12 Tips to Keep Your Visitors Coming Back to Your Hunting Website

What makes your site “sticky”?

Sticky Buns for Breakfast

image credit: Jeff.Dlouhy

Think of your favorite Web sites – a few of mine are FieldandStream.com, DeerandDeerHunting.com, Bowhunting.com, HuntingNet.com, TheFutureBuzz.com, LewRockwell.com, etc. (See the Right Nav for more).

It varies by site, but I generally visit these sites every few days, every day, or multiple times per day.

I’ve found that my favorite sites generally update about five times per week.

One good post per day for each business day.

Attention is what you’re shooting for online. Attention is a limited resource one the Web. Every Website is trying to gain access to the valuable attention.

Attention pays: not just monetarily, but personally. Attention brings connections and lifelong relationships with others.

Although a good amount of valuable attention on your Website will lead to profits.

So your goal is to keep visitors engaged with valuable content on your Website. You also want to maintain their attention continuously to maintain a healthy relationship.

Here are 12 tips to keep your visitors coming back

1.   Consistent updates

Determine what type of valuable content you can successfully deliver to your audience on a consistent basis. Do you want to provide the latest industry news? Do you want to provide useful tips? Can you provide valuable hunting product reviews? Are you one of those people who can tell stories at the tavern until early in the morning?

Determine the content you can best provide and provide it consistently. If you’re a tree stand expert, provide consistent (hourly, daily, weekly) content so customers know where to come for quality information on tree stands.

2.   Scheduled emails/newsletters

Offline newsletters have been a great way to update your customers on your business, your product, and your industry’s news. You can do the same with e-newsletters. Ask your customers for their email addresses. Setup a nice email template. Put together news from the industry, updates from you and your company, and product updates, improvements, and new products.

Make sure to include plenty of links back to your site to specific pages so your customers can visit.

3.   Stay in touch off your site

It’s easy to get caught up with your own Website sometimes. I’m a culprit of this – it’s one of my goals for this year to participate more on other sites. Go to sites that your customers visit and participate. Visit forums, blogs, popular news sites, etc.

Add your valuable thoughts to sites other than your own for valuable traffic and respect.

4.   Be available

In today’s online world, people have short attention spans and little patience. If someone comments on your Website or if someone sends you an email, make sure your respond promptly. Don’t put off responding. Respond now. It shows you appreciate that the person took the time to write to you.

5.   Be visible

This goes along with the prior 2 tips. Add pictures and videos to your site. Take pictures of your travels. Take videos of your office and shop. Let your customers get to know you and your company as you’re working. Being visible allows for a deeper connection.

Flickr and YouTube are easy to use and great resources.

6.   Encourage participation

Ask questions on your Website. Have polls. Facilitate discussion amongst readers. Ask for input for products. Product reviews are great for Websites.

7.   Have occasional surprises

Have occasional surprise customer appreciation promotions on your Website only. Surprises can even be something as simple as getting your staff together and making a video of you all singing a Christmas carol to your customers and posting it on your site – anything to change the “norm” a little bit. Keep customers happy, but also keep them guessing on occasion. Maybe even sing Happy Birthday to them – (Here’s the sign up).

8.   Keep your content fresh

Keep up to date on your industry news. Read blogs that cover topics outside of your own expertise (Visit Alltop). Keep your mind fresh with content. This will help you to keep your own content fresh. Update your product descriptions. Update your About Us page.

9.   Utilize links back to your archives

As you continue to write articles, blog posts, newsletters, product reviews, etc. make sure you reference back to your archives. This is a great way to give new visitors more content to follow. If your titles are appealing (50 Inspiring Flickr Pictures/Photos for Hunting Businesses), users will likely keep coming back not only to check out your current content, but also to catch up on your archives.

10.  Write ongoing series

If you find yourself writing articles that get to be a few pages long, break it up into parts and make it a series. People will follow along and tune in each week for the next installment. This is how TV shows work. Even novels used to be published in newspapers a little at a time. It’s a proven way to keep readers engaged.

Example from Adam Singer at TheFutureBuzz.com: Social Media Power Users and Influencers: Part 1

11.  Make your site a “work in progress”

Share the vision of your company and Website with your customers. Keep a journal of your progress. People love to be part of a success story. Document your achievements and share it with your readers. Continue to set new goals and keep improving. Never settle and keep people interested.

12.  Facilitate connections

I’m a big advocate of connections on the Web. The best thing you can do on your Website is to allow for connections to form. You can connect with visitors; your visitors can connect with each other – make it as easy as possible for connections to take place (follow me on Twitter: @DayneShuda). Allow people to communicate with you and with each other.

This will be rewarding for you, your business, and most importantly your customers.

Above all remember to have fun with your Website. If you’re having fun continuously, it will spread to your readers. Passion is contagious. People want to feel good and feel part of something special.

Dayne Shuda Singing Karaoke

So make your Website and business special and something worth sharing.

Do you have any tips to add? Any success stories you have had with your hunting Website?

Related Posts on the Web

65 Bite-Sized Web Marketing Tips

Your Job is to Be Positive

10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer

A Guilty Pleasure of the Blogosphere and Social Media: Lists

How to Properly Use Hunting Forums

“This forum looks popular, why don’t I just write a huge post describing my business.”

For Sale

image credit: jchatoff

If you’re thinking about doing this, please take a step back and realize what you’d be doing: spamming.

What not to do

Do not go to forums and post long descriptions of your business/products/services.

People don’t go to forums looking for business descriptions. These threads move to the bottom of the activity charts very fast.

Example

Forum Topic: Ground Blinds

User Question: I’m looking for tips on how to properly set up and utilize a ground blind for bow hunting.

Wrong Answer: Hi User, I’m the owner of Bob’s Ground Blinds. Let me tell you about our blinds and why they are the best blinds for you and other bow hunters. First our blinds made of space age material that they use on the space shuttle. This means you’ll have no problem carrying it out to the field. And our blinds are extra easy to set up. Bob’s Ground Blinds have easy fold-down window flaps so you can stay concealed, but still have plenty of space for shooting. Check them out to learn more: BobsGroundBlinds.com.

The above example is something I see too often in forums.

Sometimes there isn’t even a question. A person simply starts a new topic and titles it “Bob’s Ground Blinds” and then the first post is the business description.

Please avoid using this strategy.

Also, never misrepresent yourself online. This will only lead to disaster. People will find out if you’re promoting your Website blatantly and pretending to be someone you’re not.

At best, you’ll be caught, your posts will be deleted and you’ll be banned from the forum.

At worst, others will figure you out and post negative comments about your business.

So please refrain from this strategy as well.

It may seem easier than participating in a valuable way, but in this case, easier is not better.

What you should do

If you’re in the hunting business, here are a few forums you can visit: HuntingNet, Bowhunting.com, BigGameHunt.net, and HuntingForums.com.

Go to these forums and start cruising around looking for topics and conversations that interest you.

Or better yet, look for topics that not only interest you, but also relate to your business.

Now here is the trick: Don’t write a post that simply says, “My product would be a great help to you.”

Simply give your honest answer to the question. Try and help the people in the thread gain a valuable understanding of the subject at hand. You’re an expert on the topic so they’ll appreciate your objective insight.

Example

Forum Topic: Ground Blinds

User Question: I’m looking for tips on how to properly set up and utilize a ground blind for bow hunting.

Correct Answer: Hi User, I’ve been a big advocate of ground blind hunting for many years. I’ve had a lot of success with this tactic. I find that ground blinds are easy to setup and move around as your learn the lay of your property and where the deer are moving.

Here are a few tips for setting up and utilizing a ground blind for hunting.

Always make sure you set up your blind early in the season. This will allow the deer to become accustomed to the blind.

Next I suggest sitting in the blind prior to the season. Make sure the blind is set up in a spot potentially close enough for a shot with a bow.

If you don’t have the time to do preseason scouting like this, take your blind out during the season and find some active trails. Set your blind up 20-30 yards from an X in a few trails. Make sure your window openings are setup to give you an open shot to a clear shooting lane.

Also make sure you have a window opening facing in the direction you think the deer will approach from. This will give you a chance to see the deer coming in, back away from the window (out of sight), and draw back your bow so you’re ready for the shot.

Good luck and let me know if you have more questions!

Bob

Now this should be a valuable answer to the user’s question. (I’m sure you could come up with an a much better answer for your area of expertise).

After you’ve provided valuable answers to questions, users will start to be curious of who you are and what you do. They’ll look at your profile or your username signature and click through to your Website.

Forums will have profiles for you to set up. You’ll be given space to add your Name, Email, and Website (optional) in most instances. Here is where you enter your Website. Now your name will become a link to your Website.

After users read your awesome insight and direction, they’ll click your name and go to your Website.

Here is my profile information on the Bowhunting.com Forum (Great forum by the way – check it out).

Click to enlarge

Bowhunting.com Forum

There is a place for a Website and a blog. Enter this information and people will do the rest.

They’ll discover on their own what you and your business are all about.

They will feel rewarded for finding your business and they’ll know you’re an expert in the field because you’ve already helped them with their questions.

Conclusion

The important thing to remember is the Push vs. Pull theory.

You’re potential customers are out on the Internet looking for answers to their questions. They are attempting to pull in the expertise and knowledge of others to further enhance their own understanding of key topics.

Instead of pushing yourself onto as many random forum topics as you can, do a little searching and find where you potential customers are asking questions as an attempt to pull in your knowledge.

Besides finding some potential customers, you’ll most likely make some great connections as well!

That’s what the Inter is all about: Making valuable connections!

Do you have any forum success or horror stories?

Do you have any suggestions for forums to visit?

Related posts on the Web

How to Use Forums To Drive Hundreds of Thousand of Readers to Your Blog

How to Use Forums to Drive Laser Targeted Traffic to Your Site in 7 Steps

Social Media Power Users And Influencers: Part 1

Related posts on Hunting Business Marketing

20 Steps to Starting Your Hunting Business Blog/Website

Use Twitter to Improve Your Hunting Business

20 Steps to Starting Your Hunting Business Blog/Website

Yikes! Where do I begin?!?

Jumping Off Cliff

image credit: Powderrun

You might be feeling like this right now. You’re bringing your hunting business to the Web. You’re wondering if you should pay somebody to launch a Website for your business. Do you need a blog?

Sometimes you have to just go for it and jump in

Basically, you’re wondering, “Where do I begin?”

At first glance, the Web can seem like an intimidating place.

Don’t worry. You’re not the only one feeling this way.

And you know what’s even better?

The Web is a great place to make meaningful connections not only with your future customers, but also with influencers in the online hunting world.

If you are willing to put forth a little effort to extend your hand and make some friends, you’re already in the right mindset to add value to yourself and to your business by entering the Online World.

Congratulations!

You’re on your way.

Here are a few ideas on how to get started on the Web.

Get ready, you’re about to set yourself up for a fulfilling life on the Web.

The List

  1. Go to Twitter and set up an account. You’ll meet some great people.  Here are “10 People All Hunters Should Follow on Twitter“. Visit TwiTip.com and check out this post “10 Easy Tips for Twitter Beginners” and you’re on your way. Here’s some great advice on “How to Pick Up Followers on Twitter“.
  2. After you get yourself started on Twitter, “Use Twitter to Improve Your Hunting Business“.
  3. Visit The Outdoor Bloggers Summit – you’ll find tons of great blogs and great people here
  4. Visit hunting.alltop.com – “All The Top” hunting blogs – Keep up to date on great hunting news and information
  5. Visit the top hunting forums: HuntingNet, Bowhunting.com, BigGameHunt.net, HuntingForums.com, Google Search: “Hunting Forum” for more
  6. Direct message and use @replies to your new Twitter buddies
  7. Comment on blog posts
  8. Make Alltop.com one of your first stops every time you’re online to keep up on the latest news – The news and information will help you with the #10
  9. Add your insight to forum threads
  10. Pick your favorite blogs and forums and make it a habit to contribute to them regularly
  11. Start your own blog – Yes I’m serious – This is a great way to make your worth known!
  12. I personally like WordPress. It’s free to use. It looks great. Let me know if you have any questions about it. Otherwise, here is some excellent advice on “Choosing a Blog Platform
  13. Read “40 Ways to Deliver Killer Blog Content
  14. Make sure to combine your passion for hunting with your other passion – your business – when writing your posts
  15. Remember to enjoy ::smile:: your blog (It’s fun!)
  16. Consider launching a Website for your hunting business. A Website is a big, but worthwhile step.
  17. Make sure your blog and new Website complement each other  – Look & Feel – Cultural Aura (Did I just use the word “aura”? Yikes!)
  18. Make sure customers and visitors can participate on your Website: Reviews, Comments, Participate with them in their conversations
  19. Evaluate your Web experience thus far: Form new goals, What’s working/What’s not working?, Are they new technologies that allow you to make connections?
  20. Go back to Stage 1:  keep participating and connecting!

There they are.

Questions? Comments? More to add? Your experiences on the Web?

Related posts on the Web

So You Want to Start a Blog: When to Start

Beginner Blogger? Download this Free Report

10 Reasons Your Small Business Should Have a Blog

50 Inspiring Flickr Pictures/Photos for Hunting Businesses

Do you know the great thing about photos?

They open up our emotions.

Child Jumping

image credit: Tigr

I love cruising through Flickr and checking out the unique photos. Everybody has their own perspective on life.

We all don’t excel at writing or speaking or showing.

Some of us express our feelings with photography.

I guess I’ve always enjoyed looking at other peoples’ photos because of the emotions they make me feel.

For now, let us focus on one specific emotion:

Inspiration

Here is a collection of photos that inspire me while I’m writing and working.

I hope you like them.

I’ll put my own little thoughts/titles for each photo. Not meant to take away from the photographers’ original intent for the photo.

Where are you going?

image credit: fdecomite

Which way are you headed? Up or down?

image credit: dan taylor

Shine a Light

image credit: net efekt

Early Start on Success

image credit: Vasile Tomoiagă

Slow, quiet and steady

image credit: livegym-showtime

Stand Above

image credit: Vik Nanda

Weathered

image credit: newagecrap

Quiet Confidence

image credit: newagecrap

Survey the Situation

image credit: photofarmer

Putting in Long Hours

Woodchuck in a Tree

image credit: ~Sage~

You’re Not Alone

image credit: snappybex

The World is Mine

image credit: allyaubry

Dance Anyway

image credit: Noël Zia Lee

Go For It

image credit: danperry.com

Shine Through

image credit: chefranden

An Accomplished Day

image credit: Jpeg Jedi

Better With Age

image credit: Jpeg Jedi

Comforting Shade

image credit: sugarwawa

Bright in the Dull Winter

image credit: newagecrap

Tasty Treat

image credit: Jan Tik

Ready to Conquer

image credit: FreeWine

Success!

image credit: mudpig

Roll On

image credit: Rhys Jones Photography

Just Awesome

image credit: Wolfgang Staudt

Early Morning Work

image credit: RonAlmog

“Lt. Dan got me invested in some kind of fruit company”

image credit: RonAlmog

Special Note: This feather photo reminded me of Forrest Gump. It’s one of my favorite movies. I take away the message that no matter what your circumstances are, you can succeed beyond your own dreams.

One More to Cross

image credit: the_repairman

Vacation

image credit: tylerc083

Still Daylight – Work to be Done

image credit: Tom T

Dream Office

image credit: Martin Ehrensvärd

Steady Work

image credit: tinyfroglet

The Sneak

image credit: BobMacInnes

Determined

image credit: BobMacInnes

After a Great Night of Work

image credit: Hamed Saber

Some Dark Moments

image credit: Hamed Saber

The Day Begins

image credit: Hamed Masoumi

The End of the Day

image credit: Jayhel Aheram

Snow Covered

image credit: N_Creatures

Refreshing

image credit: Hamed Saber

Something Good is Brewing

image credit: Mfour

Dream Office View

image credit: PhillipC

Far Away

image credit: upyernoz

Green

image credit: Neosnaps

Beautiful Countryside

image credit: Fantaz

Good Times

image credit: calicorocklibrary

Deep Thought

image credit: frozenchipmunk

Good Work

image credit: Andrea…

Aged

image credit: EMillerPhotography

Remembered

image credit: fly again

Time to Get Back to Work

image credit: mpclemens

So those are 50 photos that inspire me.

Related posts on the Web

50 Stunning Images From Flickr Under Creative Commons (Adam Singer at TheFutureBuzz.com)

Do you have inspiring photos you’d like to share?

10 People All Hunters Should Follow on Twitter

Twitter is taking off. Are you on board?

Flying Geese

image credit: HAM guy

Twitter truly is bursting off the launch pad and heading for the big time. It’s a simple, yet an extremely useful and valuable tool.

There is a lot of value in making connections and Twitter is a facilitator of connections.

I hope the site is around for a long time and continues to improve as the days go by.

Improvement and change will be the key to Twitter’s continued success.

For now, Twitter gets it.

The chart speaks for itself.

This post was in response to the challenge from Darren Rowse on TwiTip.com.

I’ve written about Twitter before. I’m fully on board the Twitter train. It’s such a great way to connect with other people.

That being said, here are the Ten People All Hunters Should Follow on Twitter.

These are in no particular order.

  1. Cory Glauner: @gothunts -Twitter Bio: Outdoorsy Family Man. I run a Hunting/Fishing Brokerage and a Web Development Business. Equally comfortable with keyboard and fishing pole.
  2. Kevin Paulson: @HuntingLife – Twitter Bio: A lifelong hunter and wildlife conservationist.
  3. Jody Narantic: @thehunterswife – Twitter Bio: Finding humor in my life with a hunter. 
  4. Chad Coleman: @buffalokill – Twitter Bio: Interests include web design, reformed theology, hunting, 2A rights, www.constitutionparty.com
  5. Jason Imboden: @TheDeerTree – Twitter Bio: Hunting Blog and Info site
  6. Tom Sorenson: @tsorenson – Twitter Bio: Dad and husband. Hunting/fishing nut – and professional editor of outdoor videos.
  7. Mike Feltman: @MikeFeltman – Twitter Bio: geek, entrepreneur, excellent speller
  8. James Squires: @jamessquires – Twitter Bio: Tech Lead at www.space150.com
  9. gbsand: @treestand – Twitter Bio: Tweets from a tree stand during the Wisconsin gun deer hunt. 20′ up, and nowhere to go.
  10. Michael Turk: @MichaelTurk – Twitter Bio: He’s just this guy, y’know?

Bonus: Dayne Shuda: @DayneShuda – I’d love for you to follow me!

So there they are.

If you think I’m missing some important Twitterers that all hunters should follow, please leave your comments and we’ll get them on the list.

Related posts on the Web

Ten People All Twitter Beginners Should Follow

Top TwiTip Posts and POLL Results – [November 2008] (What can I say? TwiTip.com is an awesome site!)

Use Twitter to Improve Your Hunting Business

These days, everybody is using Twitter to make meaningful connections…

Dog on Computer

image credit: tashmahal

Twitter has different meanings and uses for people.

To me, Twitter is a tool that facilitates connections.

I started using Twitter after reading about it on a few blog posts. It started out as a curiosity, but then escalated into a great way to make connections with other hunters, businesspeople, and friends.

Twitter is great for your life in general…

For this post, I’ll focus on a few things you can do with Twitter specifically for the improvement of your hunting business.

Share your hunting business’s important news/updates

One of the big hurdles for some people is opening up and sharing. Using Twitter doesn’t mean you have to share every detail of your life. But using Twitter to write valuable posts about your business can be a great way to spread the news and let others know what’s going on.

Encourage your colleagues, clients, co-workers to follow you on Twitter.

For example, if you have made an improvement to your product/service, Twitter can be one of the ways you can write about the update; letting your followers know instantly.

Follow influencers from the hunting and business world

One of the best ways to learn and stay informed about your industry is to keep in touch with the key influencers. As Twitter becomes more populated, it’s easier to follow and connect with others in your industry.

Following key successful marketers, businesspeople, hunters, etc is a great way to see what others are doing that drives their success.

You might be able to pick up on something you can use to improve your own hunting business.

Search for possible useful information

One of the great aspects is Twitter Search, found at search.twitter.com. Search is a great way to explore the world of Twitter and see what’s going on that relates to your business.

If you’re looking to connect with other hunters, you can type in “deer hunting” or “hunting business” to find others that share your same passions.

There are many creative searches you can try to find people and make valuable connections.

Remember to have fun!

Your life is interesting! If you have an interesting experience…share it on Twitter. If you have a question…ask it on Twitter. If you think you’re the only one going through something…share it on Twitter.

Twitter is about making meaningful connections.

Use it to improve your hunting business and your life.

It’s fun and fulfilling.

See you in 140 characters or less!

Related posts on the Web:

How I Use Twitter – Tips for Bloggers

50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business

Some people to follow on Twitter:

@DayneShuda (Follow me!)

@zappos (a great example of a CEO using Twitter)

@AdamSinger (a creative marketing genius)

@js_packers (for the most up to date Packer news…for fellow Packer lovers)

Plus many more!

There are tons of people you can follow on Twitter that may prove to be valuable connections.