How to attract readers now without being pushy
Attracting readers without being pushy is the ideal way for authentic bloggers to get readers. We have all seen the classic “bait and switch” post where the headline evokes curiosity and emotion, but the post itself does not deliver on the promise. It is a technique used to sell newspapers and magazines as well as get the all-important click.
However there are many non-pushy ways to invite your audience to read. You have some great information on your blog but nobody is reading it. Your website statistics make you want to lie down in a darkened room and not come out. The good news is that if you hate the idea of being “pushy” you are in good company. We do too. In fact most people do.
The even better news is that the old kind of marketing which did push people, is much less effective now. And although it may work once it is not effective over the long term. Your readers may become “once bitten twice shy”. Your aim is to build a relationship and reputation with readers that is sustainable over the long term.
The problem with attracting readers is that they are overloaded with information
Your reader – who may one day turn into a client – is overloaded with information. It is free and available everywhere through their smartphone: – on a bus, while they are waiting to meet a client, or pick the children up from school. Just when they notice something interesting, they will see something else out of the corner of their eye and move on.
Not your fault, it is simply that there are lots of distractions and our attention spans are getting shorter. The news seems to get more and more alarmist every day, and we hear about so many difficult situations which we may not directly be able to improve. Add to that all the demands of life: family, children and their homework, meals, job, and keeping up with friends and community and it is a wonder anything gets through at all!
Your potential readers are available for distraction
The upshot of this is that new readers are capable of being distracted. They will watch a video shared by someone they already trust whether it is about otters holding hands, cats asleep in strange positions, or old grannies dancing. Things they didn’t know they were going to look at. In fact anything that looks interesting and short. We all do it.
They will even look at a video you have posted if it is shared by a friend and looks appealing.
So the magic formula goes something like this. Looks interesting + comes from a trusted source.
Become the trusted source for more people
The way to become a trusted source authentically (yes, without being pushy) is first of all to build on the relationships you already have. Take it a step at a time and build quality as well as quantity.
Be good to others without thinking about what you might get back. Share what friends and business colleagues post, favorite tweets you like, notice what others are doing.
Don’t be afraid to take the first step to connect. There is a huge difference between going to networking or an online forum focussed on selling, or going looking to contribute.
When you know the people you want to attract you can focus more on delivering information that is genuinely interesting to them. There is a comedy news programme here in the UK which features a different publication each episode. Although the team on “Have I got News For You” make jokes about the content – whether about badgers, plumbing, or naturism it highlights that there are many many different niches and it is proof that there is great interest in very specific topics.
When you speak to your niche even relatively commonplace details can be found fascinating. Don’t forget that you have a great deal more knowledge than your audience, and can explain aspects that they will be interested to learn.
You could also do a round up of aspects of your approach, and curate contributions from other blogs. Being courteous and supportive to others in the field also puts you in the position of expert. You acknowledge the work of others you respect or find interesting, which helps you to cement connections.
What is rather amazing is that when you genuinely enjoy doing this for others it seems to magically communicate and all kinds of good stuff comes back to you.
Attract readers by solving problems
Solving problems is the heart of what you offer. Whether the problem is very specific or more transformational you can show your approach in your blog posts and social media. In the new marketing landscape it is better to be generous with your information which lets people see what you can do, rather than holding back because they haven’t yet bought anything.
Sometimes we can hold back if we feel a bit disadvantaged without all the bells and whistles of a successful company. All you need is a blog post about the issue to get going. Once you start answering questions and helping people any awkwardness disappears. You forget about yourself.
Many professionals hate the idea of selling. I was working with consultants to the NHS some of whom were doctors. They hated the idea of being pushy and felt very awkward. However when they met people with real problems they could solve they forgot all that and wanted to help. As a result a lot of interest was generated for their work. Questions and problems are the gold dust of your blog and your business so just start solving problems!
Make your communications interesting and memorable
Making your social media interesting and memorable often means approaching your area of expertise from different angles. You want people to notice you above the millions of messages.
You can remain professional but appeal to your potential readers’ curiosity, or deliver a surprise or shocking fact or statistic. The more unusual the better but of course it does have to be genuine. You can use industry statistics or create your own from surveys of the people you know. Display it in visually interesting ways and you are definitely have a better chance of being read.
Questions are an excellent way to make what you say more interesting. Questions which focus on their problem but expect the answer yes, are often the most powerful.
Pictures are good but short video is better. You can capture short videos for Instagram tories which are currently shown to your connections, and Reels which can be shown more widely and attract new readers. The more visually interesting the better! A visually interesting metaphor relating to the point of the blog can often help to get your message noticed.
Show your face
The most watched images are of faces. Research over the years has confirmed this. Your face is an important part of your brand and helps to make you memorable. Even if you hate the idea get a friend to take a photograph of you so you can be seen and identified It is all about being real!
We all remember interesting people. Don’t forget that you as writer of your blog are a person and that the reader is also a person. (it sounds obvious we it can be easy to forget!) We can often think business has to be impersonal, bland or very factual. Beneath every complex job title or powerful job role there is a human being with wants and needs. Using emotion – either positive or negative – creates a stronger connection.
You may not have been encouraged to have your personal opinions in your essays at school, but blogging is about connection, not just an academic exercise. It makes you more interesting and memorable, less attractive to the wrong people and more attractive to the right readers. Perfect.
Attract readers to take the next step
Is the next step obvious? If you want them to read a blog post don’t forget to have the link easy to click in your social media update. (short and trackable) If you want them to sign up for something make the sign up area easy to see.
Ask them to do something at the end of the blog post. Making the next step attractive to your readers is of course the key. If it is attractive enough and easy to do they will take action.
Part of making the next step attractive is to show that it is a natural next step. There is no risk involved. Testimonials and case studies show that people just like your readers have benefited already. You can of course offer a money back guarantee as well.
Has this blog post created any ideas for you? Comment below!