Every website has casual readers. These are the people who come to your site every once in a while when, for some reason or another, they remember that you exist. Or, they might click on your articles every now and then if they see them on social media or elsewhere on the web. But they don’t actively seek out your site on a daily basis. Your site isn’t saved to their bookmarks, and it’s not a regular stop on their morning Internet tour (email, Facebook, news sites, etc.).
There’s nothing wrong with casual readers. They’re an important part of your site’s traffic. If you want to take your audience engagement to the next level, however, you need die-hard fans. Die-hard fans check your site daily and comment on your articles. They anticipate your new content, and can’t wait to share it with their friends. These are the kind of readers that lead to exponentially more readers. Because of their sharing and commenting, these are the readers you want.
So how can you turn a casual reader into a loyal fan?
Find your readers and follow them
Seek out your commenters on social platforms like Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram, if appropriate, and follow them from your site’s account.
Even if they don’t use their real names, many people use the same handle across platforms and you’ll be able to find them. Taking the relationship to a new platform not only shows them you noticed their comments, it opens a second avenue in which to win them over with your valuable content.
Surprise and delight
There’s a reason musician Taylor Swift has some of the most die-hard fans around, and it’s not just her music. She regularly surprises fans by exceeding expectations – adding special guests to her concerts, sending fans personal gifts and even helping them pay for college. Studies have repeatedly shown that people remember positive events far longer than they remember negative ones, and you too can take advantage of this by creating delight for your readers.
Host a spontaneous giveaway of the hottest new product. Surprise a reader with a free subscription/upgrade/discount. If your site sells something, hold a flash sale offering a massive discount during a short window of time. Send a personal ‘thank you’ email to someone who shared your post.
The average reader who doesn’t know you personally probably doesn’t expect much from you. That means it only takes a little extra effort to surprise her and create a positive impression that will keep the reader coming back.
Be a good fan yourself
If you’re practicing all of the above steps, you’ll naturally begin to get to know your readers a little better. If you notice one of them has a blog or contributes to a news site, become their fan! Reciprocate by reading, commenting on and sharing their articles. This is how real relationships are formed, and that’s where die-hard fans are made!
Want to see how SolidOpinion makes it easy to turn casual readers into loyal fans? Get started in just a few minutes here.