From day one we are told to build a list because the money is in the list. So as small business bloggers we quickly create some sort of free giveaway in return for our visitors e-mail.
Then we think we’ve got them.
We think we have the right to bombard our list with recommendations to buy products whether via an affiliate link or our own.
We think, “We’ve given them something for free they should now buy from us”.
But it doesn’t work like that.
Giving something away for free is no longer unique or different… it’s the norm.
There’s a lot more to it than just giving away something for free. You have to build rapport and a relationship with your list…you have to provide extra free advice that they can take action on… you have to respond to their e-mails…you have to “wow” them.
Then just maybe a small percentage may purchase one of your recommendations.
The law of reciprocation
This is a powerful rule, law whatever you want to call it. The rule says we should do our best to repay what another person has provided us.
If that’s true then the thousands of people who have downloaded my free blogging guide should repay me in some way!
But the reciprocation rule above is outdated. It’s missing one fundamental point.
I think a better statement would be:
We should do our best to repay what another person has provided us…as long as what they provide is unforeseen / out of the blue / unexpected.
Let me share with you a recent experience I encountered.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about improving your blog speed. The post talked about using a CDN to improve your blog speed.
I received an e-mail from one of my regular commentors asking for some help. He had tried to implement the same CDN process on his blog and it wasn’t working. He asked whether I would take a look.
I didn’t mind so I took a look.
It took me 15 min or so to make the CDN work and his blog loading speed improved considerably.
The blog owner was extremely thankful.
I was pleased. I helped a fellow blogger/friend.
I carried on with the rest of my working day.
The next day I got an e-mail from the blog owner asking for my advice on keyword analysis tools.
I pointed him towards Market Samurai which is the tool I use for keyword analysis. I pointed out that Market Samurai has a huge amount of functionality and the keyword analysis part is free.
Then I shared my Market Samurai review blog post.
I few minutes later I received an e-mail from Market Samurai saying that I had made an affiliate sale and earned some commission.
My fellow blogger had purchased Market Samurai via my affiliate link.
Did he feel obliged to? I don’t think so.
I think it was just down to the timing but as I had helped him he most probably thought: “Andrew helped me. I’m looking for a keyword analysis tool and I could buy via Andrews affiliate link.”
So the trait that makes you more money is…reciprocation.
By providing something that is unforeseen / out of the blue / unexpected… The receiver may just feel obliged to return the favour in some way.
What’s your experience of reciprocation?
Please share your views in the comments below.
P.S. The image is a ‘back scratcher’