Reaching Your Blog/Website Users and Keeping Them
Event date: November 14 2007
Posted by: Amelie Walker-Yung

“Who wants visitors?” asked Webgrrls NYC Chapter Leader Nelly Yusupova of the women gathered for the November 14th workshop: Reaching Your Blog/Website Audience and Keeping Them.  Nelly, who has spoken on this subject to several groups at BlogHer '07 and WITI, ran the workshop for Webgrrls at AXA Advisors in midtown Manhatttan, “You must create a plan for your blog or website to gain users,” continued Nelly. “And then, keep them coming back!” She then outlined how to do just that.

As it only takes 1/20 of a second—a blink of an eye—to make a first impression, it is vital that your site be visually appealing. It’s also important that it be easy to navigate, or your visitors will just go elsewhere. Another point Nelly made was to carefully define your audience. Who do you want to target? The more narrow your audience, the more you can be perceived as an expert. You should research what others in your field are doing to convey your subject and use something your target audience identifies with in your design.

How can you keep the user once they are on your website or blog?  By making your blog usable and always thinking that that "Loyal users equal valuable users".  Other than visual appeal,  two big reasons visitors return to a website are content and the way that content is organized.

Content should be readable, and you should provide a visual break in every screen such as an image or bolded section heading. Also remember that blogging is about community. Encourage user interaction such as comments, feeling connected to your site will make visitors likely to return.

There were plenty more useful tips for all blogger or website owners to jump start their own plans. At the end of the presentation, Nelly opened it up for questions.

Everyone went home inspired by what they learned at the event and ready to start or improve their own blogs or websites.  Here is what our attendees said about the workshop:

"The presentation was extremely helpful, and gave a valuable overview of the blogging world, and the tools that help bloggers create a user-friendly blogging environment."
Rosemary Gelbach, Consultant

"This seminar gave me a great deal to think about. Everything was stripped down to a basic process and the seminar covered areas (such as specific wording to avoid, colors, etc) that might easily be overlooked by a non-designer.  Now all I have to do is get my blog set up."
Krystyann Krywko, Freelance Writer

"I liked the clear explanations and “real world” examples to show, and good resources to provide."
Michelle Gorenstein, Graphic Designer

"Brilliant informative presentation.  You answered all the questions with aplomb!"
Julie Kleszczewski,  AAUW NYC Branch