One of the top reasons blogs are successful online over top news and informational sites is the growing, active community that breeds around the words that go live when you hit the publish button.
That personal connection between blogger/reader and reader/reader is what keeps your subscribers coming back for more time and time again (in addition to your kick ass content). This uniqueness of community within blogging is the driving force that continues to create traffic and profits in the blogging industry. However, while there is a ton of information out there on building community in your blogging, there are several things that you need to keep in mind when you are trying to build community in your own corner of the web.
Not All Communities Communicate In The Same Way
While the blogging niche is known of commenting on blog articles, the rest of the online world is not necessarily going to communicate in the same way. I see a lot of bloggers in sports, technology or other niches that try to force the blog commenting down the throats of their readers to find only one or two comments on an article that is getting thousands of pageviews. The reality…their readers want to communicate and form a community around a different online asset.
When you are looking to form an active community around your blog, you need to take a serious look at how members of your niche are communicating online in other areas. Here are a couple of examples to look for…
- Online Forums and Bulletin Boards
- Special Interest Sites – Flickr.com, etc.
When you figure out how your audience wants to communicate online, you have to either bring your brand and your blog to them (Facebook Fan pages, Twitter lists, etc.), or create your own asset on your blog (example: add a forum to your site).
Building Communities Takes Serious Time And Effort
To bringing the community atmosphere to your blog takes a lot of time and effort. Luckily, this investment pays off in a big way as you create dedicated and loyal readers in the process that will promote your blog and increase your bottom line. If you are serious about building up this asset in your blogging, you have to be ready for the long haul as it is not an overnight process.
Commenting On Articles – If your readers like to comment on articles, be prepared to answer as many comments as you can to foster that connection between blogger/reader. Also, tailor your content by asking questions and having a defined opinion to breed more comments on articles and between readers. If you have a handful of regular subscribers that provide feedback, reach out to them and ask for some help with getting comments started on articles. The first comment is sometimes the hardest to get…
Jump Starting Forums – Online forums are one of the hardest resources online to get started. However, they can be a HUGE resource in your blogging for repeat visits, pageviews and traffic to your blog articles. You are going to need the help of contests, active moderators to start topics and constant replying to topics within your forum to create the stickiness that successful forums require.
Creating Online Profiles and Driving Traffic To Them – If your readers prefer communicating on social media sites like Twitter for Facebook, you have to build up credible online profiles in each of these online resources. This means you have to have professional looking avatars and background, onsite promotion tools to drive traffic to the profiles and constant/consistent updates to keep fresh content following. One of the easiest ways to create community around your social profiles is to ask questions related to your niche (also great for spurring blog content ideas), but you have to put in the effort to attract followers so you actually have people that will answer!
Strong Communities = Success Online
The most successful blogs online have some version of a community asset on their blog. In most cases, successful bloggers combine multiple community assets to further increase their spread online and attract different kinds of internet users in the process.
If you are serious about making a serious run at online success, your involvement with communication and interaction is key to fostering a community atmosphere around your online real-estate.