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"Required reading" for today's smart writer. As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Daily Blog Tips, Write to Done, Technorati, WOW! and other popular sites.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How to Get More People to Drink Your "Kool-Aid"* A Lesson in Blog Branding



“I’d rather fight than switch.”---Cigarette commercial slogan from the ‘60s

Make no mistake about it. Blog readers are “consumers”.
They seek value for their time, “products” that solve problems and pretty packaging.
And they want a rewarding experience from spots that they frequent.

And why shouldn’t they? These days they have a myriad of choices. Hello? Google “writing blogs” and you’ll yield more than a million search results with some pretty awesome sites. All the more reason why “brand loyalty” is important to keep today’s busy reader captive and coming back for more.

You want loyal readers because they’re your best form of advertising. Loyal readers are the first ones to typically purchase products and services and to tell others, and they are your biggest cheerleaders and support network.

With this in mind, here are six savvy ways to foster brand loyalty through your blog.

1. Understand that there is a psychology to selling.
Whether you’re peddling words or widgets, success depends upon studying and identifying your target audience, their habits, their needs, and how to reach them. And then delivering!

2. Don’t just disseminate information, strive to solve problems.
Though many blog readers visit sites for their entertainment value and vent sessions, a vast number are also seeking ways to solve common problems. If you’re able to accomplish this in your blogging efforts, you’ll definitely “win friends and influence people.” Are you an expert in time management? A technical whiz? Versed in SEO lingo? Share. Helping others increases your value and builds relationships in the blogging community.

3. Appeal to their senses.
Though content is king, appearance is equally important. Think of your blog’s design as the equivalent to “curb appeal” in marketing a home.
If visitors can’t get beyond the initial appearance, there’s no sell.
Which is why you need to have them at hello. Make sure your site is easy to navigate, void of excessive “clutter” (unnecessary words), has attractive, complementary colors, and easy to read fonts. An attractive photo of yourself also enhances the layout and comes across as more personal.

4. Establish a reputation for excellence.
There’s great truth to the adage, “Excellence is its own reward.” Be known for going the extra mile. Achieve this by providing quality, generous posts with great take-away value, void of grammatical errors and typos. Take away value can be established through including additional resources, job leads, book reviews, contests and give-aways. Additionally, make sure that you deliver on what your post’s titles promise. Remember, excellence breeds confidence.

5. Be a virtuoso!
In a sea of many, unless your “voice” is different, you won’t be heard or distinguished as you-nique. Your online voice is a combination of your communication style, your perspective, your tone, and your choice of words.
It’s okay to follow the advice of experts you admire, but be original. Write your own stories and tell them as only you can. Authenticity rocks.

6. Provide good “customer service.”
You can have a design to-die-for and content that causes folks to stand up and take notice, still, if you neglect to respond to readers’ comments, or ignore questions posed, you’ll lose some of your fan base. Blogs are supposed to be interactive by their very nature.

If you want more readers to buy into your brand and invest their time and money, follow these timely tips.
Fostering brand loyalty is the key to longevity and prosperity in today’s blogging game.

And who wouldn’t want followers that would rather “fight than switch?”
Your turn. Thoughts? What's your blog's brand?

IMAGE CREDIT: SPFF

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for your post Jennifer,

    Lot's to think about,
    Yesterday I actually thought about how I can consider myself as part of my own Blog's Target Audience, and it made me realise that I myself hardly ever buy anything online (Except for an occasional eBook.)

    That made me realise that possibly for (pre)selling products on my blog I might better - especially - avoid Writer's, because they might be the most impossible audience to ever expect to buy something online :) Also besides offering some specific Resource Pages, and an occasional blogposts that you can find on my Blog(s) today, I do think there is still lot's of Room for Improvements.

    Pffff, I do think that I need a (Tea) Break,
    euh..., and - Ice Tea Break - Mmmm, maybe an idea to add to the Writer's Kit?

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    1. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 5, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      H.P.,

      Your comments made me chuckle. You always have interesting input. Thanks so much for weighing in and starting us off. :-)

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  2. Branding, yes, we're doing more of it than we realize, even if we aren't trying to. I've been thinking about my blog's purpose and focus and doing some reorganizing in my head. :) This is timely, so it's much appreciated! Have a great weekend!

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  3. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 5, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Thanks, Karen.

    Wishing you much success in branding and making the big bucks. :-)

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  4. Loved this in the Funds for Writers newsletter, too. I sorely need to work on offering my readers more. I do try to reply to everyone who comments on my blog. Guess that's a step in the right direction!

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    1. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 5, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      Susan,

      Don't worry; it takes time. You'll get there.
      I appreciate your thoughts and your time.

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  5. Really like your points 3 and 5 the most. I've always sought to write to, and including the 5 senses in my writing... the more subliminally the better. That's where the virtuoso connection appeals to me.

    I'm still more of a writer than a blogger, yet all great tips, and any 2 together would make for a strong conversation.

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  6. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 6, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Hi Sporty,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I agree; I'm still more of a writer than blogger. But, I love both for different reasons.

    And B/T/W You're definitely a virtuoso. :-)

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  7. Jennifer,

    Succinct and to the point, as always.

    Especially point 2, where most blogs are either regurgitating commonly known information, ranting or venting, solving problems are done by so few bloggers.

    Makes me realize I should trust my instincts on repositioning my blog for that audience.

    Thanks for the great post

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    Replies
    1. Michael,

      Wonderful to hear from you again. How's the R.E. Biz going? I appreciate your input and your time.

      Wishing you much success in your future blogging efforts.

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