If I walked-up to you this minute and asked you to recommend a great restaurant what name immediately comes to mind? Now if I were to ask you WHY you recommended this restaurant would it be the food, atmosphere, service, or all of the above? There are probably hundreds of restaurants in your city that do a great job on one or more of these factors. So why did you make the recommendation you did? Because the business you recommended combined all of the factors to build a great relationship with you – their customer.
Your blog – and your blog’s resulting financial success is similar to the restaurant example. There are many factors important to readers of blogs covering your topic. These include content, convenience, ease-of-use, the “tone”, exclusivity, and others. While there probably are many blogs that lay claim to being best at any one of these, it is the combination of these factors that will be important to your readers.
Why? Because your readers are searching for relevance. Providing relevant content, ease-of-use, and “tone” helps build trust between your blog and your readers. This trust is what develops relationships. Once you’ve built a relationship then you can continually provide relevant solutions to your readers they will purchase, creating the income you desire from your blog.
So, how do you develop a great relationship with your readers? It begins by truly understanding who your readers are. You need to work on developing a reader profile – or profiles – that act to help encourage conversations. As with your own relationships, the better and stronger your conversations, the better the relationship.
How do you develop this profile? Think about your current and potential readers. Who are they? If you could create a description, how old would they be? What kind of job would they have? Are they male or female? What about their level of education? Do they children? How old are their children? When you think about it – if someone were to ask you these questions about a good friend, you probably could answer them. The reason is that you’ve had a number of conversations with this friend and this has resulted in a strong relationship. Your relationship with your readers requires similar understanding and commitment.
After you’ve got your reader profile developed – what’s next? Think about your reader’s needs based on the profile you’ve developed. Needs might include security, esteem, and health. Based on these needs your readers have certain wants. Wants might include learning how-to exercise and eat more healthy food. Another want might be to stay at home with children while replacing income from a full-time job. Or learning how-to write better articles and headlines so your content is read by, and helps more people.
Now you’ve got a reader profile and an idea of your reader’s needs and wants. The next step is to begin to develop content to satisfy these needs and wants. For example you could produce a series of articles or podcasts on preparing healthy food. This would satisfy a “want” – learning how to prepare health food – and a “need” which is a more general level of health. The key is to take your reader profile and create a series of blog posts and content ideas based on anticipated needs and wants.
As you publish your content you’ll find that your reader’s comments and other feedback will help you fine-tune your material so that it truly meets their needs. It is important to accept this feedback as if you were having a conversation with a good friend. Making changes to your content based on your reader’s feedback shows them you are sincere in your efforts to provide them with solutions to their specific needs and wants. This will help you truly build great relationships.
As your readership increases and your relationships with readers improve, you will quickly learn about additional problems and challenges they are facing. What can you produce that provides your readers with a solution? Would they be willing to pay you for providing the solution? If you’ve done a good job relationship building the answer will be yes. The most successful blogs do just that. They’ve built great relationships with their readers, taken the time to have conversations with them about their problems, and have developed solutions to help solve these problems.
Finally remember that great content builds relevance. Relevance builds trust. Trust builds relationships. Relationships provide the basis for building a strong business.