5 Ways To Add Value For Your Blog Readers

I ran across a Shoemoney post today that was a few months old that talked about the real way to make money online (read the full post here: What People Trying To Make Money Online Blogging Don’t Get). It wasn’t what the typical blogger wants to hear, but something we’ve all probably heard a thousand times. And for some reason today it got me thinking. Shoemoney said, “You need to actually give value…and do it consistently over time.”

Sometimes I think it’s easy to lose focus of why we’re blogging (or why we SHOULD be blogging) and get caught up in making the almighty dollar. The interesting thing I’ve found is the harder I try to extract money from a blog, the harder it is to make money from that blog. Yet when I just commit to writing every day (or whatever frequency I’ve chosen for that blog project), it’s infinitely easier to monetize my efforts. In the latter scenario, my blog content grows in depth and quality and my readership grows more rapidly.

Today I thought I’d throw out 5 ways you can add value for your readers. This is not the end all, be all list, but rather some things to get you thinking to generate your own list adapted to your specific needs and style.

On with the list!

1. Respond to your audience.

When they ask for help or ask a sincere question, respond. When you have an additional question about a post you or someone else on your blog wrote, put it in the comments. When you have a thought about it, put it in the comments. The post should be the conversation starter while the comments are what get your blog community really rolling. You will build a reputation more quickly and people will value your blog all the more if you take the time to interact with them.

2. Use your blog and other tools to solve problems.

Your blog, Twitter sites, podcast, etc. are all tools you should be using in unison. Use them to try and solve problems, both big and small. People love problem solvers. You may be thinking, “Great, but what kind of problem can I solve?” I have no idea, but I would venture to guess that if you kept your eye out in your niche, you’d find something people are bumping up against on a regular basis. It could be something as simple as a regular conduit for updating people about something pertinent to your niche, or something more complex such as a new software or service to help the entire industry function better. Whatever it is, try and be a problem solver. If you find a problem, but don’t know how to solve it, throw it out there along with some suggestions at possible solutions. Get the ball rolling.

3. Add plugins that add value to your blog.

One that I think of right off the bat is a comments plugin that makes it easier and more enticing for people to interact with your blog, each other and you. Another might be the Flickr plugin to bring niche related pictures into your site. Or how about a plugin that sends out a Twitter update every time you create a post. Look for plugins that add value to your blog, it’s content, and the experience you’re creating for your site visitors. One note of caution though, don’t just add plugins because you’re gadget happy or think something looks neat. ONLY add them if they’ll actually add some value. Put yourself in the shoes of your readers.

4. Be generous.

I’m sure everyone feels they’re generous most times, but are you really? Are you generous with your time, your knowledge and your abilities? You can gain some real traction with your readers and others in your niche if you are a generous person and give freely of yourself. This relates heavily to #1 above. One of the best ways you can give of yourself, aside from writing well thought out content is by interacting with readers in your comments. Another thing you can do to be generous is give something away. Run a little contest, giveaway or drawing for your readers. It can help you gain readers, but can also be a great act of generosity. And there’s nothing wrong with killing two birds with one stone!

5.Treat everyone with respect.

I really debated on #5, but it’s something I’ve been trying to do everywhere I “am” online. It’s sometimes easy (okay, oftentimes easy) to get annoyed with what seem like stupid people asking stupid questions. At the end of the day, though, they’re still fellow human beings and deserve to be treated with respect. This can be one of the easiest and most powerful ways to add value to your blog or pretty much any online or offline project you work on. Think about it. People want to be around others who respect them and value them as human beings. An expert or guru that treats people with respect usually gains a significantly greater number of followers much more quickly than someone who knows their stuff but is a jerk. This really hit home for me while reading some comments on a blog recently. The blog author was calling people out, saying they were idiots and dumbasses. I don’t care to read any more from this particular guy no matter how good the advice or info is.

Hopefully that gives you a few things to think about as you look at your blog and how you can continue to build it. If you have some more suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Share them in the comments below.

This guest post was written by Ryan Burglehaus who writes about blogging, making money online and entrepreneurial tips at Blueverse.com.


48 thoughts on “5 Ways To Add Value For Your Blog Readers”

  1. Rahil says:

    Been through this several times…but every time I read it..I learn something new ..isn’t that strange πŸ™‚

    1. Nope its not at all strange … remember Practice makes perfect ..

      So just keep doing it and keep getting the perfection and knowledge.

  2. nice tipss. thanks for sharing

    1. I would like to add one more factor and i.e., consistency in every work which you do.

  3. chester says:

    Hey #5 is good. Integrity and respect are important.

  4. These are great tips for the average blogger. Blogging is something that most people tend to think is just an easy thing, which for most it is. The hard part is benefitting from those blogs. I am learning every day on things to help my site get better. Thanks for this info.

    1. Agree. Do blogging is easy but monetize it is really hard work.

  5. Brad Edgar says:

    I think that giving people a reason to listen by adding value to your website is a great concept. “It’s important to talk to your readers rather than at your readers”. I forget who brought this up in one of the posts that I read, but it is great advice.

    Your readers need to be able to interact. Leaving your readers with an open subjective question can spark some pretty interesting discussions. Like you said it is important to solve problems for your readers and you can often listen to what people have to say in your comments and find out what products, services or information your readers really need.

  6. Response the audience may seems easy, but it need knowledge to do it properly.

  7. Same Old Story and dance…

  8. S Ahsan says:

    this is a sweet post Ryan. I will have to spread the word on my blog! thanks for the share!

  9. oes tsetnoc says:

    I hope these tips work. Let me focus on these points, which you has mentioned

    1. I am sure few of them you are following already. One of them can be point no 5.

  10. John, your advice is golden. You’re like the Anthony Robbins of Blogging (motivation). I read your e-book about 2 months ago and built my website with all your advice. I can’t thank you enough. You keep inspiring me!

    Flickr plug-in is next on my list for my blog ; )

    – Armen

  11. Quite good reminder for bloggers πŸ™‚

    1. You should not forget these kind of lessons.

      These are the base of every success. Adopt that and get the success.

  12. I think this offers some helpful hints; especially #5. I think that a lot of bloggers think that they are experts in the field that they are blogging on, mostly because they are, but they often come across condescending and rude. It’s a hard thing to remember though and it’s really hard to gauge tone via blogs so it’s even more important to think about how you write what you are writing.

    1. Harry says:

      To be fair though the ones that do know what they’re talking about don’t really give a damn if you read their blog or not half the time. Hence why they violate #5. It’s more like an outlet for them than a omg let’s make $10k/month from my blog.

  13. Well, if I had more visitors, I’d be able to put those things in motion.

    I don’t know much yet, but if someone asks me a question I am always ready to answer sincerely

  14. it’s good to find out what really needs visitors, providing the best information, of course, which will benefit from the increasing popularity of your blog, I strongly agree the idea.

  15. Nice post,

    I like your point number 4, Be Generous
    with you information and time.

    I love it! Great sharing of info here.

  16. Ted Hessing says:

    Good basics but I would fundamentally disagree with plug-ins automating Twitter posts. Pre-meditated Twitting just feels wrong.

  17. Kevin Pasco says:

    Excellent post, Ryan.

    You got it spot on. I wish more bloggers listened to you…

  18. I like point 4… Give Give Give, it’s bound to come back! πŸ™‚

  19. These are all so true, but I have to agree especially on number one. There are a number of ways to see what your audience wants and to repsond to it, but a lot of bloggers make the mistake of ignoring them.

    Stats about what your readers are doing on your blog are hugely helpful in determining what’s working and what isn’t, but listening to what they have to say and their requests is important too.

  20. Hal Brown says:

    Great list. I firmly believe that anyone who wants to make money – now that we are blog-saturated – is to have something of real value to offer. A rehash of what the alpha dogs are doing won’t do it.
    Thanks for the post. A couple of these things had not occurred to me.

  21. Good tips, but I am not so sure about the flickr plugin, the more plugins you have, the slower your site loads and the slower your site loads, the more annoys this your readers, SY

    1. Yep, I’m going for minimal plugins now so all the blogs I run load faster.

  22. Alan Graf says:

    I agree regarding plugins. Since some of them are so interesting, and others are good for promoting either yourself, or your readers. However, it comes with a performance price to pay. So, choose wisely

  23. You have to give some great value away for free, and on a consistent basis. That is the bait to attract the fishies to subscribe to your mailing list and eventually buy into your “exclusive” offerings.

  24. This sounds like a ProBlogger.net post. I thnk I’ve seen this title at leat 5 times over at his blog. Only the numbers have changed.

    1. It actually appears about 5x on everyone elses’ MMO blog too. πŸ˜‰

      1. Write good content, get backlinks, that’s all you need.

  25. fas says:

    I agree you have to be as courteous as you can be.

  26. First time reader here and am I glad I stumbled on your blog. Excellent points for blogging. It’s so important to get a “personality” out there to differentiate yourself from your competition. You have certainly done that here…and by the way: you have the best damn disclosure ever for the FTC new ruling!

  27. swarnaw says:

    nice tips. thanks for sharing

  28. Cool tips thanks for sharing. Yeah, I do agree you do have to add some value to a blog. Think of it this way, if you run a blog you are always reading peoples comments and stuff. You have a good conversation going. Well, when someone comes in and says “Hey check out how I made a millions dollars in 1 day.”

    The webmaster is just going to delete that junk. I really don’t think people understand blog commenting. It can be fun at the same time make you money. Anyways, I could go on and on but I won’t…lol

    Keep up the good work πŸ˜‰

  29. Navaneeth says:

    What an advice. The same advice we got from parents and elders—- Help others whenever you can

  30. These are the basic tips and every professional blogger give this kind of tips to their visitors.

    But here main tough thing is consistency.

    1. and ZK..you forgot the most important thing….My tip would be to comment on others’ blogs even if you have no idea on what you are gonna say..Just don’t be too simple.You are a good example of that..aren’t you πŸ™‚

  31. Sascha says:

    Very nice tips. Thank you for sharing!

  32. Chassidy says:

    Consistency in what regard ZK? Post frequency? Or adhering to using these tips?

  33. I’ve seen these, but I’m sure there are those who could use a reminder. Thanks

  34. Rob says:

    #3….the plugin solution….I think way too often bloggers go to the plugin directory to find a way to improve their site. Good advice by John to use with caution. Odds are good they don’t add as much value as you think.

  35. abrablog says:

    be generous. I guess that’s true.

  36. poorwebguy says:

    Good stuff…as usual. #1 and #2 seem to be the hardest for me. I can solve programming problems but I hate writing about that stuff. Gets great SE traffic but high bounce rate.

  37. some solid tips there. responding to your audience is a big one for sure

  38. I think the best part of this strategy is the giving of your time. If someone takes the time to post a comment or asks a question, it’s always a good idea to give some type of response. It just shows you care about the people that take the time not only to read the blog, but take the time to post a comment or question.

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