When I first started writing my blog I was always wondering about how to grow my community. This from a girl who works in advertising. My entire days were spent figuring out how to get people to do the things I want them to do. Yet when it came to my own blog I was really scared to put it all out there.
I was a newbie to the entire world of health and fitness. I read bloggers with CRAZY fast run times and kickin’ bodies and was wondering where I fit in to the puzzle. I was a slightly overweight newish mother of two looking for ways to be accountable. Would this community accept me? People are strange when you’re a stranger. But once I started interacting with people, it really became an open and fantastic community of people that I am now proud to be part of. I’ve amassed a ton of knowledge over the past few years and thought I would share with you some of the ways I see helpful in growing your blog community.
Ways to Grow and Build Your Community:
1. Engage: I’ve been seeing more and more of the ask___fill in name___? Type posts and I love them. For many of us our readers have some serious questions for us that they might not ask as comment or as a direct comment on facebook. But in a forum of others asking questions it is a fun way to let the readers ask their burning questions. I love finding out that blogger Sara is actually 5’6” and people are shocked to meet her in real life since she looks really tall on her blog. These small facts and insights add a personal connect to readers that help you grow your community. You are no longer a blog they read but a person they know.
- On Twitter: Be sure you are following people. If I see you have 13,000 followers and you are only following 21 chances are good you aren’t engaging, you’re broadcasting.
- On Facebook: Share tips and information from others with similar topics to yours.
- On your Blog: Respond to your comments. Nothing is worse than asking a question that will never be answered.
- On Pinterest: Use it, especially if you are a food blogger, pin from others pages too
2. Give Great Information: If you are a blog writing about amazing local restaurants be sure that when we arrive on your blog that’s what you are serving. Nothing is more frustrating to me as a reader, when I’m told a blog is about killer apps and when I arrive the last 18 posts are about baby news. It’s a buzzkill and a sure-fire way to ensure I won’t return. When I arrive on your blog make it easy for me to get to know you. Give me a picture and a brief blurb. Make your about me page inviting and exciting. This is one of the BEST about me pages I’ve ever seen from Blunder Constrution.
3. Be a Leader: Please stop doing what everyone else is doing, develop your own style and writing. Developing a strong community means taking chances and being different. I really like Star Wars I drop it in as often as I feel I can without being a full-out nerd, and as often as is possible on a healthy-living blog. 😉 The little and big differences are what make us memorable.
4. Forget the Numbers: As bloggers it is soooo easy to get into the numbers trap. Yes we all want the biggest, largest and most amazing blog. But developing readership and relationships is a much better way to develop community than to think of people as numbers. This is one of the hardest for me. I love numbers and analyzing them, but I like writing and sharing my story more. When I start analyzing what I’m writing it turns into a chore.
5. Work Well with Others: Some of the most amazing people I’ve “met”, I’ve never in reality “met”. As a blogger connecting with other bloggers and readers is crucial. Some of my best friends in social media I’ve sadly never met in real life. Many of my strongest connections are bloggers who began their blogs about the same time as me. In a strange way we’ve all learned about blogging together. We’ve helped each other move from newbie to self hosted to blog growth. And as we’ve grown we have become very close. When I first started blogging, I was scared of asking anyone for help. OMG I can’t ask then they will no I have no idea what I’m doing! Trust me most of us still have no idea what we are doing! You will still find me from time to time watching youtube video about how to link an image from an outsourced site, it happens! Most bloggers have learned that working well with others puts good vibes into the universe and will someday come back to you 50 fold. So the if you are just starting out and have questions ASK another blogger. We all get busy but most of the time we are more than willing to help out! Also most bloggers are big blog readers as well. I love checking out new blogs. There is so much great content out there, get out of your shell and find some new reading material.
Question of the day: What are some of your favorite blogs?