Imagine for a moment that you have a hugely popular blog that is read by hundreds of thousands of readers. You provide a constant stream of quality content and add value to your readers’ lives. You are frequently called upon by the media for quotes and you travel around the world because of the influence your blog has created.
Does this describe you? Would you like it to?
Earlier this week I wrote about six ways to lose your readers and today I am writing about five ways to retain your readers. It’s easy, really, if you are deliberate about growing your community and you always think about your readers first.
If you want to make sure you either grow your readership here are five surefire ways to make it happen.
1. RESPECT YOUR AUDIENCE
It’s imperative to understand that your readers’ time is valuable and they have a plethora of other media outlets to read great content from blogs to magazines and newspapers. Don’t waste your readers’ time with content that doesn’t stand on its own two feet or simply doesn’t resonate with them.
Always remember why your readers come to you in the first place. They appreciate your perspective and your posts. Never take that for granted. You also want to ensure you don’t waste their time by taking huge gaps in posting either. I’ve done this before and believe me it’s hard to recover from.
2. ENGAGE YOUR READERS
One of the great differentiators about blogging is people can relate to you. It’s not like when they read the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal where writers are on assignment, follow a certain beat, and are under the corporate structure. You and your readers are peers. Treat them as such.
That means you need to comment back to your readers when they leave comments. Do this as much as time allows. I know, we can’t respond to everyone, but give it a good attempt. Also, engage with readers on Twitter and Facebook. You might want to also consider including your readers in your copy. It’s an easy way for them to know you notice them. In the end it will only strengthen your blog community.
3. WRITE COMPELLING CONTENT
Content. content. content. I can’t stress enough how vitally important it is to write great content. I struggle with it every day, but I strive to write posts that make sense to you as a reader and doesn’t waste your time. When you sit down to write concentrate on putting out exceptional content that is of high quality. No stress, though. Just do your best to write posts that you pour your heart into rather than throw together and hope for the best.
Also, be sure to put research into your posts. Whatever niche you cover whether it’s the green industry or if you just write about your daily life make sure to think about your posts before you sit down to write. Gather your thoughts, data, anecdotes, and links and then begin crafting your content.
I learned a great lesson last year. I learned that people are genuinely interested in social good and are eager to find out how they can also become involved. If there is a charity or cause you’re interested in and want to advocate for don’t be afraid to write about it. Your readers’ response will surprise you.
5. BE DIFFERENT
It is important to stand out from other bloggers who fill your niche. How do you do this? Put a different spin on the same story. For example, if you write in the daily deals niche most bloggers are going to write about the same deals as you. It’s your job to stand out by digging deeper and finding deals your competitors haven’t found. Let’s also say you write in the baby niche and it always seems the same content gets circulated among all of the baby brands. It’s your job to stand out by forging relationships with baby brands and shops so that when they have news they come to you first. It’s little things like that that allow you to be different instead of the same as other blogs in your niche.
Also, to stand out you can write about things your readers wouldn’t expect, but make sure it still remains in your niche. Or, you can add more multimedia to your posts. If you don’t use a lot of photos, you might want to start adding them in. Or, if video isn’t your thing, you might want to start using video to add a different spin on your blog.
I hope in reading this article you have found new ways to keep your readers loyal.