Hello hello, and HAPPY FRIDAY! Today marks a fun day for Sunday Morning Sugar because I'm introducing another feature. I've been so proud of myself for keeping up with Sunday Quotes and my Tuesday food days (and sometimes my Weekend Updates) that I thought I'd throw another series into the mix.
For those who don't know, I'm studying marketing in college right now and working for a company doing mainly social media for them (that's online marketing). I adore what I do at work and school is my favorite. Not only do I have a serious interest in all of my classwork, but I also read as much outside material as possible. I've got a lot of marketing knowledge stacked up in my pretty little head and I thought it would be a lot of fun to share it with all of you.
I'm also going to give you information about marketing that directly impacts YOU and YOUR blog. Today we're going to start off with a topic that one of my favorite bloggers asked me to cover. I'd LOVE to do this feature as a sort of Q&A so if you have any marketing questions, feel free to leave them in the comments so I can answer your question. Here we go....
This week's question comes from Mackenzie of Strokes of Serendipity...
Q: I feel like I have readers, but they are not making themselves known. I have friends like you and Kirsten who comment but I don't get many comments therefore I don't know who my readers are. How can I get to know my readers better?
A: This is a GREAT question! I feel like this is something most bloggers struggle with and its tough to blog when you don't get any feedback. I have a few tips for getting more interaction from your readers...
1) Comment: One of the BEST way to get your readers to interact with you in through comments. Being active in your comments is key. When I first started my blog, I used to reply to EVERY SINGLE COMMENT that was left for me. I don't know if anyone ever came back to read what I said to them, but it let them know that I wasn't just talking at them--I was talking to them. Your audience wants to be part of the conversation so once you hit that "post" button you really aren't done. Reply to your comments and get to know your readers. This will make your readers feel involved and encourage more comments in the future. There is no comparison to the amount of feedback I get when I talk to my readers in my comments versus never replying to comments. Plus, I've gotten to build some online relationships with amazing ladies that I never would have done had I not talked to my readers! It also helps if you branch out and comment on other blogs. Being active in comments (both your own and in the general community) can really encourage your readers to speak up.
2) Talk in terms of YOU: So you're all ready to talk to your readers when they comment...but no one is commenting. Even though your personal blog is about you--your friends, your activities, your crafts--that doesn't mean that readers are going to be drawn to comment. In every post, you should find a way to make your content relevant to a reader. In school, we refer to this as "What's in it for me?" In other words, when you tell that story about the great outfit you wore the other night, what's in it for your reader? Rather than simply posting a picture of your outfit and hoping your readers will comment and tell you how lovely you are (yuppp, we've all been there!), maybe tell us where you got the different pieces of your outfit. Or maybe you made your earrings or there's a cool story behind the vintage necklace you have on. Those little touches help make a style post more relevant. If you made the earrings, talk about your technique so that readers can try to make a pair for themselves. If you have a sweet spot for vintage in your town, share it or maybe give readers some advice on finding great vintage jewelry of their own. Every post you publish, always refer back to the "What's in it for me?" question. This should help create posts that readers are dying to comment on.
3) Facebook and Twitter: At this point in time, no brand can go without a facebook fan page and a twitter. Both of these outlets provide a place where readers can get immediate feedback from you. If used correctly (hint: I'd love to do a post on this topic) facebook and twitter can provide a HUGE boost in reader feedback. These are basically just other avenues through which your readers can interact, but they're extremely important. So if you don't have a facebook fan page and a twitter, get them...now. And if you want more information on making a successful facebook fan page, ask in the comments. Maybe it'll be next week's Marketing Q&A Friday!
4) Get involved: This requires a bit more work than the other tips, but its a great way to encourage readers to speak up on your blog. I'm going to give this tip in terms of my Happiness Project. After reading that book, I couldn't wait to share it on my blog. I knew that I wanted to make a series on the blog that involved my own Happiness Project and I knew that my readers might want to participate as well. I shared the book (and know of at least two of my readers who are currently reading it!!) and will continue to post updates about my own Project. As I post, I've encouraged reader participation because it's always more fun to do things as a team. This has been so fun for me but its also a lot of fun for my readers. It gives them a chance to be deeply involved with my content. Other examples of great reader involvement projects that come right to mind are vloggin' vednesday, project restyle, and Janelle's 30 day journal challenges.
Each of the tips I mentioned could have their very own post. It's going to be tough to keep these posts short!! If you want to talk more on this subject feel free to email me, ask me on facebook, leave questions with Formspring, or chat in the comments.
I'm excited to help you out in any way that I can!