Happy Readers

Does Your Content Make Your Readers Happy? Sex sells. At least, that’s what we’ve always been taught, right? That’s Marketing 101 stuff. But there’s something that sells better.

Happiness Sells

No matter what your business model is, what kind of content your marketing plan calls for, we can safely say that you want to make your readers happy, right? I mean, if they are not happy with your content, why would they stick around, let alone do anything you ask them to?

We’ve been taught that a successful content marketer/creator needs his or her [1000 true fans] (see here), a core group of true followers that will eat up everything you throw at them, and then turn around and evangelize to their friends, family, and workmates on your behalf.

Building such an awesome (and profitable) tribe starts with one person, one happy reader.

In fact, there are many reasons why we would want our readers to be happy. Keep on reading to see just three of them. Then we can consider how we know if we’re truly making our readers happy, and, you know, accumulating our 1000 true fans.

A Happy Reader Is…

So, we all know that making and keeping your readers happy (see here) is important. But, just to drive the point home in our minds, convincing us that this is as important as we’ve been told it is, let’s look at what a happy reader can do for you.

…a dedicated reader. It goes without saying that a happy reader will keep coming back for more. But a truly satisfied reader will do more than that. The happiest of happy readers will be a dedicated consumer of your content. He or she will keep coming back, not occasionally, but consistently.

 A dedicated readership is the first step towards your true tribe. And, it’s incredibly satisfying for you as a content creator to know that, as you write that next blog post or article, you have a core group waiting for to devour your words like ice cream on a scorching day.

 …a potential customer. Chances are, your business stretches beyond just putting out free content on a website. That is all part of a larger sales funnel that, if constructed correctly, will pull a steady stream of readers, transforming them into customers.

But an unhappy, dissatisfied reader is very unlikely to slide any deeper into that funnel. Only happy readers will be willing to open their wallets at any point in the future because you’ve built a sense of trust with them.

…a signal booster. Think of your content platform as a radio tower. Because you have a limited supply of power to put out your signal, and because we live in a world full of competing signals, bogging down the interwebs, your tower can only get your voice out so far, to so many people.

However, with each happy reader you produce, each dedicated consumer, each true fan, you have the ability to boost that signal just a little bit. Each dedicated member of your tribe will be willing to spread your message far and wide, telling others about what you preach. Think of your true fans as signal boosters, helping towers, extending your reach.

Your Reader-Happiness Test

So how do you know if your content is truly making anyone happy or not? How can you be sure you are reaching your true fans and making them evangelizers for your cause?

Here are three questions you should consider on a regular basis because these three things are signs of how happy your readers are with your message.

Does your content get return readers?
Remember what we said earlier? Happy readers keep coming back for more. They become dedicated consumers of your content. So, do you see returning faces? Or, do you only see new visitors that have found you from search engines and incoming links?

Any analytics tool, like the free one from Google (see here), can help you see if you are getting return readers. If your site doesn’t have that, then you’ll want to work on installing that and watching the stats roll in. You’ll learn tons about your readership!

Does your content get social shares?
For many bloggers, the number of social shares a blog post gets over time is the golden measure for knowing how successful the post is.

That’s because having your content shared means, first, you are gaining social proof, which is a like a golden credential in the content marketing world. Second, it means new readers can notice you for the first time, not because your SEO worked its magic and someone found you from Google, but because they were referred to you by a friend, who they probably trust more than Google. (Although, I personally trust Google a lot more than most friends. How about you?)

Does your content promote comments?
Officially, when you put out content, you’re asking someone to read that content, right? But, deep down inside, you really hope for and depend on more.

You content should be making your readers so happy they hesitate to click away and start consuming something else. They want to hang around, let it all soak in, and add a comment of their own.

That’s called post-content engagement (see here), and we all know it’s a very, very good thing.

True, angry readers may leave comments as well. But happy readers form a community around your content. They pipe in with their own ideas, add constructive criticism, or maybe just comment to thank you for your hard work.

And those thank-you comments… there is nothing better than getting them!