How to Make Your Audience Fall in Love with Your Blog

If you like this presentation – show it...

Slide 0

How to Make Your Audience Fall in Love with Your Blog Geraldine DeRuiter | http://everywhereist.com | @everywhereist

Slide 1

My name is Geraldine. I run a travel blog.

Slide 2

With a surprisingly strong following:

Slide 3

The blog has received a lot of attention (no one is more surprised than me)

Slide 4

I’ve been blogging for 5 years and written nearly 1,200 posts.

Slide 5

Good blogging is all about love.

Slide 6

You can fall in love with anything.

Slide 7

With an activity.

Slide 8

With a place.

Slide 9

With a message.

Slide 10

With Jeff Goldblum’s abs.

Slide 11

What does it mean to fall in love with a website?

Slide 12

Does it have to be useful?

Slide 13

Usefulness doesn’t necessarily equate to love.

Slide 14

We love lots of things that aren’t useful.

Slide 15

Does it have to be informative?

Slide 16

Being informed is important, but I don’t love everything I’ve learned.

Slide 17

There’s a difference between USING a site and LOVING it.

Slide 18

Love is different.

Slide 19

It can’t be replaced.

Slide 20

It can’t be replaced. Probably.

Slide 21

It has the potential to last.

Slide 22

GoFugYourself is a site I love.

Slide 23

I’ve been reading it for nearly 10 years.

Slide 24

There are few things in ours lives that last decades.

Slide 25

Average length of time from marriage to separation in Australia is 8.7 years.

Slide 26

I’m invested in the writers.

Slide 27

There is no replacement.

Slide 28

You can’t buy that sort of loyalty.

Slide 29

Loving a person is difficult. Loving a blog is easy.

Slide 30

Figure out what you love. What can you write about everyday?

Slide 31

If you are passionate about something, you are uniquely qualified to write about it.

Slide 32

What if you don’t have a choice? Find a way to make it work.

Slide 33

Slide 34

Slide 35

Legal explanations + Comics = Love Via Nathaniel Burney’s Illustrated Guide to Law

Slide 36

Pop culture + Stock images = Love Via Shutterstock’s Blog

Slide 37

Statistics + Online dating = Love Via OKCupid’s OKTrends Blog

Slide 38

Find the intersection:

Slide 39

Easy for me to say, right? My blog is about travel.

Slide 40

Confession: travel is not my greatest love.

Slide 41

This is. (Cake’s a close second.)

Slide 42

My earliest posts are just about travel. They suck.

Slide 43

This was the first great post I wrote. It’s about Rand … and travel.

Slide 44

The only way to find out what works is to experiment.

Slide 45

I tried everything.

Slide 46

Some posts would work. Others didn’t.

Slide 47

There are dozens of potential reasons why.

Slide 48

Was the title compelling?

Slide 49

Did I promote it? Where? Via Bit.ly

Slide 50

Did I pick the right time to post it? Via Followerwonk

Slide 51

Was it the photos?

Slide 52

Did I rank for key search terms? (Maybe on accident?)

Slide 53

Success is complicated. Not even the “experts” have it all figured out.

Slide 54

“OkCupid doesn’t really know what it’s doing. Neither does any other website. It’s not like people have been building these things for very long, or you can go look up a blueprint or something. Most ideas are bad. Even good ideas could be better.” -Christian Rudder, Founder of OKCupid

Slide 55

Give your audience someone to connect to.

Slide 56

Make an About page.

Slide 57

Have a point of view.

Slide 58

Not everyone will like you; that’s okay.

Slide 59

If you express an opinion, people will want to share it. Even if they don’t agree.

Slide 60

Use photos.

Slide 61

Include pictures of yourself.

Slide 62

These give your audience someone to relate to.

Slide 63

And helps to create an on-going narrative.

Slide 64

Consider including photos of your loved ones.

Slide 65

When this happened, I cared:

Slide 66

Subtlety can be powerful.

Slide 67

Even if your blog is about other people, you can connect with your audience. "What happened to your arm?" "I was walking down the stairs and looking at the stars." (Amman, Jordan)

Slide 68

Slide 69

“I knew you’d stop me one day.”

Slide 70

Let people find you.

Slide 71

Look at the sites that send you traffic via your analytics tool.

Slide 72

Some referrers send traffic that really engages with you

Slide 73

Tools like SimilarWeb can show you where successful bloggers in your field are getting traffic.

Slide 74

Respond to people.

Slide 75

Just reaching out a little can mean a lot.

Slide 76

Slide 77

Emilio Estevez follows me on Twitter. I’m now a fan for life. You can be someone’s Emilio Estevez. BAM!

Slide 78

Be relatable.

Slide 79

Be imperfect.

Slide 80

Mistakes = great stories.

Slide 81

Use a conversational tone.

Slide 82

Share stories about yourself.

Slide 83

Be transparent.

Slide 84

Slide 85

If you are, you can ask more of your audience.

Slide 86

Slide 87

DON’T tell people how much like them you are.

Slide 88

Don’t ask for too much.

Slide 89

Limit calls to action. One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight

Slide 90

Be patient

Slide 91

An audience won’t show up overnight (at least, not a lasting one).

Slide 92

Don’t write for the audience you have. Write for the audience you will have.

Slide 93

I have addressed my audience directly as “you guys” in more than 70 blog posts. 6 times in my first year of blogging.

Slide 94

Eventually, they read those posts.

Slide 95

Create evergreen content inspired by what’s happening now.

Slide 96

Be the thing you’ve been waiting for.

Slide 97

You need to do the rest. Luck can get you part of the way there.

Slide 98

If you search for something online and don’t find it … MAKE IT YOURSELF.

Slide 99

Now I rank #2 for “brain surgery recovery.”

Slide 100

Don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Slide 101

There’s a payoff.

Slide 102

If these tips don’t feel right to you, don’t do them.

Slide 103

If something doesn’t work, change it.

Slide 104

You are amazing. There are people out there, waiting to love you.

Slide 105

“Those who truly love us will never knowingly ask us to be other than we are.”

Slide 106

How to Make Your Audience Fall in Love with Your Blog Geraldine DeRuiter | http://everywhereist.com | @everywhereist Download: bit.ly/fallinloveblog