If you want to increase your readership, increase your page views, increase your RSS subscriptions and Facebook likes, your brand has to demand it. Think about the dictionary, when was the last time you were “inspired” to look up the definition of another word because Merriam Webster suggested you do so?
The answer is “never” because Webster’s Dictionary isn’t there to make you better, it’s not there to help you expand your world. Merriam serves up definitions and doesn’t even say “thanks for stopping by”.
The quick and dirty way to increase your page views is by adding links to related posts. No doubt about it. But that turns readers into readers. To increase likes and joy and community, you’ve got to turn readers into fans.
And fans follow personalities, not headlines.
That means you’ve got to be the voice that tickles your readers’ souls.
Think about the sites you frequent, the ones you spend time on and read more than one page. Is it because you like the facts, or might it be the angle, the opinion, and the voice of the author? Most of the time it’s because our desires are reflected by the author’s tone, motive, experience and goals for us.
“Do your readers know you have goals for them?”
It’s easy to spend your time looking for deals, researching information, and writing great bullet points. In fact, 95% of websites are chock full of that. Keywords and facts, how-to’s and “7 ways to do this and that”, they’re the basis of good content. But without a point of view that permeates your site, why does a reader go beyond the information they arrived to get?
Sometimes information by itself just isn’t enough. Ever ask your waiter what he recommends? Do you think people listen to Rush Limbaugh for the facts? Ever look for a magazine that just had tables and graphs, no commentary?
Deep down inside we want both information AND the opinion of someone we trust.
So let’s talk about what you need to become the voice people trust. Let’s talk about what’s necessary to increase your page views.
Why do you exist?
The most important part of your voice needs to be why you exist in the first place. Posting deals, writing about gardening, or hosting “how to write calligraphy” webinars is just the medium. There’s got to be a reason you’re doing these things. What is it you want your audience to accomplish?
- Do you want them to garden because they’ll be eating healthier? saving money? improving the environment? or relieving stress?
- Is your goal that they are able to calligraph their name when they sign checks or that they truly master the beautiful art of Calligraphy?
- Are you posting coupon offers because you want your readers to fall in love with coupons , as a way to save enough money to go to Disney or because you want to empower them with the tools to change their family’s financial situation?
Sometimes you have to really step back from the content to dig deep and understand what you really want your audience to achieve. And then that reason must be clear to your readers.
When you do know your purpose, your readers will hear it. And they’ll expect you to tell them when not to do things, when not to follow ideas, when not to get sucked into promotions. You will increase your page views when you make them feel safe, empower them to learn more and love them like family.
Show them they’re one of the team.
People read your content because they want to achieve something and your information is helping them get there. They’ve identified themselves as being on the team, what they really need is validation that they belong. (Sounds a bit like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, doesn’t it?).
The easiest way to validate someone’s belonging is to label them. Start your emails off with Dear Fellow Train Enthusiast, write “for train enthusiasts only” in your letterhead. Make them belong by treating them like they belong. And don’t be afraid to use the “us vs them” approach in a blog post or two. Let them know that being on the team is something special.
Simple things like speaking the language others won’t understand allows a reader to separate themselves from the dreaded “general public”. Knowing the “infield fly rule” is what separates baseball fans from baseball fanatics and is what binds them. Couponers know what BOGO, stacking and match-ups are, so use the terms without explaining them. Weavers know what ends-per-inch refers to and golfers know what a “2-3 club wind” means. Feel free to make up a term that only your audience will understand.
“Live long and Prosper”, ever hear that community building phrase?
Finally, give them a community forum to speak with others like them. Whether that’s Facebook, a forum on your site or in a webinar chat room – give them an opportunity to not only be on the team, but to converse with the team. Once you’re “on the team and you know it”, many will make you their home page or daily destination.
There’s no doubt that this sense of belonging is the most important step to increasing your page views.
Since you’re leading your audience to their success, make sure they understand your path to success. We’re all suspect of salesman and never want to be sold. However, we also appreciate that our coaches must be paid to continue providing such value.
Be extremely open when using revenue generating methods. Let them know why you choose the products you make money from, and also why you choose the ones you do. That makes good sense anyway.
One thing people love about transparency. . . they can rave about you without fearing social backlash. Transparency makes it easy to love you.
The best way to improve your page views is to turn your readers into fans by providing them a Voice they will know, like and trust.
Dan R Morris is the founder of LettersFromDan.com, a website dedicated to improving your revenue stream from online efforts. Dan is an infomercial producer, niche website owner, product developer, author and Mastermind leader. Dan actively encourages marketers to take that extra step so that “Hope” doesn’t become the marketing plan.