Audience Relationship 7 Steps To Bond With Your Readers

Dukeo » Blogging » audience relationship
12 responsesBlogging3 min read

The next time you’re visiting a blog with lots of comments and you say to yourself, “Gee, I wish I had that kind of relationship with my readers,” take a closer look. The definition of “relationship” is: “The state of being connected.” A large number of comments does not a genuine relationship make.

A blogger can get dozens of comments on every post but that doesn’t mean he’s connected to his readers. It doesn’t even really mean he’s engaging his readers. What are they saying in those comments? If each comment can be boiled down to “Nice post” and adds nothing of value to the conversation, then it’s pretty safe to assume those commentors are only there for the link. Without that link there’s no relationship.

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Still, there are bloggers who get dozens, or hundreds, of comments, and those comments all add something to the conversation. You’ll see this a lot on mommy blogs where readers jump in to discuss their favorite recipes or comment on baby pictures or add helpful crafting tips.

Go ahead. Find a mommy blog right now and compare the comments to those you see on a Make Money Online blog. On a mommy blog you’ll see the blogger responding to every comment and the reply often generates even more discussion. On a mommy blog you’ll see commentors actually engaging with each other, as well as the blog owner.

Does this mean women are better at building genuine relationships on their blogs? I wouldn’t dare to hazard a guess, but I think we can take away a few lessons.

1. The relationship starts with the blog owner

Mommy bloggers seem to just naturally write in a conversational tone. They mix in just enough story-telling to make their content engaging and they speak to each reader individually. You can almost feel them looking at you while they’re “talking.

2. Their posts are always useful and helpful

Mommy bloggers don’t ramble on and on – because they don’t have time. They don’t send you all over their blog to find the information you need – they put everything you need to know right there in that post. And mommy bloggers seem to understand the difference between useful information and self-serving content.

3. Positive interactions

I’ve seen some pretty snarky replies on blogs all over the web, but mommy bloggers are always positive and helpful. If someone asks a question they never belittle the person for asking and they don’t remind them “I addressed this in the first paragraph in THIS POST you moron!

4. Encourage conversation

Look at the comments on a mommy blog and you’ll see the blog owner joining in to keep the momentum going. They respond to questions and ask more questions.

5. Always building relationships

Some of the comments on a mommy blog are truly amazing. Commentors move from post to post and the conversation moves right along with them. Not only that, but these same people run into each other in their social networks and continue the conversations there. Mommy bloggers are constantly working on building relationships. To them, that’s what blogging’s all about.

6. Return the favor

Mommy bloggers make a concerted effort to visit each other’s blogs and leave real, valuable comments. Not because they want the link, but because it’s the right thing to do.

7. Be graceful

Tell a mommy blogger you didn’t like her post or her advice and she’ll probably reply: “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. What can I do to help? When’s the last time you saw a Make Money Online blogger say that?

I think the key ingredients to building genuine relationships with your readers are to realize that the relationship starts with you and you actually have to focus on building it, it doesn’t just happen. Take a lesson from the mommy bloggers and start building some genuine relationships of your own.

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  1. Ryan Biddulph

    Wonderful example here Steven.

    Mommy bloggers are some of the kindest, most nurturing people on earth. This crowd brings their offline parenting experience online in a wonderful way.

    Think about the PEOPLE you interact with to develop relationships more easily.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Steven

      Thanks for your comment Ryan. I appreciate it.

  2. Kara Kelso

    I think not being rude is a BIG one that applies to not only blog posts and comments, but on social media platforms as well. There is really no excuse for being rude, unless that’s your “thing” and your blog is all about rants. Even then, there is a fine line between just being funny and burning all your bridges. There’s also a difference between speaking your mind and being insulting.

    I believe the golden rule is huge here – Do to others what you’d want done to you. Would you like it if someone called you a nasty name because of an interest, religion, or way of life? Probably not. You can be “edgy” or respectfully disagree with other’s opinions without “playing dirty”.

    1. Steven

      If you go down the “rant” path, you will have a hard time online. Written words don’t carry tone like spoken words do, so it will be hard for people to understand if you’re being sarcastic.

  3. Sherman Smith

    Hey Steven, I wouldn’t say a lot of it is true because 100% of what just said is true. They are more open to other comments and more inviting than Make Money Blogs. And all the commenters within the blog post are the most supportive of each other and yes those of us that have Make Money Blogs can learn a lot about these Mommy Blogs. This definitely gives me something to think about!

    1. Steven

      Thanks for your comment Sherman. These mommies sure have a lot to teach us :)

  4. Ivin Viljoen

    Hello Steven. I think you’ve got a good point here. I did a video recently where I looked at the value of your visitors that is clearly reflected in the value of the comments.

    As you mentioned in the post, a ‘nice post’ will give you a good indication that people searching and commenting on your site is only looking for link-juice. I generally delete those comments as they mean nothing to me, really. Do you get a lot of those?

    1. Steven

      I kind of disagree with the fist sentence in your comment. For me the value of your visitors is not the same as the value of your comments. Some niches receive zero comments, yet have very valuable audiences.

  5. Joan Stewart

    Love these tips, Steven. May I add another?

    Don’t only build relationships at your blog. I blog about publicity tips. Sometimes blog visitors won’t leave a comment. Instead, they’ll email me and ask a question about getting publicity that has nothing to do with the topic of the post.

    I reply to all emails and give a short answer to their questions. (“When’s the last time you saw a Make Money Online Blogger do that?”) In all replies, I also try to remember to insert their first name. People love to see their name.

    1. Steven

      You’re always welcome to add your thoughts here, Joan :)

      Especially when it’s to give tips as valuable as this one!

  6. Ben

    Hi Steve. I agree with your post. I think the author or owner sets the tone of the blog by writing good content, encouraging people to leave comments, then replying the the comments to try to encourage the conversation to continue. When they do that then I think the commenters, the real ones anyway, are more likely to participate.

    1. Steven

      Ben, thanks for your comment.

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