Today’s post comes from Deb, who blogs at Science@Home.
What do you give your readers?
Sounds weird. It’s just another way of approaching the perpetual blogging question of
’Why should your readers choose you?’
Your elevator pitch, your voice, your story, your authentic self – these are all different approaches to help you work out what it is that makes your blog tick and your readers come back. In other words:
In what area are you the go-to gal?
This is easier to answer for those of us who have information or practical blogs. I’m the kids science person with a dash of education. The Planning Queen is ‘Wow, how do you fit it all in?’ Stuff With Thing is living with children with autism.
But it can be done by personal bloggers too – are you hilarious? Do you live in the country and people enjoy hearing about your different lifestyle? Do you take gorgeous photos? Are you a beautiful, lyrical writer? Are you up on all the latest gadgets? Do you inspire sympathy, empathy, sighs or fascination? Why do people come back to you?
If you have repeat readers who aren’t related to you then there is a reason, you could even do something radical like ask them what it is.
Are you giving it to them?
Once you have worked out what your readers are there for, turn the question around and ask yourself – are you giving it to them?
Well naturally. I mean I write about kids doing science four times a week! What more could my readers ask for?
Quite a bit, actually. I have bookmarks full of quirky, sciencey things. I like nothing more than to click around my favourite science blogs, YouTube and Twitter and find time lapse photography of flowers, or turtle embryos, or camouflaged octopuses, or the time of the next meteor shower. This is fun. And if I think so, chances are my readers think so too – after all, they follow me for the fun science.
So I’ve started sharing things. Not just re-tweeting, but actively looking for links to share on both Twitter and Facebook. Commenting on my fanpage when one of my kids does something that makes me think ‘Hey, that’s science!’ Remembering to use Google + whenever I can. Adding more videos to my posts. I’m giving my followers more of what they follow me for.
Links are a nice easy way of adding value for your readers while being fun for you and not much more work – hopefully these are things you look for and click through yourself.
Crafty people – do you share your suppliers? Your favourite patterns? The place you got that fabulous camera?
Funny people – how about the YouTube clips that have made you laugh? Or a ridiculous sign?
Homemakers – I’m sure we all have favourite tips, even the completely non-domestic like me have flashes of brilliance.
And so it goes. Your readers love you, otherwise they wouldn’t read you. Be confident in that and give them more of what they love you for. They might even love you more for it.