Tonight at #Blogchat we’re going to apply the Think Like a Rock Star principles to building your blog’s readership and fans. In the book, I talk about the four reasons why rock stars have fans instead of customers. You can apply each of these areas to your own blogging efforts to grow your readership and actually create fans of your blog. Here’s the four things that rock stars do to create fans:
1 – Rock stars are fans themselves. This means they are connected to their fans, and understand them, because they occupy the same space. What this means for you as a blogger is that you need to interact with your readers in their space in order to understand them, and to give them a reason to come read your blog in your space.
One way you can interact with your readers in their space is by commenting on other blogs. Bruce Sallan is someone that does a great job of this. Bruce is constantly commenting on his readers’ blogs, and in doing so, he drives interest back to his blog as well as #DadChat on twitter. When you comment on a reader’s blog, they appreciate that and want to return the favor by commenting on your blog. The same principle applies by promoting the posts that your readers write, by interacting with them on Twitter, etc. The point is if you connect with your readers and show them you appreciate them, they will become fans.
2 – Rock stars look to shift control to their fans. Fans are special people. They love their favorite brand/rock star/ blogger and want to see them succeed. If you will reach out to them and give them ways to do so, they will work to this end by promoting you to others, sharing your content, etc. This can be something as easy as asking your readers what topics they want to see covered, or even selecting them to write guest posts on your blog.
One of the things I do here from time to time is I will highlight someone that leaves a particularly interesting or valuable comment by either calling it out in the post itself, or by mentioning it in the post and asking everyone to read the comments. The point is to show the readers that they play a role in helping to create the content here. That shift in ownership is powerful, and it makes readers feel more vested in the blog to see that they have a voice in the content being created there.
3 – Rock stars focus on the Bigger Idea behind their music. This is probably the most valuable lesson you can learn from a content creation standpoint. Rock stars don’t sing about themselves (well, not all the time), they typically sing about ideas and values that resonate with their listeners. This makes their songs more relevant to listeners, and makes it easier to create fans. Why is Taylor Swift adored by teenage girls worldwide? Because her songs speak to the lives they are living every single day. That makes it easier for teenage girls to relate to her songs, and to become her fans.
If you want to apply this to your own blogging efforts, focus on topics that relate to what’s important to your readers. For example, Patagonia’s The Cleanest Line blog focuses on protecting the environment, sustainability, the outdoors, etc. Instead of focusing directly on its clothing products, Patagonia chooses instead to focus on the larger issues and ideas that relate to its products. Because these larger issues and ideas are what’s more important to its customers.
4 – Rock stars embrace their fans. Rock stars value their fans and literally love them right back. This creates an incredibly powerful bond and rock stars actually thrive off being close to their fans, and look for ways to embrace them and become closer to them.
A blog that does a wonderful job of embracing its fans is Spin Sucks. First, Spin Sucks does a great job of engaging with its readers that comment. Second, the blog finds ways to put the spotlight on its readers. Often, the most frequent commenters are chosen to write guest posts. Each Friday, Gini writes a Follow Friday post that highlights someone that readers should follow, who is typically a Spin Sucks reader. Spin Sucks does a great job of rewarding its readers through engagement and letting them help create the content on the blog.
So tonight at #Blogchat starting at 8pm Central, we will discuss how your blog can cultivate more fans. Please join tonight on Twitter!