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How to Recruit Evangelists for Your Blog

This guest post is by M.Farouk Radwan of http://www.2knowmyself.com.

Today, every successful blogger knows that diversifying traffic sources is a practice we can’t afford to ignore. Search engines update their search algorithms all the time, social media sites keep rising and falling, and new traffic sources keep appearing and disappearing.

In order to ensure your long-term continuity on the Web, and in order to be able to live through these changes, you need a team of evangelists who can help you market your content whenever a new traffic source appears.

For example, if you had a blog before the time of Twitter, and then Twitter came into existence, you need loyal evangelists who can help you develop strong presence on the social network, who tweet your posts, retweet your tweets, and follow you.

In this post I will tell you about powerful and effective methods that can help you recruit evangelists for your blog.

Recognize potential evangelists

How many times you ignored a mail, a comment, or a request of help from a reader? Each of these people can become potential evangelists when you provide them with the help they need.

When I get a mail from someone asking for help I do my best to answer him on time. If he replies to say something like “thanks,” or if he doesn’t reply at all, I don’t consider him an evangelist. But if he replies saying that he is very thankful, I then ask him to become an evangelist for my blog.

Of course I don’t ask him to do this in a direct way; instead I tell him something like, “You are most welcome. If you want to help me as well, then you can do that by sharing my content.”

People who send you thank you emails are evangelists. When they use powerful words, you know they are already existing evangelists who are eager to do what you ask. Never be ashamed to ask someone for a favor if you really helped that person through your blog.

Never block all communication channels

I often come across blogs that have no content forms, no method to comment on a post, and no communication method that can help you reach the owner of the blog.

Of course you might want to disable one or two features for technical reasons, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t keep at least one communication channel opened between you and the people who might become evangelists. After all, if those people can’t reach you, you will never be able to recruit them.

Spend more time communicating with people

Before understanding this fact, I used to spend no more than 30 minutes answering emails, and sometimes I allowed many messages to accumulate in my Facebook inbox. After understanding my mistake, I started spending more than one hour per day answering emails and searching for potential evangelists.

Post an announcement

Even if you keep all communication channels opened between you and your readers, there will still be many potential evangelists who won’t offer help unless you ask them to do so.

Post an announcement that states that you need help from loyal readers in your forums, on your blog, or on your Facebook page.

Assign tasks to your evangelists

  1. Once you have a team of evangelists, you can ask them to share your content and to promote it on the newest potential traffic sources.
  2. Keep an excel file with the names and emails of your evangelists, so that you can reach them whenever you want.
  3. Keep looking for potential evangelists and keep increasing their numbers all the time.

Remember: successful blogging is all about connecting with your loyal readers on a deep level so that they can help your blog come into the light.

Avoid overburdening your evangelists with tasks

People who believe in you should be treated as if they are precious treasure. You don’t want to overburden those people with tasks and have them turn away from you.

If you asked one evangelist for help, make sure you don’t ask her again for a reasonable period of time. In the Excel sheet where you keep the names and contact details of your evangelists, make notes so that you can check which ones have been contacted before, and which have not.

Also, repay the favor your evangelists gave you, even if you have initially helped them. For example, if you sell products or have membership areas, give those people free access to some of your products.

This will help to increase their loyalty even more, and they will never turn away from your blog. The key point to keep in mind is to not ask for more than those people can tolerate, or else you will risk losing them.

And the next time you need help, ask those loyal evangelists indirectly, for example, by announcing on your fan page that you need help with a task. Only those who really want to help another time will get back to you, so you can be assured you’re not overburdening anyone.

Does your blog have evangelists? How did you build up a core group of loyal followers? Share your tips in the comments.

Written by M.Farouk Radwan, the founder of http://www.2knowmyself.com, which gets more than 600,000 page views per month.

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Comments

  1. John Sherry says:

    Like your originality Farouk. The term ‘tribe’ has been banded around the blogosphere for some time but your ‘evangelist’ concept has as much weight too. Connect to those who connect to you and help them to help you by doing the things that speed up interaction and spreading the massage. Perhaps then their not just evangelists, maybe they’re actually ‘hosts’ who spread your viral truth to all they come into (online) contact with being infectious in their actions. They will make a host of difference by gaining traffic, respect, and a profile.

  2. Terrific ideas. Of course I’ll try to use all the tips to my evangelist reader. Most of them needed help on interior designing for their home

  3. This has been one of the most fun parts of building my blog — building deeper friendships with the people who stood out as my biggest supporters from the get go. I haven’t had to ask for any favors yet because they have already been so giving… I just keep them in a Twitter list so I can make sure I stay on top of engaging with them and seeing when they share their own content so I can offer my comments to them as well. Great post!

    • farouk says:

      thank you so much Amy
      you are right, i have blogger friends and i love the fact that i knew those guys through blogging :)

  4. LAjuice says:

    Great title, you totally grabbed my attention. I too have met some really great people through responding to my readers in their comments and emails. In my sort of personal/author/humor blog world, the idea of reciprocity goes very far. A lot of my readers are people who blog, so the biggest thing I do is check out their work if they are kind enough to read and comment on mine. It makes a huge difference, and I have discovered some great reads!

  5. Great article! Thanks for sharing :D

    WW

  6. Brian Yang says:

    It is ridiculously important to nurture your audience. Anyone that appreciates your work also wants to feel appreciated and connected to you.

    I can’t tell you how awesome it is to e-mail a major successful blogger and actually get a response back, it definitely builds more respect and trust with your audience. Obvious it’s impractical to expect that all the time, since major bloggers gets thousands of e-mails. But from time to time, it makes a BIG impact.

    One example is Pat Flyn from http://www.smartpassiveincome.com I e-mailed him a question and within minutes he replied back! Crazy.

    • farouk says:

      That’s so true Brian
      i believe the more successful the blogger becomes the more time he should dedicate to answering people

  7. I just finished reading an article on another blog and I really liked it so I wanted to leave a comment … I had to search for the link for the comment form but before I could actually get to the form it’self I was transported to a page with a l-o-n-g list of “thou-shall-not” rules about commenting! I probably shouldn’t have been so irritated, but I was, so I didn’t leave a comment – maybe that was their intent?!

    • farouk says:

      Marquita
      that’s a perfect example of what i was talking about
      some people mistakenly prevent readers from connecting with them :)
      i don’t think they meant it

  8. Roving Jay says:

    Many a true word. It still surprizes me when I visit blogs and they don’t make it easy to share or start a dialogue about the content. Why have a blog, if there’s no easy way to start or build relationship? I know that inbound communication can get a bit overwhelming – but if you limit your streams, and set up a process around the dialogue – the level of effort is more than rewarded by the value this relationship building provides.

    When acquiring evangelists, I like to be specific about what I’m asking for, and give examples. I know that all bloggers have their own priorities, so if I can make it easier for them to become an evangelist for my blog – it’s win win.

  9. This is such a fantastic post! I stumbled across a website and when I was reading the “about” page I discovered a bit of brilliance. One of the company’s owners shared that he was always amazed that companies are so focused on getting new clients and not on the clients that they have today.

    I encouraged me to change my focus from increasing my traffic to celebrating my readers. I’ve only been doing this for a few weeks and it’s made such a huge difference.

    Thanks for this fantastic post!

  10. David says:

    Good advice. I’m always so reluctant to ask anyone for anything I never really thought of straight out asking people to share my content. But it makes perfect sense. I’ll have to give it a try.

  11. TrackHustle says:

    Awesome insight. I actually just changed my website so people have to sign in to access the content. This way I can gain more info on my readers. I will definitely keep in mind finding evangelists within my viewers. Thanks!

  12. farouk says:

    thanks David :)
    sometimes all you need is to ask :) of course don’t ask anybody but do it when you really feel that one reader owes you one

  13. Thank you for this lesson! I usually feel ashamed to ask anything from anyone, I don’t want to bother my readers, etc. Your points of view were quite enlightening for me.

  14. Steve says:

    Farouk I agree that interaction with readers is very important………Also liked your website that you mentioned……….Thanks again

  15. maque says:

    Hell, yeah, I did that sin :) I did not reply to people for some time. Shame on me, Having read this article I’ll definitely change my mind and attitude to it. Thanks, man.