I stood waiting for my order to be called at The Sevens Café in Ann Arbor, MI. It was 12:10 and the line for lunch-time fare was already snaking out the door.
While waiting for my corned-beef reuben, I watched one customer step-up to the order counter. Before he spoke, the cook says,
“Hey Paul getting the usual?”
Paul nodded, turned, smiled and headed to the cash register. Right then and there something magical happened.
For one moment, Paul stood out. Somebody picked him out of the crowd, remembered his name and what he wanted. The small gesture by the cook proved to Paul that he was still special.
Paul’s “Usual” will keep him coming back for years..
Interestingly, the same applies to your blog's core readers.
Making Your Core Happy
It’s easy to fixate on getting new readers. However, it’s the Core, regular, readers that power a lively blog. You can depend on the Core to:
- Leave the first comment on new posts
- Start sharing your posts with their followers
- Kindly tell you when you are making an ass of yourself. (My core readers alert me to embarrassing typos within minutes!)
- Participate in conversations across multiple platforms (i.e. Facebook, Linkedin)
- Sign-up for your newsletter and possibly -
- Purchase your products and services
You’ve already built a relationship with the core; now focus your attention on strengthening it. The best way to build this relationship is to deliver a consistent stream of content that is custom-tailored for your regular readers.
How to Deliver the Usual
Don’t make the mistake of phoning in content for your core readers. Don’t take your regulars for granted. They still have high standards. So, take the time to plan a consistent, high-quality drum-roll of great stuff for them.
The Usual could be:
1. A Weekly Link roundup. I rely on Kristi Hines’ link roundup on Friday to stay informed about subjects I care about. I’m never disappointed. Link Roundups are relatively easy to do and deliver great value.
2. Monthly Features: Pat Flynn at the Smart Passive Traffic blog reports his blog and affiliate earnings every month. His readers look forward to his report to track his success and get advice on effective traffic techniques.
3. Events and Rituals: Tim Ferriss records "The Random Show" video with his friend and Digg founder Kevin Rose. This video features a hodge-podge of topics around Tim and Kevin’s interests. It has a rabid and devoted fan base.
If you don’t have a regular event or feature on your blog then start one.
You don’t even have to announce it, just deliver The Usual consistently and your reader will pick up on it. You can reveal your feature to the world, once you are confident it your ability to deliver it consistently.
Wait, Isn’t The Usual Boring?
Yes, if the only content you publish is exactly the same every time. I recommend that you continue to create new content and explore new topics. But, make it a habit to return to your roots and deliver “comfort food” for your regular readers.
What do you think? How do you deliver “The Usual” on your blog? Talk to me and I'll talk right back