Most everyone has a blog, or two. There are about 75 million bloggers out there and the one thing we all have in common is the desire to gain readers. We write to inform or entertain and we want our words to be read by others.
But how can that be done you say? I have compiled a list of five ways that readers will turn into your trusty right hand (wo)man:
Conduct a poll or survey
Lee Odden at TopRank Blog is always conducting polls about something SEM/SEO related. By getting your readers involved in some way, they will feel like they have a voice in your community. It will also make them feel really good to participate in something constructive. Think of a creative poll or survey to ask your readers but make sure it parallels the mission and intent of your blog.
Nobody in the history of America, or probably the world for that matter, can resist something that says FREE. We eat free samples at grocery stores, accept free perfume samples from mall clerks and sometimes we even click on that big flashy sign that says “you’ve just won a FREE iPod, click here!” Freebies don’t have to be expensive, just creative; something that would promote your blog but could be given away at little or no cost. Perhaps you have an ebook or ezine you want to promote. Why not give it away to the first 50 people who ask about it? This will get readers talking about you and keep them coming back for future give-aways.
TechCrunch offered to give away 50 oomas (a VOIP type service) to people who left a comment on their site. The news spread like wildfire. I’ll be they even gained a few new subscriptions.
Ask readers for their opinion
Comments are the best way for readers to share their opinions with you. Encourage their voices by creating a controversial or open ended post that will spark conversation. This will create a community of commenters openly sharing their thoughts on the subject. Blogs are as effective as the people who read them. Useful commenting will positively impact your blog and bring readers back to get more valuable information.
Give credit where it’s due
On one of my posts a couple weeks ago, I had a link pointing nowhere. One of our commenters pointed it out to me, suggesting that I fix it. It’s great to know that people reading your posts are also looking out for you. So reciprocate; if they do something nice for you, add them in a post just to say thanks. It shows not only that you care about your readers, but you actually read what they have to say. This speaks worlds.
Ask readers to guest blog
If you go on vacation or just get swamped with work but want to keep up with the blog so readers don’t get bored with old information, ask if they would like to guest post. There’s a lot of value in the simple request to have someone write a piece for your blog and odds are if they are reading what you’re posting, they know at least a little bit about the subject.
The underlying theme to gain and keep reader loyalty is to have them be active members of your blogging community. Keep them involved and their appreciation for you and your blog will soon follow.