How I Plan to Grow My Blog Community
Millions of blogs are started and discontinued every week.
This post comes at a rather fitting time for Brand New Copy. It’s only been a few weeks since our first post and as yet, we don’t have much of a blog community. This post therefore, is a kind of mission statement for us. We’ve created online communities before but let’s see if we can take our own advice and grow this baby into something valuable.
Watch this space.
The community you build around your blog will determine its success in the long run. If you don’t have an engaged readership, you’re simply publishing to an audience that isn’t there. This article will look at what creates a blog community and how you can build one for your own blog in just a few easy steps.
Blog in My Own Voice
It can take time to find your voice online but with a little practice you’ll soon find what works best for your type of blog. Even the most professional blogs need to reach out to people in some way. Try to remain fairly conversational and add your own experience to whatever you’re writing about. What your readers really want is to hear from you. Give them something to connect with by using your own words in your own way. People will follow you and become a part of your community if you’re real to them.
Gain My Readers’ Trust
Get your readers to trust you by sharing some snippets of personal information with them. People want to connect with other people; that’s why the internet has so many social networks. If you don’t let your guard down a little, people won’t feel much of a connection to you or your content and they’ll be less likely to stay within your community. Add your own little quips and comments to your posts and claim authorship of your work – think of you blog as your brand.
Always Deliver Great Content
Every piece of content you post on your blog should make you proud. Don’t feel that you need to deliver new content just because it’s been a few days since your last post; hold off on publishing if you feel you don’t have anything valuable to say. If you take extra time in planning your posts and adding your own personal experience, the end result will be more engaging to your reader. Anyone can write a great tutorial but it’s what you add personally to the post that makes it valuable to your community.
Respond to Every Comment
A blog is different from a static website because it has the ability to engage your readers through several channels – one, being comments. Any time someone leaves a comment on your blog, do your best to respond to them. If people take the time to write to you, the least you can do is acknowledge them. The trick is to go above and beyond a standard ‘thank you’ by giving a more valued response. Great commenters are hard to find, which is why you should try your hardest to keep them around by always responding to them.
Connect With Other Bloggers
Sometimes publishing you own content will only get you so far, which is why you should take the time to contact other bloggers to network with. Networking with other bloggers opens up new opportunities to promote your content across the web, reach new communities through guest posting and generate business deals. Start by connecting with other bloggers in your niche and over time you’ll be able to connect with more influential characters from the blogging world.
Contact My Readers
Take time out of your day to contact a few of your community members on a personal level. If you can, email your favourite commenters and thank them for all of their support. Contact your members on other channels such as Skype, Twitter or Facebook. If possible, call them on the phone and have a conversation. Although contacting your readers can be time consuming, taking some time out of your day to do so can be a great way to build a strong relationship with your community.
Always Evolve With Time
As you change as a person or brand, so should your blog. Always approaching your blog in the same way can become tiresome so try to breathe new life into your website when you can. Write about your subjects in more depth, create new tutorials and don’t be afraid to challenge some of the old ideas you’ve had previously. People want to see progression on a blog.
A rarely discussed topic in articles about blogging is learning when to let go of your connection with readers. Much like a business, you’ll find that there are certain segments of your community that deliver greater value to your blog. Those that don’t provide great input or rarely interact may not be worth pursuing; don’t let your best community members lose out on interaction at the cost of others that don’t care. Over time, you can craft your message to appeal to those that contribute to your brand rather than those who are just along for the ride.
Any other advice on how I might be able to grow a faithful blog community? Please impart with your wisdom below: