Why should you build a community around your blog? Other than the obvious reason of reader loyalty, what else do you get? The answer is simple – when you create a sense of belonging, you get easy feedback, greater responsiveness to your suggestions and lastly, good reception for your products. Are these reasons enough?
1. Generate More Comments
Try to get your readers to comment and interact with each other. Ask intriguing questions in your posts and then when readers answer, review comments and pose questions on specific answers. Keep it ongoing and soon you’ll have many comments.
2. Join Comment Interaction
Your post is static but the comments section is usually full of interaction. That’s the area where readers find intellectual opinions and emotional input. Respond to comments, join the interaction and refer to your readers by name. For a new reader, your post comment section should look like an informal chat forum.
3. Write Reader-Centric Posts
Write posts that focus on your readers, their thoughts, their input, their feedback, and their answers to your questions and so on. You can even choose a specific reader’s blog and do some free promo coverage on your blog. You’ll not only earn reader loyalty this way but also more traffic for your blog!
4. Create A ‘Members -Only’ Page
Create an exclusive, members only page for those readers who have signed up for your newsletter and other services. Ask your readers to write posts on different topics and publish them on this page with a brief intro and author bio. Who doesn’t love a bit of free publicity? Other readers will clamor to sign up so they can be part of your exclusive community.
5. Boost Interaction Through Polls And Contests
Every week, hold a poll, a contest, a quiz or some other interactive activity. Get your readers to participate and offer something cool as a prize. This will increase reader interaction on your site and your readers will feel a greater sense of belonging and connection.
6. Represent Your Blog As A Group
When you talk about your blog in forums and on social media, it should be ‘our blog’ and not ‘my blog’. Include your readers as part of your blog’s community, and always represent your blog as such. So whenever you announce an achievement, talk about how well ‘we’ performed.
7. Ask Your Readers To Help You With Some Tasks
As a blogger, you’ll have to do a great deal to maintain your blog. There’s comment moderation, creating topic titles, managing social media updates and so on. Check if some of your writers can help you with some of your tasks. Don’t make it a regular event, but let your readers know how much you value their inputs.
8. Ask Your Readers What They’d Like
When you’re creating your editorial calendar for the next month or quarter, ask your readers what kinds of posts they’d like. Ask them to come up with a list of topics too, if they can. Do the same thing when you launch a new product or service. Doing this will generate a greater sense of belonging in them.
9. Be Sure You Want A Community
Readers won’t accept you as community leader if they sense any ambivalence. You need to really like them, and like interacting with them. If you’re doing it for business alone, your lack of emotion will be noted. So throw yourself into it, and be ready to defend loyal readers from stray remarks if need be.
10. Show Your Readers You Respect Them
Find out which posts get the most comments and write more such posts. Customize your posts based on specific reader feedback. In your note, acknowledge the readers whose feedback you’ve incorporated. Be sure to thank everyone for their feedback on a previous post and ask them for their feedback on this one.
11. Find Solutions To Their Problems
Keep an ear to the ground and understand what bothers your community. Do they have specific issues in your niche that need to be resolved? Are they looking for niche or niche-product-specific information or redressal? Do some digging and help them find the answers they seek.
12. Like Their Facebook Pages
Get your readers to Like your Facebook page and make sure you Like theirs too. Being on each other’s wall is another way to get to know each other better, and also to expand each other’s network. Plus, it helps you get more ideas and input for your blog.
13. Keep Them Informed
It’s very unfair to build a community based on honest interaction, only to hold back major news from your readers. For example, if you plan to sell your blog or even pull out a familiar service, be sure to let your readers know.