Blogging Tip# 3
How to Keep your readers
First I would like to thank Arie for this opportunity to talk about such an important subject to me, keeping readers loyal. For me this is the essence of the entire business of blogging. My goal is and has always been about building a regular community around my blog with readers and writers that care. From my very first blog a few years ago to the excellent collaboration on Blogussion I have found that keeping readers is far better than having to find new readers everyday. To keep readers I focus on 3 things, sincerity, content, and communication.
Being genuine and sincere is not only important but essential to being a great blogger. I know every time I go to a blog I am making a judgment about the author and deciding if I will return. If the blog authors do not show a genuine interest in me, as the reader, I usually just move on to find someone with the same information who actually cares. The way I measure sincerity is definitely not a science, but there are a few things I look for every time.
- Ad to Content Ratio – My blog currently has no ads (which is not for everyone) but I believe that you can tell a lot about a blog by how much advertising they put per content area. A truly sincere blogger admittedly wants to earn money, but not at the expense of the reader. It is my belief that if you cut down the advertisements on your blog so that your blog highlights its content that you end up making more money anyways.
- Links – I find that bloggers that only link to affiliates in every post, or never link to great outside sources are usually not in it for the reader. If I am writing about how to write excellent headlines for your next post, I would definitely send you to Copyblogger. You see if a blog owner wants their readers to stick around, then they must offer them the best content. If the links are non existent or spammy, I am out.
The question then arises, “How do you create this level of High-Quality Content?” My answer is this… find out what your readers need help with and solve their problems. If you are a fitness blog then find out exactly what it is your readers struggle with. If it is motivation then spend your time researching and planning the perfect way to motivate yourself to exercise. After really solving the problem spend time writing out the solution. Another great way to think about it, is “What questions do I have about the subject?” If you have a question chances are they do to. Figure it out and then write it up for an extremely useful post. Your readers will come back again and again if you can solve their problems for them.
Something I try to do very well is to communicate with all of my readers at some level. Usually a first time commentator gets an email from me that is personal and I’ll try to check out their blog to make sure I know where they are coming from. I also connect with readers on Twitter so that readers know I am available to answer questions and be involved in what they are doing. Remember to be two-sided. Your readers are just as busy as you are, but if you take the time to get involved in what they are doing they will probably never forget you.
A great way to communicate is by answering every question posed to you in your comments section. I make sure to read the comments as they come in to the blog and then respond with the best answer I can. If it is something I know a lot about I explain an answer or point them to an article I wrote. If I don’t know much about the subject or the problem I will usually learn about it or point them to another expert I know and trust. Sometimes the problem is too long to discuss in the comments section so I do it in an email. Whenever I answer a question in the comments I also make sure to email the reader with the question to let them know I answered the question. Communication builds trust better than any other thing on a blog. Also, if you noticed, communication is the best way to see whether a blogger is sincere.
Nothing feels better than having readers for months and years comment and participate on your blog. Being a faithful reader is actually how I got a job as partner at my current blog. I loved the blog’s content and communicated with the blog owner, Alex Fraiser, a lot until we became friends. You never know when sincerity, content, or communication will change everything.
If these are problems you have its okay, fix them! You have time to make some changes and get your blog turned around. Sometimes you are losing customers just because you do not know your sending them away. Be careful and make sure you are creating a beautiful relationship with your readers. In return they will create a wonderful relationship with you and you both will live… “Happily Ever After”.