Today’s task in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge is all about building community on your blog and making an impression upon readers by giving them some personal attention.
The task is simply to email a new reader (or more than one).
While the tip sounds simple – too simple – it is actually a technique that I used in the early days of this blog (ProBlogger) and it really helped build up reader engagement.
What I found is that when you pay personal attention to a reader it significantly increases the chances of them not only returning to your blog but also spreading the news of your blog through their network.
So look over the most recent comments left on your blog and identify a reader that you don’t recognise the details of. Shoot them a quick email thanking them for their comment.
Make sure you include a link back to your blog so they know who you are and make the email relevant to their comment (ie answer a question they asked or add to their comment in some way). You might also like to point them in the email to your RSS feed (converting them to a loyal reader). While there are some tools out there that email new comment leavers automatically for you – the more personal you can make it the better.
Two Ways to Take this Further and Make a Bigger Impression
The above technique can really be worth investing time each day into – but here are two ways that you can extend this:
1. To make an even greater impression if the person has left a link to their own blog in their comment click that link and leave a comment on their blog. Again – this is another technique that I used in their early days of my blogging and it was certainly a factor in getting the ball rolling for me in terms of building readership.
2. Another quick thing to do is to respond to the comment ON your blog. Sending the email is great on making an impression on the person themselves but leaving a comment in your own comment section shows other readers that you’re interested in engaging in conversation. It also helps build comment numbers which can build social proof and show your blog is active.
Rinse and Repeat
If you’ve got a few extra minutes today – do this with a handful of new readers – the more the better. I’d also highly recommend adding this task to your daily routine – 10-15 minutes a day on this task could make an impression on thousands of people a year.
This simple tip takes just a moment to do but can create a loyal long time reader. Do it at least once a day (or set yourself a higher target) and you’ll build your blog consistently over time.
Is this Tip Not SPECTACULAR Enough For You?
Last time I shared this tip with a fellow blogger they rolled their eyes at me and told me that they didn’t want to find just one more reader for their blog – they wanted hundreds or thousands.
This blogger failed to realize two things:
- Loyal Readers Spread the Word - I’ve found that in many cases a single reader quickly becomes numerous loyal readers because when you make an impression on people it’s likely that they’ll spread the word about you. They do this through their own blogs, word of mouth, Twitter and other social networking sites.
- Loyal Readers Build Page Views - One loyal reader can potentially view your blog hundreds (if not thousands) of times. A daily visit from that reader for a year brings an extra 365 page views to your blog. Gain an extra loyal reader every day for a full year and the numbers start to add up.
While there’s nothing wrong with attracting thousands of new readers to your blog quickly – the majority of times they’ll come and go very quickly.
Build loyal readers one by one on a daily basis and can be a lot more fruitful in the long run.
Don’t have any comments on your blog yet?
I know there are a number of very new bloggers doing this challenge that might not yet have people leaving comments on their blogs to email. If this is you – don’t worry, I have another mini task for you to do today.
Spend 10 minutes visiting other blogs on your topic and leaving relevant, helpful and genuine comments on their blogs. The more helpful your comments the better – make an impression with quality comments raises your profile and can potentially drive traffic to a blog.
- 10 Techinques to Get More Comments on Your Blog – for those who are still trying to get readers commenting.
- Should You Respond to Comments via Email or in Comments – two options for interacting with readers – both have their place.
Update – Find out how others are doing with this task over at the forum! Day 5 – Email a Reader
This task is a sample of one of the tasks in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook – a downloadable resource designed to reinvigorate and revitalize blogs.
Join over 14,000 other bloggers and Get your Copy Today.