Bloggers collect followers by creating a connection between the reader and the writer. It’s that easy, but a word of warning here – many writers have no idea how to do that. This article is about establishing that magical bond.
You may have noticed that many of the websites you visit are rather bland and even generic. They are often either laid out in a visually boring manner or so cluttered with ads that a visitor feels overwhelmed. There is an art to building a blog or website that is inviting, but you don’t have to be an artist or genius to do it. Just follow a few of these suggestions and you should see an immediate improvement.
Create a place
You can make your page feel very real – as if the reader is stepping into a physical space. It doesn’t matter whether this is a business blog or a page dedicated to sales, you want your audience to feel comfortable, just as you would in your office or store. So, you brand it attractively with design templates and choose colors that make it pop. While you don’t want to venture into anything too wild, try to steer away from anything that feels sterile.
Think in terms of a living space – your dining area or maybe your front room – where you would entertain people. While you would probably want to impress your guests, you’d also want them to feel at ease. So, choose warm colors and designs that speak to your product but aren’t too busy.
For instance, if you sell pillows, a header on your page could feature a couch with some of your pillows placed across the back. If your business is giving financial advice, perhaps you place soft green and gold colors in your background, not too splashy, but subliminal – and add a picture of your conference room, with clients being counseled.
With just a little creativity, you can build a picture for your readers of a space to mentally sit in – with you – each time they visit your site.
Set a mood
Now that you have them intellectually sitting down at your conference table, offer them a cup of coffee. Seriously.
If you want them to relax while they are considering doing business with you, suggest that the reading may take a while and ask if they want to grab a cup of coffee. You’d be surprised how this will instantly put your reader at ease, and hopefully they’ll follow your advice and settle in for the full read, having decided to devote their attention to you for the time it takes to finish your blog post.
But you can set this type of mood more subtly by placing coffee cups on the conference table in your picture or having someone sit very comfortably on your couch with the pillows. Create relaxation and your customers will sink into your message.
One of the ways to keep them coming back is to make sure they have something new to look forward to each time. That requires posting or updating regularly, at least once every couple of days. There’s nothing worse for a reader than to check on a website repeatedly for a week and find there’s nothing new to see.
Also, you need to realize that this does not need to involve a long post or flashing banners. One very popular daily blogger sometimes merely offers an inspiring one-liner comment, and people love him, quoting him on Facebook regularly.
If you are actively selling on your website, you might consider rotating specials on certain products. By rotating, which ones are on special you can expect people to return often to see if their favorite product is on special. Beyond the specials on products, you can offer freebies. A pamphlet, which can be downloaded as a pdf, is a favorite giveaway. However don’t get stuck on just one, offer several but one at a time.
Develop a character
An author, who sells her books romantic suspense novels on Amazon, created a blog to promote them. She often has imaginary conversations with the main character of her books on that blog, setting the mood by placing them on an pretend veranda or the beach. She and her characters discuss everything from men to current events. Her character has taken on an epic quality and readers often address their comments to the protagonist rather than the writer. This is good use of developing a character for the readers to relate to.
You may want to create a character that answers plumbing questions or offers simple financial advice. For instance, Plumber Bob, could address the question of when you need to call a plumber rather than doing a repair yourself or you could create a regular column on your website titled something like Ask the Expert (you being that expert). Whatever you do, make this character relatable by using everyday language and answering (even if they are self-created) relevant questions.
The first time you solve a problem for a reader you are guaranteed they will come back for more. Don’t be stingy with your advice, expecting to always be paid for it. Offer free advice or encouragement whenever you can and chances are that you will eventually turn a regular reader into a paying customer.
Remember what you offer your audience can often be simply the confidence to do something about a situation. You don’t have to teach them to build a garden fence; it is enough to give them the little push to try it.
It helps a great deal to think of your website or blog as a place you’d like to go yourself. Maybe it’s a classroom in your mind or a gathering place for your friends. The way you think of it will tend to rub off on your readers. So, always strive to make that connection and you’ll be much more likely to be successful in your online ventures.