Feb 29, 2012 Community
Posted by Allison
As you build your blog, you’ll also start to build a community. Community, in the beginning, means that you have a group of cheerleaders, people who believe in what you’re doing and care about your message. Blog zombies tend to ignore their community, but if you cultivate it, you can actually use your fans to build you blog faster. So here are my top five tips for new bloggers regarding their community:
1. Get to know your fans.
When you’re a blogger like Chris Brogan, you can’t possible get to know every person who leaves a comment on your blog or retweets one of your links. There aren’t enough hours in the day. But when you’re just starting out, you’re only going to have a handful of dedicated readers. Get to know them. Say hello. Visit their blogs. You don’t have to become fans in return, but you can at least take the time to reply to them on Twitter.
2. Reply to comments.
I used to be of the mindset “only reply to comments if you have something to say.” I’ve amended that idea a bit. I still think that it only hurts your community if you leave useless comments like “Thanks for reading!” as responses, but I think you should work hard to try to have something to say in reply to everyone. It doesn’t always happen, of course, but replying to comments shows new readers (and potential community members) that you’re listening.
3. Highlight your community members in posts.
People love to feel special. When someone writes an especially good comment on your blog or a social network, use it as a jumping off point for a blog post of your own, linking back to the original inspiration of course. When you highlight community members, you’ll telling them that you’re happy they’re invested in the success of your site.
4. Ask for advice.
Your community will feel needed if you take a moment to ask for their advice or opinions. Shoot out a question on Twitter. Create a poll on Facebook. Ask for advice via blog comments. Give your community a way to get vocal.
5. Stay active.
When you’re building a new community, staying active by posting regularly, interacting every day via social media, and answering your emails promptly is important. Someone who has a huge fan base might be able to get away with posting only once every month or so, but for new bloggers, that typically doesn’t work well. You have to stay on the forefront of their minds so you become a fixture there, not something that’s easily forgotten.
Your turn – what are your best community tips for beginners? Or, if you’re a newbie yourself, what are your biggest community frustrations?
- How to Get More Shares on Every Post (blogworld.com)
- 6 Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Community Manager on Community Manager Appreciation Day (kommein.com)
- How To Avoid Community Manager Burn Out (outspokenmedia.com)
- 4 Critical Mistakes that Cost me 1000′s of Subscribers, Fans and Followers (kikolani.com)