How to Convert a Casual Blog Reader into a Loyal Long Term Raving Fan

It’s day 5 of our 31 Day Challenge and today is a pretty simple one that could take you just a minute or two (although you could take a few moments extra and do it multiple times to extend the impact).

The task – is to email one of your blog’s readers!

send an email

You can listen to todays episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we’d also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment).

In This Episode

  • I share the 3 things I would always do in the early days of my blogging any time anyone left a comment on my blog
  • I share the impact that I saw doing this had on my readers (and how even 10 years later some of those readers still comment today on ProBlogger)
  • I suggest how you can extend todays exercise to make an even bigger impression on your readers – if you have a few more minutes

Todays exercise is super simple. In fact last time I talked about it on ProBlogger someone commented saying it wasn’t worth doing. But here’s the thing – this kind of action adds up over time.

Like I say in todays episode – do this every day for a year you’ll have made an impression upon hundreds of people – each who could become daily readers to your blog and whom have their own networks that they might just promote you to.

While we’d all love a big rush of overnight traffic as a way to grow readers the reality is that this one by one converting of ‘surfers’ into loyal ‘readers’ is the way that most blogs grow and this is one way to do that.

Give it a go and let us know in comments below how you found the exercise!

Further Reading

I mentioned this same idea in a post on ProBlogger – The Power of Personalisation.

Also check out this great presentation that Pat Flynn gave. He did this same talk at the ProBlogger Event last year and it had a big impact and talks about how to convert casual readers into raving fans. I think today’s exercise very much fits into an activity that could play a part in doing just that.

Thanks to our Friends at 99designs

A big thanks to our sponsors at 99designs. Check out the great offer that they have for you (worth $99). They’re a fantastic place to go if you’re looking for any help with graphic design in your blogging.

I use their services and have worked with some great designers to create graphic design creatives for my blogs.

Pick up the 31DBBB eBook at 50% Off

Lastly don’t forget you can also grab the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook with a 50% discount using the coupon code PODCAST50 during the checkout process here.

  • Hi Darren, While I was waiting for your upload, and because I think your totally awesome, I decided to pop problogger in at Alexa and Compete, just out of interest. Compete suggested that your monthly page views were currently on the rise but signficantly lower than October/November 2014, are you able or willing to shed light on how or why this might be so?

    Thanks, Joy

    • I actually find them to be pretty bad for – I’m not sure why but it traffic has been pretty steady on the blog in our Google Analytics. In fact GA shows our stats us being about 15% higher traffic than in October/November last year – so not sure what is going on there.

      • Thanks for the reply, certainly gives us the insight that maybe we shouldn’t hold that rank with very much importance.

  • I’m loving these challenges. I had sent out my July 4th Holiday newsletter yesterday. I got a click on the post with the happy wishes & 7 inspiring table top center pieces. One reader had opened the newsletter & the 4th of July post. She left a comment & well wishes to me also. She has infrequently left responses before. This time, I checked out her website and she had made some stunning changes. So I sent her an email congratulating her on such a beautiful job & thanking her for her well wishes to me. Her revamped website has an occasional pop up for her newsletter & I signed up. Also left a tip on using an image pixel compressor to help speed up the loading of her art work.

    Question Darren: Generally, I do U.S. holiday wishes (when I remember). But I had also gotten a lot of international visitors (before my domain name snapfu). I’m thinking it may make sense to do well wishes for major holidays for other countries, particularly for countries where I get lots of visitors. Any thoughts on that?

    P.S. In my newsletter, I prompted readers to get on over here to the Problogger blogging challenge. Hope to see one or two.

    • Good question. We tend to acknowledge them in small ways but try to find a relevant way to do so. For example on my photography blog this week we shared a few ‘how to photograph fireworks’ posts which mentioned 4th July.

  • Just wanted to let everyone know I have created a tribe if anyone would like to join that is doing this course.

    • Sam Walker

      Have never been on Triberr before and don’t really know anything about it. But I’ve clicked on your link and tried to join. Hopefully it worked Joy.

  • Alina

    This is great advice, Darren!
    Anytime I connect with my readers (I am a holistic nutritionist and I help parents whose children are constipated and go through picky eating stages), it does not only show that I care about them, but it also helps me improve my site as I ask them for a quick feedback.

  • I find folk comment on FB rather than the blog page, although I get click troughs to the blog from FB. Any tips for getting folk to actually comment on the blog, other than directly asking them to, which I often do as well.

    I emailed one of my new newsletter people for the challenge and am going off to comment on a few blogs!

    • But is FB working for you? I feel like algo changes make it minimal response….

      • FB works for me. It’s not the only route but it’s a route

      • Just to share my personal experience: I have Twitter and Facebook accounts for my blog but I have more success with the former than with the latter. It’s harder to get to your audience on Facebook. I agree that it may be due to their algorithm.

        • Yep I didn’t have huge following on FB but even if you do I’ve heard lots of folks saying unless you pay you’re not getting the reach even of folks who liked or want to hear from you. Twitr for me is very direct and Iv’e connected with folks.
          Also changing your name or whatever is hard as I kept morphing what I do and it’s hard to adjust with FB. Like 1x you can but then the url stays with old name and that sucks…

    • I have that same problem Rosalind, people love to interact on FB page but not directly on the blog. I’m pretty new to blogging though so maybe content needs to be more interesting!

  • Hey! Thank you for another great challenge! Last week I wrote an email to my “tribe” (those who leave comments and support me and by business idea by email), shared the update with them (I earned my first money because of the blog) and asked them to share with me their snail main addresses. Yesterday I sent all of them the postcards with nice words. This is, I hope, is a good way to engage with the audience which I remembered when listened to this episode.

  • Serina Huang

    Great challenge – thank you! This has reminded me to drop in to some other bloggers who have been very generous, and find out what they are doing as well.

  • Sam Walker

    Thank you. I have a busy day today, trying to get the first week of challenges completed. Sadly, my blog is new and I think the only comments I have had are from family and close friends, so it is a bit weird sending them an email. But thanks Darren for the reminder to go and comment on a few other blogs. I will endeavour to do this today.

  • Matthew Tome

    These podcasts are extremely helpful, Daren.

    They seem to be things I already knew I should be doing, but beat it back into my head like, “Hey. Do this.” I’ve been reaching out to people who comment and subscribe to my blog, and I find that, even without prompting them to, they come back for more when I post new content.

    How often do you still reach out to new visitors? Do you still try to acquire new “raving fans”?

  • My (current blog project for the 31DBBB) is new and the singular post is one day old. As SOON as I get a comment they will have an email come their way 🙂

  • What a great idea! I’ve sent 7 emails out today and so looking forward to the responses as well as building relationships with readers. Thank you for this podcast, it’s certainly very helpful to learn best practice.

    • How long did it take you? I’m kind of wary spending too much time on this :s

      • Took me about half an hour. But the task is to do only 1. So that would be less than a few minutes.

        • Overachiever! You did this 6 days ago. Has anyone responded?

          • Yes. Two responded and I have some great feature blog posts coming up where we will be working together and sharing out to both audiences.

          • What a success story! Congrats. I heard back from one person about some tips I shared on my blog. It was so exciting to see someone have success with the ideas I blogged about.

          • Sorry I thought I had responded to this. Yes I did get a few responses and one of them has turned into a very helpful relationship so far.

  • As I haven’t made many posts in the past, the number of comments to follow up on are pretty slim. Nevertheless, I have sent out three emails. To do that, it meant I had to read the posts and comments really carefully again – which was very useful.

  • Romanescu Laura Sinziana

    What a great idea! I need to do this more often! Thanks for the inspiration :).

  • I went and emailed a few people that had emailed me but I never got back to. Very slack of me but it is an important thing as mentioned to create that engagement and to get people coming back 🙂

    Might hammer the inbox a little more every morning.

    Thanks Darren.

  • Darren,
    I’m conflicted about comments for a few reasons. I feel like i’m getting enough comments/questions/feedback through email and social media, and the concept of keeping on top of blog comments gives that feeling of overwhelm.
    The last thing I want to do is turn into a comment bot: Darren, thank YOU so much for your comment! I’m sorry you feel that way about x, have a great day!
    So, where do bloggers draw the line? I’m wondering how you feel about those like Seth Godin/ who have chosen to do away with comments altogether (or hardly do them at all – see How do you keep on top of the feedback that’s coming to you?

  • Done. I emailed my wife (my biggest supporter) to ask for her honest feedback.

  • Angela Howard

    I’ve always responded to the comments I’ve received but I’ve never thought of sending a personal email. I love this idea. 3 emails sent today! I will be making this a regular habit because I love the idea of personal connection and really caring about people. This is fantastic!

  • I have a WordPress blog and there is a wonderful plugin that when people leave a comment you are notified but when you respond to a comment the commenter is also notified by email. I respond directly to what the commenter wrote so each comment is of course personalized. As a bonus – some of the commenters definitely feel like friends.

  • I have recently set up a plugin that emails the reader when I respond to the comments. Would you still email commenter s – or just pick out one that is insightful.

  • Pete Reece

    Interesting one for me this. I’ve only posted nine times on my blog and haven’t had massive traffic (60 views is the most for one post). In that time I’ve only had one comment which was from a friend so I can’t really email her. But it makes me think two things: 1. I’m not getting enough traffic and 2. People aren’t interested enough to leave a comment. I already knew about point one but point two is perhaps a wake-up call. I know from the last exercise that the blog needs to be punchier with shorter paragraphs and a bigger font which may help people read more and stay on the page longer. I’m also aware that I’m in a niche where just putting this out there on FB and Twitter is probably not going to help me much so Podcast 3 has probably helped too. So I need a strategy which involves hitting my target audience better! Simple. 🙂

    • What is your blog Pete?

      • Pete Reece

        Hi Joanne. Thanks for the interest. It’s
        After the last few days of the challenge I’m a little more confident of hitting my target audience with better titles, keywords etc. as well as contributing to other people’s blogs, forums etc. If you’ve got any ideas though Joanne I would be very grateful.

        • I’m still at the beginning, day 7 trying to catch up!

  • I just did this to two of my readers who comment and like things a lot and you know what Darren? God I feel good for doing it! So thank YOU for suggesting it. It’s put a smile on my face xxx

  • I did publish a post over on Linked In, my first so I”m happy. Since the current blog is so new–I don’t have comments yet and not even sure it’s that type of blog. Just to concur on what he said. I was so thrilled to get a response here from Darren here that I noted to myself, I felt motivated and it felt like a human touch, so needed in a virtual world. I can see the powerful impact. IT seems like a small thing- but it’s a big deal to respond to a comment!

  • Hmm. I wonder who I could email. I definitely have traffic but not much engagement at all. Someone did reach out to me via an email a few weeks ago. Maybe I should follow up and ask her if she already found what she was looking for.

    Hey, I like the idea of quoting insightful reader comments. 🙂 Thanks for that!!

  • Ha, ha! I just followed up with a reader and she found me on Facebook and is now engaging more! Thank you for the tip. I thought it was too forward of me to do such a thing. I should have listened to my gut feelings. Yippee! Thanks for a great tip.

  • I haven’t written an email but I do try to respond to any comments, suggestions. I try and make sure I stay engaged and let folks know I appreciate them stopping by.

  • My blog is still so new that I haven’t received any comments or emails but I will definitely be following up when I do.

    • Chrystel, my blog is really new too, and I don’t have comments. So what I did was this: I promoted my FB page, and some people have ‘Liked’. So now I’ve requested their friendship, and some have accepted. And so the next step is to write them a personal message to thank them for liking my Page etc. Hopefully it’ll help to get things rolling!

  • Funny how the simplest ideas are often the most powerful. I emailed a reader just now and plan to go back and email more. This is also going to be a habit moving forward. 🙂

  • My blog is not up and running yet but the other project I work on is, we don’t actually get many comments at all….but yesterday we got one but only via facebook so no email. However I made sure I responded, thanking them for their comment etc.
    I know I often comment on blogs and social media and if someone replies I’m always blown away!

  • Thanks for sharing the Pat Flynn presentation, had me laughing out loud!

  • Thanks for this Darren. Just listened to episode 5 and going to write to one of my readers right NOW! If I can find one to email… I must have one ?!? Somewhere 🙁

    • Did it. I mailed the last person to join my mailing list. And from his social media profile, you might just be right Darren – I might find an ally or a friend. Thanks again for the podcasts. Your interview on Schramko’s show was really good – that is how I found this podcast.

  • Sarah Matthews-Laurence

    At the advice from Abby (who blogs at I use the free plugin “Comment Reply Notification” so when I reply to a reader’s comment, they are emailed. That said, it’s obviously really nice to reach out and email a reader anyway, but just thought that this may be useful for some of you!

  • Samantha Nolan Smith

    Such a great presentation by Pat Flynn! Thanks for sharing it.

  • benay

    I emailed a customer who cancelled a subscription and learned that life was just in the way right now and she would be back! Then I had the chance to look at her website and gave some easy but constructive advice and she was so grateful. One more long-term connection solidified and a seed planted that will further improve the way we connect.

  • Tricie Lane

    Love this idea, what a great practice to help build an audience.

  • This is really hard for me because I don’t have any readers yet, or at least, no one who leaves comments. (I can’t work out how to get rid of the Captcha, which I’m sure dissuades people). So what I’m doing is this: I promoted my FB page, and some people have ‘Liked’. So now I’ve requested their friendship, and some have accepted. And so the next step is to write them a personal message to thank them for liking my Page etc. Whew. Talk about thinking outside of the box. It took me about 5 days to work out a way to do this exercise!

  • I don’t have many comments on either of my blogs, so I sent emails to the most recent subscriber on each one. I wish I had thought of this idea. It’s such a simple way to connect with new readers (or established readers who leave comments).


  • Lana Hirth

    I’m wondering whether commenting is okay and equal to emailing them? I always reply to people’s comments on blog or various social media sites, but I’m not sure about emailing them?

    • I would say email them as well, gives it a more personal touch. Sometimes they don’t know that you left a comment.

  • It’s not always about “me, me, me”. Lately everything that I’ve been reading is always about being helpful with others and giving more of yourself – and this podcast definitely reflected the things that I’ve been reading and taking in. So true, and thank you for sharing this with is Darren!

  • Ok, I didn’t do this initially when I heard the blog because I’ve asked this in the past and never implemented what I was told. I’m in my final year of pharmacy school and was drowning in survival mode. I’m now in a better spot and my dream is to be the face of integrative wellness and pharmacy. Of course I’ll have to create my own job. I can never take the easy route. Lol! I asked 3 of my loyal followers what they would like to learn wellness wise in 2016. I actually can’t wait to hear back. What do you want to learn?

  • Darren — I’ve never thought about doing this! This is a great idea. I shall be incorporating this for sure. I’ve a kid food and lifestyle blog called – this would be great to interact with my readers.

  • I have emailed that last 4 commenters and one got back to me straight away and has left another comment plus a useful link. Great idea. Never thought of taking it further by emailing them. thanks for sharing!

  • Carol M Green

    Great advice and easy to follow! Thanks for reminding of the importance of personal contact! I’ve been reaching out to Twitter followers, but I am afraid I’ve neglected my blog readers. However, Twitter is where I found you.

  • My blog has been live for about 2 years as a nice little side project, but I’ve recently got the ‘blogging-bug’ and can’t seem to get the idea of making it more than that out of my head! In fact, I discovered Problogger about 2 weeks ago and I’ve listened to at least 2-3 podcasts a day since then – I think I’m addicted 😉
    Ive now gone back to the beginning and I’m working through the 31 days to build a better blog. Thank you so much Darren for creating and sharing this content – I feel like I’m at Blogging School and loving every minute of it.
    Oh, and as I don’t have an email sign up yet (and therefore no subscribers) this is me participating in today’s challenge 🙂

  • Well look at that… Disqus DOES give moderators the email address of commenters. I didn’t know that! So that is super helpful, and now that I have that bit of info… yes! I have emailed one of my commenters. Let’s see if they respond.. My mailing list is managed with Mailchimp and I do from time to time email a random person from that. Though the list is still small enough to where most of the people I know personally… so it is not THAT random.

  • Agree fully so many blogs do not even answer their readers, i quess they are too busy!