The difference between a competent blogger and a great blogger can sometimes be very small. Despite the importance of grammar and the benefits of understanding blogging platforms such as WordPress, I believe the main thing that sets top bloggers apart from the rest is their ability to connect with an audience.
Being able to connect with readers will take you, and your blog, to levels that other bloggers can only dream of. Once readers have made a connection with you, they will support you. They will fight for you. They will share your posts. They will publish comments.
Bloggers connect to readers in a number of ways. Let us take a closer look at how you can make your blog posts more personable and connect with your audience.
Make Your Blog Design More Personable
As the old saying goes, the first bite is with the eye. The design and the colour scheme that you use on your blog will influence the way that visitors feel about you from the second they arrive on your website. Be sure to keep this in mind when choosing a WordPress theme.
One of the best ways to connect with readers and present a more approachable image to readers is to display a photograph of yourself prominently in your blog’s website design. This helps readers put a face to the name. The header and sidebar are good locations for your photograph as they are visible at all times.
A detailed about page is vital too. On all of my blogs, the about page is one of the most visited pages. This highlights the fact that people want to know more about the people who write articles. I therefore recommend devoting time to writing a detailed about page. It will go a long way to helping readers connect with you.
Your articles should not read like a generic press release that was written for search engines. Readers are quick to click the back button when content is bland and conveys no message. It is the reason why most business blogs have no comments and no readers.
Do not be afraid to be yourself. If you have an opinion on something, share it with readers. You should not be afraid to rock the boat or be concerned about offending anyone. Just be honest about your views and you will find a following.
Use first and second pronouns such as I and You in your articles too. It can make all the difference to how you put your point across and gives your posts a more personal feel.
Use a Conversational Tone
Writing in a professional manner might impress grammar nazis, but it is rarely the best way to connect to readers. A relaxed conversational style of writing allows you to be yourself and helps you identify with readers. It is also easier to write posts in this style as there is less pressure to overthink everything.
I try to write in the way I would talk to friends. This sometimes leads to breaking some grammatical rules such as beginning sentences with And or But; however these issues can be forgiven as it allows the article to flow more freely.
Use Examples From Your Own Life to Help Convey Your Points
Top bloggers frequently use examples from their own life to help get their view across. If you are writing in a relaxed conversational tone, using examples from your own life should come naturally to you.
Don’t worry – you do not have to share personal information about yourself to do this. For example, say you were reviewing the latest mobile phone, you could explain your own personal mobile phone usage habits and talk about why the phone was or was not suitable for you.
It sounds like such a small thing, but using examples in your articles can help readers understand your opinion on issues.
Inspire Your Readers
People who are inspired by your writing will support you through thick and thin. It will also raise your profile so that people see you as an authority on the subject.
Inspiration can come from many places, though for me, it all starts from being passionate about the topic you write about. If you are passionate about a subject, it will show in your writing. Conversely, if you are not interested in a subject, people will realise that you are bored of it.
My advice to all of you is to write with passion. Bring up interesting points and challenge the status quo. It will help distinguish you from the pack and attract others who share your love for the subject.
I have written a lot of long tutorials in the past. Whenever I write articles that walk readers through a difficult task, I always receive a lot of comments. The reason is simple: People are grateful when you help them in some way. Those who are grateful like to return the favor.
Most people thank you when you help them. Sometimes they pay you back by commenting, other times they turn into a loyal subscriber. Many will purchase the product or service you are selling.
If you make a difference to people’s lives, they will respond in kind. Keep that in mind the next time you update your blog.
Interact with Readers
I am the first to admit that interacting with readers can be time-consuming if you have a lot of traffic; however it is also very rewarding. I love the fact that someone has listened to what I have had to say and taken time out of their day to leave a comment. It shows me that I am doing things right. And it continues to be one of the ways I network with new people.
There are a number of ways in which you interact with readers and build up a rapport with them:
- Social Media – Social media services such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, are a great way of getting readers better on a personal basis. Support for multimedia means that you can share videos, links and images easily with followers. This can encourage them to share your content with others and push more traffic to your blog.
- Video – Take advantage of services such as YouTube and record videos for your readers. It is a fantastic way of connecting to your readers and reaching out to other potential followers.
- Comments – The comment area is arguably the best way to connect with your readers. It allows you to debate the finer points of your blog posts and take the discussion in other directions. I have found that in blog posts with a lot of comments, the comment area can be more useful that the post itself. The comment area is also a place where readers can meet each other and chat; which can help create a community spirit around your blog.
What do you do to connect to your blog’s readers? I would love to hear what you do to connect with your followers :)