This content was contributed by a guest author. The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Blog Hands.
When you run a blog and want to build a large audience, it’s easy to focus on collecting as many new readers as possible. But if you get too caught up in obtaining new audience members, you might start to lose the ones you already have.
This is where audience loyalty comes in. A loyal reader will return to your blog again and again because they see the value in what you have to offer. By maintaining a loyal base, you’ll have a much easier time building your brand and making your message heard. Here are 6 helpful techniques to keep in mind.
1. Create useful, informative content
Before you do anything else, take a look at what you’re actually publishing on your blog. Is it just there to take up space? Or is it providing genuine value to your readers?
Try creating content that fulfills a specific need your readers have. It should answer a common question, solve a problem, or provide a resource that you know your audience is looking for. Don’t just do the bare minimum; invest a good amount of time into creating fully comprehensive posts.
2. Find a unique voice
Loyal readers come to you because you’re offering something that nobody else has—so if your blog is just imitating someone else’s voice and style, you’re not going to build a strong audience that way. One way to develop your voice is to imagine yourself writing to just one single person (instead of a big crowd of faceless people).
Make sure your voice is consistent. You don’t have to say the same thing the exact same way every time, but if readers can’t get a solid hold on your blog’s personality and the values it represents, they’ll get confused and click away.
3. Write guest posts and comment on similar blogs
Building a loyal audience is rarely something you can do all by yourself. You’ll often need help from others who work in the same medium. That typically means guest blogging—both creating blog posts for other platforms and accepting guest posts on your own blog. Both of these techniques allow you to leverage their audience to build your own. Guest posts on someone else’s blog gets your name and work in front of new eyes, while accepting a post from another blogger gives them a reason to direct their readers toward your site.
You also may want to get involved in the comments on blogs related to your own. This shows people that you’re genuinely engaged with the community and the subject matter you’re writing about—and that goes a long way towards demonstrating the authenticity you need to attract loyal readers.
4. Post consistently
If you want a loyal audience, you need to give them a reason to come back to your blog again and again—and you won’t be able to do that with a sparse publishing schedule. Try to publish as consistently as possible.
Remember that there’s a different between being consistent and just creating a shoddy post for the sake of meeting your monthly quota. If it ever comes down to quantity vs. quality, choose quality every time.
5. Send handwritten notes to your audience
Handwritten messages are more personal than many other forms of communication, which makes them a powerful way to build loyalty in your audience. You can send notes thanking them for reading your content, letting them know about new features or products you plan to release or simply offer a seasonal greeting.
When you send a handwritten note, consider putting it in an envelope with your blog’s branding printed on it. This helps recipients to feel that you’re genuinely professional while still getting that intimate, emotional connection you’re looking for.
6. Highlight testimonials for social proof
Providing social proof through testimonials helps encourage loyalty among your readers. Collecting testimonials works a little differently when you’re promoting a blog as opposed to a conventional product. Many of your best testimonials won’t come from average members of your audience, but rather other bloggers who speak from a position of authority.
Once you’ve established a partnership with an authoritative figure, ask them to provide a quote that you can highlight on your site. Ask them to be as specific as possible; their testimonial should let people know what you have to offer and why they should come to you.
If you sell products as part of the work you do, you’ll also want to include testimonials from people who have purchased it.
Unfortunately, there’s no single magic trick that will miraculously bring a throng of loyal readers to your blog. Loyalty isn’t something that you can achieve overnight; it has to be earned.
Keep these principles in mind as you build your audience. If you’re vigilant, consistent and authentic, you’ll soon have a dedicated following.