Can I ask you a pretty silly question?
Are you a smart blogger?
No, seriously. I want you to answer that question — are you a smart blogger? And if you said yes, then answer this follow up question:
Would you consider yourself very strategic?
The reason I’m asking these questions is because you have to be those things to be truly successful in blogging.Be a smart and strategic blogger -- that’s how you get ahead.Click To Tweet
Smart and strategic — that’s how you get ahead. And if you’re anything but, you’ll be just another forgettable blogger — struggling to find their way.
You don’t want that, do you?
Of course not. And with the right approach, you can transform yourself from forgettable to unforgettable like …
But what does being unforgettable get you anyway?
The Unspoken Truth about Readers
Let’s face it:
Readers get bombarded with so much good (and horrendously bad) content on a daily basis, don’t you agree?
One minute, they’re reading blog posts. The next, they’re reading emails from blogs they forgot they subscribed to. Not to mention videos, podcasts, webinars, etc. It can be extremely overwhelming.
Truth is, readers don’t want to get advice from mediocre bloggers. They don’t want to read hundreds of blog posts each week regurgitating the same ol’ ideas and tips. All they want is solid advice that can help them solve their problem — and if you can provide that to them, they’ll love you for it.
That’s what being unforgettable gets you. Readers who love you so much, they eventually turn into your biggest supporters.Being unforgettable means having readers who love you so much, they eventually turn into your biggest supporters.Click To Tweet
You can relate, can’t you?
Don’t you have a blogger or three that you follow no matter what? They could publish on a weekly or monthly basis, and you would still be right there on their blog — showing your support to them?
That’s the effect you want your readers to have for you.
So the question is: how do you actually achieve that?
Let’s explore that right now.
4 Brand-Defining Tips to Get Readers to Follow You Religiously
Fortunately, you can use these tips to influence readers so much, they’ll follow you and help you grow your brand.
Tip #1: Develop Your Own Style and Voice
Ok. Be honest.
How tired are you of hearing this painfully honest tip over and over again?
It can be pretty frustrating, right?
That’s like a friend telling you a story yesterday, then telling you the exact same story again today — then tomorrow too.
But here’s the thing:
This is a VERY important tip. Not because respected bloggers like Adrienne Smith and Carol Amato wrote about it on their blogs. But because it’s one of the main factors that can help you have more influence on your readers.
And to be completely honest — you won’t make it far if you don’t have your own unique style.
Just look at the intro to this post by Dre Beltrami:
Her style just oozes off the page, doesn’t it?
Listen — readers are smarter than you give them credit for. And because they read so much content, it’s your uniqueness that will help you stand out and make your blog different from everyone else’s.
Why would you want to hide that?
Tip #2: Know Your Readers Better Than They Know Themselves
Admit it — you can’t help but wonder:
“It’s my blog. I should be able to write about whatever I want.”
Yes, you’re right.
It is your blog … and you could do what you want with it. But don’t come crying when what you want to write about ultimately gets no traffic.
“But blogging is a process. I can be patient.”
Well, the harsh reality is this:
Nobody cares about what you want to write about. All they care about are topics that they want information on.
And to be a successful blogger, you have to know that.
Pat Flynn does a great job in figuring this out with this email he sends:
You have to know who your readers are in order to write content that’s geared towards them. Content they’ll enjoy. And once you understand what it is they want, it’ll be a lot easier for you to write blog posts that they’ll truly appreciate.
Think of it this way.
What do you want your readers to come to your blog for?
- To learn something new?
- To find a solution to something they’ve been asking about?
Whatever the reason is, you need to provide them with what they’re truly after.
Tip #3: Understand How to Get Attention
Maybe it’s just me, but I have a short attention span at times when reading certain blog posts.
You ever felt that way?
Sure, the title of the post was intriguing enough for me to click, but if they don’t get to the point quickly, I become disinterested.
That ever happen to you?
Truth be told, many readers are like that. And it’s probably worse now because the majority of readers are scanners. That’s why it’s so important to get the reader’s attention as quickly as possible — and as early in the blog post as possible too.
So, how do you get their attention?
Here are a few options:
(1) Ask a question in the first sentence.
Why would you want to do that? Because it can arouse curiosity, that’s why.
Imagine you stumble onto a blog post and the first sentence were any of these:
- “It’s a troubling thought, isn’t it?”
- “You want to know what your problem is?”
- “Can I be brutally honest with you?”
Of course you don’t want to do it for every post — use it sparingly. But if you can start off a blog post with a question that captures their attention, you’ll get them sliding down a slippery slope.
(2) Start off with an anecdote.
We all love great stories, right?
Well, that’s what an anecdote is … a great story about a real incident — and they can be extremely effective when used correctly.
For example, here’s a exceptionally written article by Dana Sitar that illustrates a great anecdote:
I accepted a position serving coffee in a bookstore today. Not just any position — the very same one at the very same store I held from the ages of 18 to 22.
I’m 28 years old now, with a college education, a marriage and divorce, residencies in four U.S. cities, three published books and an online business behind me since leaving that bookstore cafe over seven years ago.
It’s Not Easy to Go Back
Three and a half years ago, I left my college town of Madison, Wisconsin to seek greener pastures and a writing life in San Francisco. Recently divorced, I left school, dumped my job, ended my lease and headed West to see what life had to offer.
I wasn’t sure what it meant to “be a writer,” but I was ready to find out.
She grips you from the very beginning, refusing to let go throughout the entire article. That’s how effective you want your anecdotes to be.
Getting attention is crucial when it comes to blogging. On average, you only have eight seconds or less to get the readers’ attention before they decide to read the rest of the post — or leave.
Don’t waste that time.
Tip #4: Always Challenge Yourself to Get out of Your Comfort Zone
This is very important so pay close attention to this.
You may be an expert in a specific niche in the blogging world. You may even think you provide some of the best content out there. But don’t be surprised if some people find it boring.
And not boring in the sense that you’re constantly writing novels. But boring because it’s written in the same way — ALL THE TIME!
If you want to start blogging smarter, you have to allow yourself to get out of your comfort zone from time to time. This means presenting your information in a completely different way than you’re use to presenting it.
Instead of a traditional blog post, you could create:
And Brent has done a terrific job of this by getting out of his comfort zone and creating a video series:
You not only want to challenge yourself, but learn various ways your readers love consuming information other than traditional blog posts.
Let’s be honest; if you want readers to swoon over you, you have to be more than just unforgettable.
You have to know how to be smart too.
Because readers have so many choices of who to read, if you’re anything but unforgettable, they’ll go and look for someone who is.
Your overall goal should be to implement at least one of these tips, today, to start influencing your readers. Because if you ever want to have readers that are 100% loyal to you, and follow you to the ends of the earth, you need to truly show how smart you are.
And in return, they’ll help you grow your brand like you won’t believe.
Who wouldn’t want that, right?
What other tips do you use when trying to grow your following and secure loyal followers? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.