How loyal are your readers?
A few days ago, a friend of mine asked how I created such a loyal blog readership. I was flattered of course. I am more than a little proud of what I’ve put together here, but it’s not exactly the second coming of JohnChow.com (yet).
But I understood where he was coming from.
A blog can be immensely time consuming, both physically and intellectually, and yet for most people all that work translates to little more than a few ticks in Analytics. How do you turn your hard work into a steady stream of loyal traffic (and revenue)?
To help him and everyone reading this, here are five of my favorite loyalty boosting tips for blogging:
- Reward Comments – If someone posts a comment, it should be approved in less than 12 hours, replied to, and thanked. Don’t ignore comments, edit them, censor them, or belittle them. Make it seem like a good idea to be on there talking to you.
- Write From the Comments – Better yet, take ideas from the comments. Use questions as the basis for new posts. Ask to use the ideas of your commenters to build posts. Ask your frequent commenters to contribute as guest bloggers. When someone takes time out of their day to contribute to your site, don’t let it end there. Build on that contribution and use it to generate even more content.
- Use Social Media Liberally – This is a no brainer in 2013 but I’ll remind you anyways. Not only should you have active Facebook, Twitter and YouTube profiles – you should be adding new content to them regularly, and linking to every blog post you create. Get people engaging across platforms to build and active audience.
- Tell Your Story - You’ll notice a shift in my storytelling methods in recent weeks. I realized that my work was a little too generic, so I started telling stories that were unique to ME. That alone has had a profound impact, because people want to know about the person telling the stories as much as what happens in the story. Advice is generic until it has a personality in it.
- Make it Worth Their While – Don’t get in a give and get mindset with your audience. You’re not “giving” anything when you write a blog post (even if that’s how it feels). People are used to finding free information everywhere online – that’s the world we live in. What they don’t expect, however, is other freebies. Webinars, free graphics or software, partnerships with other vendors, first dibs on new products. This is the stuff that makes readers feel special and keeps them loyal to your brand.
And of course, don’t forget the most important part of all – consistency. If you want people returning to your blog week after week, you need to be on there regularly writing posts. Whether you write weekly or every day, maintain that consistency if you want to see real results.
Do that and everything else listed above and you’re guaranteed to see some results – from more comments to better engagement, and yet, more income from your efforts.