How to Keep Readers Coming Back to Your Blog

Blogs are the most powerful marketing tool you can use to attract leads and new customers, as well as increase visibility in your marketplace.

But what makes one blog successful and another mediocre? The majority of “so-so” blogs lack one or more of four important elements… In this article I will introduce the CODA system and how it can driven traffic and engagement with your readers.

Some bloggers may be writing well, posting relevant and valuable content on a regular basis, but they aren’t encouraging reader interaction. Or they might have built a blog whose purpose isn’t evident.

Some blogs are difficult to navigate, making it nearly impossible for readers to find important information. Some look good, but they don’t have frequent or relevant posts.

And, most important to the first-time visitor, many blogs lack critical design elements. They offer no way for busy readers to quickly size them up and decide whether the blog is worth reading.

This is where the CODA system comes in, to serve as a guide for bloggers to monitor four elements of their blog and keep it on track as a marketing tool that serves their business. CODA focuses on Content, Outreach, Design and Action.

C Is for Content

The first essential component to a successful blog is content. It is often said that “content is king” because it is the critical element that will make or break your blog.

Always write with your readers in mind. If your posts are not interesting to the people you’re writing for, then they’re not going to come back. They’re not going to subscribe. And they’re not going to buy your products or services. Your content is where you have the opportunity to really penetrate your niche market and dominate, to become the de facto authority.

When developing content, keep in mind the three E’s of content: Educate, Entertain and Engage. The two primary reasons people use the web are to find solutions to their problems and to be entertained (as seen in the phenomenal growth of online video).

The first E is Educate. A great example of educational blogging is Dr. Eben Davis’ Back and Wrist Pain Blog. Dr. Davis uses his blog to teach prospective and current patients about how the body works, why they might need help, or how he can solve their problem. Nearly every post is educational and recently he told me that about 50% of his new patients come as a result of reading his blog and that they are getting better results because they are better educated.

The second E is Entertain. Video inherently is more entertaining than text (unless you’re really good at writing humor, which is tricky). Use video to tell a story or to better express your personality. Check out Gary Vaynerchuk and his blog. He posts videos five days a week and because he has a huge personality and is incredibly passionate about his subject, he rarely fails to entertain-as well as educate and engage-his audience, which is evidenced by dozens of comments on every post.

The third E is Engage. How do you get people to actually connect with you and participate in the conversation? One way to do that is to use polls. Some of the free polling sites are and Create a one-question poll to encourage people to take the step and interact by answering your question.

Even simpler is asking for comments. I often hear the complaint, “Nobody ever comments on my blog.” My response is, “Do you ask for comments? Do you tell readers how to comment?” People need to be told what to do. You might need to say at the end of your blog post, “Please let me know what you think about this. Click on the comment link below.”

Keep in mind that when somebody actually interacts with something-they click a link, they post a comment, they take a poll-they stop being a passive reader. Now they’re actively engaged with you, and that can help bring them one step closer to becoming a client or a customer.

Finally, with all your content, keep it conversational and thoughtful, and be authentic and personal.

I covered content in more detail in previous articles-7 Tips to Create Better Blog Posts and 13 Ideas to Inspire Your Blog Content. Now back to the next step in the CODA system.

O Is for Outreach

Part of being a successful blogger means you should leave your own blog and participate on others in the blogosphere. It means reading and commenting on other blogs related to your industry or audience, reaching out to other bloggers, and becoming more visible. This is how you get known; this is how you build relationships that can turn into joint venture projects and guest interview spots, and attract more traffic and prospects back to your site.

I covered Outreach in more detail in the article The Secret to Growing Your Blog Following.

Outreach is also about participating on social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace, among others, if that’s where your target audience hangs out. Set up your profile. Make sure your avatar is consistent throughout so no matter where people find you, they recognize you. Most important, make sure your blog content is syndicated via the RSS feed so your connections on social networking sites see your deeper content and can follow you back to your home base-your blog.

D Is for Design

Strong blog design involves a number of layout and usability factors. Design issues can greatly affect how readers experience your blog.

~> Is it easy to use and understand?

~> Does it build trust with readers?

~> Is it easy to navigate?

~> Does it look good?

The aesthetic elements also help people feel confident about working with you. They may like your content, but does it look professional? Does it represent you well? Do you make it easy for readers to hire or buy something from you?

One of the things to keep in mind when you’re designing your blog is it must be well-branded and it should be memorable. Make sure when people land on your site, it doesn’t look like every other blog. Just about every blogging platform has templates. If you use a standard template, that’s OK, but take a few minutes and customize the look and feel by using your brand colors and logo, at minimum.

Adding a custom-designed banner on your blog will help set it apart as well. Make sure to include the name of your blog and a tagline. Remember that every day someone new lands on your blog. When they land on your blog, are they going to know what it’s about? Are they going to know if it’s what they’re looking for? Make sure you have a tagline that tells people what the blog is about-what they can expect to learn about your subject.

For more details and a video demo, please see my article on 7 Essential Design Elements for Great Business Blogs.

A Is for Action

Finally, ‘A’ is shorthand for call to action. That is, are you encouraging people to act? How do you get your readers to become customers, to click on links, and to sign up for classes, reports, and other offers?

Effective business blogging is results-oriented, which means persuading people to interact with you in some way. Calls to action are crucial. Depending on the goals of your blog and/or specific post, you may include calls to action for:

~> Posting comments

~> Asking for a retweet

~> Directing to download a freebie

~> Downloading a white paper

~> Taking a survey

~> Registering for a program

~> Checking out your new product or service

Being clear on the next step you want your readers to take will help them know what to do and help you get the results you want from your blogging efforts. You can see clear examples of calls to action on Rich Brooks’ flyte blog.

Putting it all Together for a Balanced Blog

If you’re going to invest time on your blog, you want that time to pay off. You want results.

Keep in mind that no matter which of the four elements (Content, Outreach, Design and Action) you like to focus on, a successful business blog-one that gets results for your business-requires all four to be addressed. A balanced blog that is built and maintained on the CODA system will contribute to getting more visitors, and more customers, for your business.

What would you add? Have you tried any of these techniques with success? What do you consider the most important element for a successful blog?

7 Top Tips Towards Creating Blogging Success

I would like to share with you the key blogging success steps to get you walking and then running towards building a successful blog. They are for those who have the right mental and emotional foundation and are willing and determined to learn, work and succeed.

1. Change Your Mindset
If you want to have a successful blog, then you need to start thinking and acting like a successful blogger. A positive mindset is critical to the success of your blog.

If you treat blogging as a hobby, then you will not get any desired results. You’ll not have the same results as mine. My blog is my business… If you’re blogging for business, then you need to treat blogging like a business.

Here are the questions that you need to ask yourself right now:

  • What do I want my blog to become?
  • What do I want to achieve with my blog?
  • What steps can I take towards achieving my blogging goals?

In my case, I went from thinking like a failing blogger (who had no hope whatsoever) to a successful one. I developed a positive mindset. I had a clear vision of what I wanted to achieve with my blog. Then, I started taking specific action steps towards accomplishing that.

2. Have a Passion

Ever wondered why some people achieve massive success in what they do? What’s the key ingredient?

They have a passion. They enjoy what they’re doing and passion is the biggest motivating factor behind their success.

Now, you need to ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I enjoy blogging?
  • Am I having fun writing blog posts and interacting with my readers?
  • Do I find blogging boring and overwhelming?

Why are these questions important?

Simply put, if you don’t love what you’re doing then you’re going to find it hard to create the success that you desire.

I will not advise you to give up blogging… A blog is the most important marketing tool that you can use to build your brand, create credibility, generate leads and connect with your prospects. If you have an online business, then you definitely need an active blog.

I wouldn’t have achieved any success with my blog, if I didn’t have a passion for blogging.

When you don’t have a passion, you’ll find all the excuses in the world for not maintaining your blog. If you don’t have a passion, it will be reflected in your writing, and your readers will pick it up and never return to your blog.

3. Learn and Implement

I strongly believe in self-education. You can call me a “sponge” – I’m always learning and taking action! Every time I learn something new, I implement right away and that works well for me. A fact is, knowledge without implementation is useless.

Now, as I made a decision to transform my blog, I became determined to learn everything there was to learn about blogging. So, I started following successful bloggers in my niche to get some ideas.

I also used Google, YouTube and WordPress forum to learn more. And, although I’m resourceful, I was not afraid to ask others if I couldn’t find answers anywhere else. I invested in my self-education.

I didn’t mind staying up all night, reading and researching different strategies to use to improve my blog and to share with my readers. My goal was to spend money and time learning about blogging until I became wildly successful at it.

4. Be Consistent

This is the most important thing you need to focus on when building your blog, as it’s what will get you noticed and get you the most traffic.

If you commit to blogging and take massive action consistently, your blog will become a hit in no time. Consistency is so key. The more consistent you are the more closely people will follow you too.

It also demonstrates commitment. You earn trust because you’re consistent.

People keep coming back to my blog as they know that I update it regularly and I interact with them. It has become a habit of mine – a good one!

5. Position Yourself

It’s really important to be yourself. The thing is, people only see you as you see yourself. You are your best self when you are being yourself. So, don’t complicate things. You need to ground your content in who you are. Don’t be afraid to have a point of view.

People are searching high and low for an element of personality that stands out from the crowd – you need to give it to them. So, it’s important to be transparent in everything you put online, written or spoken.

A fact is, there is only one you, take advantage of that and stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to express your personality through your blog.

6. Harness the Power of Networking

One of the key factors to creating a buzz on your blog and getting your name and blog out there is networking – it’s very powerful.

So, I got fed up of having a lonely blog. I took matters into my own hands and then started networking with other bloggers through different strategies. I soon got noticed as my face was seen everywhere across the web.

I have built great relationships and made good friendships along the way.

As a blogger you want to join the community to increase the activity on your blog. That means you need to get out there and network with others so that you can drive traffic back to your blog. If you have no activity on your blog, then you’ll have very little traffic.

7. Use the Right Tools

Choosing and using the right tools for your blog is so key. We’re constantly bombarded with useless products and tools (and good ones of course).

I’m all about having a user-friendly blog – it’s all about my readers. I want them to have a memorable experience when they visit my blog, otherwise they will leave and never come back.

I also leverage the plugins and some great internet marketing tools available in order to attract more traffic and make more money with my blog.

How to Become a Commercial Loan Broker

Interested in information on how to become a commercial loan broker? There are a few areas of the business you need to master in order to succeed as a commercial loan broker.

1. You have to be very good at pre screening deals – so that you do not waste your time chasing transaction that will not close.
2. You need a strong lender network.
3. You need multiple, reliable sources of leads.

Becoming a commercial mortgage broker isn’t rocket science but it will take time to establish yourself and to get to the point of really knowing what you are doing. Be careful of sources telling you how easy it “really is”. These sources are usually lenders with rates 200 to 300 basis points higher than most and are looking for beginners to pawn off these rates to their borrowers.

Pre Screening Deals

A lot of time and effort goes into all deals. Knowing how to analyze a loan request is very important. You need to be able to sit down with a package and in 20 minutes figure out if you will pass on it or work on it. It’s very easy to waste 100’s of hours on a loan that doesn’t have any real chance of closing.

There are many reasons why loans are not fundable but it’s normally a combination of loan to value, credit and income. The hardest one to figure out is the amount of net income that can be used. Tax returns are complicated and there are many tax shelters and area that expenses can be reported twice. So you need to be very good a reviewing a deal and decide if it has “legs”.

Strong Lender Network

Having a strong lender network in place is also very important. Number one you have to know their programs cold. You need to know what they really like, beyond the matrix. Also you need solid relationships with the individuals you work with. You need quick, thorough decisions. Having your files on top of their pile is important.


You need to compete on a lot of transactions in order to find doable deals and ones in which you can have some control over. There are a lot of marketing methods out there and most of them will work in this business, due to the high payouts.

The traditional method of developing relationships with the local investors, commercial real estate brokers, CPA’s, attorneys, bank representatives, etc is still a very good method. This still maybe the best route to go, though it takes a lot of time and effort to build a name in your market. Newer methods include mailers, email campaigns, ads in newspapers, etc. Regardless of which route you feel more confident about you need some type of program that gets your phone ringing and keeps it ringing. Be patient and survive the “green” period in your quest to become a commercial loan broker.

Find a Good Deal on Commercial Loans

If you are going to get involved in commercial real estate investing, one of the most important things is going to be getting good financing. Whether you are going to make this purchase for a piece of property for yourself, you plan on selling it for profit, or you want to rent the property, unless you can afford to pay for the entire purchase yourself, you’ll need to find good financing. Most people are not able to pay for commercial real estate on their own, so finding a great commercial loan is going to be important.

So, let’s take a look at how you can get a commercial loan, and how to get the best deal possible when you are trying to get a good loan for your commercial real estate. When you are trying to find a great deal on a commercial loan, you’ll need to remember that lenders want to insure that they are going to give the money to good buyers. If you are going to try to get the lenders to give you the loan that you want, it’s important that you have all the documentation available to show them that you are serious about the commercial real estate and the loan that you need as well.

Here are a few of the things that you’ll need if you are going to get a great deal on a commercial loan today.

-Great Credit

The first thing that you are going to need if you are looking for a commercial loan is great credit. It’s going to cost a lot of money to finance a piece of commercial property and even if you have experience and great income, most lenders are going to be leery of giving you a loan if you have bad credit. Your credit should not have late payments on it and you shouldn’t have bankruptcies on your credit either. Before you apply for one of these loans, it’s a great idea to find out what your credit score is to make sure that you do have great credit. If not, find a partner who does.

-A Good Down Payment

A good down payment is also going to be important if you are going to be able to get the commercial loan that you need. In fact, the more you can pay down in the beginning, the better deal you’ll get on the loan that you need. Usually lenders are going to require between 10-30% down on the property before they’ll give you a loan. So, be prepared to make a down payment that is quite large if you want a great deal.

-Quality Business Plans

Quality business plans are very important as well if you want a great deal on commercial loans. This is a great way that you can impress lenders. You need to show them how you are going to succeed and make money once you have the commercial property.


If you are an investor in the real estate market, then you’ll want to show off your experience. Experience is important if you want to get a great commercial loan out there. Some lenders are a bit hesitant to lend out money to people who are new to the business.

-Extra Income

Having other income to show when you are applying for a commercial loan is a great way to get a great deal as well. You’re loan application will look a whole lot better to lenders when you have other income, since this shows lenders that you are more likely to make sure that they get paid their money on time.

If you are missing any of the elements above, find a partner who has them – someone who can help secure the financing and/or help lend the experience needed run your property successfully.

You’ll find that most commercial loans come with high interest rates and they also have terms that are quite short, so it’s important that you are going to be able to pay them off quickly. Know that you’ll actually have the money to pay this loan before you take it out. If you want a great deal on the commercial loan, it’s also important to consider various lenders. Although there are not as many options available when it comes to commercial lenders, you’ll find comparing lenders can help you to find the best deals possible. Of course the best way to get a great deal is to make sure that you know what you’re doing so that you can show that you’ll do well with the money and that you’ll be good for it when it comes time to pay it back as well.