How to Build A Huge Following And Customer Database Using Your Blog
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and MySpace are some very fantastic social media platforms that many people, especially marketers, employ to create awareness of their purposes and a community that allow them to stay connected with their followers, target market or general public. It is certainly true that as social media are gaining popularity and attracting a huge crowd of fans and followers, you will be so tempted to rely solely on any of these channels to strategize your marketing efforts. But, right here, I’m going to point out to you the very sign of danger of such reliance. Think about this, if say, for one day, Facebook has decided to unplug all its facilities that you’re currently enjoying free of charge following a change of rules and policies, and is now charging for every single service that you are utilizing on its site (for instance, charging a fee for every post you intend to make); unexpected or unanticipated changes like this is going to throw every plans and budgets of yours out of your window.
Yes, I’m talking about the risk of losing all leads, traffic and goodwill built up as well as other quantifiable or non-quantifiable efforts in building a community on a platform that is not yours entirely to maneuver. Therefore, realize this, if you are building and expanding a community of your own, it is safer to perform it on your own blog site, because of the full control that you can exert full control, ownership and responsibility of your site.
Focus on ‘targeted’ audience
One biggest mistake people often make with creating a blog and building a community is that they want to target everyone out there. A blog like this often fails to attract any audience because there is a lack of value and ‘perceived’ value in the messages that one is trying to push out. If you are creating a blog, think carefully about the specific kinds of products that you want to promote, the niche market that you wish to target, your expertise and the targeted audience that may be interested in this expertise. Audience will always find such a blog appealing in the sense that they are sharing a common interest in the contents of that blog.
Promote interaction and engagement
Sometimes, too often, when a blog fails to fall through its intended course of results, people blame too fast on the design of the blog or even on inaccurate on-page and off-page optimization. These may be true to a certain extent but what many have failed to recognize is the fact that content of the blog is actually not sparking people’s interest or promoting authentic interaction. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction. In an online environment, human interaction does not just happen naturally and we have legitimate concern as to the impact of loss of face-to-face interaction. Therefore, when you are writing your blog post, have in mind the need to give your audience an opportunity to comment and express their views and opinions. Structure your post to be as interesting as possible and reach out to them by showing that you encourage reciprocal dialogue and appreciate their inputs.
Reader engagement is the key to building a successful long-term readership base and increasing a blog’s authority and relevance. People like to feel part of something. They need to know that their opinion is valued and counts for something. Where needed, reach out to your customer or reader personally; get to understand them and review or even comment on their blog posts as well. This helps to build up your profile and credibility as well as synergies over time. A visitor is more likely to return to a blog if he or she feels engaged on a more personal level or if their personal inputs are valued and answered upon.
Take a moment to view this video titled ‘Use Questions to Enhance Reader Engagement on Your Blog‘, which shares and explores on ways of building engagement on your blog by asking questions and what types of questions you should be asking.
These are some very powerful mechanisms of how you can encourage readers’ interaction and engagement and convert an average blog into a dynamic blog with many followers.
Blend in your Personal Flavors
This is one aspect of blogging I always love to employ to take my blog to a whole new level. Even if you’re a professional blogger, the fact is that readers will always feel more connected if you blend in your personal flavors – for example, how are relating personally with the events or products that you’re promoting on your blog, sharing your personal story and pictures of that experience, etc. When your professional bloggership pulls through with personal appeals and inspiring stories that touch the hearts of your audience, you’re on the way of making friends instead of mere acquaintances and readers.
‘Contact Me’ and ‘Share This’
Similar to the customer-oriented mindset of running an offline business, the way we keep our readers or customers happy is to ensure that we offer the right values that they are looking for in a product or service that you are offering. Obtaining customer feedback through ‘Contact Me’ on your blog has traditionally been a very valuable tool used to evaluate, understand and manage customers’ experiences, so that any positive feedback can be followed through while any shortcomings can be overcome and improved along the way. Who knows, your readers may actually help you uncover some very common blogging mistakes that render your blog less efficient and effective.
It also pays to analyze with the help of web analytic tools on statistics which provide insights as to which post are your audience reading and enjoying most of the time, how long are they reading each of the post and so forth. Remember to make sharing easy for your readers by applying social media buttons on your post so that at a click of a button, your article is shared across multiple social media platforms and on its way to gain more exposure and readership.
‘Thank You’ Giveaways
Free giveaways, for thanking your readers for following and participating at your blog, have always known to attract crowds and customers, and promote further sharing and hence, exposure. What are some free stuffs that you can give away for free to your readers? Think creative. I tend to like exclusive contents. Others give away extra bonus digital item, their own products or free services. You can always think of something that do not cost you much or even something for which production cost is almost negligible.
Community Building is a Process
Building a better blog and an active and dynamic online community should be considered as a process and not a one-off event. There are hardly such things as ‘overnight successes’. With blog writing, you can get what I call a blogger fatigue, where you grow tired or bored of doing the same thing over and again. This is very commonplace and do not fret over this. Take a break away from the blog for a while and when you return again in front of your computer, get going and continue where you’ve left off. With trials and errors, and passage of time and continued efforts and improvements, your consistency, perseverance and commitment to your blog and community will eventually pay off with success you desire.
Last but not least, enjoy the process along the way and of course, the fruits of success down the way. If you are a blogger, do share with us the challenges you face in attracting traffic to your blog site and how you managed and facilitate interaction and engagements with your reader base.