To succeed at as a blogger today, you have to think like a business. You have to develop a brand. As you do, you’ll develop brand loyalty, which means your devoted readers pay attention to what you do and say no matter how many other blogs or authors they encounter. In this guest post, Jennifer Brown Banks (@PENPROSPER1) explains brand loyalty, why you want to create it, and how to do so.
“I’d rather fight than switch,” stated a famous Tareyton cigarette commercial in the 1960s.
The slogan included a person sporting a black eye to fiercely bring home the point that brand loyalty was worth a punch in the face.
Though most of us associate brand loyalty with the products we consume and enjoy every day, this concept also applies to your creative written works and offerings, including your blog.
What is Brand Loyalty?
According to Investopedia.com, “Brand loyalty is a pattern of consumer behavior where consumers become committed to brands and make repeat purchases from the same brands over time. Loyal customers consistently purchase products from their preferred brands, regardless of convenience or price.”
Let’s look at some stats on how brand loyalty affects consumers’ buying decisions. Accessdevelopment.com reports that:
- 86% of consumers say loyalty is driven by likeability and 83% identify trust as the significant factor.
- 77% are considered brand loyal, and, of these, 37% make repeat purchases.
- Women are more brand loyal than men.
- Fun is an important loyalty driver.
How Brand Loyalty Applies to your Branding and Blogging
What does this have to do with blogging or blogging a book? Brand loyalty helps you succeed as a blogger in the following ways:
- Brand loyalty helps you stand out from the competition and gives a “winning” edge. You’ll often see this effect manifested when blog readers are asked to nominate their favorite blogs via yearly “Top Blogs” compilations and contests. Many readers choose the same ones routinely no matter the number of new blogs to which they are exposed.
- Brand loyalty can lessen your marketing efforts. Your existing brand awareness, the familiarity readers have with your site and repeat traffic keep your marketing going organically. Your brand becomes a beacon to new readers.
- Brand loyalty can save time and money, thereby, allowing you to work smarter, not harder. Once you have brand loyalty, you can focus on producing more work and attracting more readers in other ways.
- Cultivating brand loyalty increases the likelihood that your books, blogs, and social media messages get read. Since millions of blogs exist in the blogosphere, readers have a limited amount of time to devote to their reading pursuits. They are highly likely to read your posts first if they are dedicated to you and your work.
How Brand Loyalty can Garner Ebook Presales
Here’s an example to further illustrate my point. A few months ago, I decided to publish a series of ebooks devoted to strategic blogging. These represented new territory for me.
I was pleased to discover that before I officially published and launched the first book, I was able to generate future sales based on past performance. People purchased my books because of my blog’s brand, their “perception” of what my books would offer, and their loyalty to me and my work.
I accomplished this through taking pre-orders and sending a simple email blast to folks in my address book. And it worked.
I was able to garner support for my project without any book reviews or concrete marketing campaign. And you can too.
5 Tips to Build Brand Loyalty for Your Blog
With this in mind, here are five tips to foster brand loyalty and boost your bottom line:
1. Dare to be different.
Best-selling author and blogger, Seth Godin, for example, is well-known for his short, pithy posts that are brief but substantive. Perhaps your unique selling proposition (USP) is your humor, encyclopedic knowledge of history or fondness for food. Decide and deliver.
2. Establish a reputation of excellence.
The reputation you build as a blogger will stand the test of time and accomplish more through word-of-mouth marketing than thousands of dollars in ads. This is reflected not just in the quality of your weekly blog updates but your guest post contributions as well.
3. Shortcuts can sometimes short-circuit your success.
Devote the time necessary for accurate research. Read voraciously; maintain trust through providing reliable, relevant information.
4. Add value to the blogosphere.
Provide resources for your targeted readership. Reference important studies. Conduct expert interviews. Speak your personal truths. Study the competition.
5. Support other bloggers and fellow writers.
When you see other bloggers and writers and colleagues and friends, rather than competition, you create good karma. Supporting bloggers in your niche makes good business sense.
I find that when I comment on other blogs and purchase products or promote the contests and links featured by other bloggers, they reciprocate.
If you want your blog, posts and related creative products to stand a fighting chance amid the vast online competition, foster brand loyalty. Follow these tips to take the smart approach to developing a devoted readership. In the process, you will optimize your blogging efforts and build your bottom line.
How have you built brand loyalty for you blog, and what kind of difference has it made to your success as a blogger?
About the Author
Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, relationship columnist, ghost writer, award-winning blogger and author. Her work has appeared in various online and print publications including:.ProBlogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, Women on Writing and the Well-Fed Writer E-zine.
Banks is the managing editor of Coffeehouseforwriters.com, where she also teaches creative writing classes. When she’s not at the keyboard, she loves cooking, reading, “Jeopardy,” music, and shopping.
Find out more about Jennifer here: http://Penandprosper.blogspot.com/
Photo courtesy of aitoff / Pixabay.com