How do you make sure your visitors keep coming back?

Well, you can't really make sure, but you can increase the chances.

If you'd like to get the word out about a new product, first you need to bring people to your site, but then you need to keep them coming back.

How can you do that?

First of all, you need to provide them content that is really relevant to them. Without such content nothing will help.

Then you need to provide some way for them to "follow" you.

You can provide an RSS or Atom feed. You can get them to follow you on Google+, Twitter or Facebook. These are all easy to set up and easy to follow.

They also very easy to disregard.

Most of the marketers I've been following recommend primarily to have a mailing list. Or newsletter. Whatever you call it.

Some people will shun the idea of subscribing to a newsletter. Primarily because that seems like more of a commitment than any of the other possibilities.

That's actually the point. I'd rather have 10 committed followers than 20 not-so-committed.

It's not a hard rule of course. There are people who use RSS and are really interested in what you are writing. So make sure to also provide the other means to follow you.

Preaching wine but drinking water?

Let's see how much I follow my own advice?

First of all, I hope that the articles I write are interesting. At least to some people.

On the Perl Maven site I have a newsletter and quite a few people have already subscribed. It also offers RSS feed, but I don't really know how many people follow it thought the feed. I have not added it to the 2 main Perl feed collectors, but I have good relationship with the editors of the Perl Weekly and thus I can get my articles in there. A few people told me that a mention in the Perl Weekly brings them way more visitors than they would normally get by themselves. Even though they are listed in the feed collectors.

Speaking of the Perl Weekly. I started it by accident, even before I thought that it could help promoting my own content and products. Nevertheless it became a powerful tool both for my own articles, and for promoting the Perl-related articles of other people.

The Perl Weekly is primarily a newsletter, but there a few hundred people following it via RSS and many thousands who follow it via Google+, Twitter or Facebook.