The world of blogging is changing and some commentators and reports indicate that blogging is on the decline. They claim that the blogging revolution that we saw a few years ago was actually an illusion and is currently being replaced by new trends such as micro-blogging and instant social media networking. When you look at the facts, you would be forgiven for wondering if blogging is worth the effort at all but the apparent move away from blogging by the masses will effectively pave the way for serious bloggers to reclaim the blogosphere. To be successful, however, a blog must have at its heart one crucial element.
I am talking about creating rapport with your readers – that elusive but essential element that will allow you to draw an audience and even make money from your blog. Without rapport you cannot hope to create and sustain a reader following that allows you to build a trusting relationship and hopefully a list of paying customers. So why is rapport so crucial to developing a successful blog?
What makes for a successful blog?
One of the most obvious factors that make a blog successful is, of course, having something of interest to say. The content of your blog is your top priority and it only takes one mediocre blog to turn your readers off. But assuming you have lots of great content, what else can you do to make your blog a success?
WordPress.com did a study on almost 100,000 of their own blogs to decipher what makes a blog popular and what exactly drives page views. Their regression analysis highlighted the following factors that make for a popular blog and one with a high number of page views:
Make your blog easy to follow — the best blogs were easy to follow and had a ‘follow widget’ clearly visible so that readers can sign up and get notifications of your posts. Don’t rely on your readers to come back of their own accord; you have to prompt them every time you post something new on your blog.
Encourage comments — the most successful blogs develop conversations with their readers and engaged with them. It is vital to get people to comment but you must reply promptly and create a dialogue with your readers. This can have an enormous impact on your page views. Encourage comments by asking questions at the end of your posts and inviting people to give their opinions and ideas. You could also syndicate your post to Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites as a way to engage others in your blog conversations.
Post frequently and regularly — get your readers used to you being around with frequent posts. Try short daily posts or at least post as frequently as possible through the week – it’s important to post at regular intervals.
Once you have the basics in place as WordPress highlighted in their study above, the one crucial element you must have to create a successful long-term blog is rapport with your readers. If you can’t engage them and develop a relationship with them then it’s unlikely they will feel compelled to stay with you over the long term or to buy from you if you are trying to monetize your blog. So how do you create rapport?
Don’t be lukewarm – the world is full of lukewarm, mediocre people! If you want to make an impression you have to drum up some enthusiasm — stir up the fire in your belly and connect with people on a high-frequency level. It’s always best to write about things you feel passionate about and when you show your feelings, you can’t help but inspire enthusiasm in your readers. This goes a long way to developing rapport and an affinity which will keep your followers coming back for more.
Be human – we all have the same basic emotions, worries, fears and anxieties. Don’t be afraid to show your human side, it’s a great way to build rapport and a meaningful connection with your followers.
Be generous — share something of yourself on a personal level with your readers and be generous with your time and the quality of the information that you give in your blog. When you over-deliver and exceed expectations, you create a feeling of gratitude in your readers and this also helps to develop rapport and connectivity.
Address problems — it has been shown that most people use the Internet for obtaining information and for finding solutions to their problems. Dig out the problems associated with the theme of your blog and address them through your posts. There are plenty of problems and lots of solutions…
Offer solutions – when you address problems you can offer solutions such as digital books, further content by subscription, links to products on your website and so on. This is a great way to make money from your blog after you have gained the trust of your followers.
Call to action — if you are hoping to make money from your blog, you need to make sure that you have a clear call to action. Get people to click through to your website or call you to make a purchase and make it simple for them to pay with as few clicks as possible. Don’t leave your readers wondering how they can get hold of your products and services — make it crystal clear while you have their attention.
End on a happy positive note — when you leave people with happy, positive feelings they are more likely to want to return to your blog. Inspiration is a powerful force…
Guest Post By: David Anderson is a business coach, mentor and expert in making money. With over 30 years of experience building and running startups and large corporations, David has forged a successful history of building wealth and success. Learn more about his proprietary system for building wealth – Wealthopedia – at http://www.davidandersononline.com/
- Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, 467-484 and ‘Pollution in the Blogosphere: The Only Purpose of a New Form of Blog, Called a Splog, Is Fraud and Infringement’ by Jeffrey Goldman & Eric German in 30 June 2007 Los Angeles Lawyer, 32-40.
- We’ve Got Blog: How Weblogs Are Changing Our Culture (New York: Perseus 2002) edited by Rebecca Blood
- Blogging for Your Business (Indianapolis: New Riders Press 2006) by DL Byron & Steve Broback
- Caslon Analytics: www.caslon.com.au
- WordPress: www.wordpress.com