When you start getting some steady traffic to your blog it’s easy to fall into the mindset that you’re “talking” to a roomful of people. Some bloggers start referring to their readers as a group with terms like “You guys” or “All of you”. They even start thinking of their readers as one solid mass of consciousness, like the Borg. While your goal is to attract millions of followers the best way to do it is to speak to each one as an individual.
Make “I” Contact
When you use those collective terms like “You guys” or “All of you” you’re doing two things: One, you’re not making direct contact with the individual reader, you’re not making him feel like he has your undivided attention. And two, you’re actually distracting your reader. You’re pulling his mind away from your content, even if it’s just for a split second, and you’re giving him the creepy feeling that he may not be the only one reading that page right then.
It’s also easy to fall into the trap of always writing in the third person where you never refer to yourself, you never use the word “I.” Third person is fine but you’ll make a stronger connection with the reader if you occasionally throw in a personal statement to remind them that there’s a real human being behind the curtain.
The fact that you have so many keywords and longtail keyword phrases on your blog is a strong indication of just how many individual people visit your blog. They all used different keywords to arrive on your blog which means they all have different questions and reasons for being there. So it really isn’t reasonable to think that they all have the same interests.
Have you ever asked your readers what they’re looking for? Try it. And then give it to them. And mention their name when you do. You might be surprised. Not only will you be amazed at the wide variety of answers, you’ll forge a stronger bond with each individual reader because they’ll know they had your complete attention.
Put a contact form on your blog right now and let your readers know you want to hear from them.
Use Polls And Surveys To Connect
Another easy way to let your readers know you’re listening is to put a poll up on your blog. You can create free polls at PollDaddy and either embed them on your blog or send your readers to the PollDaddy site to answer. Personally, I’d put it on my blog and encourage my readers to share it. As votes start coming in, address that question in a blog post to let your readers know you’re paying attention. And polls don’t always have to be dull and boring to make that connection. Get creative and your poll might even go viral.
Whether you have 100 visitors a day or 10,000, don’t ever fall into the trap of thinking you know better than they do what they’re looking for. There will always be one more question you didn’t anticipate. Treat every single one of your visitors as a unique individual, find out what he or she is looking for, and over-deliver.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!