pinterest. Just don’t ask them to do too many things or they might get overwhelmed.
As you design your blog to welcome new visitors, check out the following tools, which you can customize for your own blog:
Hello Bar: Hello Bar helps you drive attention to important content or links by placing a bar that runs across the top of your page with a message you can customize, as shown in the following figure. You can display Hello Bar only on special occasions (like launching a new blog post series) or display it all the time, with messages that drive people to subscribe or visit a special page on your blog. Hello Bar works on any blog platform or website. With the paid version, you can customize the colors to match your blog design.
AddThis: AddThis is well-known for its social sharing plug-in. Also useful is the AddThis Welcome Bar. On this bar, you can customize a message to visitors coming from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and any other visitor. You can also choose from a variety of visitor types to customize even more messages.
WP Greet Box plug-in: If you use the self-hosted version of WordPress, then you have plug-in options like the WP Greet Box. With this plug-in, you can customize a message to people coming to your blog from Google, Facebook, Twitter, and many other places. You can also decide if you want the message to come before or after your blog post. In the following figure, you see the default message for general visitors to your blog. Make sure you customize it to fit your personality!
What Would Seth Godin Do? plug-in: Another popular WordPress plug-in for welcoming new visitors is the What Would Seth Godin Do? plug-in, sometimes called WWSGD for short. (Seth Godin is a well-known marketing expert and author.) You can customize the message and place it either before or after a blog or page post. In addition, you decide how many times you want a visitor to see the message before it stops displaying. The following figure shows the setup screen for this plug-in.