There are plenty of examples of growth hacking tips flying around the blogosphere. These are all tempting to a would-be blogger or one who is just starting out.
After all, we need all the help we can get nowadays. Which is why I participated in this roundup 60 Experts Share their Number 1. Growth Hacking Tip to offer my ideas and express my views.
In here you will get plenty of examples of growth hacking tips, many of them complicated, expensive and confusing. But out of the 60 on offer, only 8 (including mine at No 16) showed any inkling towards using commenting as a way of forming relationships with blogging readers.
Ted Rubin (No 1) gave the first indication about actually communicating with readers or customers, under the guise of reputation. This also included adding value, caring about your audience and having conversations. I particularly liked his parting paragraph.
In today’s digital world it’s all too easy for us as brands and individuals to let our relationship-building muscles atrophy. We get caught up in a multitasking whirlwind of emails, social updates and text messages where it’s easy to let a connection or a conversation fall through the cracks. We’re super-connected, yet somehow disconnected at the same time. This puts us at risk of losing the very relationships that help us prosper as companies and people.
It is time to rebuild our one-on-one communication skills and muscles that we’ve forgotten in our rush to new technologies. These skills scale via social because most participate vicariously via the few who interact publicly.
You want to “growth hack,” then build a reputation for genuinely caring, add value with your content and connection, and the growth will come. A Brand is what you do… a Reputation is what people Remember and Share.
Relationships are like muscle tissue… the more they are engaged, the stronger and more valuable they become.
People first, metrics second
Matt Janaway (No 31) is right when he says people are obsessed with stats. But he doesn't mention that the majority of these impressions are empty. Automated by algorithms, they probably bear very little representation to how many people are truly interested in your blog when they land on it.
We can sometimes get carried away with the numbers. But you have to remember that every visit, impression, engagement, and conversion is a real person. People first, metrics second. Pay attention to how they behave and continually improve to give them what they want. Conduct surveys, run tests, analyse the data, and ACT on it.
This will depend on what you write in your posts, and whether you encourage your readers to comment. You could have spent time social listening to find out what they want to read. And, of course, whether you spend time replying to your commenters to continue the conversation started with them.
Wade McMaster (No 34) is quite right, many bloggers do hide behind their computers and wonder why their readers aren't connecting with them. But if you want to create any impact, you need to get off your backside and start engaging.
I’ve grown followings in the past rather rapidly by reaching out to other people and doing them a small favour or mentioning them and they have in return shared my information with their network – either personally or on social media. Once time I had this happen with someone who had a following of 500,000+ followers and launched a website and facebook page (some time ago) and had a thriving audience within a day.
Ultimately, networking in general and using the tip above is very powerful. I grew my freelancing business back in the day by entering certain networks of people, sharing my skills and word of mouth took over from there. Let other people spread the word to their networks!
You could either mention people in your comment, and hope the trackbacks:
Trackbacks are if another blogger has written something that is related to your post’s subject, or has quoted a part of your post in their blog, you will be notified of this so you can go and check it out.
will alert the relevant person of your reference to them or their blog. Alternatively you could always do a bit of social stalking and search out their social media profiles and let them know directly there. If you are able to strike up a conversation at the same time, consider your engaging activities a good job done!
Know, like and trust
Terri L Maurer (No 41), like all good marketers, understands that examples of growth hacking tips should refer to how customers relate to what you have presented in front of them.
Customers buy based on emotion, not just logic. Service industry businesses especially need to build relationships with buyers. For them to convert from ‘chance blog or website visitors’ to loyal buyers, it is imperative we reach out routinely to move them up the Know-Like-Trust ladder. Each level pushes an emotional button. That means we need to constantly post a lead generation ‘freebie’ of value to small business owners, a newsletter article, email or blog post. Building strong and loyal relationships takes strategies and implementation to achieve results.
Certainly emotion is a very powerful force when it comes to engaging with your readers. You could find out a lot from social listening, or even just asking your readers to comment with their opinions. Be aware of how they reply to you or others, and if you are able to respond appropriately, that is more than half way towards gaining their trust.
And certainly take your relationship building activities outside of your blog. Engage on social media, participate on social forums which are relevant to your chosen subject, even find people at offline networking meetings. Offer value, show real interest and remember to help people if you want them to remember you.
Make visual contact
Rafi Chowdhury (No 43) furthers the idea of external examples of growth hacking tips, by suggesting you make the effort to make contact with your readers, rather than waiting for them to come to you.
There is no better growth hack than picking up the phone and getting on a video call and building a solid relationship with someone. I think business is built on relationships, so anytime I have the bandwidth, I do my best to do video chats and talk to people face to face.
Once you can get a conversation going, it comes down to getting a business transaction going, no matter how small it is.
Commenting, engagement and interaction doesn't have to be confined to activity on a computer. Face to face communication is a great way of creating relationships, provided you are confident enough and the recipient is happy to be spoken to. Sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zone to have these conversations, before we realise how beneficial the process has been.
Join blogging communities
Christina Acha (No 44) confirms that blogging can be sometimes a lonely experience. Sitting looking at the four walls in your office is hardly inspiring. But getting out into like-minded online forums and social groups can be a huge boost to your psyche as well as your mental wellbeing.
My epiphany moment started when I started to identify and join blogging communities online. These bloggers who were on the same journey with me helped fasten my own growth. You know what they say: “If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together”... You need people around you to share experiences with, to support you and also encourage you.
Blogs are perfectly designed to become a community for your readers. This is particularly so if you want to encourage them to regularly visit, engage and offer suggestions through their opinions to help improve your blog.
Your readers are the life-blood of your blog, you cannot exist without them. Therefore you need to make them feel important, wanted, needed, and comfortable about being able to participate in your blog whenever they feel the urge to engage.
Having a community by your side has many benefits. They can increase the popularity stakes of your blog, thus making them appear more attractive to search engines. Also your community will help police against trolls or other undesirables who want to cause trouble. Many against one soon sorts out any mischief.
Make a lot of noise
Freddy G C (No 57) recommends being prolific with your writing on your blog. But I say this enthusiasm should be extended to talking and communicating with your readers. As long as you are noisy for the right reasons: providing value, offering help, being relatable, your content should be well received and attract engaging attention.
Making noise. This is what successful people do in any niche. They roar loudly. And that’s exactly what you must do, very consistently, in order to succeed online. The one who puts out valuable content more often and consistently is the one who ends up achieving all of their goals.
If you pay attention, the people who get the most views, and the most engagement, are the people who share content on a daily basis no matter what. There is no self-doubt, they just do it. And people start to follow and actually listen to what is recommended.
It's worth analysing a popular blog, just to see what they are doing right. Is it the subject matter? Or the writing style? What about the vocabulary? Is there an affinity with the blogger and their readers?
Boring blogs who drone on will never have many comments. Blogs which are educational also suffer the same problem. The answer is to pep up your topics, deliver your knowledge in an exciting way, and ask questions your readers cannot fail to answer.
What examples of growth hacking tips do you have?
Now it's your turn. Have you found that engaging with your readers has made a difference to the growth of your blog?
It's so easy to think that throwing money at it in the form of SEO and PPC is the answer. But, as with all start up bloggers, money isn't always available. You don't need technical skills to talk to your audience. You just need to get them to notice you and answer back.
Get that conversation going. Encourage others to join in. Find out what triggers a good response. And then do more of it. You'll soon find that excellent interaction provides that huge boost you are looking for. And with much less stress on your purse.
Let me know your examples of growth hacking tips in the comments below, we would love to hear from you.