The most common concern for bloggers everywhere is how to grow their blog. How do you get more readers, get more followers and build a tribe of people who can’t get enough of you?
The answer to this question is often frustratingly vague. While I can’t give you a perfect formula, I can tell you that anyone who has been blog understands that blogging success comes from relationships.
So what is the number one quality that builds the sorts of relationships that last? Could it be kindness?
Kindness is one of those traits that attracts people, and (I think!) that is because kindness requires you to have a worldview that is other person-centered. It involves generosity, respect and blessing others with what you say and do. Who doesn’t love to that?
When my now husband and I became engaged, I read a few books about preparing for marriage and one piece of advice really struck me. The advice was to marry a person who is kind. The author posited that marriage can bring its challenges and if your partner is not kind to you before you get married, they won’t become kind after. (In case you were wondering, yes my husband is a kind man!) As this thought came to mind in writing this post I wanted to find the exact quote to share but, unable to remember the author, I turned to Google to look for it. While I didn’t find the original quote, I did find a heap of other articles and studies talking about how essential kindness is to a successful marriage.
If kindness is a quality that attracts people and a key trait in lasting relationships, then perhaps it’s also true that being a kind blogger can make an enormous difference to your blogging success…not to mention make you (and your blog) a wonderful force for good in the world!
In fact, I’m convinced that kindness is a character trait that can vastly improve the quality of not just our blogs, but of our lives. As a bonus, it’s not actually that hard to be a kind blogger! And so, I give you 15 ways you can spread kindness through your blog…
Kind bloggers love their readers…
Readers are the most important people in your blogging circle; they are the people who form your community, who will share your content and give you the feedback and input that will inspire you to keep going each day. Love you readers is the most powerful, and perhaps most underrated advice, out there for building “raving fans“.
1. Pay it forward. Do you get sent free products? Why not send surprise packages to your most faithful readers?
2. Send a note of encouragement. A quick email (or even, handwritten note) to thank a “regular” for their support can go a long way.
3. Express (and encourage) gratitude on your blog. Participate in Grateful in April, 365 Grateful or create your own daily gratitude prompt. Expressing gratitude has been shown to have tangible benefits to our lives so not only will it benefit you, but you will be positively impacting your readers.
4. Practice empathy.
5. Reply to comments. One of the things about being around kind people is that they make you feel like you matter. Responding to your reader comments (on social media as well as on your blog) shows that you notice the individuals who make up your community and you are interested in what they have to say.
6. Sponsor your own giveaways. Similar to spontaneous gifts, running a giveaway that you organised yourself, is a beautiful way to give back.
Kind bloggers love their fellow bloggers…
Fellow bloggers are hugely important to your success; they have their own communities and raving fans who they can introduce you to. They also know a lot about blogging that can help you on your way (and vice versa). Kind bloggers, love their fellow bloggers and build supportive relationships that lift each other up.
7. Be a good commenter. Bloggers love comments (duh!) so be a good commenter. When you read something great, leave a comment. When someone leaves a comment on your blog, pop back over to theirs and do the same. This is about being meaningful, not just writing “great post!”.
8. Pay it forward. If you get pitched by a brand, or an opportunity that is great, but not right for you, recommend your fellow blogger for the gig. Do you have something/know something that could help out a fellow blogger? Be someone who is known for spreading the love.
9. Be generous with your ‘shares’ (promote your fellow bloggers). Read a great post recently? Share it with your readers. Your readers are looking for great content so you don’t have to worry that you will lose people; rather you will become known as the blogger who shares the best content.
10. Invite guest bloggers. As you build your platform, you will have the ability to propel your fellow bloggers forward by inviting them to guest post for you.
11. Offer guest posts. Perhaps you know a blogging buddy has been sick or has a big work deadline looming? Blogging is time-consuming, so offering to write a guest post can be a lovely act of kindness.
Kind bloggers love the brands they work with…
12. Be a delight to work with. Respond to emails in a timely manner, meet deadlines, and generally make it easy for the brands you work with. This isn’t about being a pushover, it’s about being professional…after all, we all want to work with people we like, respect and value what we do.
13. Partner with charities. Using your platform to partner with charities, raise awareness about key local and global issues is a way to spread kindness on a large scale. What better way to use your platform than to make a positive change? World Vision, The Nappy Collective and PANDA are just some of the organisations who partner with bloggers.
14. Promote causes you believe in. As well as partnering with specific charities, you can use your blog for advocacy.
15. Build a culture of “giving” into how you work with brands. This is such a lovely way to spread kindness and there are so many ways to do it. Clairey Hewitt asks brands to give a copy of their product to charity when they work with here, Fat Mum Slim builds this kind of creativity into the way she works with brands.
What does this mean for you if you are a brand/client manager?
Bloggers who demonstrate kindness, are often bloggers who also have really loyal readers so embrace their creativity and generosity and you (and the brand you represent) will reap the benefits of being associated with such an influencer.