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
- 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.
- Keep an excel file with the names and emails of your evangelists, so that you can reach them whenever you want.
- 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.