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How To Build The Relationship with Your Readers

written by John Chow on April 28, 2008

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Successful blogging is all about building relationships. The relationship you create with your readership and other blogs will have a huge impact on your success as a professional blogger. Here are five tips on how to create that relationship. Feel free to add your tips in the comments.

1 – Get Personal

Creating a relationship means letting your readers know more about you. Most bloggers do this with the About page. However, I would recommend going beyond the About page with a personal post about your life every now and then.

I read many blogs about making money online and the ones that I always come back to are the ones that reveal the most about its author. If all you do is stick to your topic and never deviate from it, you’re going to have a hard time separating yourself from the millions of other blogs talking about the same topics. Readers relate to the writer, not the topic. Let your personal style come out by telling how the topic affects you. And don’t be afraid to tell your readers what you had for lunch. :)

2 – Post Some Pictures or Videos of Yourself

Readers can relate to you more if they can connect a face to a name. Your About page should have at least a photo of yourself. This shows your readers that you’re not trying to hide behind some computer screen. It also makes you more trust worthy. If you want to go beyond that and really get personal, upload some videos of you and your friends having Pho.

3 – Offer Many Ways for Readers to Contact You

At the very least you should have a contact page where readers can email you. The more ways for readers to get in touch with you, the better and faster you can build that relationship. Therefore, look beyond email and start taking advantages of services like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites. Twitter is proving to be a fantastic relationship building tool. It can also be a huge time waster so use it wisely.

4 – Answer The Comments

If a reader leaves a comment on your blog, then you should answer them. This especially true if the comment is a question. The blog comment system is the best communication tool between the blogger and his readership. You should do everything possible to encourage blog comments.

5 – Attend Trade Shows and Networking Events

One of the best ways to build relationships is by attending trade shows and networking events in your niche. I built many life-long friendships by attending events like Affiliate Summit, Blog World, Ad Tech and many other events.

You don’t even have to travel far if you don’t want to. Start with local events and work your way up. Use Meetup.com or another service to find others blogging about the same stuff you’re blogging. I’m sure you’ll find tons of event in your own backyard.

I’ll be speaking at a WordPress camp this Wednesday. Seventy five people have confirmed RSVPs with another 36 maybes. Not only is attending this event a great way to build a relationship, it’s also a great way to build a readership.

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{ 54 comments }

Paul Piotrowski April 28, 2008 at 11:39 pm

Great advice John. If you look at the top bloggers on the net they all aren’t afraid to share who they are. You are absolutely right that people connect to the writer, not the content. It’s all about personal branding.

Having said that, I gotta find a good photo of me and post more pics of myself and update my bio. I can definitely do a lot more to let me readers know who I am.

Zeke April 29, 2008 at 3:59 am

If you know what your personal brand is, you are way ahead of most. Take that knowledge and get a professional portrait done. I use that idea on my blog nicephotomag.com. Of course it helps if you are a photographer, or at least if you can find a decent one.

DeboHobo April 29, 2008 at 7:27 am

John,
Here is another way to reach your readers and build a connection.

http://snapvine.com/debohobo now all of my readers can leave me a voice comment and I can leave daily voice posts as well. It is really cool. Everyone should get one and try it. :)

John please stop by and leave a voice comment today:)

Financial Jesus May 14, 2008 at 12:22 pm

Personal branding seems to be what everyone is saying lately, i wonder if it’s really that important? Although I agree, that letting people know who you are won’t hurt!

evilwoobie April 28, 2008 at 11:41 pm

I like your lunch photos. They make you human, and not a famous MMO robot (“bleep… i make money online and so can you… bleep.”). More power!

Thiago Prado April 29, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Lunch photos are pretty good. The only thing is missing is that John has never been in a Brazilian restaurant. If he post photos from there everyone would go there for sure.

rental car insurance April 28, 2008 at 11:48 pm

You can’t stress the answer comments suggestion 2 much!

:smile:

Terra Andersen April 29, 2008 at 10:45 am

:mrgreen: I agree! Also, knowing who exactly you’re reading about really makes it memorable. In my own blog, I’ve noticed that when speaking of my own business ventures and the steps taken to achieve them… they tend to relate much more than if I simply spouted on about business and entrepreneurialism with every single post.
:smile:

Syed Balkhi April 30, 2008 at 6:14 am

true that … Also posts like those attract more comments in my experience rather than a boring article which explains everything in third person.

cat April 29, 2008 at 12:06 am

Get Personal- good one. I came to the same conclusion several months back. Previously, what my readers received was the facts. Just the facts (mostly the facts). Now, I’m trying to put more of me into the blog.

My fear is boring the hades out of everyone. Partly because I don’t live a standard suburban life so there may not be the connection some people seem to need. Partly because what interests me about me might put other people to sleep.

I guess you can’t please everyone so I’ll just have to wait and see.

As for Trade Shows and Networking Events. Well, it’s back to the not living the suburban life issue.

Sha April 29, 2008 at 12:20 am

Good points all round.

As for the pictures, I know some people aren’t crazy about posting them online because of the psychos. I’m not one of them though.

ClogMoney April 29, 2008 at 1:14 am

I like this method because it shows (hopefully) that it is that person making the posts, and not a team of 12 who take it in turn to make a post.

Vijay Zanvar April 29, 2008 at 2:07 am

Your site takes hell lot of time to load!!

Geld Lenen April 29, 2008 at 3:50 am

Buy a better pc! :) No, I agree, all the ads are slowing things up!

Kenyan Runner April 29, 2008 at 8:10 am

I thought I was the only one having problem loading your site. The site is dead on windows explorer, Its seems to open only when am using Mozilla web browser. John something is wrong?

Flimjo April 29, 2008 at 10:24 am

Agreed that it is a bit slow. Probably because all the ads. But people keep coming back, and JC keeps making $$$$$. So who cares.

Terry Tay April 29, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Yeah, hopefully as technology advances they’ll be able to make pages with a ton of stuff load faster. It is somewhat annoying when there is a bunch of stuff trying to load, but John makes up for that with the content, plus some of the people that comment here make it worth coming back too :wink:
~Terry

baldeagle April 29, 2008 at 2:56 am

I agree that getting personal with your readers is valuable in most cases, but I am not certain that is the case for all topic areas. In many topic areas, I think a blogger can get by with solid content.

The blogger has to earn that credibility somehow and perhaps that is where getting personal can help. If that credibility already exists from some other source (i.e., television, magazines, etc.), then the relationship stuff is not as pertinent.

Zeke April 29, 2008 at 3:38 am

Get personal! I agree 100%. Think about how you want people to perceive you. If you want to look like you’ve got it together, get a professional portrait done for your blog. I have them on mine and I take them of others. The response my clients have to their professional portraits is frequently far more valuable than they had originally thought.

You can see some examples at my blog: nicephotomag.com

Bash Bosh April 29, 2008 at 3:45 am

Very interesting!
Thank you for sharing this with us!

MrAchievement.com (Stanley Bronstein) April 29, 2008 at 4:43 am

In other words, the way to be a successful blogger is to be human . . .

Good advice.

MrAchievement
Stanley Bronstein
Attorney, CPA, Author, Blogger & Profesional Motivational Speaker

ClogMoney April 29, 2008 at 10:34 am

I bet all those robot bloggers are gutted

alzack April 29, 2008 at 5:21 am

Simple and compact. Useful tips… :lol:

Siddharth April 29, 2008 at 5:53 am

I agree John that building relations with fellow bloggers and readers is an important thing to do like we do in the offline life. Great tips, specialy the about page one. Yes one should have at least one pic of his/her on that page. I am sure give a link to my Facebook profile on my site now. Agree as always!!! :wink:

Flimjo April 29, 2008 at 6:50 am

Are pictures really that necessary? What if, for example, you work in a job, and you have a blog, and you don’t want people at work to stumble upon your blog and figure out that your job isn’t exactly #1 on your priority list? That’s my problem. :cool:

Conservatives and Normals April 29, 2008 at 6:56 am

I say, “Screw’EM”! Do what makes YOU happy! I sent a link to my blog to a bunch of people and I unintentionally sent the link to my mom… The only post I had up was “why I think it’s absurd you can’t buy alcohol on Sunday’s in some areas of the country”. Being that she’s very religious, She was not amused. I am currently on the market for a new mom. I’ve learned to not hide in the shadows though and I am happier to express my beliefs, whether people like it or not.

Affiliate Confession April 29, 2008 at 6:56 am

You have to eventually just go for it. If you are trying to hide your internet endeavors from those you work with, you’re probably unintentionally hiding yourself from potential visitors and customers.

Flimjo April 29, 2008 at 10:06 am

You’re probably right. I guess if performance at work doesn’t subside, it’s OK. If, at least, you convince people that you’re still into the job (even though you’re working on something on the side to get out of that job), a picture or something similar won’t affect it.

Thiago Prado April 29, 2008 at 5:53 am

John,
You always come up with very good insights of relationship. I’m not very good at making friends, but I’m trying.

Flimjo April 29, 2008 at 6:44 am

I think responding to comments and letting people know more about you are very important. Blog posts that turn into lectures eventually become boring. Readers want to know about the blogger and what he or she is like and what makes them tick.

Responding to comments also creates loyal readers because a response makes a reader feel important.

Affiliate Confession April 29, 2008 at 6:52 am

I know some people don’t like it, but I love your restaurant reviews and enjoy seeing pics of the food. It’s cool seeing what the Dot Com lifestyle can be.

Flimjo April 29, 2008 at 10:26 am

Those are some of my favorite. John’s tastes are right up my alley . . . from the greasy cheeseburgers to the high-end oysters.

Holly April 29, 2008 at 8:38 am

I think a lot of people get so caught up in the business of blogging that they forget they need to be themselves. I know I have fallen into this trap a few times, but once I changed my tone and personalized the blog more I received more readers and comments.

I also have pictures on most of my about or contact pages of me. I like to know what the person I’m talking to looks like. I think it creates more of a connection.

Maria Cronk April 29, 2008 at 8:45 am

Thanks for the great info. I need to personalize my blog more. There is only one you and it makes sense to make your blog stand out one needs by personalize it.
Thanks
Maria Cronk

make150aday April 29, 2008 at 9:27 am

sometimes i feel like laughing out loud while reading such comments.
After all its all about promotion.
The best way to have good relation with readers is to deliver good quality content..Thats the key.

David at DavidNordmark.com April 29, 2008 at 10:05 am

I think this is the great post. To me, it all boils down to “what makes your website / blog unique?” Well, the obvious answer, is YOU! If you really put yourself into your blog, how can it not stand out from the hundreds of others that may offer exactly the same information? I guess I’ll have to put some pictures of myself on my blog now, lol.

- Dave

Affiliate Confession April 29, 2008 at 10:56 am

I’m trying to be more consistent in answering my comments. Sometimes things just fall through the cracks, not a good thing though.

Syed Balkhi April 30, 2008 at 6:05 am

Alan that is because you have way too many projects…

ClogMoney April 29, 2008 at 11:10 am

I think people who are more personal are likely to succeed futher as a personality draws attraction and therefore the rewads, but I don’t want to get too personal, knowing my luck I will get one hit a day and it will be a stalker.

Paolo U April 29, 2008 at 1:08 pm

That is the same thing that I’m thinking of.

I can get personal on talking natural things on my life but I don’t like to reveal my face because I’m afraid of the bad people are going to use it for reference on who are their next target.

Syed Balkhi April 30, 2008 at 6:12 am

It is like saying I want my one year old to walk, but I don’t want to let them try because they will fall.

Come on folks, you can’t hold back just because of a fear of someone stalking you. I can tell you that it really helps by adding your personality on your blog. I have been doing the same for a past few months, and It helps me interact with my users.

Moki April 29, 2008 at 2:38 pm

Hi John,
We just started following your blog. We’ve only been blogging a short period of time (since Feb.,) and have found much of the information you provide very useful.

Wade April 29, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Some good tips. It is important to have a good relationship with your readers. If you make them feel welcomed, they will come back. I might also suggest posting about you and your life every once in a while. Don’t do it too often because nobody wants to read about you and your dog if your site is on making money. But posting on occasion something about you makes the reader connect with you better. It makes them realize that there is a real heart on the other end. Like I could post about me just losing my job, and the stress/worries about taking care of my family. Post about my daughters birthday or first day overnight with gma and papa. I would say no more than once a week, but even less than that. By those two things I grabbed the heart of two different situations. Someone might also have just lost there job, or they have a child and can relate to that emotion.

Also pay attention to your readers. Ask them what they want out of your site sometimes. Before you make a big change, run a poll. It doesn’t matter what you think, it is what the majority of your readers that come to your site want.

Also provide a product. Most businesses run because they have a product to offer. Just because you run a blog, or aren’t selling anything doesn’t make you any different. Your product is your posts and the content you offer for your readers. Treat it the same as selling something real.

Shudogg Dot Com – Make Money Online Blogging

Gabriel Lai April 29, 2008 at 7:29 pm

Wow…. Great Post!! I was wondering whether bloggers still blog about themselves instead of making money online! I start to realized John Chow is talking more about personal life huh? Even while having his hair cut! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Bloddard.com April 29, 2008 at 7:46 pm

I love these tips. I’m really going to consider these because you are right, I feel more comfortable with those that focus on me, individually and not those who make general statements from which everyone is supposed to make their own conclusion. I will implement these ideas. If I could just get some traffic.

I have an Idea:idea: Hey guys. My birthday is May 2nd and I will be turning twenty one years of age. As a humble present, could you top by my site and comment or something. I’d really appreciate it. Thanks in Advance.

Taj Mahal April 29, 2008 at 8:20 pm

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ok! Tips for Avoiding Your AdSense Account Getting Banned by Google ,Tips for Selecting a Good Affiliate Program to Promote , thank you !

Zero and Up April 29, 2008 at 9:06 pm

I need to work on some of those things, especially adding more ways for people to get into contact with me.

Syed Balkhi April 30, 2008 at 6:02 am

I have been doing all the above except for the conferences one, but I am going to start on that also beginning June.

DeboHobo April 30, 2008 at 7:29 am

I’ve been answering more comments this week and have been recieving more visitors.

Today is StumbleUpon day at my blog, so everyone visit me today and leave a comment and I will stumble one of yoru posts. :grin:

Codrut Turcanu April 30, 2008 at 11:14 am

I agree with you John that getting personal with your readers is the key but if you had to sum up personalization in 5 more steps, what would they be?

Obviously you have put up such nice information that not only applies to Blogging but it’s the lifeblood of every business online and offline.

Cheers,
Codrut Turcanu – “Succeeding Against All Odds!”

Andy T May 2, 2008 at 9:33 pm

I’m very new in blog. I just started our first [me and my father] off in X’mas 2007 because of too boring. My origional idea is to treat the blog as a content collection of my father’s articles contributed in 1994 Chinese Newspaper and thoughts not suitable to put into company web. I still working on it. I type Chinese very slow [I finished 5 of my father's old article]. The new articles mainly in English.
As you said that I missed the personal touch. Thanks for your advice!!

zephyr May 3, 2008 at 4:27 am

Yeas, you are true john.
I must implement your ideas in my blog because I would love to make some more money

Virginia Belardo May 3, 2008 at 7:13 am

Thank you for your tips John! This is a 100% help for all neophytes blooger and that includes myself!

oscar May 7, 2008 at 1:19 pm

:evil: When writing something for all bloggers Hispanics you visit every day? :mrgreen:

Traducido al español seria, cuando escribiras algo para todos los bloggers hispanos que te visitamos dia a dia? :lol: