The Art of Keeping Your Audience Coming Back for More

The Art of Keeping Your Audience Coming Back for More

Reader Comments (63)

  1. I like the cliffhanger idea. May be tough for my site but I’ll have to do some brainstorming for ideas.

  2. I think the idea of treating your content like a movie teaser with cliffhanger’s and suspense is a great way to keep readers coming back and wanting more. However, besides having a great headline and content to go along, I’ve always heard that your first sentence/opening paragraph needs to be killer in order to hold your audience and have them want to continue reading. You can loose them if the beginning doesn’t bring them in. What are your thoughts?

  3. Great post Robert! Cliffhangers are a powerful tool.
    You see this plenty in night time television. (Desperate Housewives).
    It’s like dangling keys in front of a baby.

    P.S. This is great dating advice too ; )

  4. I had tried in the past announcing the content for the next mail. Now, with your post, the idea of creating a mystery is something that I think I could try with my list.

  5. This post was so helpful. It can be hard to think creatively when you’re also focusing on content marketing. Business doesn’t have to be boring! I’ll have to keep brainstorming and referring back to this article.

  6. I love the idea of the cliff-hanger and it is definitely on my list of “what I need to do with my content”…along with “improving headlines”. One step at a time I guess…

  7. Great post today Robert.

    “You’re in show business baby” is so true. Our audience is not just starving for a story, they’re starving to feel something that engages them and lifts them up.

    Joe 😀

  8. As the resident raconteur Robert, it behoves you to know how to write.

    Fans of Lost were so impatient for next episodes of the show that they started posting their own scripts online to try and slake their thirst for it.

    There is a grammatical error in that sentence. Can you identify it?

    I am exceedingly tempted to write a “7 Grammar Mistakes Copyblogger Forget to Tell You.” This is bad news.

    But other than that, a very, very fine article. 😉

    • As an up-and-coming blogger who is trying to attract people with a “friendly but professional approach,” it behooves you, Martyn, to learn how many o’s to include in the word “behoove” and to adopt a less aggressive, more constructive mode of editorial criticism.

      Just sayin’…

      At least we can agree that this post rocked…

    • 7 Grammar Mistakes Copyblogger Forget to Tell You? Forget? In addition to misspelling behooves?

      And there is no grammatical error in that sentence. Or do you not know what “slake” means?

        • Without professional editing, it’s impossible to catch every grammatical and spelling mistake. My wife has two English degrees, and she’s the only person I know that can catch all of them.

          She also gets annoyed that professional news sites now frequently publish articles with spelling and grammatical errors. It seems that the speed of electronic publishing has increased the number of errors that slip through the cracks. That’s just the way it is.

          With that said, it’s in a bloggers best interest to cut down on as many mistakes as possible to maintain an air of professionalism. And, as Brian said, there’s a difference between grammatical errors and conversational copywriting. Conversation is better than convention when it comes to copywriting. Brian, would you agree?

  9. A great way to apply this is by splitting post ideas into a series of articles.

    Let’s say your post is called “3 steps to Irresistible Sales Pages”.
    For article 1 you can write about the first step. At the end of the article slip in a “stay tuned for next time when we’ll talk about the 2nd step…”

    and repeat this at the end of the 2nd article to entice the reader back for the 3rd step.

    -Readers come back to your blog multiple times building their trust in you
    -It’s easier on the reader because they can concentrate on one tip at a time

  10. Oh funny, Robert – that “Who Shot J.R.?” cliffhanger had me hanging on and showed up front and center for when the season started again (and I was only around 7 years old). It was THAT good! I had forgotten too, Barbara. I don’t even remember Kristen’s character.

    Ha – the link to Apple’s keynote. I was thinking the same thing when I watched that… how a company can create such raving fans that the event can be seen as the “red carpet event” of the business industry. Apple has genius planning. Amazing.

    Love your teaching in this post.

  11. Hi Robert,

    I really like the posts on Copyblogger that remind us to use storytelling for marketing. Cliff hangers are a great way to do that.

    This was a great post and I look forward to more.

  12. The cliffhanger definitely keeps me coming back for more in movies and books. The hook that pulls me along…. :O)

  13. Wow, great minds think alike! I recently wrote a similar post on my blog about how running a business is a lot like show business. I love Copyblogger’s articles, they’re always entertaining and informative.

  14. great post Robert! One thing this highlights to me is the need for an overall content strategy. If you’ve got no strategy then you probably don’t know what your next post is going to be about, making it tough to create the ‘cliffhanger’. Is there a particular ‘cliffhanger’ instance you’ve seen in content marketing that’s really caught your eye?


  15. this is exactly in-line with a thought I have just had earlier today, it was to do a week long series with a post a day and ask readers to subscribe to keep up with the series. I think this will have a great impact on the blogs subscription conversion rate.

  16. I’m trying to do something like this with my email autoresponder series in terms of prompting people with what to expect next week, but then I actually have to plan ahead and figure out what’s coming next… 🙂

    But great reminder, thanks. A lot of people have been writing about the power of stories lately and it’s such an important thing to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing!

  17. And not unlike the winning formula for AMC’s Mad Men and Breaking Bad. But I also see where iterations of the cliffhanger effect at work in the marketing world. I used to work for Brooks Brothers–known for its fierce and loyal client base–and the anticipations that hinged on the new seasonal line kept customers coming back each season.
    Yep, that’s all I got. Back to work.

  18. The cliffhanger idea is a fun one, but what you’ve really described here is a teaser. A cliffhanger would assume that you’ve left something very important out until next time — which is most cases you probably don’t want to do! But the idea of encouraging folks to come back is a smart one. The teaser at the end is an interesting idea, but it will only have an impact if the article itself is good enough to make the reader want to check out the next part in the series.

    Using sidebars and links within the text to related content is another form of this, and might even be more effective in the long run.

  19. In Cliffhanging….Internet Marketer Andrew Lock (‘Help! My Business Sucks’ Guy) is doing such a great job. He’s doing in a very entertaining and teasing way.

  20. Bless you for referencing Dallas. I had completely forgotten about it! You make your point very well. Furthermore, you give me yet another challenge to try with my blog. Thank you! This is definitely worth the read. 😉

  21. Mr. Bruce, you seize to amaze me with these classic articles. I’m loving them. Bringing these age old, classic lessons of advertising, marketing, and storytelling to our content production.

    As the Black Eyed Peas say, “I just can’t get enough.”

  22. “The writers of Dallas (ask your parents)…” Ouch! I don’t have kids, but it’s always nice to be reminded that I am old enough to. I do take some solace in the fact that they would likely be too young for copyblogger.
    Your advice is always helpful. I’ll give the cliffhanger a whirl. I’m not a trained writer, so it makes absolute sense that I would be tasked with writing our blogs. Your guidance has been essential. Thanks!

  23. Great tips, Robert and you do walk the talk indeed with the J.R. teaser :).
    Definitely building excitement will make readers devour your content and I guess it’s equally important that every time they really get something valuable out of it.
    It’s like adding one piece of puzzle at a time so that they would feel they’re moving forward and will sooner or later solve the mystery.
    Another thing I would add is that this kind of writing requires a lot more of work. It’s like creating an outline of your entire article series ahead of time. It may sounds like a daunting task but I believe the rewards are well worth the time and effort you put into it. I will give it a try for sure. Thanks a lot. Your article was a joy to read :).

  24. Brilliant idea! I never thought of bloggers being in show business. Loved the line

    “All the Internet’s a stage, and all the content creators merely players.”

    Hope to use the cliff hanger idea on my blog soon !

  25. Love this cliffhanger idea. What I did is to break up a big blog post into smaller parts and ask readers to watch out for the next one.

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