No matter how crowded and noisy a room is when you walk into it, there’s one word you’ll always hear above the din: Your name. Even if it’s spoken by someone on the other side of the room. The minute we hear our name our ears perk up. The Internet is just like a crowded room only bigger and noisier, which makes it even more important that you address people by their names.
Your readers visit dozens of other blogs, too, just like you. Imagine how impressed you’d be if one day, while reading one of your favorite blogs, the blogger actually shouted out your name. You’d visit that blog for the rest of your life.
Of course, you can’t just start listing the names of everyone who reads your blog. For one thing, you have no way of knowing who most of them are. But, more important, you’d be listing names forever!
But you can pull names from your comments. “On yesterdays’ post, Mary Smith had a great question…” or “Tom Wilson commented that he wanted to know more about…”
It’s also important to address your readers by name when you’re answering their emails. Assuming, of course, they give you their name. Using their name shows you view them as an individual and that you’re taking the time to answer them personally.
Incoming links from other blogs are important for SEO and one of the best ways to get those links is to link out to other blogs yourself. When you link out, don’t just link to “an article at XYZ Blog,” use the blogger’s name. “Jack Brown of XYZ Blog wrote a killer post that says…”.
First, you’re turning that anonymous blogger into a real person for your readers. They’re more likely to follow your link because you’re sending them to someone you know.
Second, that extra traffic is going to be noticed by the other blogger and because you mentioned his name he’s going to be more likely now to link out to your blog. And when he does, he’ll probably mention your name.
When you’re sending emails looking for guest blogging opportunities or joint ventures or collaborative projects, take the time to find out the name of the person you’re trying to contact instead of just sending an email to “info@somedomain.” You’ll impress the other person with your ingenuity and it’s much more respectful – and impressive – to address people by their own names instead of just the name of the blog.
The Internet can be a cold, impersonal place and it’s hard enough to make a connection online. People can’t see your face or read your body language and all you have is your blog and your words. But you can warm up your blog and make it feel warm and welcoming if you start addressing people by their names.