Who doesn't love traffic?
I imagine no one (unless you have too much traffic, but I haven't experienced that, so I can't say much about it).
In any case, I want to start off with a simple question:
Are your readers loyal?
Loyal to your blog? (meaning they are returning visitors/clients/subscribers).
Let's forget that for a moment…
…..Do you know why I am writing this?
I do love writing on other blogs, but beyond that, I love the traffic that I get from my guest posts.
After reading this post, some of you may visit my blog, which is what I want. But, my ideal goal is to convert you into returning visitors (Hey, I love new visitors as much as the next guy, but I prefer returning visitors. Don't you?).
So, let's talk about commitment (or loyalty. Call it whatever you want, it's valuable and very powerful).
Power of investment
Never underestimate the power of investment!
I am not referring to your investment – you spend your time polishing your blog posts, your blog, your strategies. That's all nice, but why does it matter to your visitors?
If I were to visit your blog, would any of these matter to me? It does have an effect indirectly.
Take for instance: If you spend enough time tweaking your design to make it more user friendly, I may like it. Then again, if I am a new visitor, I probably wouldn't know about the recent changes you made. So, as far as I am concerned, you haven't improved).
In any case, I am more likely to return to your blog if you convince me to invest in it (we will talk about how we can do this later on).
For now, let's focus on the different kinds of investment (or investing).
To me, there are three different kinds:
Invest too little and investing too much (the last one is the balance – investing the right amount).
Investing too little
Too little of anything – whatever it is – won't help ya. Want to improve your persistence (and learn more)? You gotta have more challenges…too little of them can make you weak (I don't mean, weak in a physical way, I mean weak mindset). Life is interesting because of the challenges we face 😉
Anyways, allow me to give another example:
An article Psychology Today talks about an incident that occurred in the 1950s. It was the time when General Mills launched easy to make cake mixes.
The marketing folks at GM estimated that the product would be an instant hit, since it saved people a lot of time and effort (I haven't made a cake, but I have seen people do it. And, it takes a lot of time, especially without any cake mixes!).
Anyways, it didn't work out as they expected.
Can you guess why?
Because the product was too efficient. Well, that's not the big reason…because the investment was too small. The cakes were delicious and it was considerably easy to make them (So, people, in this case, housewives, felt that they were deceiving their husbands and guests; they got compliments for not doing much).
How would you feel if you were complimented for something you didn't do? (Sure, you may like it at first, but as time passes, we start to feel guilty, like we are cheating).
In the end, GM fixed the problems by making the process a bit more harder – increasing the amount of effort needed to make the cake (So, they made it less convenient – and look how it worked out!).
Note: It worked out really well (in fact, I have a few cake mixes in my pantry. How about you?).
Now, let's talk about the other end of the spectrum:
Investing too much
The best example I can think of is my own blogging career. In the second and third years of blogging, I really felt an urge to quit blogging. I wasn't getting the results I expected, but I still persisted. Granted I did quit blogging later on (for about an year)…but hey, I am back at it now 😀
I persisted because I felt that I had invested too much into blogging – too much work, too much time etc. I couldn't just let it go.
Have you ever felt like that?
Anyways, I personally feel that both of the above aren't good tactics (investing too much or too little). We need to encourage our readers to invest just the right amount.
They need to feel that they have contributed to our blog, that they have invested something (meaningful).
So how can we make your readers loyal?
Firstly, follow the basics:
and so forth. Basically, it comes down to providing a memorable experience.
Of course, that shouldn't discourage you from trying loyalty programs. They have proven to work (you might find the best examples in your own life).
When I was young, I used to stick with just certain brands of nutritional drink mixes. Why? Because those guys kept on rewarding me – from Yo-yos to Tennis balls 😀
We can apply the same strategy with your blog:
So, there are several ways to implement it: Punch Tab, Raffle Copter are some examples.
- Rewarding visitors for returning
- Rewarding visitors for liking/following/subscribing
- Rewarding visitors for commenting
Commenting is perhaps the best of all. If I comment on your blog post, it usually means that I like the content you wrote (usually goes for most of us who are genuine bloggers).
And, commenting unlike the others, takes more time (so, I am investing more into your blog). So, your best chance is at convincing me (new visitor) to comment.
Remember the vibrant community part I mentioned earlier? It would really help if you had a vibrant community (who wants to comment on a blog without any ‘activity'? I certainly don't.
Plus, not having a community may end up hurting you (new bloggers may become overwhelmed..since they are the first to comment. Of course, you don't have to worry much about that if your target audience isn't new bloggers).
From there on, the journey will be a lot easier.
Bonus tip: Comment luv is an awesome incentive 😀
Of course, you could go the extra mile and giving something else too, perhaps a preview version of your eBook or a demo version of your product?
This is a win-win because you may be able to get a new customer out of me.
Loyalty programs are great, but they can back fire, if you aren't cautious. The best example is what happened to Star Bucks (You can read more about at Forbes).
Always be careful on how you make you customers feel…they will always remember that.
Take super bowl for instance. I don't watch it, so I am not a fan. But, there is always something to learn from Super bowl commercials (especially with how they make you feel):
Alright, that's about it.
So, let's get back to our original qn: Are your readers loyal?
What strategies do you use to make them loyal (i.e. convert them into returning visitors)?