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What Does it Mean to Serve Your Blog Followers?

Something unexpected happened to my blog this weekend. A reader shared one of my posts on Reddit and then it was shared more than 100 times on Facebook. I had hundreds of visitors to my blog on Saturday and Sunday. My normal blog traffic is, um, less than that. I had already started this post prior to the weekend but it became all the more timely for me as readers utilized my contact form to connect with me. I kept thinking to myself, how can I serve them? What does it mean to serve my followers?
 
I was listening to an interview with Glennon Doyle Melton a month or two ago. She mentioned that people ask her all the time how they can get more followers on their blog, tens of thousands of followers, like she has. In the interview she paused and then gave the advice, “serve the followers you already have.” They will know you and trust you and when they do, they will want to share with you and share what you say. Let your blog and your followers grow organically.
 
Even before I started sharing my blog I thought about her words. I’m a believer in letting things grow organically. Be authentic, don’t force it, be patient. I’m good with that. But what does it mean to serve your followers? What does that actually look like? Here are three things I think are important when it comes to serving my blog followers.
 
1. Earn trust – It’s important that my readers and I trust each other. I love Brene Brown’s breakdown of the word trust. You can watch her speak on the anatomy of trust here. A few ways I can work to earn my reader’s trust are writing authentically, doing what I say I’m going to do, and owning my mistakes. I want to write from my own experiences and keep my words honest and authentic. If I say I’m going to respond to you, have a new post every week, and never have pop-ups on my blog then I need to do those things and stay true to my words. Finally, if I make a mistake, like posting something that ends up being hurtful, or sharing something I shouldn’t have, I will take responsibility and work to make it right.
 
2. Engage – Let’s talk. I am doing a lot of the talking. I write up my thoughts, press publish, and you do the rest. I want my blog to be a safe space for me and for you. I want to grow relationships with my readers. I want to hear what you have to say! We are building a community here together. So, talk to me. Did a post make you think about your own life? Would you have said something differently? Did you find my thought or idea confusing or troubling? Leave a comment, as many as you want to leave, or if you’d rather, send me an email.
 
3. Encourage – As we earn each other’s trust and start to engage with each other, let’s encourage each other. Writing blog posts helps me sort through my thoughts, ideas, and memories. It’s personal and in some ways, very self-serving. But as I write I start to feel more confident in myself and hopeful that my readers will glean something from what I have to say. Maybe you feel like you’re not alone or that someone else supports what you do or think. Maybe we care about the same causes or have the same questions. We can nurture those feelings and questions together, even if it’s just through blog comments or emails.
 
If you’re a blogger, what are your thoughts on how to serve your readers? If you’re a reader, what do wish blog authors would do more? Talk to me in the comments or contact me another way. I would love to hear from you!

2 Comments

  1. Robin Kramer on April 17, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Court, it’s a great question to contemplate, and it sounds like you already have generated terrific answers. It sounds so basic, but the one thing that’s helped me the most is being myself. When I start to write a post because I vaguely feel like I “should” or because somebody else is writing in that format, it never rings true to my voice. So, perhaps the greatest way to serve my readers is to write in the voice that’s uniquely mine.

    Congrats on having your post get shared. Exciting!!

    • Courtney on April 17, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      Thanks Robin! That is always good advice – to stay true to yourself. I’m still defining my voice here and I will be sure to keep it uniquely mine.

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