As website owners we are always on the prowl for keywords, backlinks, subscribers, and cash from affiliate or adsense income but on of the things that we overlook are to build reader trust that have bookmarked but not taken the next step.
Build reader trust
To be really successful we need to bring our buyers through the whole sales funnel, you know, have people come and subscribe, pitch them, have them buy, and then have them on a list to pitch again. The trouble with this simple method is that we are just trying to get the low hanging fruit. We build reader trust with a need and everyone else can just go and if they come back great, if not who cares.
The trouble with this is that most people are not walking into our website with a credit card out. We need to court our future business using methods to build reader trust be and probably extend this sales funnel by several steps and build that relationship over time. On a blog this is quite easy and we can measure our success in many niches by subscribers to our list or the number of readers subscribed to our RSS feed.
To build reader trust we need to go through a few steps of the process from strangers to trusted advisors and this can be very difficult. Here are the simple relationships that we have:
Stranger – The person comes to our site and reads a bit of the front page or a blog post and then knows who we are.
Know – After a couple of posts we are not a stranger anymore but we are becoming more rounded, we are a person on the other side of the monitor and we have relationships with others, attitudes and opinions
Like – The visitor reads a greater width and depth of our writing and feels like they know how we would answer questions. They feel a kinship with us as they can see some of what we have struggled with and they also see a bit of our history that is the same as us in dreams and hopes. At this point they like us or hate us. The haters will leave and will never come back.
Trust – Once we have spoken back and forth some way we finish the feeling out process and we have succeeded to build reader trust of our visitor. Now what is it going to take to get ot htis point? We have to wonder depending on what we are building the relationship for. At this point though the person would smile if they saw us on the street and be excited to talk to use about almost any subject since we are a fully formed person.
So how long should the build reader trust process take?
This is a tough question to answer. We all have our limitations in communication and guards up when we express an opinion to strangers but it is we as the writer that need to start conversation and engage. These regular readers are going to be our future business as they will be the ones in their personal circles that will be our fans and refer others to us.
The key to build reader trust though is to continue the conversations. Write blog posts that beg for comments, make sure you react to the comments. Engage your readers with short and long posts. Make sure that you write about your personal life and give personal examples whenever you can.
As you can see it is not really difficult to build reader trust but it is intricate and can be time consuming, this is the most important part of your business.