Four Steps to Build a Community on Your Blog

Filed as Guides on July 15, 2013 2:33 pm

Build a community

Everyone wants to build a community on their blog, but many sadly fail. Maybe they’re attracting the wrong readers, and maybe they’re simply too focused on me, me, me. There are many different variables, but we first need to look at the difference between an audience, and a community. An audience is a group of people who may follow you, and (hopefully) enjoy what you have to say. A community is a group of people that not only follow you, but they have a larger interest, and are your most dedicated supporters.

When it comes to blogging, you want dedicated supporters, not just window shoppers. With anything, building something of value takes time. You cannot expect to build a community overnight, and you’ll be lucky to build one in mere months. However, the payoff is well worth it, and this community can follow you even if you completely change careers.

High Quality Or Go Home

Content is at the heart of every single blog, and the quality of said content will either make or break you. As the saying goes, “Go big or go home”. There is simply no time for mediocre, run-of-the-mill blog posts. Whether you like to keep an eye on your competition or focus on your own path, the reality is there are thousands of others just like you writing about the same thing. And you know what? Many of them are doing an extremely good job while others are doing the bare minimum.

Don’t do the minimum. Pour your blood, sweat, and tears into creating the absolute best content, causing people to say “Wow!” (Tweet This). If you put out great content, people will be far more likely to come back for more. If you put out somewhat okay content, there is simply no differentiating yourself from others.

Encourage Participation

This is often a major mistake that bloggers make. They go about creating content, but forget about getting people to interact with that content. To build a community, you need to encourage participation. There are various ways of doing this, and it generally starts with asking questions on the post itself, and on social media.

Stick to using open ended questions, questions which don’t just require a yes or no response. This creates a better dialogue, and allows for potentially many more conversations to follow. Using a commenting system like Livefyre will give more of a live chat feel, helping to increase the amount of engagement you receive on blog posts.

Show You Care

In order to truly build a community, you have to actually care. There is no formula for caring as it’s something you either do or don’t. Instead of always talking about me, me, me, engage with people in a more intimate way. For example, don’t just ask how someone is doing. Ask how their family is, what cool things are they working on, and so on. It helps to build a better dialogue, and you’ll develop a deeper connection with your community which leads us into the final step.

Be A Connector

As you build a community, you’ll notice many similarities among each other. Help this person to connect with that person, and create new friendships among this inner circle. While it’s great to create value through rock solid content, it’s even better to create value through your ability to help people make connections, further enhancing their own quality of life.

Photo credit: Jeff Kubina

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  1. By Amrik Virdi posted on July 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm
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    Great post! I use social media and interact with my audience to create a network.

    Cheers!

    Reply

  2. By Aditya Nath Jha posted on July 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm
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    Though this is a great post, but I have been struggling with an issue for a while. How does one make a socially fit website using a cms like wordpress, a website which has multiple social logins but interface of those logins is like mashable.com or any other high end site like that!
    If anyone knows how to do that, please enlighten me!

    Reply

  3. By Bhanupriya posted on July 17, 2013 at 2:34 am
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    Great post. Learn several new things from it. Surely I’ll follow all the four tips to make my blog a better one. Thanks for the share.

    Reply

  4. By Ajay Sharma posted on July 19, 2013 at 11:36 am
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    Started a new blog, but was not knowing how to build relation with visitor that are coming to my blog. Great post. Helped me to learn a lot. Will surely follow mentioned point.

    Reply

  5. By Brian Solari posted on July 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm
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    Great post, I definitely think that encouraging participation is a huge part of engaging your readers. And if they are engaged they will want to come back and be engaged again. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  6. By Shruti posted on September 18, 2013 at 1:30 am
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    The whole concept of blog sites being communities is an interesting one. The building of the community is one of those core tasks that many successful bloggers promote as being essential to the success of the blog. And that part certainly makes sense to me. But my question is, can a blog, no matter how wildly successful it becomes, ever measure up to the definition of community in the truest sense of the word? Sure, a great blog will generate a number of interactions/exchanges with its subscribers, and there may be some interactions between the subscribers themselves, via a few lines in a comments box, (such as this), or a few separate email exchanges even. And there are a few very rare occasions that subscribers might choose to meet face to face at a blogging conference or seminar. But overall, are these interactions (or whatever we want to call them), which are usually confined to the virtual world, really of the substance that would constitute a community? And if a successful blog suddenly shuts down tomorrow, for whatever reason, does that community continue to exist? Do members/subscribers continue to build connections of substance with each other, that really endure across the years, and can those interactions flourish separately and independently from the blog where they originated? Maybe I’m getting too bogged down with this word ‘community’….Thanks again!

    Reply

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