Welcome to our weekly column by Blogger Babes co-founder Ponn Sabra. Check back every Monday for the tips and tricks you need to take your blog to the next level!
Photo by Dean Drobot via Shutterstock
Last week we talked about ways to connect with your blogger audience. But the best blogs are a two-way street, and readers are motivated to connect back with you by commenting and sharing your content. It's no easy task to motivate them to do it, but we've got a couple great ideas:
Run a Challenge
A contest or challenge will help you learn several things about your audience:
- What excites them
- What they struggle with
- What major obstacles they find hard to overcome
- What they still need
- What they want next
Make sure your challenge benefits and advances your readers in a transformative way. To that end, your challenge should:
- Help readers achieve a specific goal or fulfill a dream.
- Empower them with the confidence and/or skills to finally take the next step.
- Provide them with a knowledgeable community offering support and encouragement.
- Provide them with validation—from other members, as well as from you.
- Allow you to share and celebrate their success
How to Run a Challenge:
You can run a challenge through just about any social media platform out there. We recommend Facebook because it's easier to track and use. Whatever the platform, make sure your challenge is:
- a contest
- not too easy or too hard
- has milestones and check-in points
- has prizes that your audience would want
Tip: Create a free, mini-version of your challenge to inspire people and give them a taste of what you’re offering, as well as to create momentum. Conclude your mini-challenge with a paid version that's larger but with a similar goal.
Create a Podcast Series
It might sound like a strange suggestion for a style blog, but don’t miss out on this opportunity! Fashion may be a visual field, but you can still interest your audience by providing them with a discussion that truly benefits them. A regular, recurring podcast with a strong theme should be able to help you create:
- Strong branding by way of an even stronger identity that people tend to remember
- A habit among your followers, of tuning in regularly to listen
- A quality product to fill a market that still has quite a bit of room for competition
- A more personal connection with you, because your audience will get to hear your voice and therefore, they will recognize it over time. Eventually, it will feel as though you are talking directly to them. Even when they’re listening to a recording, it will feel like “real time.”
Tip: You can strategize your podcasts to introduce your services or lead up to sales funnel offerings.
Things to keep in mind for your podcast:
- Pick a hot topic—something that is relevant to your niche and that your followers are excited about, such as New York Fashion Week if it’s that time of year, or the latest trend in fall scarves.
- Create a series. It’s important that you don’t just make isolated and unrelated podcasts. Make sure there is a theme.
- Give your series a catchy title and repeat the title in every episode. Your topic should stay the same, but your episodes should deal with different elements of that topic.
- Write short, yet powerful, show notes. After all, that’s how people decide whether or not they want to tune in.
- Keep your podcasts short—30 minutes should be enough.
- Upload your series to iTunes.
- Ask your listeners to share the link.
- To learn more, check out this interview with a podcast pro.
Some of these ideas might be a better fit for you than others. But however you do it, building and nurturing your community is key to your blog's success. Most importantly, do it with joy and enthusiasm—and watch natural activity grow.
Want more tips on how to get your audience going? Just subscribe to this month’s Blogger Building Blocks, How to Effectively Connect and Engage with Your Audience!