New Year’s weekend is a time to reminisce about the year that’s ending and celebrate the hope that the new year brings.
Many people spend New Year’s Eve with friends.
Therefore, the time seems fitting to review Dale Carnegie’s HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE.
Of course, this is a blogging tips site.
The tips in Carnegie’s book can be applied to bloggers and marketers.
Carnegie’s book teaches you how to persuade people.
Do bloggers want to persuade people to follow their blog? Of course.
Do marketers want to persuade consumers to buy their products and services? Absolutely.
Do most content marketers want to make money blogging? As far as I know.
These tips will explain how to do all these.
This post will explain how to apply Carnegie’s classic tips to blogging and marketing.
In many places, I paraphrase Carnegie’s tips to apply to bloggers and marketers.
Why did I choose Carnegie’s book?
Last year, I was asked to participate in an expert interview. The members of the panel and myself were asked to name the book that affected our website growth the most.
The most common answer by the influencers who responded was Dale Carnegie’s HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE.
Those respondents explained why they found the book so valuable: it helped them negotiate prices to potential customers. Then I realized, in addition to influencing people to buy our products and services, we are influencing them to follow our blogs.
Has the book helped me become more persuasive since I did the reading? Definitely! This post will explain how so you can be more persuasive also.
The Book’s Value for You
According to the preface, when the book first came out, it filled a human need. Bloggers have a need to influence people to follow their blogs.
In addition to the business to consumer (B2C) relationship we have with our readers, we try to get along with them in other ways as well. Often we are heckled by negative commenters, more commonly referred to as online trolls. For many reasons, Dale Carnegie’s book, HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE can help us as bloggers.
Recently, one such troll came to my blog. Preferring to see the good in people, I cut the heckler slack, and I was criticized for not being harsh enough.
Despite my writing an article on 47 ways to deal with negative blog comments, it is clear that I can benefit from a book on human relations such as this one.
As part of his research for his book, Carnegie interviewed the most successful people in the world and read the biographies of the most successful people who ever lived. He spent years conducting this research.
Rule 1: Do not criticize negative commenters.
When I wrote the post about how to deal with negative blog comments, people asked if the degree of negativity mattered. Are we talking about an attack on the blogger or a criticism? According to Carnegie, it doesn’t matter. Do NOT criticize the commenter. You will incur resentment.
But, what if the online troll was obviously in the wrong; shouldn’t the troll apologize?
Not according to Carnegie. He explains there is no way for you to win the argument.
In the comments section, don’t try to win an argument, not on your blog and not on other bloggers’ sites. You will make the commenter or admin blogger (if you are networking on other blogs) feel uncomfortable at best and embarrassed at worst.
According to Carnegie, you can’t win an argument because if you win, it will be at the cost of the other person’s pride.
You can not have both victory and another person’s goodwill, Carnegie continued. Ben Franklin said it first.
What You Should Do:
Show respect for other people’s opinions. Don’t tell people they are wrong.
Start by commenting: I may be wrong but…” This attitude is so disarming, Your critic may admit they are wrong too.
Carnegie goes as far as to say it may even help you beat the [online] competition.
When people are told they are wrong, they harden their hearts and go on believing the way they always did.
Do not write words like, “Undoubtedly.” Write “I believe” or “My understanding is…”.
If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically. It is easier than trying to defend yourself.
If you make a mistake, admit it. It takes away the air of defensiveness. Do not make excuses.
Admitting you are wrong will show courage and character.
Begin in a friendly way.
Compliment before you criticize.
People don’t want to change their minds but they might be led to. A drop of honey is worth a pound of vinegar.
“People don’t criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong they may be (20.)”
What You Should Do:
“Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism, and it breeds sympathy, tolerance, and kindness. ‘To know all is to forgive all (29).”
Carnegie recommends saying this to your critic: “I don’t blame you one iota for feeling as you do.”
3/4 of the people you meet will want sympathy. Give it to them and they will like you.
What if You MUST criticize?
Sometimes pointing out someone’s mistake is unavoidable.
I was in this quandary once. An enthusiastic blogger wanted to guest post for me. He explained he’d devised a system for lowering your Alexa score and wanted to reveal it to my readers.
Exciting! The only problem was he had lowered his Alexa score to one million! One million?! I heard under 200,000 is considered a strong score. I couldn’t let him guest post for me about this topic and I had to honestly explain to him why not.
According to Carnegie, start with genuine praise before you criticize. This lets the other person save face.
Carnegie’s tips worked. To this day, the blogger never guest posted but still remains a loyal and friendly reader.
Rule 2: The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want.
Carnegie discusses the craving to be important. I have a good friend who coaches me on how to be more persuasive. Look in my right sidebar. Do you see what he suggested I write about my book’s cover? Get started building your successful blog!
People want to be successful. They have a need to feel successful.
How does this impact you? Show appreciation to your commenters.
How You Should Respond to Commenters:
Restate the comment so the commenter feels understood. Then find merit in the comment and praise the commenter. I go as far as to praise the gravatar. I am sincere also. I am always sincere in my compliments, and you should be too.
This is exactly what Carnegie recommends: “Let’s try to figure out the other person’s good points. Then forget flattery. Give honest, sincere appreciation (39).”
Begin with praise and honest appreciation for the comment.
According to Carnegie’s tips, you should give each commenter a unique comment as well.
Rule 3: Arouse in other people an eager want.
Tell your readers how what you want will benefit them.
Examples of how I apply this principle to my blogging:
I encourage people, “Skyrocket your blog traffic.” Bloggers want more traffic. What do I want? I want them to subscribe to my blog, so I write this on my optin box.
I tell people, “Get started building your successful blog! Bloggers want to be successful. What do I want? I want them to buy my ebook.
I tell people they will get a free tools PDF. Bloggers want to save time and money which the tools PDF will provide for them. What do I want? I give out these downloadable optins so people subscribe to my blog.
I make money blogging by writing sponsored posts. However, when I offered to write reviews for people with new tools and websites relevant to my niche, I struggled to find people to sponsor my writing.
When my husband suggested I let them know they’d be exposed to more than 23,000 people, a combination of my social media followers and blog readers combined, I had a much easier time making money. I told them they’d get what they wanted– publicity– instead of telling them what I wanted– to write a sponsored review.
In a Nutshell: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
Carnie’s next section also deals with how to persuade people to do what you want.
PRINCIPAL 4: Encourage other people to talk about themselves.
Carnegie’s book is called How to Win Friends as well as How to Influence People. Equally, and even more importantly, you want to win friends– make connections and forge relationships with other bloggers.
The Mostly Blogging blogging community rocks! We have such an engaged group! People write me marveling at how interesting our comments are and questioning how they can generate that level of engagement on their blogs as well.
Principal 5 answers that question.
PRINCIPAL 5: Talk about what interests the other person.
Question your commenters. Get them talking on your blog. Have dialogue.
Be a good online listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. Be more interested in other people than you are yourself.
If you want people to subscribe to your blog, you will interest them if you appear interested in them. If they blog about their accomplishments, for example, ask follow-up questions.
PRINCIPAL 6: Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.
When you comment on other people’s blogs, this tip is crucial.
Make the other person feel important– a great way to network.
I explained the successful monetization pitches I make now.
Companies write and ask me for links to their website.
I ask if I can review their tool and share it with my readers and social media followers resulting in widespread exposure for them.
“Both of us are eternally interested in solving our problems. And if salespeople can show us how their services or merchandise will help us solve our problems, they won’t need to sell us. We’ll buy. And customers like to feel that they are buying— not being sold (48).”
Be sympathetic to the other person’s ideas and desires.
What everybody wants is a magic phrase: it creates goodwill and makes the other person listen attentively.
How to win friends and influence people is what we want to do as bloggers: we want to influence people to follow our blogs. We also want to be a good influence in their lives by empowering readers with our information.
How to influence your readers:
According to Carnegie, If you want to improve a person, act like they already have the quality you desire in them. They will live up to your expectation rather than let you down.
An example for you would be telling your readers your tips are easy to follow. When you treat people like they are capable, they act capable, according to Carnegie and other behavior theorists.
Certainly, if you are a content marketer. you need to influence consumers so they buy from you.
How to make people want to buy from you?
Unselfishly help them. “The rare individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage. He has little competition (49).”
Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view. Whether you’re trying to make a sale or win an argument with an online troll, this tip will take you far.
How to market your products and services:
Get the other person saying “yes” immediately.
Begin in a friendly way.
It is advisable to try to market your product your service as soon as someone says yes to signing onto your blog– they are in a zone of acceptance. Carnegie predicts that they continue in an accepting open attitude.
Carnegie recommends starting any sales pitch by asking questions that will generate a “yes” response. By the time you are ready to make your pitch, they’ll already be in the habit of saying yes to you.
Are you put off by what sounds like manipulation?
“Looking at the other person’s point of view and arousing in him an eager want for something is not to be construed as manipulating that person so that he will do something that is only for your benefit and his detriment. Each party should gain from the negotiation (50).”
How to Get People to Like You
Be genuinely interested in others.
“You can make more friends… by becoming interested in other people… by trying to get other people interested in you (53).”
“The New York Telephone Company made a detailed study of telephone conversations to find out which word is the most frequently used. You have guessed it: it is the personal pronoun “I.” “I.” “I.” It was used 3,900 times in 500 telephone conversations. “I.” “I.” “I.” “I.”
When you see a group photograph that you are in, whose picture do you look for first?
If we merely try to impress people and get people interested in us, we will never have many true, sincere friends. Friends, real friends, are not made that way.”
“Alfred Adler, the famous Viennese psychologist, wrote a book entitled WHAT LIFE SHOULD MEAN TO YOU. In that book, he writes, “It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life (56).”
“You have to be interested in people if you want to be a successful writer of stories (56).” Bloggers, as well as authors, tell stories.
“I never forgot that to be genuinely interested in other people is a most important quality for a salesperson to possess— for any person, for that matter (59).”
“If we want to make friends, let’s put ourselves out to do things for other people— things that require time, energy, unselfishness, and thoughtfulness (60).” So many successful bloggers retweet other bloggers’ tweets every opportunity they get. This is just an example of ways successful bloggers try to help each other.
Note: This blog offers opportunities for bloggers to help each other. We stumble each other’s links in our StumbleUpon group and we help promote each other’s blog posts in our Blogger Collaboration group.
Carnegie discusses the importance of remembering people’s birthdays (60). You are a busy blogger! Do you have the time to be bothered with this?
When I first met blogger Michael Rios, I asked him to explain his massive amount of blog followers.
He offered two explanations: He sends bloggers good wishes when they celebrate a birthday and condolences when they mourned a loss. Note: You might wonder how Michael knew about either of these events. Easy! People blogged about how they observed those events.
For a while, I was keeping track of my reader’s birthdays in my Google Calendar app. The Google Calendar app will allow you to keep track of bloggers’ birthdays.
“Showing a genuine interest in others not only wins friends for you but may develop in its customers a loyalty to your company (60-61).”
More Tips For Getting People to Like You
Learn people’s names.
This tip does apply. I read you should learn your readers’ names.
You may say you know your readers’ names but many bloggers use pseudonyms.
Carnegie acknowledges people are too busy to learn names. You are busy bloggers. I get that. Carnegie describes how important it will make people like your readers feel when you learn their names.
For those of you that might have trouble remembering names, Carnegie offers a tip. When communicating with people, use their name often. The reinforcement will help you remember.
Not every tip Carnegie offers relates to your world in the blogosphere. For example, one of Carnegie’s tips is to smile. However, many of his tips will help you succeed in both blogging and marketing success. I know; his tips have already helped me.
Although the point of this article was to help bloggers and marketers apply Carnegie’s principles to becoming more successful, you can, of course, apply these principles to any area of your life.
For example, Carnegie reports people scheduled to be fired applied these principles; then, instead of being fired, were given raises.
Carnegie’s book stressed the following principles:
PRINCIPLE 1: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
PRINCIPLE 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation.
PRINCIPLE 3: Arouse in the other person an eager want.”
PRINCIPAL 4: Encourage other people to talk about themselves
PRINCIPAL 5: Talk about what interests the other person– a great way to network
PRINCIPAL 6: Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.
Readers, please share so other bloggers and marketers learn Carnegie’s famous principles.
I look forward to your views in the comments section. What do think of Carnegie’s rules for how to win friends and influence people? Do you agree with him that the principles are effective?