Building a group of loyal followers to your blog is probably one of the most difficult aspects of blogging. You might be pulling plenty of one-time readers, or have a small group of loyal blog watchers, but how do you build that into a bevy of diehard fanatics? Many bloggers ponder that question as they publish posts that draw but a handful of comments, or review their daily statistics with hopeful expectations that are quickly dashed by the cruel hand of blogging reality. To help you keep a quality core of loyal readers returning to your blog, here are some tips you might find helpful.
1. Build A Community
Building a community is often easier said than done, but if you can draw likeminded and loyal readers to your blog (friends, family, co-workers, etc.) you can start a strong core of followers. Similar to the six-degrees of separation game, simply by word of mouth and friends knowing friends, this small core can often grow into a much larger group of loyal readers.
2. Invite Input
By inviting your readers’ input to various posts, you can make them feel as if their opinions are important. Not only can this build loyalty among your readers, but you might find some quite useful contributions and ideas along the way that can further your blog and posts.
3. Give Feedback
Inviting input from your readers only goes so far though. If followers continue to post comments that aren’t responded to, eventually even the most loyal of readers might hit the road in search of someone who is listening. Keep your readers feeling as if they are part of the group and that their thoughts are meaningful by providing feedback to their comments and queries.
4. Avoid Junk
There are few worse things to encounter on a blog site than a bunch of clutter and useless information. Scrolling down a page that seems to stretch endlessly through a string of posts and video clips can get old quick. By archiving old posts, keeping your clutter to a minimum, making your posts informative, and taking it easy on the videos and graphics that slow the loading of your blog’s page, you can keep loyal readers from ditching your site in favor of greener pastures.
5. Keep It Easy On The Eyes
Sure, sometimes we have a lot to say and want to get our ideas conveyed properly. However, excessively long posts can deter readers. Short posts, bolded points and topic headings, and bullet points or lists can make your blog and your ideas easier to understand to your followers.
6. Contests And Giveaways
It often doesn’t take much in the way of freebies to entice people to visit your blog. Holding weekly contests, free giveaways, and making use of similar promotional ideas can be a great way to build loyalty among your readership.
7. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
While this isn’t to say you should go posting pictures of half-nude models all over your blog, finding a picture of yourself that shows you in the best light possible might not hurt in building loyalty among your followers. Using a handsome picture of yourself that doesn’t include a spouse or child (unless it’s pertinent to the subject matter of your blog) can appeal to followers. Sure, while a personal relationship with you and one of your followers isn’t likely, how many men and women are disappointed when their favorite actor or actress gets married? The human mind works in funny ways and people thinking that you are handsome, single and available may appeal to certain readers and increase their loyalty.
8. Play The Field
When a reader invites you to check out their blog site, by doing so and responding to their invitation, you may gain their loyalty in the process. Visiting other blogs can also open up other avenues of advertising and increased traffic. You never know what networking through other blogs might bring you when it comes to loyal readership.
9. Create A Series
If you’ve written a post that turns out to be highly successful, it might be worth considering a follow up post or two along the same lines. If those posts hit with equal success, you might have stumbled across an idea that you could turn into a series of posts that will hook your readership and bring them back on a regular basis.
10. Leave Them Hanging
Sometimes a little suspense can go a long way in bringing an audience back for more. You don’t want to show your hand right off the bat. Pace yourself and your posts so that your readers want more. If you give them all the answers right away, why would they need to come back?
About the Author
Tom is a designer and writer based in the UK who works with a supplier of Epson printer ink, toner and printing accessories. You can stay up to date with his latest posts about design and art on their blog, CreativeCloud.
Image: by Steve Keys