If I feel welcomed when I visit a blog, it’s almost certain that I’m going to return. If I feel as if I’m in the midst of a real person, then I find myself wanting to hang around and getting to know the blogger and the community. A blog’s community is connected by a body of united bloggers who visit each other’s blog – it’s beyond any one blog.
Within this community, the benefits are reciprocal. One blogger is not showered with all of the attention, but instead the owner of each blog contributes to the devlopment of that community and humbly shares the spotlight and benefits.
One day I received the best comment I’ve ever read in response to a blog post on my blog. That comment came from Robyn from Sam’s Web Guide. It was this comment that warmed my heart tremendously: “I can feel the love here at weblogbetter.com. Truly amazing. This is something that I hardly ever see anywhere else especially with so many bloggers just focusing on money. Keep it up guys! :D”
This comment was so wonderful because it let me know that my efforts to make my readers feel welcomed and loved was somehow getting through. It brought joy to my heart because it was evidence that what I have is more than just a blog, it is a community of bloggers. Each day, I do my best to follow these tips to further develop a growing community that includes my blog, but doesn’t end there. And yes, if I can do it, you can, too.
- Post an honest, friendly and engaging About Me page (with a real picture of yourself – smiling, of course) I’ve subscribed to blogs on topics I ordinarily wouldn’t have, all because when I read the “About Me” page, it presented a real person, in transparent and honest language. No suspicious-looking photos of a logo or someone who’s obviously a model, just a kind, friendly looking real photo. Then a brief bio. My favorite are those that admit to having made mistakes and to having affiliate links and other monetization on the blog.
- Respond to as many comments as possible. Of course every comment won’t need a response, for example, multiple comments left by the same reader won’t all necessarily need a reply. But if it’s a new reader, even if the comment doesn’t need a reply, I still like to take a moment to greet them, say hello, or thank them for stopping by. This let’s your readers know that you are present and you are listening. If they know they’ll be heard they are more likely comment,join the conversation and then return.
- Click on and visit your reader’s last blog post link. If you don’t have the Comluv plug-in enabled, you should still take a moment to visit their blog’s homepage and check out what they’re talking about. If you find something interesting there, take a moment to comment to let them know that you were there. If you really want to call your blog a community, then that means there is life beyond your blog, get out and check out your readers’ blogs.
- Retweet your reader’s blog posts. If after checking out their blog, if you enjoyed one of their posts, be sure to retweet @their-username. It will let them know that you’re not just soaking up all of the benefits from them visiting your blog – you’re showing them that there are also benefits reserved for them, just for being a part of your blog’s community.
- Discuss your reader’s blog posts on your blog. If you find something that’s truly noteworthy in one of their posts, blog about it, and include a link back to their site regardless of their ranking. A low rank today can quickly escalate to a high rank in the future. It could benefit you both in the long run. But if nothing else, you’ll always have this loyal reader.
- End each post with a question to encourage comments. I don’t know it all, and I don’t pretend to – I ask questions that I want answers to – my readers may have insights on something I’ve missed.
- Leave a post undone and ask readers to offer their suggestions. This is similar to the last tip, except instead of a direct question, you’re stating that you’re looking for more information that they might be able to supply. Either way, will compel visitors to respond with a thoughtful comment. With that said, do you have any tips for nurturing a blog’s community?
In addition to the above tips, what do you do to make your readers feel special and loved?