If you have a blog, building a strong community is a must to encourage engagement and create a loyal following. In fact, without an active following, your blog may never get the attention that it rightfully deserves.
Fortunately, here are 6 tips on how to create a blogging community:
1. Allow your reader to leave comments
To help engage with your audience more, you should always enable comments and encourage people to leave them. However, if you want to potentially avoid spammers, you can use features that require comments to be approved by the admin before being published. Yet, you should not necessarily use such a feature to block negative comments about your work. In fact, letting people debate within the comments is a great way of getting the blogging community involved.
2. Ask questions in your posts for people to discuss
If you want to get people talking, you should end your posts with a question and encourage people to leave their thoughts in the comments. Such a practice is especially successful when you write a controversial piece that will get your readers worked up. However, just be aware that some controversial topics can cause you to lose followers as well, so you will need to choose your battles wisely.
3. Respond to the comments to encourage engagement
To help show people that you care about their opinions, responding to their comments is a must. If you see any complaints or inquiries, you should respond as quickly as you can to eliminate any negative feelings.
When responding to comments, you can optimize your own comments for search engines as well. However, you should optimize in such a way that your efforts do not seem too intrusive. After all, whatever you write should always be for the audience first and search engines second.
4. Hold contests to encourage people to be more active
If you feel that the engagement level is low, you can try holding contests to spark people’s interests. For example, if you run a blog about cars, you can ask people to submit stories about what their cars mean to them. By gathering the stories and publishing them (with permission), you will get the community involved and create new content as well. Yet, to make the contests particularly successful, you may also want to consider offering a freebie as a prize.
5. Share content
Unfortunately, many people create blogs and only focus on their own products and services or opinions. When bloggers only focus on themselves, they drive away people that are turned off by such selfishness. Fortunately, you can avoid such negativity by sharing relevant content from other people as well.
6. Use social media
If you want to share content with ease (no matter who has created it), you need to have a presence on different social media platforms. Social media is a great way of connecting with your readers and engaging with them in real time. If you are not already using social media networks, today is the day to get started. Luckily, you can make using social media a breeze if you use Internet providers like http://clearwirewimax4G.com.
With these 6 tips on how to create a blogging community, you can create a strong following that will help make you successful.
Edward Olson is an online community manager. He loves to help other companies create brand communities online by writing for small business blogs.