I’ve been chatting with a few of my readers for the past few days. They found my website through the search engines and have come to like my blog. In a lot of my posts, i put my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for people who want help with blogging or web mastering. When i receive emails requesting help, i usually reply with short answers or suggestions. This gesture doesn’t take a lot of time, and it can build up your reputation. Being helpful and honest is something that is rare in the “make money online” niche. Most MMO bloggers won’t give you the time of day. (Unless you pay them) I think a lot of noobs are afraid of getting ripped off. And in most cases, a lot of them do get ripped off.
Replying to emails and comments is a great way to build up the core of your readership. It’s absolutely necessary if you want to make affiliate commissions. People are more likely to click and buy, when they have someone they trust guiding them thru the process. When you answer a few questions, you create direct communication with your readers. If you just blog and not reply to comments or emails, it might be more difficult to attract loyal readers.
Even if it takes more time, try to answer your emails and comments. Don’t be a sales person either. Don’t try to sell them with your “consultation fees.” Just send them short helpful replies. By helping out my readers, i have been able to consistently make hosting commissions. Just the other day, one of my readers bought a hosting package. I replied to a few of his emails and he said he wanted to get started. He followed my link and purchased the hosting package. I was helpful, and honest. He didn’t have to pay me, but i got paid. I think this is one of the best transactions. If i charged him for my time, i could feel a bit guilty for taking advantage of a noob. And, he could be turned off by my blog. But, we both got something out of that transaction.