How to Create a Loyal Blog Audience

The one thing I’ve learned about blogging over the years is that more traffic doesn’t necessarily equate more revenue. Unless you have a loyal blog audience, it’s rare that you will be able to generate a lot of income because it is hard to convert cold traffic into customers.

So, how do you create a loyal blog audience? Well, it comes down to a few variables. For example, responding to comments will help you build a connection with your readers, who will be more likely to come back more often.

Other elements, such as story telling and having opinions, help as well. Eighty-two percent of people prefer following bloggers that have opinions.

Have a blog but not getting enough traffic? Download this printable cheat sheet to learn how to create a loyal blog audience.

To teach you how to create a loyal blog audience, I decided to create an infographic that will show you the steps you need to take.

Click on the image below to see a larger view:

How to Create a Loyal Blog Audience

Click here to view an enlarged version of this infographic.

Conclusion

Out of the three blogs I currently have, Quick Sprout has the most loyal blog audience. The main reason for the loyalty is because I selflessly help everyone, and I even try to respond to every comment.

I know it is time consuming, but it is worth it. If you have time to do only one thing, I recommend that you respond to every single comment you get on your blog. In my opinion, there is no better way to build a connection with your readers than to create a conversation through comments.

So, how else can you create a loyal blog audience?

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Comments

  1. Parampreet Chanana :

    Another Great Post bro, You really helped us and very great visualize.

    Thank you for Sharing best knowledge without any cost!

  2. Omar Sayyed :

    Thanks for a great post Neil. Would you consider design and creatives that are used in blog posts to be significant when attempting to create loyal followers? In other words does a blogger gain to *exponentially* benefit from investing in good creatives for blog posts AND in the overall design of his/her blog.

    • Omar, definitely! Every bit matters. It’s all about creating a friendly environment for people to visit.

  3. I really like the layout of this infographic. I have been trying to understand how to make them, and your layout made something click for me. Thanks!

  4. Harleena Singh :

    You’re absolutely right, Neil. More traffic is not equal to more revenue. But targeted traffic gives terrific returns! I’m lucky to have a loyal blog audience and a lovely blog community – I love them and they love me. 🙂

    My formula had been respecting, being honest, and sharing directly from the heart with all my blog readers and other bloggers to create wonderful relationships.

    I best love the commenting part, and that is what has taken my blog to the level where it is.

    It’s a lovely infographic, it’s so important to have your own voice. The secret key to building a loyal audience, as you point out in the end, is to be selflessly helpful.

    This is what you’re – humble and helpful, and we all love you for that. My blog community was ecstatic reading your interview on my blog, and all they could say was they never met such a down-to-earth millionaire. 🙂 You should read their feedback some day!

    Thank you for this valuable information, it is important for bloggers as well as companies too.

    ~ Harleena

    • Harleena, glad I could help. Thanks for the kind words of support and the wonderful feedback.
      I always look forward to your insights. Thanks 🙂

  5. Scott @ Kawntent :

    I totally agree – I think the most undervalued tactic to build a loyal following is replying to comments right away.

    This way, you community knows that you care about then and are honestly have their interests in mind. Don’t be self serving!!

  6. Rajat Kulshrestha :

    Thankyou sir. 🙂 No doubt !! Quicksprout is the best place to learn innovative things about blogging and seo 🙂

  7. Sebastian Soffia :

    Neil,

    I miss the fact to be in different devices too. Mobiles for ex.

    However, great content like always!

  8. Great post, Neil. I am going to have to read it 3/4 times to take it. I bought your TrafficU programme this week too and will be starting applying the lessons in April (my time is already taken this month.)

    What this post brings to my mind is how do you measure audience loyalty?

    A lot of people try to lower their bounce rate, and it is something that I want to do myself but I am thinking that your return visitor percentage is far more important. If traffic is growing and that percentage is at least holding even, that means your loyal audience is growing.

    • Carthage, thanks for the support 🙂
      I think that is definitely a factor that can be used to measure audience loyalty. It’s all about looking at how many times someone comes back to your site to view things.

  9. Charles Montgomery :

    I LOVE how there are no responses yet 🙂

    Do you really have time to respond to corny comments? lol

    You’re a stud. Don’t waste your time. 🙂

    Thank you for the industry leading posts though, seriously…

    • Charles, It often takes a little time before I respond to comments :)’
      Glad you find the posts helpful!

  10. Hey Neil! First time commenting- When I think back to every blog I’m a loyal reader to, it’s because they produce consistent content and it seems like they get me! Only thing about your blog is I can’t keep up- I keep bookmarking the emails and saying I’ll get to that tomorrow And then bam another in my inbox lol. But that’s a good thing.

    I struggle with creating content with a marketing plan. I just take the emails I get or the research I’ve done about my industry {auto transport broker} to answer questions most people ask on my video blog.

    Anyways love the post and continue giving us great content

    Xo,
    Ashley

    • Ashley, I am sure you will catch up on your reading one day 🙂
      Thanks for the feedback. Please let me know if you need help with anything at all 🙂

  11. I’ve been just looking for something this kind of information which will help me in engaging more with my blog audience. The info graphic just helps in quickly picking up the tips for anyone.

    Every article I’m reading daily from here is just helping me to become better and better myself in shaping my blog. Thanks Neil 🙂

  12. In my opinion, the “have an opinion” aspect is the most important one. I’ve been reading blogs for years now and I’m sick and tired of all those bland how-to blogposts. Those I engage with and share most are those which are really “columns” and those which viewpoints I agree with (mostly in terms of marketing approach). Great point there 😉

    • Mael, I agree. I love when people share their viewpoint because that way everyone learns something new from a different perspective 🙂

  13. Ammazing statistics: but one thing Neil it shows whole blogging industry relies on US audience. What about blog visitors of other countries of Europe.

  14. Katherine James :

    I have been making a real effort to reply to comments wherever I have posted any content. So I have been replying to blog comments, twitter re-tweets and such.

    I have even been replying to blog comments made by other bloggers, (who are replying to a blog comment I made on their blog in the first place).

    I think it is all part of the reader engagement factor. Treat your blog like a conversation starter, rather than a personal loud-speakerphone.

    • Katherine, great point. It’s all about humanizing the experience and making people feel like they are part of something. Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  15. Michael Bely :

    Hi Neil,

    I like the idea of nurturing type of an authority who is like a father (and mother to some extent) to his/her audience.

    So building a loyal audience is like growing up kids.

    A good parent (authority) helps his or her audience by taking care of them and by teaching, but not lecturing. Authority-parent helps them when they need it, reveals their problems and help them solve the problems.

    However, it is not about being absolutely selfless in giving (because you need to have a business strategy after all)

    • Michael, love the analogy you made to parenting. It’s so true. Giving people the tools they need to succeed is vital. Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  16. Nice Article! This is a very informational article. Thank you for this fantastic tips you have posted. I definitely appreciate it. And I’ve learned a lot from this post. I’ll surely take note of all of this. I’m also hoping for more updates from you.

  17. Hi Niel,

    I agree on building relationships with your readers by replying to their comments and it’s a really good way to keep that blog post page active for SEO purposes! Google loves activity!

    Ben

  18. You are right Neil. If you reply to every comment. It can b great source to convert visitors into loyal traffic. Great point.

  19. manujeevanprakash :

    Hi Neil ,
    Awesome info , Every blog should have a mission for it .The blogger should be passionate about the topic he is writing about , the emotional juice is very important in blogging. I have seen lot of bloggers giving useful information but missing that emotions on their blog. Quick sprout has such a loyal follower base because your blogs speak your passion for online marketing .Its not just about helping people Neil 🙂 it is about passion . It would be helpful for your followers if you can write a blog on “blogger psychology” or “how to bring your emotions in your blog”

    Cheers!!

  20. Wow..just wow! I’ve simply lost count of how many of your articles I’ve bookmarked ever since I stumbled upon Quicksprout!

    Among all the blogs and articles I’ve read about SEO and online marketing, your blog has always stood out to me as the clearest and most authoritative source that doesn’t try to go over your head or inundate you with misinformation that’s all too easy to get bogged down in.

    Count me in as a loyal fan! =D

  21. Brad Gerlach :

    I always love your infographics, and this one didn’t disappoint!

    I actually posted it to my blog in an impromptu post: http://wp.me/p4g25Q-a7.

    I’m definitely a loyal fan, and a customer 🙂

  22. Hi Neil,

    It’s funny how important top-quality content is yet just how few blogs actually provide it (fortunately I consider Quick Sprout to be among the very best around for “original content” 😉

    Equally, I like to read blogs from people I “like” – people that I feel I know a bit so including personal anecdotes, a stellar “about” page and having your mug shot and a small intro in your sidebar are, at least from my perspective, very good ways to build that “personal touch”.

    One peeve though – have you switched your RSS feed from full articles to just the intro? Feedly wasn’t showing your full article – something that *really* turns me off.

  23. Brent Carnduff :

    This move toward person to person marketing is refreshing, and plays into creating a loyal following. Good stuff.

  24. Fred Williams :

    Great post Neil,

    Reading this post lets me know that I am on the right track.

    Lord knows that I have my own opinions and don’t hesitate to express them. 😉

    Fred

  25. Hi Neil, Thanks for another great infographic! This is something that’s been on my mind a lot lately and I have a related question for you. One of the ways I try to estimate engagement is through email open/click rates.What is a good open and click rate for a blog that is aiming to build an engaged audience? I can’t find a satisfactory answer to that anywhere. Most articles returned by Google seem to list broad industry-wide stats which don’t make sense in the context of a small blog aiming to build an engaged audience.

    • I would aim for at least a 30% open rate and at least a 25% click through rate.

      • Thanks for the response, Neil! 30% open rate and 25% click rate implies that 80+% of those who open the mails will click through. Is that normal? The reason I ask is, I have a slightly higher than 30% open rate, but my click rate is much lower than 25%. Only about 50% of those who open the mails click through. This means I need to start paying more attention on the copy of my mails?

        PS: I know you always reply to comments, so I checked back for a couple of days after leaving the comment to see if you’d responded. And then life interfered and I completely forgot about it. Today a friend of mine brought up the topic, and I came back to check and saw your response. I feel bad that I almost missed it! You may want to consider adding a comment-reply notification plugin? Since you take the time to reply to all the comments, I think it may add a whole lot of value making that time so much more worth it! Just a suggestion 🙂

  26. Gemma Santos :

    Beautiful graphics Neil! I have been stressing to my boss that the company I work for should have a blog, will forward this info graphic to him,

    Thank you!

  27. Scott Ayres :

    Some great stats on why having a consistent blog is so important. I can say for us at Post Planner this is very true. Our content is what has grown our business.

  28. Matthew Kaboomis Loomis :

    Hi Neil, I’ve been learning from you for almost two years now…You have been a key component to my own personal development in the areas of blogging and online marketing.

    I really appreciate what you do.

    This infographic is trememdous. Thanks for letting us use it.

    Cheers,
    Matthew

    • Matthew, glad you found the post helpful. Please let me know if you need help with anything else 🙂

  29. Hi Neil,
    Great info, but my question is how do you get people to even look at your blog if it’s just brand new. Thanks
    Regards
    Margaret

    • Margaret, I think social media would be a good place to start. Try that out and let me know if you need any help 🙂

  30. wow excellent infographic. Nice post too neil. I wish i could write like you . Anyways thanks for sharing such a nice post.

  31. Ankit Pandya :

    Hello Neil,

    I am waiting for this post. I am Sure that I can Improve my writing skill as well as I am able to fetch a Loyal Audience to my blog. Thank you and Please Keep writing and I will Keep learning from you. Kindly Write on “How to Write a Great Blog with influencing words” I hope I will find this kind of blog on your site. can I hope for that?

  32. Neil: There are several reasons why I believe Quick Spout has such a loyal following. At the top of the list is the fact that you “consistently deliver great content.”

    I never hesitate to read your content because I know that it is going to be educational. You consistently deliver great content that helps me get to where I want to go.

    Now that is something every aspiring blogger should model.

    • Jon, thanks for the kind words of support. Please let me know if you need any help with anything at all 🙂

  33. nice post neil i really like it…..

  34. Hey Neil,

    Love the info graphics you do, they are so easy to read and very helpful indeed. I agree with building relationships, I had very good engagement on my last blog and I’m trying to rectify this on my current blog as well. It’s getting there 🙂

    Great advice thanks again Neil..

    Dan

  35. Sam Adeyinka :

    I don’t think but rather I believe to have a successful blog, which earns you several dollars, you will need to build for sure a loyal audience and the key thing to do is building yourself as the brand like Ryan and some other serious bloggers I know does.

    Respond to comments! What the hell is wrong with you? I take up the hassle of coming to your blog, read and dilute your post, take it as mine responsibility to leave a thought provoking comment, which I did anyways only for you to useless it by not replying the comment. Isn’t that cruel?

    Oh you replied! hmmmmmm…I see…with that one word comment? “Thanks for reading”. Fuck it!

    I mean I love the infographic so much…..a work of class man!

    Sam

  36. Responding to comments works big time, no brainer.

  37. Hey Neil, Thanks for a bunch of tips. Responding to comments is the most important factor, which i think, many bloggers don’t care about. And the best option is to become an authority in your niche. This will increase the readers confidence and they will come again and again to your websites to get latest tips and fresh content.

  38. Arun Kallarackal :

    Hi Neil,

    Awesome infographic! You don’t just teach things, but also religiously follow the things you teach others. Like- the way you respond to comments and interact with the readers, it is impressive and praiseworthy!

    A loyal reader base is what each blogger dreams about. Having it has its own set of advantages, I agree.

    Having gone through the infographic, I guess I have some key areas to improve. My priority would be to stand out from the crowd and have my own distinct style. I also will try to get rid of those silly grammatical errors by working upon my language skills.

    Thanks Neil, for sharing such awesome stuff!

    Arun

    • Arun, glad I could help. I think those are great things to fix up. Please let me know if you need any help along the way 🙂

  39. Stuart Walker :

    Hey again Neil,

    Nice infographic and a good topic too. Most people talk about promoting posts or getting traffic but not about building a loyal audience.

    I respond to every comment, tweet, email etc I receive and also engage people too and ask them what they are currently working on, can I help them, do they have questions etc.

    When someone leaves their first comment they get redirected to a page that thanks them for doing so, telling them I appreciate it, and giving them a chance to connect on social media or join the mailing list – converts quite well so far.

    I’ll check out some of their websites and leave a comment there sometimes too.

    My about me page gives them an insight into my life and background and hopefully makes them understand me more which builds a connection.

    My content I’m told is good though I need to work on my storytelling I think as I don’t feel I’m much a creative writer.

    I get people opting into my list and become friends on social media with them.

    One thing you mentioned in the infographic is having the FB, Twitter, G+ buttons – am I missing them or does QuickSprout not have them? 😀

    Anyway great content as always.

    Thanks.

    P.S.

    I just tried to send you an email via the contact form but I don’t know if it’s working.

    When I click submit a little loading thing pops up and spins for a bit but then there’s no confirmation and nothing happens.

  40. Stevenson Canó :

    “The main reason for the loyalty is because I selflessly help everyone, and I even try to respond to every comment”.

    This is my first comment but i’m an active reader since OCT 2013. I like the way you give all this information for free. You helped me a lot with my business.

    Thanks

  41. As usual, this is a post jam-packed full of stuff to read. Thanks Niel.

  42. Hi Niel,
    I really like your content. I’m starting new project in Brazil and those hints are million dollar hints… Thanks

  43. Barbara McKinney :

    For me content that is relevant to the needs and wants of your audience — content that is useful, and entertaining is the most important in building a loyal audience. Extra points if you can get people talking about your stuff by creating content that is in some way taboo, unusual, outrageous, hilarious, or remarkable.Thanks Neil!

    • Barbara, great points. It’s always interesting to see what people find interesting. Starting those conversations is vital.

  44. Dhruven Patel :

    I really like your every reply of your readers.

  45. Thanks a lot for all these advices Neil. Now we have to implement them and see how it goes for us. Should be easier thanks to you.

  46. Neil, thank you for the infographic, it’s very helpful and made the post such an easy read.

    In my opinion, every blog site should have a loyal following. It’s a primary goal. Getting more traffic may be a priority for some but if these people do not stay, what’s the point anyway?

    So I have to agree on two main points in this article namely quality content and interaction. Readers can tell which articles are actually made to help and which ones are made to just get visitors, so it is really important to focus on providing valuable content so they keep coming back and develop that trust. And to keep them coming back too, you actually have to show that you care enough by talking to them and interacting with them.

    Really enjoyed this, thanks!

    • Azalea, great points.
      Interacting with your readers is key. It’s all about having a discussion and engaging your readers.

  47. Danny Moerkerke :

    Great info as usual. For me the hardest problem is still publishing often 🙁
    You write that once a week is not enough but isn’t the frequency of your postings here also about once a week?

  48. imho building a question and answer section also could help build loyal visitor. I use it in one of my website ( small niche site ) and its work great.

    Question and answer section gives visitors a chance to ask about something that did not mention in the article, and most of the time their question also become my source idea for creating new articles ..

    sorry for my bad english 😉

  49. An inspiring one Neil. Although I have built a good list of subscribers still long way to go. Yes it is a fact that subscribers are real customers. My blog followers love to know about products I use for my blog and they love to use what I recommend.

    When visitors realize that the blogger cares about them, they stay forever, otherwise they don’t. Over past few years, I have learned this and your article taught me some more 🙂

    thanks for sharing with us, best of luck!!!

  50. Abhishek Raj :

    Hey Neil, first of all I would like to thank you for putting in so much useful information and sharing it with us for free 😉 Loved your post. I’m a part time blogger (doing MBA full time). The greatest challenge for me is time management and staying charged and motivated for blogging. I just love blogging.. But I’m helpless 🙁
    Can you provide some traffic generation tips for part time blogging? Especially when the blogger is a student ? 🙂

    Regards
    Abhishek Raj (one of your loyal readers:))

    • Abhishek, have you had a chance to check out my guides. They have been very helpful for others.
      I would suggest if you have specific questions to utilize the forum I have on my website. People are there all the time to help you with any and all questions you may have.

  51. Hey Neil,
    I am a designer myself but I’m nothing close to your level. I adore your website looks, UI, buttons, infographics everything. Really classy design. Stands out from every other similar niche website out there…
    I shared the awesome infographic on my blog by using your embed code. I hope that is alright.
    Thanks 🙂

  52. Rich Mistkowski :

    Great information. Easy to read. Lots of great images and never too long. That’s what I like about Quick Sprout and the content that you write.

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts and advice.

  53. Surely the company would have to be huge to produce multiple articles per day – a small business could in no way find the time to do that!

    • David, good point. That’s the tricky part about it. It’s all up to you on how many posts you do per week though.

  54. Hi Neil

    That is a very useful post. I only started blogging 2days ago so am a complete novice. I’m an unknown author and trying to use my blogging site to publicise my ebooks for children. My question/problem is how do I increase (or as in my case actually entice) readers to visit my blog? Without activity on my blog I can’t get people to notice my books let try one out! Any advice?

    • Johan, I would really focus on building your list. That way you can reach out to them whenever a new blog post comes out. Let me know if you need any specific help with list building 🙂

  55. Creating a loyal blog audience is always a dream for any blogger.Luckily I got some of them and currently concentrating to get more.Another awesome post from you.I believe it’ll going to help me a lot in my future work.Thanks for this Neil sir.

  56. Great post and infographic!

    My problems:

    1. I don’t monetize other than Amazon / iTunes affiliate links. (no ads)
    2. I work 50-60 hours per week and find it difficult to post more than once per week.
    3. My blog feels more like a catch-all for random thoughts on random media. I’m having difficulty finding a unified message.

    Currently, I see any average of 100 views per day. My evergreen listicles generate a majority of my traffic (SEOed “best pandora stations,” “disneyland tips/secrets/tricks”). I’m wondering if it is worth cluttering my blog with ads, banking posts for a schedule, and sacrificing my (timely) opinions on multiple hobbies/passions for a single message.

    • If I were you I would just leave it as is and figure out how to publish more often. Maybe hire someone to help you out or partner with others.

  57. Anshul Sharma :

    The only way to get loyal visitors to site is “writing great content” and sharing up to date information.

  58. We can get loyal visitors if we are loyal to them. Writing quality content and that too according to what our readers want from our blog. The blog should have a specific niche.

  59. Valeri Tippit :

    Thank you Neil for sharing this important information, now i can build my own infographic easily

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