Start a Blog that Matters (New Version 2!)
- Start a Blog that Matters: Welcome!
- Choose Your Blog Topic
- Your Compelling Reason Why
- The Goal of Your Blog
- The Basic Building Blocks
- Your About Page
- The Reader Journey Map
- Research What’s Popular
- Initial Content Strategy
- Shaping Headlines
- Developing Your Articles
- Write Your First 3 Posts
- Earn True Fans
- Promoting Your Blog
- Set up Your Blog
- Launch Your Blog
- Post Launch Growth Strategy
- Keyword Research Bonus Training 2020
Earn True Fans
This content is for Fizzle members only.
Welcome back! I hope your writing assignment has gone well. I know that writing can take a ton of work, but I’m really glad you’re doing it, because this truly is the real work of being a blogger.
Now, take a second to consider this: think about how many blog posts you’ve read without being aware of who the author was.
You Google something or click on a link and find yourself on an article. You skim the article and move on, never knowing who wrote it or what the site was about. It may not happen every time, but this is a fairly normal experience on the web.
But your goal as a blogger is to earn something known as “true fans.” True fans are readers who get to know you, who dive deep into your archives, who share what you post and who come back week after week to read your latest. True fans are the foundation of a thriving audience.
If the normal mode of reading a blog post is to skim and move on, how do you turn these casual passing readers into true fans? The truth is, we have to optimize our site and our content to earn true fans for us.
We have to take extra steps to make sure our content isn’t just good, it’s great, so it leads to a memorable experience instead of a forgettable one. But you don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway or Sylvia Plath to make that happen. You just have to take extra time to rise above the noise of the internet to grab the hearts and minds of your visitors.
In the action box below I’ve collected my favorite ways to create a memorable experience with your content. And here’s one I think is really important: make it personal!
It’s understandable that we often have no clue about who wrote a blog post, because most blog posts are impersonal. They could have been written by anyone, for anyone.
If you want a reader to remember you and take the first steps toward becoming a true fan, you need to relate on a human level. You need to be memorable and charming.
How do you pull this off on a blog?
- Tell stories about yourself.
- Use the pronouns “I” and “you.”
- Write as if you’re talking to one person.
- Treat blog posts like conversations with people you want to get to know.
- Use friendly pictures of yourself on your about page and in your posts.
This is all part of making your blog your own, and creating articles that readers want to engage with.
It’s incredibly easy to make content people don’t value enough to follow. The action box below will guide you through several ways you can help your content earn true fans.
Actions for This Lesson
Below you’ll find several simple tips you can implement in every blog post and across your site to get more people engaged, subscribing and becoming true fans over time.
For this lesson, please revisit the blog posts you already drafted, to include some of these methods for attracting true fans. Simply go through this list and see what you can add to the posts you’ve written to make them more likely to earn you true fans.
Do that now, and when you’re done I’ll see you in the next lesson.
Make it Personal
In the text above and in the lesson video, we already covered one of the most effective ways to earn true fans with your content: by making it personal.
How do you make a blog post personal?
Tell stories about yourself, use the pronouns “I” and “you,” and write as if you’re talking to one person. Treat blog posts like conversations with people you want to get to know. Use friendly pictures of yourself on your about page and sidebar and in the posts themselves even. This is all part of making your blog your own, and creating articles that readers want to engage with.
These are great examples of bloggers who make it personal: Ash Ambirge, Erika Napoletano, Leo Babauta. Check out these sites and see if you can spot where these bloggers are making it personal. Where are they using “I” and “you?” Where are they telling stories? Where are they using friendly pictures of themselves? What else are they doing to make it personal?
Revisit the articles you already drafted, and see where you can use these strategies to make them more personal and relatable.
Engage with Your Audience
Another great way to earn relationships with readers is to connect with people outside of your blog posts, in email, social media, comments and at in-person events.
If you’ve ever gotten a one-on-one reply from a blogger over email, social media or comments before, you know how powerful this can be. In the big anonymous, noisy world of the internet, simply taking the time to send a simple personal reply to someone is a big deal.
I remember how special I felt when bloggers I followed like Chris Guillebeau or Seth Godin replied to an email or comment, and how that simple action basically ensured I would be a true fan for life.
While your site is small and growing, take every opportunity you can to start one-on-one conversations with readers. Respond to every comment, social media mention and email. Encourage people to write you directly. Share an email address in blog posts or on your about page. Pro-actively write people on social media. Use a smart email autoresponder for new subscribers and encourage people to write you back.
Now, revisit the articles you already wrote and your about page. Encourage your readers to get in touch with you however you’re comfortable, over email, social media or from a contact form. Take every opportunity you can to start one-on-one conversations with readers.
Create a hook
Even if you get someone’s attention by personalizing your posts and responding directly over other channels, there’s still a decent chance they’ll move on and forget about you eventually. We’re all just so busy and there are so many great blogs out there.
So, you’ve got to make your blog stand out with a compelling hook so readers subscribe to your email list.
See, everything changes when you can interact with your fans through email. You can get in touch with them, write stuff they’ll love and then get your articles directly in front of them in their inbox.
To pull this move off, you’ll need to create a compelling reason for someone to sign up for your email list. This can be a downloadable offer or the promise of some other kind of great content.
We’ll cover this in depth in the course on building an email list coming up later in the roadmap. For now, start observing what makes you decide to sign up for an email list. Pay special attention to the offers being made and marketing copy being used.
Once someone is on your email list, you can send a “welcome” email that gives them valuable information and encourages them to write you directly to establish that precious relationship you’re looking for. You’ll also need to send email regularly to your list, using either a newsletter or content broadcast type message. Again, all of this will be covered in the email course, for now we want you to start paying attention to how other people are using email.
So, it’s INCREDIBLY easy to make content people don’t value enough to follow. These 3 ways to earn true fans are simple tips you can implement in every blog post and across your site to get more people engaged, subscribing and becoming true fans over time.
When you’ve added some of these strategies to your existing drafts, move on to the next lesson. I’ll see you there.
Bonus: Recorded Coaching Session #7
When this course first launched, we led a cohort of students through the material and assignments over the course of 10 weeks. These coaching sessions are very in-depth (each session was 90 minutes to 2 hours). We spent most of the time answering student questions and reviewing assignments.
These sessions are recorded if you would like to follow along. They will appear here, at the end of lessons throughout this course. Keep in mind that each session covers more than one lesson, so only 10 of the 17 lessons will include recorded coaching videos like this.
Enjoy! Here is session #6, which covers lessons 12 & 13: