Do you remember Mr. Motivator? He was a fitness guru who appeared regularly on breakfast TV, he was all happy and joyful first thing in the morning. He wanted you to be full of beans too. I know because once I felt brave enough listen in.
I watched his enthusiasm and his happiness in silence and when he’d finished I switched off the TV and vowed never to watch him again. He didn’t motivate me. Sorry Derrick Evans, you put me off of early morning exercise in a big way.
But I did find something valuable in Mr. Motivator:
Motivating someone else is quite different than motivating yourself.
What made Mr. Motivator do things, was not what motivated me to take action.
If you are a lazy ass that can’t find the right readers for your blog, no matter what you do you will never get them to take action. You are wasting your time, if you build it. They don’t care. You have to find your audience, balance your SEO and then get your ideal reader to take action. If not you’ll struggle.
Method 1 – They have to want you to motivate them.
If the reader just ambled by your blog, and it was exactly what they were looking for, then you don’t have to do much to motivate them. Those readers tend to come once you are firmly established. They are rare when you are just starting blogging.
You can’t teach someone who doesn’t want to be taught. You will struggle to open closed minds, and you will find you can only motivate people when they are ready. Not when you want them to be. Look out for the students waiting for the teacher to appear.
Motivating the right people makes a big difference.
Method 2 – It must be something you want them to do too.
Maybe they want to learn how to upgrade WordPress and you could not give a damn as you are on Blogger. Not a good fit. Again, it comes back to having the right reader, and talking to them in their language. If you try and force the wrong kind of reader to do something, then you are in trouble; they will rebel. They’ll blame it on a pop-up. They’ll blame it on your typos; they’ll say anything to get rid of you. You have become that pesky, annoying salesperson selling double glazing and believing “no” means you are one step closer to the sale. Don’t be that person.
Remember it has to be a win /win/ win for everyone involved.
Method 3 – The reader needs to give you some ideas or hints as to what works for them.
You need to listen to your community, and you need to probe and find the real problem is that the answer is needed for. Then you need to create the solution or write the post that answers the questions. When you listen you will find that it’s easier to motivate your reader to take an action.
Method 4 – You need to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em (and as the song says… know when to walk away, know when to run).
In other words, you need to be aware of when you are asking too much, not enough and the right thing. That comes with time, and that’s probably not the answer you are looking for.
One of my editors, Emily Leary, motivates the readers of Mums on the Blog with competitions. She has the perfect balance between interaction and incentive. She knows how to play her cards and motivate her readers. Think about what your readers would be more likely to interact with. It’s does have to be huge to get traction, some simple but effective PDFs will work just as well.
Motivating readers isn’t easy and yes these tips will help, but I bet your experiences of motivating your readers is different. So come and share what works for you and your blogging community.