This past weekend, I did something really stupid. At the end of BlowWorld, my wife and I stayed in NYC for a couple of days to take a long weekend, mini vacation. On Friday, I came down with something terrible. Cold sweats, high fever, aching body, coughing like crazy…it was all there. For the next 10 days, the symptoms just ran over me like a Mack truck.
In my infinite wisdom, I decided after a week of feeling sick (and not feeling any better) that it would be a great idea to go on a 52 mile road bike ride with my friends. What harm could it do right?! By the end of the ride, I thought I was dead. I could barely hold on to the handlebars, my voice was completely gone and my throat felt like I had swallowed razorblades. What a dumb move…
Ironically enough, like most things in my life…it created inspiration for a blog post on Bike198.com. I wrote an article basically telling on myself and explaining how impatience as cyclists can take us backwards instead of forwards.
After the article went live (you can read it here: Riding Is More Than Just Spinning Wheels), I ended up getting emails from readers and calls from friends in and out of the industry telling me how spot on the article was and thank you for publishing it. Here is an example of one of the emails I received.
Thanks for the honesty of your reviews and insights.
It is always nice to read the articles as they genuinely have the human touch.
Keep up the good work
Reader of Bike198 (name removed)
When the emails started coming in…I was floored. It completely made my day and energized the thought process for more related articles.
When we write our blog posts, I think it is easy to sometimes forget that we are connecting on a 1:1 basis with our readers. While you might be writing to an audience of thousands, each reader digests your content one at a time. The reason they do this is to connect with you and your thoughts. While they might agree or disagree, that connection is what separates blogging from other traditional forms of content publishing.
It is important…and that connection is what ultimately will grow you blog.
Top 7 Ways To Connect With Your Readers
So how can we, as bloggers, capitalize on this and make a stronger connection with our readers? Let’s take a look at this list and see if you are doing these on your blog.
- Tell On Yourself – No one is perfect and showing that you are human by displaying your mistakes along with your successes is a great way to connect with people. I have also always said, sometimes it is more valuable knowing what not to do as much as it is what to do. There is much to be learned in mistakes.
- Teach Them Something – Whether it is through one on one coaching or an article on your blog, if you can make your readers better at something in your niche, you are going to start that connection process that can go on for years. I will often times, ask my readers what they want to see covered on the blog, then actually write it! Make their voices heard and deliver.
- Answer Emails/Tweets/Comments – That one on one connection with your readers is extremely easy with blogging. By answering tweets, emails and comments, you are able to quickly and efficiently talk one on one with your audience. These are very powerful tools that many bloggers say they don’t have time for. Make the time and you will see the results.
- Attend Conferences and Meetups – Face to face interaction is the best way to get in touch with people. Shake your readers hand, meet new potential readers and continue to make that personal interaction.
- Be More Than Just A News Source – Your blog needs to be a resource for something other than the news. Your readers can get that from anywhere. Editorials and thought based articles will give your readers insight on what goes on in your head. Make that connection and keep it rolling.
- Hold Webinars – You can be everywhere and attend every conference…and neither can your readers. Just like I said with #4, the strongest connection you can make with your readers is face to face. With the widespread adoption of video conferencing, you can now host a webinar on UStream and other services to put the name with a face. The huge benefit to going this route is that you can also do Q&A.
- Video Posts – Not all of your readers want to schedule the time it takes to attend a webinar, but they do want to see that interaction with you. By doing video posts, you are able to bring your personal touch, attitude and personality to your content that will connect with your readers far beyond basic text.
The context of blogging was based on that connection between writer and reader that was not possible through conventional content publishing methods. By remembering that core ideal while you also try to increase business, you will be able to grow to new heights and attract raving fans of your blog.
How do you connect with your readers?