Building Your Blog’s Community & Growing Its Readership

Now that we’ve talked about creating your blog, giving it a name, which platform to use and how often you should be updating your site, let’s get on to building you blog’s community.

Let me first say, getting readers to your blog is one thing but actually garnering a following or devoted blog readers is a whole other ball game. It’s a challenge for sure.

Social media has given us a premise to better do so. It is a free tool you should be using to interact with current and potential site visitors. Social media is a marketers dream and until you can hire your own marketing team, tag, you’re it!

Some of the top and most efficient social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Tumblr, Stumble Upon, Digg, and Reddit, just to name a few.

I believe you should sign up for these platforms and promote your blog content and see which ones give you the most traffic conversion. I say this because if you begin signing up for too many social media networking sites you’ll spend all your time socializing instead of networking. The most efficient networking sites will allow you to properly connect and interact with your readers. This is an important factor. It is very easy to lose track of time socializing and not networking. Know the difference.

Being social with like minded people encourages conversation, an exchange of ideas, laughter and fun. Nothing wrong with that. But networking with like minded people encourages your growth as a professional. Both a great ways to pass time if you choose. However, as I like to say, your network will eventually equal your net worth. Ask yourself, what are you gaining from this conversation. Information? A potential client? A referral? A loyal blog reader? What message are your trying to send?

Hootsuite is another great tool you can use to share your blog’s content with readers. You have the option of sending new and old article links to several social media sites at once. You set up a schedule for when you want your posts sent out and wallah.

Social media is almost limitless to what you can gain if used correctly. Use your time wisely.

Your potential reader should get to know you and you should get to know them. By doing so,  you’ll also increase your chances of those readers referring your site to their friends. Again, this increases your conversion numbers. Find the best 3-5 social media platforms for your blog’s growth. Once you’ve done so, try following and interacting with people of similar interests to yourself and your site’s content. You’re a blogger, connect with other bloggers. Connect with people who like to read blogs. Connect with social media marketers, SEO experts and so on. You will learn lots from these people.

Another important element is actually engaging in conversation with your readers. If they take time out to comment on your blog respond to them.This encourages conversation both on your site and on the social media platforms you’re utilizing to share your blog posts. These are the people who are likely to retweet your posts, like your blog, leave comments, and share your articles.

You should also share a bit of information about yourself. No need to get super personal but once you’ve begin to establish a following opening up to your readers encourages them to share a bit with you as well. A relationship is formed and you’ll find they’ll return to your site to get that bit of information in the way you give it.. In some ways you’ve established a blog family. They know you and you know them. Nurture that relationship.

Here’s a brief list of things I’ve put together that you can do to engage conversation and build your blog community.

  1. Tell your friends and family about your website.
  2. Follow and comment on other blogs sites as well
  3. Respond to reader comments
  4. Don’t be afraid to talk a bit about yourself and your own life.
  5. Include your site name and weblink in your e-mail signature.
  6. Have a set schedule for when you’ll post articles for reader alerts.
  7. Be consistent in your posting schedule, whether, daily, weekly, etc.
  8. Print your site name on t-shirts, stickers to give away to your friends
  9. Host giveaway contests on your site. The reward could also be those t-shirts/stickers etc you’ve made
  10. Write original content! If you’ve got nothing original to say, offer a different perspective on a popular topic.

What are some ways you engage readers and build your blog’s community?