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5 Ways to Bond with Your Blog’s Audience

January 27, 2021
tenten

You’re smart.

You know you need to be helpful on your blog in order to grow your audience. You share useful tips. You give away free tutorials.

But somehow you’re not connecting with your readers. Your blog seems a little quiet.

Sure, you’re getting some traffic. But a certain spark is missing. It’s not the enjoyable party you’d imagined it to be.

Is it getting you down?

Today I’m sharing five tips to engage with your readers, make them feel at home, and to turn your blog into a nice and warm get-together.

Sound good?

1. Write conversationally

Nobody gossips with a company. Nobody connects with a robot. Nobody bonds with a corporation.

To engage your readers, you need to sound human. Write as if you’re talking with an imaginary friend. Start a conversation.

Imagine the questions your friend would ask you, and answer these questions. Consider the challenges your friend is facing and help him (or her) with sound advice.

Avoid sounding robotic or corporate:

  • Use everyday words and exclamations like Yep or Hell no!
  • Skip gobbledygook. Words like market-leading, innovative, and best-in-class make your writing stilted.
  • Use short sentences. Feel free to start your sentences with And, But, Because, or Or.
  • Address your reader directly. Use the word you, because it’s one of the most powerful words in the English language.
  • Use the word I. Just like in a face-to-face conversation.
  • Pose questions in your text.
  • Cut down on adjectives and adverbs. Don’t sound like a flowery, pompous press release.

Blogging isn’t like essay writing. Let your personality shine through. Add distinctive phrases. Include a few quirky words. Use phrases that only you would use.

Read your blog post aloud. Does the blog post sound like you? Do you stumble at certain points?

2. Use metaphors to engage your audience

Metaphors can be used to explain abstract ideas or to make complex issues simple. That’s true. But metaphors can do so much more.

Metaphors automatically make your blog posts more vivid and engaging. Metaphors use imagery so readers can see, feel, hear, taste, or even smell what you’re talking about.

The more specific and sensory your metaphors are, the easier it becomes for readers to experience your words. That’s how your writing makes an impact. That’s how you become more memorable, more engaging, and more persuasive.

You can add an extra dose of personality by drawing metaphor inspiration from your hobbies or personal experiences. For instance, Srinivas Rao often uses surfing metaphors on his blog The Skool of Life.

I use cycling or travelling metaphors on my blog. It gives my readers a glimpse of my life and helps them connect with me. It creates another opportunity to interact. Rather than being asked How’s business?, I sometimes get asked What cycling trips do you have planned?

Metaphors inspired by personal hobbies hint at who you are: whether you like football or soccer; whether you prefer a classical to a rock concert; whether you enjoy gardening or cooking.

You can also use metaphors as a theme for a blog post. Pick a theme — such as cooking, bowling, or travelling — and associate freely to find connections with your blog topic.

For instance, let’s say your blog is about content marketing, and you pick cycling as your theme:

  • You can draw analogies between setting your cycling and content marketing goals.
  • You can tell your readers to stop comparing their content marketing efforts unfavourably with marketing gurus — just like you can’t compare your cycling efforts with Tour de France winners.
  • You can mention that the best way to survive a content marketing journey is to love what you’re doing. Just like the best way to improve your fitness is to pick a sport you enjoy doing. If you hate writing, don’t force yourself to write blog posts. Do video instead, or hire a writer.

When working on your metaphor theme, try to get away from your computer. Creative juices often flow better when you’re relaxing. So have a swim, wash the dishes, or stay in bed for a few minutes just after you wake up in the morning.

Engage your readers by sharing personal experiences.

Surprise your readers with unusual metaphors.

3. Inspire your readers

Content marketing isn’t only about teaching. You also need to inspire your readers to change their beliefs, or to take action.

How do you inspire?

  • Empathize with your readers in your opening paragraph. Show you understand your reader’s problems. Because that makes them listen to your solutions.
  • Share cookie content. Create tasty tips that are easy to implement and that make your readers feel better.
  • Conclude with an inspirational paragraph. Don’t allow your blog posts to fizzle out. Galvanize your readers. Re-ignite their passion. Make them get up and take action.

Sharing tips is good. But don’t forget to inspire your readers to implement your tips.

4. Create a common enemy

You’re building your authority as a blogger.

You’re passionate about your topic; and you’re well on your way to becoming a thought leader in your field.

It all sounds good. But who wants to bond with a snotty, old professor? Or a smarty-pants?

Sometimes you need to share your vulnerability. So don’t just share the lessons you’ve learned, be frank about the mistakes you’ve made, too. Show your readers you’re human — just like them.

You can also stress that you’re similar to your readers by creating a common enemy. An example:

You’re a Copyblogger reader, so I guess you hate in-your-face, yellow-highlighter sales as much as I do. You and I don’t do that. We’re not aggressive. We’re not pushy. We’re helpful. That’s how we earn business.

Be careful. Overfamiliarity can be creepy. Be certain you and your readers are on the same wavelength.

5. Be interesting and interested

It’s easy to think of blogging as one-way traffic. You’re writing, publishing, and sharing your blog posts.

But being interesting is only half the job. Being interested is maybe even more important.

Your blog is not about your successes, but about your reader’s journeys. For instance: Mark Schaefer blogs over at {grow}. He’s a best-selling author. His books have received rave reviews. As a social media consultant he’s worked with companies like Cisco, IBM, and Johnson & Johnson.

Recently Mark published his 1,000th blog post. Can you imagine what it would be like if you published your 1,000th blog post? What would you write about?

About how difficult you found it when you started your blog?

About how far you’ve got since you started?

How much you’ve learned?

Mark did something completely different. He honored the first ten readers of his blog. He explained how much he learned from these ten readers; and how he’s been inspired by them.

That’s what I mean by being interested and caring about your readers. Look to your readers for inspiration. Help them. Respect them. Treat them as your best friends. Ask questions. Find out how they’re doing. Learn how you can help.

Be interested.

The truth about building a popular blog

The next time you answer comments on your blog, don’t just leave a casual thank you. Instead, check out the commenter’s blog. Give some advice, compliment the commenter, or ask a question. Make sure they know you value them.

Next time you receive an email from a reader, don’t dash off a quick reply. See it as an opportunity to start a conversation. See it as your chance to turn a reader into a raving fan.

Forget about going viral. Don’t think about pageviews, and visits, and shares, and comments.

Just think about that one loyal reader that you’re turning into a raving fan.

That’s how you build your audience, your following, your readership (that’s also how your blog becomes a feel-good party).

Here’s what to do next …

  1. Let me know in the comments how you’re nurturing a community on your blog. I’m sure you have additional tips to share.
  2. Are you interested in learning more about copywriting and content marketing? Join my party at Enchanting Marketing and download your free copy of 21 Easy Tips to Turbocharge Your Web Copy and Win Customers.

Source: 5 Ways to Bond with Your Blog’s Audience


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