This is a post by Frank McKinley.Today he shares with us how we gain popularity with our readers.
Mediakix says there are over 440 million blogs right now. And you thought there was a lot of traffic in New York City! It’s pretty easy to get lost in a crowd of 8 million, much less 440 million. Today we’re going to look at how you can become the go-to blogger in your own niche.
It’s Not Impossible
You might be saying, “Everyone’s favorite? That’s a pretty tall order. I do good to even get my family to notice me when I’m home.”
Even Michael Hyatt, Jeff Goins, and Greg Narayan started out as unknown writers just like you.
What they had are the same things you can.
- A purpose for writing. You can’t be a general practitioner in a world of specialists. The bloggers who stand out are those who have a clearly defined topic and stick with it for the long haul.
- An intense drive to share. It takes work to stand out. You’ll need the commitment to stay at the task even when it seems like no one cares. Keep pushing. Keep getting your work before the people who need it most. Soon the right people will care – and come to love you.
- A heart of service. If you’re in this for the long haul, you’ll never make it being selfish. People will see right through you when all you’re after is money. Serve people first and they’ll love you – and buy from you.
All three of these qualities are within anyone’s reach.
Now let’s look at three ways you can work your way into your readers’ hearts.
1. Make the Reader the Hero
My family and I watched the Disney movie Coco last weekend.
The story is about a boy named Miguel who wants to be a great musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. It’s tough for him, though. His family has banned music at home, in the neighborhood, and even from dinner table conversation.
But that doesn’t stop Miguel.
As we follow the story, he faces lots of challenges. First, he ends up in the world of the dead. What? (It’s a story, after all). That seems like an impossible problem to overcome, right?
As in any good story, the hero needs help overcoming his problem. And Miguel has several:
- His family doesn’t support his dream
- His goals seem so out of reach he’ll never make it
- He needs others to help but doesn’t know anyone yet
These are the same problems we face as bloggers sometimes, isn’t it?
Your family may support you, but they don’t want to hear about your work all the time.
You try and try to make a dent in the universe, but it seems hard to even make a ripple on the Internet.
You need a major blogger to lend you her platform, but she won’t return your emails.
As you’re living out your life as a blogger, it’s easy to think of yourself as the hero. After all, you’re meeting the challenges. You’re making connections with mentors who can help you succeed. That’s what heroes do, right?
That’s the inside view.
Your readers see you differently. They are the heroes in their stories. You’re the guide. In other words, they’re Luke Skywalker. You’re Yoda.
People say they’re looking for heroes. They’re not. They’re looking for guides. When you give them something that makes their dreams come true, they call you a hero. What you did was give them a roadmap that made them a hero.
Be the guide and you’ll be your reader’s favorite blogger!
2. Provide an Escape
There’s more information available today than ever before.
We’re inundated with news, updates, and sales messages. Most of them show up in the middle of our TV programs, our Facebook feeds, and even in the corners of our free email accounts.
Interruption marketing, while ineffective for the most part, is by no means dead.
If you want to be everyone’s favorite blogger, you’ve got to give people an escape from the depressing, the ordinary, and the repetitive.
There’s one thing that is always welcome no matter how people feel when they meet you. It’s what leads people to go back to school in their forties. It’s what sells the tabloids at the checkout counter. It’s even what makes people sell everything to join a cult.
What is this magic power?
Give people hope and you can literally lead them anywhere.
Hope is what leads us to get out of bed and face another day. It’s what inspires us to try one more time when we’ve failed 15 times before. It’s that ray of sunshine after a week of cloudy days that brings a smile back to our faces.
We all want it. We all need it. And we’d all die without it.
Hope comes in lots of ways. It’s the story we watch to forget about life for awhile. In the mindless laughter, we get from a silly movie after working a 14-hour shift at the factory. Or the talk with a friend over coffee that makes the rest of the week bearable.
Lighten your reader’s load by showing her how to do it herself.
Then she’ll come back to you, again and again, to keep her roadmap up to date.
3. Tell Stories Over Coffee
Business meetings can be notoriously boring.
Waiting to see the doctor can be worse than the visit itself.
Coffee and conversation come together and create magic.
Salespeople know this. Psychologists have proved it. Warm drinks and warm chats combine to make warm relationships.
It’s winter now as I write this. I’ve spent many hours over the years working in places that didn’t have heat. Any place that is warm is a slice of heaven in the pure hell of frigid temperatures.
So why do we go out in the snow to play?
Because our friends are there.
And after a few minutes, we can go back inside where it’s warm.
When you’re warm inside after a cold day, what do you do? If you’re like most people, you want to hear stories. We get them from TV when we watch movies, sitcoms, and even the news. They call their features stories, don’t they? We not only live a story, we want to know other people’s stories.
Stories are powerful because:
- They give us a framework to share what happens to us
- Help us see ourselves doing something we’ve never experienced
- Stories give us a place to solve problems before we face them
Bloggers are really storytellers.
So grab some coffee. Help your reader see that her dreams are achievable. And write like you’d write to your best friend.
Do all that and you’ll work your way into your reader’s hearts and become their favorite blogger.
Now Do This
You’ve just learned 3 powerful ways to build an audience of loyal fans.
Sure, it will take work.
But wouldn’t you rather do work that matters if you’re going to work at all?
Now you can.
How can you make your reader a hero to the people she serves? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
Have questions? I’ll do my best to answer them.
Thanks for reading. You’ve got this!