Well, it’s all of those combined. But the most powerful additional thing about blogging is an aspect of human nature that doesn’t require a psychology degree to understand.
Blogging allows people to like you, and people like to do business with people they like.
Sounds simple, huh? Well, to some degree it is simple, especially if you’re the type of person who’s naturally likeable to your ideal audience and can communicate that likeability with your content.
But there are also some time-tested copywriting techniques that allow for a stronger bond between blogger and regular readers. Let’s look at five of these below.
1. Relationship First, Sales Second
It may sound like some hippy dippy social media thing, but any smart direct response copywriter will tell you to sell the relationship before you try to sell anything else. With blogging, you’re not confined to a static sales letter, so you have the luxury of building credibility and trust with your audience over time.
When you consistently deliver valuable content that informs while demonstrating your expertise, people naturally learn more about you and feel an actual bond. But don’t forget that what others say about you is more important than what you say about yourself.
2. Use a Passionate Voice
Passionate content sells, because it combines an emotional response with desired information. When your content is delivered in a voice that clearly shows your enthusiasm, it’s infectious, and strengthens the bond between writer and reader.
And don’t be afraid to show when things get you upset. As long as you’re in tune with your audience, there’s a good chance they feel the same way. You might not need to be Gary Vaynerchuk, but you’ve got to show you care, and that you’ve got a pulse.
3. Emphasize Similarities
It’s funny, but in our quest to be authoritative experts, we often place distance between ourselves and the audience. This may be one of the best benefits of blogging when compared with other content marketing strategies—you get to demonstrate common interests and beliefs with your audience over time.
Revealing mistakes and faults makes you more credible, not less, and letting people know you’re more like them than not can only strengthen the relationship. That’s why microblogging services like Twitter are exceptional supplementary marketing tools, since they allow you to find common ground with readers while keeping your blog content focused on building authority.
4. Maintain Regular Contact
Psychological studies show that the more a test subject becomes familiar with a person they haven’t met, the more they end up liking that person when they do meet. The more people come to like you, the more influence you have with them… it’s that simple.
People begin to feel as if they know you through your content if your voice resonates with them, and this increases the liking response. Sure, subscribers come to you initially for the value you provide with regularly-published content. But eventually, something more emerges beyond simple self interest and a bond develops as you become more familiar to them.
5. Have a Common Enemy
Sharing a common enemy may be the most powerful strategy for bonding with your audience. It kicks in the innate tribal instincts we humans still carry, and provides a voice of opposition that your readers want to join with.
Dr. Robert Cialdini calls this the “Good Cop/Bad Cop” phenomenon in Influence: Science and Practice, and you’re likely familiar with the strategy. By having a common villain, you’re dramatizing the problems your audience faces in a way that naturally aligns you with them. The enemy could be Google, the IRS, trans fats, the liberal media, evil corporations, procrastination, cellulite or celebrity culture. Just make sure you pick an enemy that your audience shares, or your results will head in the other direction.
What do you do to strengthen the bond with your audience? Let us know in the comments.