Blogging is good, real good, but blogging with an audience is so much better. That being said, with all those different spam-bots and 'pay a fiver to get more followers' programmes out there, it can be a little bit tricky to gain a readership that actually talks back, let alone one that comes back for seconds. I don't know about you guys, but I feel like we've got a nice little friendship going along here, and so I've decided to share a few of my top tips on how you guys can get a lil online squad going for yourself. Because let's face it, real internet friends are so much better than fake ones.
Respond to comments
Think about this in real life. If someone came up to you, said hello and complemented you on your outfit or something, would you flat out ignore them? Probably not (or at least, I hope not). If you did, you'd be considered a bit of an asshole and that person probably wouldn't bother talking you again. Same goes for communicating in the blog world, in that - if someone takes time out of their day to talk to you - it's generally a good idea to at least acknowledge them in some shape or form. Nice people are usually quite liked, so, be nice!
Ask their opinions
Generally, if you have a blog the main topic of conversation is yourself - what you're wearing, how you're feeling or what you're doing. There's nothing wrong with that, but sometimes it's good to get others involved as well. Try asking a question at the end of every blog post, or encourage your readers to think about various topics you've discussed in an article. If people have something to say, and if they feel like they're welcome to say it, oh, they will.
Remember your readers
I bloody love it when I see familiar faces in my comments section, and I love hearing about your life as opposed to just what you think of my hair in the photo. I'm sure for some people it can get a little difficult trying to remember everyone and their life story, but if you at least try remember someone from a previous post (even if you have yo go back and find that post) I can guarantee your readers will appreciate you even more. It's a small thing, but it can go a long way.
I follow sooo many blogs these days - some are chatty, some are more editorial and serious. It's cool - we all have our own way of communicating a message, but if I had to comment on one type of blog it would be the sort that speaks to me like a real person, not like a customer or a stranger. I've mentioned it before in some posts that I used to try and make myself sound more fabulous than what I was, but the thing is is that most people aren't all that fabulous either. How can you possibly relate to someone whose life if like a Kardashian's? It's so much nicer actually talking to a real person.
Offer something different
I've said it before and I'll say it again. As a blogger it's near enough vital that you bring something different to the table. It could be amazing photos, insane Youtube videos, or even just a fun and quirky personality. The fact is, is that if people can go out and find what you're offering for better, they will, so make sure you're the best at what you do! A loyal following happens when, well, your readers become loyal to your blog! Make it the only one they're loyal to.
Comment on other's posts
Communication is a two way street, so instead of expecting people to comment on your posts first, why not comment on someone else's? I'm not talking about those spammy comments that no one pays attention to. Instead, try and genuinely engage with your audience - or even potential audience members! The same goes for if someone mentions you in a blog post or tweet. All you have to do is say thank you, or even share/retweet their post and voila! You've made an instant connection.
Reply to emails
This is exactly the same as the first point about replying to comments, only emails tend to be a lot more personal. An email means that someone hasn't just taken time out of their day to message you, but they've also taken time to actually find your email address. I'm always getting emails from you guys asking about how you can improve on your blog, but I've also received some really personal messages from people asking for advice in their general life. Emails are usually more than just comments about my outfit, so I make sure that I reply to all my messages with genuine, thought out answers at least once a week. Emails are a great way of getting to know someone online, and if you form a solid, honest friendship with someone that way, it's a pretty safe bet that they'll support you and your blog too. Plus, friends are great. I love internet friends.
Give them what they want
Blogs aren't just websites where we post selfies any more. Blogs are essentially a new form of advertising - almost like an online store but with a lot more personality. You don't have to be advertising for corporate companies, and you don't have to even be selling a product - but you do, however, have to give your readers something they want. It might be inspiration, it might be a review of a film that's just come out. Whatever it is, you need to make sure it's what your readers want. If they get what they want from you, you can trust that they'll come back for round two.
Be easily reachable
Finally, if you want people to talk to you and engage with you and your blog, you need to make sure it's easy for them to do so. install Disqus, leave your social links all over the place, provide an email address. All these indications will give your readers more of a nudge to say hello! And if I haven't made it obvious enough yet, please, say hello back!
Do you guys have any tips on how to gain a more loyal following?