A loyal audience is very important when blogging because this can translate into some serious conversions. For example, with a loyal audience you’ll have a guarantee that you’ll keep growing as a blog within your niche. I’ll admit it can be hard to build loyalty, however once you have, it can go a long way. The problem I’ve noticed over the years is that many people don’t put enough emphasis on building their brand, and taking care of their customers. This means in the long run they have a higher chance of losing their readers to competition. The good news is we know a lot about reader loyalty because we can learn from those before us. For example, some of the best lessons I’ve learned come from authority bloggers I have networked with throughout the years.
Over the years I have learned this can be split into “4” areas:
- Quality content
- Responding to comments
- Build personal brand so people trust and find you to be credible.
Let’s get started, and look at creative ways to build loyalty from your audience.
Solid content always starts at knowing how to perform the right type of research. Through research you’ll be able to target the right audience which increases the chance of them building loyalty with your brand. I have written extensively about the importance of research, and how this can help build momentum quickly. By performing research you’ll be able to:
- Find popular topic
- Find trending topics
- Find out about your audience which will help cater to them
- Come up with a solid marketing plan going forward
I believe there are “3” awesome ways everyone should use to perform the research they need. I’ll outline them quickly below:
One of the best ways to find awesome keywords because you’ll find all different types of content. Not to mention, Google is great at providing a list of relevant keywords which are popular with searchers. Always try and start to type with your target keyword, and look for the others words provided by Google.
One of the best ways to gather popular topics, and niche relevant keywords. You have to first find relevant forums so head over to Google, and do a search using target keyword + forums. You’ll find a handful, but it’s important to only focus on the MOST popular. How do you know which ones are popular?
- Look at the member count
- Look at the members online
- Research the topics posted
Once you have found the forums which provide you with all of the above, you can skim through finding topics. Hopefully you’ll know more about your audience so can focus on topics they want to read.
I’ve used this strategy for years to find targeted keywords and popular topics within my niche. Keep in mind some of your competitors have been in the business longer so have a better idea of the topics, keywords and audience. Learn from them because it’ll save you enormous time going forward. It’s as simple as skimming through their content looking for content with the highest shares, comments and looking at how often certain keywords are used. The more familiar content you find published on the blog shows that the audience likes these types of content.
Once you’ve gathered the keywords, and know what to write about then putting together high quality content is very easy. You have to make sure your content is formatted correctly, and you provide the value you had in mind. It can be very easy to go off track however with solid keywords, you’ll have an easier time structuring your content. For example, your main and relevant keywords should be used as the headings as well as the sub-headings. Each time you approach a section you’ll be able to write about the target keywords allowing you to keep your focus.
Here are a few more things to keep in mind:
First, always make sure you provide the value you know your audience has in mind, and this is why you spent enormous time researching keywords + the right topics. Give yourself some time to write out content meaning until you have covered all the fundamentals. I often get asked the question: How long should my content be? My answer is as long as it has to in order to get the value across.
Secondly, it’s important when writing content, you include the necessary elements to communicate your value. This means to include images and infographics where possible. These are two great ways to illustrate your points quickly, and efficiently within a short period of time.
Third, value can only be communicated if you keep your “target” keywords, and points within your mind. This means you should always stop in between, and go over your complete master plan. Having focus will allow you to write what you think is valuable instead of going off track.
Here’s something I read when visiting Neil Patel’s blog at QuickSprout.com.
96% of people decide to come back because of the quality of the content. This means the better the content, the higher the user retention. This also means you have a 96% higher chance of doing better than your competitors if you provide more value than them. In my first point I emphasized the importance of doing research, and provided some cool ways to use your competitor content to find creative material they missed out on. Find ways to make your content better by adding the following elements:
- Longer depth
- And creating a blog which is more interactive then others.
Responding to Comments
This is a form of engagement, and respect for the people who take time to read your content. You have to keep in mind many of the people visiting are newbies which means they will have some questions afterwards. In my experience, there are two ways people will communicate the questions they have:
- They’ll post a comment within the box below the content
- They contact you directly using the form on your blogs contact page.
Whatever way they choose to communicate their thoughts or questions, it’s important you reply to them. Even though retention rate is much higher because of the quality of your content, it’s important to note that 24% of readers come back because of the relationship you have formed with them. There has to be something which distinguishes you from your competition, and building a relationship with your readers is definitely up there on the list.
The good news is replying to comments is NOT tough because the interface on many blogging platforms is very easy. Another cool thing is many other readers will help answer questions because the comments posted are visible to everyone.
You have the option to change up your comment box to make it more interactive. I hope by now your using a blogging platform because it gives you the option to customize your plug-ins. Add a box which is interactive, and allows leaving comments more easily.
Your Brand and Credibility
Your company’s brand and credibility can go a long way in building loyalty with your customers or audience. When you have a brand people trust they automatically come to you for information. This means their first choice will be your blog to find an answer to their common problems. In the long run, you’ll save enormous money marketing because you won’t have to strategically plan how to get your content in front of people.
Think about huge brands like Apple or even Coca Cola and you’ll realize one important thing…
Both brands you trust to create awesome products so when you shop for a computer or go for a drink, you’ll most likely turn to them first. The point I’m making is you should always work hard at building a brand for yourself no matter what other objectives you have.
Here are a few things to avoid going forward:
Content without a strategy: You have to always have a clear vision about the direction you want your content marketing to flow to. Many times people will write WITHOUT having a clear vision about where or who they want to engage.
Fresh content – A few months back Google introduced a freshness update, and they reward people with updated content with a boost going forward. However, you also want to keep in mind your readers, and what they are looking for. They are reading your blog to learn so it’s important you provide them with fresh ideas, content and news.
Not connecting readers – Make sure you always provide a way for your readers to connect with each other through comments or social media. This is a great way to keep building your blog, and attract more loyal readers. Always include at least “4” social media buttons next to each post, and focus on the MOST popular like Facebook, Twitter, Google and LinkedIn.
The good news is if your using a blogging platform, you can install a simple plugin which will add them for your very easily.
Be Your Own Voice
Searchers are looking to follow someone with their own voice. Having your own voice will allow you to build a brand which is unique compared to all others. If people can resonate with your voice, then you’ll have NO trouble building loyalty with them in the long run. However, you have to always stick to the game plan because as a blogger I know it can be hard to stick to your focus and voice. The good news is that establishing your own voice is NOT hard because you are letting things flow naturally.
The next time you sit down make sure you write in your own voice, and let the content flow from your mind. Speak as you would when talking to someone face to face, and let things flow naturally.
Building reader loyalty is very important because with so much competition, it’s important you stand out compared to others online. However, I’m surprised at the amount of people who fail to utilize the strategies listed above to build customer loyalty. It’s NOT too late to start to implement the tips I’ve listed above so start doing that right now.
Here’s the game plan I want you to follow going forward:
Start by reading over my content again making notes about the important points outlined. When you have a better understanding of the strategies discussed, only then, will you be able to implement all of them into your blogging. I recommend NOT implementing all the strategies as once because it’ll be hard to manage which one’s actual work compared to others. Your trying to find out proven techniques within your niche which help build loyalty with your readers. Every niche will be different so you’ll have to tweak your approach going forward.