Yes, right now I’m here at my keyboard typing to you. Yes, YOU. If you’re reading this post you are most likely a blogger trying to come up with ideas on how to engage with your audience better by writing amazing content. One of the best ways is to write with heart. In this post, I’ll give you 8 strategies to build a list of loyal followers.
I think all bloggers at one point in time or another have this same problem. It can be very difficult, but with time, effort and a few ingredients for success you can surely overcome this obstacle.
Before launching BookMattic.com I was only a part-time blogger with a free Blogspot blog and didn’t have the whole grasp on what it meant to engage with my readers. Engaging with your readers, what does that even mean?
Now that I’ve launched BookMattic I’ve been at this serious blogging thing for over a year now and sometimes I still find it hard to come up with ideas on how to engage with my readers. I question myself ‘Why are you having such a hard time, Matt? It shouldn’t be that difficult!’
However, if you put serious time, and research into your niche then finding topics and the right words for your upcoming post should be that much easier to write. All of this takes time, and it also takes building a habit of writing every single day without missing. Even if you’re two months ahead of your posting schedule it’s still a wise thing to continually write your posts.
But actually, it’s not JUST about finding the right topic or words for a post that will attract the right audience. It’s majorly based on the voice you use when you write the actual content of the post.
As a blogger, it’s your job to make the topic feel alive with emotion. It’s about making what you write stick in the reader’s mind. This is what you’re really shooting for.
One of the trickiest parts of the whole blogging thing is writing in a voice that sounds personalized to your reader. You’re not just writing for yourself, but also all the people interested in the topic you write about.
As a blogger, you have to reach out to your audience as if you were talking face to face with them. Your content has to be catered specifically for the people you want to engage with. That absolutely means that you must be consistent in the message you want to send your readers and you must write it with heart.
Find what kind of content your audience engages with the most.
How do you find out what your audience likes to read about in your posts?
For me, it’s been a morphing creature that I’m still trying to figure out. But with the help of a few simple tools, my blogging life has become much easier to handle.
One of those tools is called Google Analytics which you’ve probably heard of. In a way, there’s no solid way you can tell that your readers enjoy your content except through the traffic you receive, which posts get the most traffic and shares, and through the comments you get.
Google Analytics shows you a variety of stats such as gender, age, and location of your reader. If you’re writing to a bunch of 13 or 14-year-olds about business, then you’re probably writing about the wrong topic. Or you’ll have to adjust your writing style to fit better with the statistics. There are also statistics about which day and when most of your readers are reading your blog. To emphasize a point about which day, what time, and the quality of your writing, I’d like to quote from an amazing book called ‘The Impact Equation’ by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.
‘When you post and how often you post don’t matter nearly as much as whether you’re posting information that other people can use and relate to, information that will prompt them to maintain some kind of relationship with you.’
So, of course, the day and time you post could matter, and most likely does. I’m definitely not saying statistics lie, but both Chris, Julien, myself, and any other experienced blogger out there will say the same thing if your content sucks it won’t matter what day or time you post because no one will want to read it.
I’ve written this post so that you, bloggers out there searching about how to connect with their audience, can improve your writing with a little bit of heart.
Another suggestion for you is to always keep in mind that your audience is always changing and growing and let’s face it, sometimes decreasing or staying at a plateau depending on how often you post and the quality of your writing. Of course, we always want our followers to increase, that’s why it’s so important to pay attention to your niche. Continually think about why your readers come back. Experiment and find out what works and what doesn’t.
Ask yourself these questions too. Do people come back to your blog because of the way you write? Or the pointers you give them?
How do you find out why readers are coming back?
One way is to experiment with the types of posts you write. One week you might have a wishlist, the next might be a review, the next a ‘how to’ and so on. Do this for a few months and see how your audience reacts to your posts.
Powerful Lesson #1: Get your audience used to a schedule and stick to it.
Through the statistics your analytics provide, you should be able to tell which of posts engage better with your audience. The posts that totally bomb are the posts you’ll want to change directions with. Replace the post with something else and see how it performs over the next month or two. Be creative with it and try something new, but be sure not to lose your voice. No matter how boring your niche might be (just kidding) you can always find a way to make it interesting through stories.
Powerful Lesson #2: Drop the posts that aren’t doing well and change them with a different approach. Connect with your audience by telling them a story.
Get out there in the community.
Start conversations about particular topics in forums and social media to find out what your potential followers are talking about. I personally love engaging in entrepreneurial groups such as Ben’s Business Book Club on Facebook and various discussion groups or posts on Disqus and Medium.
This is another way to gradually bring traffic to your site by promoting yourself as a credible expert in your field. The point of these groups initially isn’t to sell your product or website. You join these groups to make connections, help people out and eventually mentioning your product or site to others you chat with after a while of getting to know each other.
Being part of these communities help the members to increase their network of intelligent people and also improve work ethic, writing, among other things such as which book to read next or teaming up for a guest post. Communities such as the ones I mentioned above are a nice way to give and receive with people in the same niche as you. I guarantee you’ll both be helping each other out. The time and effort is worth it to build a relationship with members of communities.
Another thing you can do to take advantage of being part of a community is to skim for some new post ideas. What topics are going on in the groups? Listen, think, brainstorm, write notes, and then post ideas worth writing about will come forth.
Powerful Lesson #3: Use communities to grow your network, help, and be helped by others.
Look at competitor’s content in the same niche.
If you don’t look at what your competitor is posting then how will you know what is lacking in their post? How will you make yours stand out?
Go see what they’re talking about and how they structure their posts. Heck, you could even comment on some of their posts too, so that you can share your perspective. Most of all, when you see an opportunity to improve the post with more research, examples, or in-depth personalized stories, then you should get behind a keyboard and type up a post that is 10x better than your competitor’s.
Audiences will come to the blog that has content full of useful information they can apply in their own lives, so you’ve got to continually produce content which is powerfully useful to your audience while being so much better than your competitor that the readers will much prefer coming to you for advice.
Powerful Lesson #4: Write your posts 10x better than your competitor’s posts.
Use Google Trends
Go to Google Trends to see what is trending or how your own ideas are trending. This is a tool you can experiment with. It’s not an exact science but at least you can compare how your ideas stand against other ideas around the world.
Powerful Lesson #5: Compare your ideas against the rest of the world. Does the topic have enough of a following? Is it important enough?
Engaging With Others
When someone comments on one of your posts or sends you an email, reply with a useful answer. People appreciate the time and effort you put into responding to them. The quicker and better the response, the more likely you’ll get a loyal follower who will come back and share your posts with others.
Powerful Lesson #6: Reply as soon as you can to any comments or emails from your followers. Make them important, because they are.
Write your content in the form of personal stories.
You might be writing about the same topic as your competitor. Surely, that is bound to happen, but each person on this Earth is unique. We each have our own unique way of saying or writing something.
That’s why telling stories about your own experiences and sharing them with others, finding a way to connect your stories with your niche, is a major benefit. People may have a similar experience, therefore making it much easier for them to feel connected and interested in your posts.
You need to do your very best to create something unique. Create your posts in a way no one else has ever thought of before. In order to do this, you must write with heart.
Powerful Lesson #7: Write in stories. There will be a reader who is able to connect with your experience in a similar way.
Write with heart
This tip comes from my heart. People love to read about other’s life stories and in order to connect with readers you’ve never met with in person, you need to give them your heart first before they open up to you.
Humans are amazing lie detectors. We’re naturally built, some better than others, to be able to tell whether someone is being less than truthful. People can tell whether you’re genuine or not, even through the words you write on the screen. Readers won’t come back if they know you’re being misleading.
I strongly urge you to start writing with heart for your next post. See how much of a difference it makes on your traffic then let me know in a few weeks or month how it works out. I’m always available to receive emails, comments, or through the contact form on this page and I’ll reply to each one of you.
Powerful Lesson #8: Pour your heart into each post.
Now it’s up to you
As a blogger or writer, you have to find the best way to connect with your audience. From personal experience, it’s best to combine all of these tips I’ve given you today while implementing an ever-improving strategy. Keep up to date with what’s going on in your niche, and write with all your heart and effort.
Without heart, there is no feeling, and without feeling, your readers will not be able to feel connected to your content.
Add to this list by sharing your thoughts in the comments section, and subscribe to BookMattic to get an update in your inbox about my next powerful post.
Always remember to share what you’ve learned with the people you care most about.