Blogging Tips A-Z: V for Value

Are there certain blogs that you love? A few select blogs that you subscribe too because you don’t want to miss a single update and that you constantly recommend to like-minded friends?

I bet that’s because they reliably provide you with top value in some way or another and that’s the kind of value you need to offer your readers when they get to your blog.

Providing value is the best way to build loyal and engaged readers to your blog. Then, when you value your readers and provide them with value regularly, you will be able to turn into valuable clients.

Here’s how to offer top value to your blog readers time and time again.

1. Know your blog readers

First you need to be very clear about who your ideal readers are.

Define your blog readers and work out why they come to your blog. Decide what kind of information they’re looking for, what their most urgent problems are and how best you can help them.

2. Deliver value consistently

Give your readers smart, useful information 80% of time. Make your blogs posts clear, useful and actionable.

The other 20% of the time it’s okay to offer a special to your readers or ask them to help you in some way. If you’ve given people something most of them will be happy to give back to you in return.

3. Get feedback

Ask your readers how you can better help them. You can ask readers on your blog with a quick question at the end of a post to see what they want to read about next.

Or you can ask your followers on Twitter or Facebook what their most pressing problems are, or if they’d like you to write about X, Y or Z next week.

But unless you have a significant number of blog readers or followers, the results may be disappointing and the number of replies too low to give you a true indication of how the masses feel. In that case you can survey your blog readers.

4. Survey your readers

We feel valued if someone asks our opinion and if you’ve already helped your readers they’ll probably be happy to help you too by completing a survey on your blog.

Remember your readers are busy people so make sure your survey is:

  • Short and quick to answer;
  • Well laid out;
  • Straight forward;
  • Open ended, with plenty of free space so people can write what they want. It’s annoying when you do a survey and none of the answers are quite right but you have to pick one anyway.

How to Create a Blog Survey

Survey Monkey offers a free basic plan to get you started but I use Google Documents to create simple surveys because it’s a cheap, effective solution. To get as many replies as possible always:

  • Include a mixture of drop down menu questions and free fill boxes to let people take part easily and spend as much or as little time on the survey as they wish.
  • Make it clear at the beginning how long the survey takes.
  • Thank people in advance to let them know their time and help is appreciated.
  • Be specific with your questions.
  • Let people tell you who they are if they want to and take a moment to thank them personally if they do.
  • Allow people fill in the survey anonymously if they prefer so they can say what they really think.
  • Share the results when you’ve given people enough time to complete the survey.

5. Be personal

Don’t be afraid to share your personal stories on your blog and talk to your readers on the social media outposts they prefer like a friend.

Explain your own business decisions, your greatest stuff ups, fears or oddities on your blog. Your readers will appreciate and respect your honesty.

Remember that while there may be thousands of other blog designers, personal trainers or freelance writers there’s no one else like you and your unique personality is what will make people choose to read your blog and work with you.

6. Over deliver

Make sure your products, whether free or paid products also provide excellent long term value for money that will improve your clients life in some way.

Spend time and money making sure your products are of the highest quality so that you’re proud to put your name to them and your blog readers are happy to recommend them.

Offer a money back guarantee to prove your integrity and honor it in the unlikely event that it’s requested.

7. Keep providing value

Keep providing value regularly and remember that the value you give your readers is how they will judge the quality of your blog posts. Your readers will forgive you if a typo or two slips into your blog but they will soon lose patience if they don’t get true value from your blog.

It’s really not about how often you should update your blog or how long your blog posts should be, the most important thing is how much value you can provide to your readers.

You know your work, time and information are valuable, just make sure your readers know it too.

If your blog helps your readers and delivers consistent value, in time your readers will love you and your blog as much as you love your favourite blogs.