You want more readers to your blog. You want more followers to your Twitter account, you want more people to subscribe to your RSS. You want everything. And really, there is nothing wrong with that. However, achieving it is another matter. Most bloggers will never achieve anything more than a small amount of success because they fail to keep a very important rule in mind.
In Order To Get What You Want, You Have To Give Them What They Want
When someone comes to read your blog or subscribe to your RSS, they’re not doing it because you’re such a great guy. They doing it because there’s something in it for them. Ever wondered how some small time bloggers manage to secure interviews/flavors from big time bloggers? They did it because they answer the question the big time bloggers had when the email came in – What’s in it for me?
You need to put yourself in the reader’s shoe and ask what’s in it for them if they read your blog, sign up for your RSS, follow you on Twitter, etc. If you can’t answer those questions, then you have the answer to why you are where you are right now.
Great Content Is Not Enough
While I would love to think that people come to this blog because I write great content, the truth of the matter is it requires more than just great content to attract readers these days. If you want to get big in this business, put yourself in the reader’s shoe and ask, “What in it for me?”
I like to think readers comment on this blog because they want to add their views. However, my current poll shows that the number one reason readers comment is to drive traffic to their blogs. Have you noticed how much comments increased since I put back in the Top Commentators list?
I like to believe that people follow me on Twitter because I’m such an interesting guy. However, the rate of new followers double since I posted the Twitter Question of The Day with replies from my followers.
Most people do things because it’s to their advantage to do it and they get something for it. People don’t get up to an alarm clock, deal with rush hour and slave away at a job because they love their boss. They do it because it makes them money. People are not going to read your blog because they love you. They’ll read it because there’s something in it for them.
My blog continues to glow because I put myself in my readers’ shoes and ask what I can do to better serve them. In other words, I answer question of “What’s in it for me?” Great content, Top Commentators list, Twitter Shout Outs at Dot Com Pho, Question of The Day, MyBlogLog list, recent comments list, etc. were all designed to answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”
You give reader what they want, they will give you what you want.
Save The Internet – Don’t Stay a Virgin
A great example of What’s In It For Me would be Tanya Devereaux’s Don’t Stay a Virgin site. Tanya is a Belgian political activist and NEE party senate candidate. She offered to provide 400,000 blowjobs when she ran for a seat in the Belgian senate, as a protest against other politicians when they claimed to create 400,000 jobs. Tanya also offers free sexual favours to all the virgins who supports Net Neutrality.
If you’re a virgin and willing to support Net Neutrality, then you might end up getting de-virginized by Tanya. This is classic What’s In It For Me. I would imagine most lonely virgin geeks would support Net Neutrality (or anything Tanya wants) if they were offered free sex from some hot babe.
OK, so maybe this wasn’t a great example of What’s In It For Me, but it certainly is one of the most interesting. 🙂