Super-Easy Tactic For Increasing Reader Anticipation

One of the things we all want is for our readers to come back to your blog. This is why we like getting visitors onto our lists, follow us on Twitter, or subscribe by RSS. However, there is another super-easy tactic you can use to increase anticipation: Showing them what’s coming before it is published. With that in mind, here is some code you can copy/paste into your blog theme in order to easily list out scheduled posts.

One of the things we all want is for our readers to come back to your blog. This is why we like getting visitors onto our lists, follow us on Twitter, or subscribe by RSS.

However, there is another super-easy tactic you can use to increase anticipation: Showing them what’s coming before it is published.

With that in mind, here is some code you can copy/paste into your blog theme in order to easily list out scheduled posts.

Obviously, this tactic will only work if you do indeed future-post stuff. If you’re a “shoot from the hip” blogger who has no idea what you’re going to post until you post it, this won’t work. That said, you might want to pre-plan your content. Makes it easier in many ways, but a side benefit is that you can toy around with this simple idea.

This code can be put anywhere into your theme. Essentially, what you’re doing is create another Loop and just changing the parameters via your own query.

<?php
$my_query = new WP_Query('post_status=future&order=DESC&showposts=5');
if ($my_query->have_posts()) {
while ($my_query->have_posts()) : $my_query->the_post();
$do_not_duplicate = $post->ID; ?>
<li><?php the_title(); ?></li>
<?php endwhile;
}
?>

You can change the number of posts being displayed by altering the “showposts” value (currently set to 5). Also, this code only displays the title. You’d probably also want to display the date so that they know when to expect the post.

Note that you would NOT want to include the permalink in this listing because you want them to wait until the post is actually live, right? 🙂 Plus, without sufficient user permissions in Wordpress, they’ll just see a 404 if they try to view an unpublished post.

One place you could use this would be in your sidebar, however I am also using this as a custom page template for the member homepage of the Inner Circle to show members what’s coming inside the program.

Again, increased anticipation. And, in the case of a membership site powered by Wordpress, increased retention.

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Responses

  1. Really this is very easy and great tactic for increasing reader anticipation.
    The coding part you have described here is very useful for the readers and the beginners.

  2. Really this is very easy and great tactic for increasing reader anticipation.
    The coding part you have described here is very useful for the readers and the beginners.

  3. Great bit of code there David.

    Just wondering…why don't you make the list ascending instead of descending?

    Also, how would I output something like “No scheduled posts.” if there are no scheduled posts?

  4. That sounds like an awesome way to increase anticipation. What if I'm using Squarespace as my platform..is there something comparable I'd be able to do that would have a similar effect?

  5. The #1 master at maintaining reader anticipation is Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income Blog. He uses some of these techniques I suppose, but his use of Facebook and Newsletters is spot on.

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