Many avid blog readers read various articles for education, ideas, and entertainment. Eventually, over time even if you aren’t an A-list blogger (who comes up with these categories anyway) your 1-2 readers become 3-4 and more and relationships began to form. You begin to be seen as a reliable source of valuable information, a thought leader, someone who seems accessible and that is all a great thing. Because, as you gain more popularity you are going to attract people who want to dull your shine. If you did a good job at building a great community you will have a handful of advocates who will stand with you in the face of adversity even when others walk away (and some will it’s human nature).
Just recently, I came across an example of public relations through blogging in which the author addresses his accuser and readers, displays and example of the claim for foul play and why he is justified in his claim of fair play, shows another example of a similar concept to drive home his stand on his innocence, and left the floor open for his community to respond. In which they did, and guess what, just about all of his commenters (and he gets plenty) took his side. Not only did they defend him, some even asked what was coming next so they could buy that too and show support. How about that for Brand Advocacy?!?
So, How Do You Accomplish Brand Advocacy with your Blog?
Well, show some consistency, don’t blog once every blue moon and expect to be nominated for a blogger of the year award. If your readers find you online, and actually come back because they like what you have to say, keep them coming back by showing up and giving them what they came to like you for in the first place.
If they are leaving comments, reply to as many comments as you can, this is sometimes hard to do as a blog grows, but if they leave very meaning comments beyond “great post” try to respond. At the very least, greet new commenters who decided to show you some love beyond the easier option of a Twitter Retweet or Facebook “Like” (although those are very much appreciated). To encourage more comments you can use pluggins such as commentluv which allows a commenter to give their blog a plug or disqus which creates a little community around the commenters and their actions on various places they leave their print on the web.
Make it easy for them to keep coming back by adding subscribe options. Whether that be via a networkedblogs follow, RSS, or email opt-ins scattered around your site; everyone doesn’t have time to read your blog when you happen to post so make it easy for them to have access to your free expert tips and updates at their earlier convenience.
One of the Best things to do is to ask yourself why you keep going back to the blogs you enjoy reading and why. Can you implement some of the same practices that keep you going back for more?
Flickr Credit: jmoneyyyyyy