Yesterday we looked at the strategic question of, “What do you want new visitors of your blog to do?” It’s a question that’s very powerful in helping you to achieve your goals as a blogger.
Today I want to take the question and apply it to repeat readers—an exercise that I think is really important. It can help take those first-time visitors and make them loyal and engaged readers who not only buy your products, but spread the word about you.
What do you want repeat readers to do?
One of the main goals that I suspect many people yesterday wanted to achieve with new visitors to a blog is to get them to sign up for your newsletter. But what do you want those visitors, who are now subscribers, to do next?
The beauty of having someone sign up to an email list is that you now have an opportunity to take them through a series of emails in an auto-responder sequence that leads them through a series of interactions with you.
Doing some thinking about the journey you want to take people on can be very fruitful.
A hypothetical example
For example, here’s a sequence of actions that you might want your readers to take (this is one I brainstormed quickly, so yours will, of course, differ from this).
- Subscribe: This particular process starts with a visit and the initial goal of getting someone to subscribe (to an email list).
- Follow: The next goal in this process is to get people to make a secondary connection by following a Twitter or Facebook account. This might be achieved via an immediate email in the autoresponder thanking people for subscribing and drawing the subscriber’s attention to your social media accounts.
- Comment: The next action we’re looking for in this sequence is to try to get people to interact with us by commenting on a post. The goal here is to train readers to be interactive and participate. To do this, the next email in the autoresponder sequence might simply be an email that lists ten of the hottest posts on your blog—posts that you’ve chosen particularly because they have a proven track record of getting comments. You’d also include a strong call to action for subscribers to comment, perhaps even pointing them to a post where you ask readers to introduce themselves.
Join: The next goal in this sequence is to “join.” This might not be relevant to everyone, but perhaps you have a forum attached to your blog (or a ning community or some other communal area). There would again be an email sent to highlight this opportunity and list the benefits of joining.
Buy: The next goal is to buy. You might, at this point, add an email to the autoresponder sequence that offers subscribers a discount, or simply highlights a product that you have, and calls them to buy.
Spread the word: Lastly in this sequence, the goal is to get your subscribers to tell others about your blog, and to spread the word. Perhaps your email might be a competition to incentivize this, or just an email that offers some links that will tweet a message to the reader’s followers automatically when they click the link.
Note: Again, what I’ve put together here is a quickly brainstormed series of actions—you’ll probably want to come up with your own and I would strongly suggest you also think about how you’re providing real value to subscribers through the emails you send. Between each of these calls to action, you might send other emails that are purely about serving readers, rather than just sending a series of emails that are about getting them to do something for you!
The key is to do some thinking about what you want your readers to do over time and then to design a process that will lead them through those actions.