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How to Awe Your Readers to Take Action

This guest post is by Jeevan Jacob John of Blog Networking 101.

You have traffic.

You have a great number of people reading your blog posts daily.

What do you want to do with these people?

Have them subscribe? Comment? Read?

Simply put, you want them to take action, right?

And how are we going to do that?

Yes, of course: through different strategies. In this blog post, we will take a look at some strategies to “awe” your readers to take action—to subscribe, to comment, or to do whatever.

Why should you “awe” your readers?

If you look up the definition of the word “awe”, you will get something like this:

Awe: A feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.

Notice that I highlighted the words, respect and wonder. These are the feelings that we need to take care of. In other words, you want to create a feeling or emotion of respect and wonder within your readers’ minds.

And how exactly can we do that?

How to create “awe” in your readers

Think about this from a normal-life perspective. Do you read fiction? How do fiction authors create a feeling of wonder within your mind? Through twists, dramas and wonders within the story.

In other words, they give you something unexpected.

The same thing goes for your blog. You can awe your readers by giving them something that they don’t expect from you. Now, the action you need to take depends upon you, your blog, and where your blog is in the popularity race.

What do your readers expect?

The best way to answer this question is to ask your readers through surveys and polls. But there’s something else you can do: analyze your competitors. Take a look at your competitors’ blogs. What do they have that’s different from your blog? Is it the quality of content, design, layout, writing style?

You can also analyze the blogs that you read outside your niche. What is it that makes you want to read those posts? Is it about the creativity used by the author? Identify what makes those blogs popular, and decide to do the same thing for your blog. But, when it comes to doing, do better.

In other words, aim for similar success, but strive for something bigger.

Action: Comment

We all know about the standard ways to get your readers to comment on your blog posts: write high-quality content, include calls to action, and conduct giveaways. The trick in doing this with success is to do it differently.

Conduct random giveaways

The first reason why I love surprise giveaways is because you can get more out of less. Here is how it works:

To encourage comments, tell your readers that for the next 5 months, you’ll offer two or three giveaways for the best comment.

Now, here comes the best part: you don’t have to conduct giveaways every month. Choose the months you’ll award your giveaways at random, but don’t tell your readers. You’ll encourage comments and you’ll surprise readers when you do award the giveaway.

The giveaway should inspire awe in itself—make it extremely generous and valuable to your readers. The comments themselves, and your responses to them, should also help to create a sense of awe if you approach them the right way.

Conduct surprise giveaways

This works similarly to random giveaways; the only difference is that you don’t tell your readers that you are going to conduct a giveaway at all—until you announce the winners of the first one.

When your readers see the announcement post, they will have a stronger motivation to leave “better” comments more frequently (compared to the random giveaways technique). Again, this helps to foster a sense of awe in your readership—and prompt them to act.

Action: Subscribe

Okay, admit it: you want subscribers. You want subscribers who are loyal and are willing to buy your products and those you recommend.

Here are several techniques that can help:

  • On your landing page, include beautiful screenshots that depict your subscription offer: Include the screenshot of the email’s design, the first page and Table Of Contents of your ebook, or screenshots of weekly tips emails and autoresponders—whatever your subscription provides, show images of it. The goal is to awe your readers so that they feel that they’ll be missing out great things if they don’t subscribe. Just don’t tell them, show them!
  • Conduct exclusive giveaways for existing and new subscribers: Here, you want to do two things: conduct giveaways for existing subscribers and for new subscribers, separately. This will be easier for you to do if you can sort out your subscribers by subscription date (Aweber is a great tool that you can use here). And if you do conduct giveaways, include screenshots of that in your landing page!
  • Make your landing page beautiful: On your landing page, you want to amaze your readers with design and words. Experiment, analyze, learn, and tweak your landing pages. Make them stand out from the rest of your blog.
  • Include testimonials and comments: These could be from your clients, subscribers, friends, and even the popular people from your niche. You want to showcase all these things—create awe by making your readers feel that you’re an authority.
  • Give something, even if they don’t subscribe: Don’t hate readers for not subscribing; instead, share and care. Here is something else you can do. All of us have seen exit pop-ups. Use those for your own good. Let’s imagine that one of your prospective subscribers wasn’t awed enough to click the Subscribe button. What can we do? Give them something useful. For instance, if you are offering your ebook to subscribers, then give a handful of chapters to prospective subscribers. Keep one thing in mind: you want your prospective subscriber to read it, be amazed by it, and then subscribe to your list. So, include the subscription link in that giveaway.

Inspire, awe, and encourage

Having great content is important. So is marketing and networking. But, that’s not all. You need to invest time in every little step. You want your blog and brand to stand out from others, in content, design, layout, and every possible elements. Play with it. Experimentation is the best possible way to find out how you can create a feeling of awe within your readers’ minds. And that’s what you want to do. Inspire, awe, encourage, and gain action.

Editor’s note: later today, we’ll showcase another approach to increasing conversions on your blog—this time, through your About page.

Jeevan Jacob John is a young blogger who blogs about everything that is related to building a better blog. If you like what you are reading here, then you should probably check out his Why You Should Give A Damn Page.
You can also find him at his blog – Blog Networking 101.

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Comments

  1. Chris says:

    I like the idea of a giveaway. The company I work for when we go to trade shows we give away an iPad to get more business cards! Just need to find a product to give away that has enough value to make my readers take action (without making me go broke…).

    Chris

    • Hey Chris,

      I am glad that you like it (and use it). Yes, we do need to make sure that the product helps our audience and it does run on our budget.

  2. We used to do give aways and free shoots to increase traffic and get fans on our facebook, and yes, just like you say here it worked out great, but it also brought a lot of problems as well. I don’t know how it works out for people in other business’s but for us personally running a photography studio it was a straight pain in the ass. Here is why: We would do a free shoot give away and it would be very popular, but then the “winner” would either never show up for the shoot, or would delay it, or at the last moment try and give it away to one of their friends. In the end it turned out being more of pain than anything else so we stopped doing the prizes and give aways. I think we may try and do it again in the future, but but we are going to have to do much more research on the subject.

    • Hey Victoria,

      I am sorry that you had bad experiences with giveaways. You could state certain conditions – like you need to be on time – the next time you run a giveaway. It does depend upon the niche. Maybe you could run a different kind of giveaway – with a different product or something along the lines of your niche.

  3. Taline says:

    Love the idea of the giveaway with the twist of having it for a bit longer of a time frame with the prize given to the best commentor.

    Usually I have seen people say for readers to simply respond to a post with leaving any old comment to participate in the giveaway. This makes for a lot of generic responses and readers heavily focus on that one article talking about the giveaway…almost taking the attention away from a high quality post you may publish at the same time.

    Great idea! I will definitely be using it :)

    • I am glad that you like it, Taline :D

      Yes, of course, that happens a lot. I think we can avoid that by making rules a little more specific.

      I hope you get great results with it :)

  4. Mike says:

    Perhaps this is something I need to focus on for my own blogging efforts. I can make decent content, but often times, the calls to actions can be quite absent from my own blog as a result of being more focused upon the content instead of getting the people to sign up or comment.

    • Mike,

      Content is important. But, don’t over value it (I don’t blame you, lot of bloggers these days talk about content being the most important thing in the world, content is important just as every other thing in blogging is; The pieces need to come together. You should try spending a little more time with tweaking your blog; after all, we do need traffic, subscribers and money that comes with it.

      Thanks for the feedback.

      • steve says:

        How is it possible to overvalue content? I ask in all seriousness.

        • Hey Steve,

          I mean overvaluing the importance of content. Content is quite important true, but these days many bloggers do talk of content as the most important thing in blogging.

  5. Tom says:

    Those are excellent tips. Thanks for the post.

    I’ve recently implemented “surprise giveaways” in my blogging strategy and they do work.

  6. Hi JJ,

    Awe-inspiring content is few and far between, amidst a wave of mediocre content. Move people to act, move their emotions, and they will take action. Focus on doing things that make it just flat out irresistible to act, and people take your call to action.

    Offering immense value – like with this post – is a quick way to awe readers. Add value, become valuable. Give freely, receive generously. Really, you reap what you sow, every time. No need to rush. Be patient, plant the blogging seeds, and you reap in terms of readers, subscribers and sales or team members.

    The mistake comes from writing un-awesome content. Awe-inspiring stuff makes readers click, subscribe, download. It’s like, you proved you can help, and the reader takes the next step. You gave, and received.

    Keen ideas. I like giving with no strings attached …..aka, giving to people who do not subscribe. Sure we want a list member, but more than that, we want to build a relationship. Offering good stuff for your readers who do not subscribe shows you are interested in their success, and in helping them, above all else. Adopt a servant’s mindset to prosper.

    Testing is key, as you note. Keep trying new approaches and test them out. If your numbers jump, stick with the strategy. If they drop, ditch it. Plenty of awesome ideas in this post to test out, get cracking all ;)

    Thanks for sharing JJ!

    Ryan

    • Hi Ryan,

      Yes, of course. Appeal to people’s emotions and people will definitely take action. Thanks, Ryan. I am glad that you consider this post as awe inspiring and useful :)

      Give and take. Give generously and in the long term, it comes back to you. I hope you try these techniques and get good results with it, Ryan :)

      No problem. Thanks for the comment!

  7. It’s been a while since I tried hosting a giveaway. I think I’ll try these random and surprise giveaway techniques out over the next few months. Something useful… hmm.

  8. According to a study, it’s now proved that articles or blog posts that get the most number of shares are those that inspire awe. Content can inspire a wide range of emotions in the reader. But when it inspires awe, it’s like hitting the nail on the head. The web is afloat with a sea of content. Very little of it, however, is actually awe-inspiring.

    If you want to inspire awe, you must force the reader to see the world in a different way. Regardless of the niche you cater to, your readers want to learn something new. They are looking for something that’s completely fascinating.

    If you’re able to do that, you’ll inspire awe.

    Thanks for this great article on how to inspire awe among readers.

    • I agree with you on the point about awe-inspiring content. Only a small fraction of content in the blogosphere is actually awe inspiring.

      Yes of course :)

      No problem and thanks for the comment!

  9. Dragan Palla says:

    Sometimes we are just way more occupied with the design, content, traffic… and simple call to action like comments can have such an suprisingly impact.
    Great and informative post.

  10. apple tv says:

    A psychological analysis of your blog readers very well. It changed my way of thinking.

  11. I love the idea of doing a random giveaway – I will definitely jump on that one! I’ve learned to be careful of doing giveaways without asking for something in return. I now use Rafflecopter to help increase my mail list.

    • I am glad that you like it, Kimberly. That’s great. Rafflecopter is a great software to manage giveaways, I am glad that you getting more subscribers.

      Thanks for the comment :)

  12. Like someone said in the comments, you do get more hung up about the content.
    unsure if a give away would work for us.
    Again like a lot of articles i get just as much out of the comments part as well.

    • Maybe you should try it ;) See whether it works for you, if it doesn’t change something and try again. Do it until you find a way.

      Thanks for the comment!

  13. People like anything from Apple! iPod Shuffles are only around $50 USD, and people are always try to win those cheap things. Haha. Yea, so that’s a good giveaway.

    • That’s because Apple is known for creating new and unique products (true, these days they are taking advantage of people’s belief and trust to reinvent their known products – “reinvent” as in adding a handful of features to it).

      People try to save money ;) Whether it is 50 bucks or 50 cents.

      Thanks for the comment, Kent!

  14. Minos says:

    Giveaway is a good way to get more comments and subscribers. Use these tips with rich and useful content posts will gain readers impressively.

  15. There are some really great tips here, I always thought of exit pop-ups (and popups in general) as spammy, but if you use them correctly (don’t prevent the user from clicking on what they want/closing the tab don’t use a pop-under which hides until I close my browser and have forgotten I was ever on the website, let alone why) then I can see that it would be very effective.

    I’m currently working on my newsletter as I just decided to change it from monthly to weekly and change the format entirely to offer more value to the readers, as soon as I have issue 1 I’ll screenshot it and use that on my landing page, and then when my free ebook’s finished I’ll be putitng up images of that too!

    • Thanks, Rosemary :)

      Yes, popups can sometimes be annoying, but if used effectively, they can generate great results.

      That’s great. I am glad that you have decided to give these tips a try. I hope you get good results with it :)

      Thanks a bunch!

  16. I’ve never thought of a giveaway, it sounds like an excellent idea and I love how you detailed what and how to do it. I appreciate Problogger because of the sound and practical advice I get. Thank you Jeevan for contributing to that.

    • Hey Sharon,

      I am glad that my article helped. I hope you try these techniques and achieve success with these. Thanks for the comment :)

  17. Dmitry says:

    Thanks for the post!
    It would be nice to add social buttons and profiles in the letter template also.

  18. editor says:

    Interesting post. However, for new non-commercial start ups like mine give aways are not an option. Any suggestions for a similar strategy for these circumstances?

    • You don’t need to spend money with Giveaways:

      How about looking for sponsors?

      Or

      Giving something valuable that doesn’t cost directly to you (an eBook, report or service you provide). Service is the best of these (other two are used commonly).

  19. You can lead a horse to water …

  20. I totally liked the idea of giveaways…any surprise is a good surprise, a token of appreciation for the readers.

  21. Glynis says:

    I’m in the process of creating a email campaign to increase subscribers to my email notices AND RSS feed. I decided to give an e-book to all who read my email about subscribing. I just put a text link to the e-book at the bottom of my email campaign. I was a little skeptical about this but really wanted to do it this way. Then I read your post here. Thanks for the confidence boost. ;D

  22. Debt Advisor says:

    I have done a few contests and giveaways on my various blogs. One thing that helps is to get sponsors to donate services or items to give away. I had a huge sucess with a one year anniversary contest. It created tons of back links and subscribers for the blog and it promoted he services of my sponsors.