There are some local communities that are not served by mainstream media news due to their minimal size or far-reaching location.
Keeping up on news and events in these regions can be difficult and relying on the weekly paper may be the only way of getting “current” news. Some traditional media outlets also place restrictions on the type of content they can publish. With a bit of work, your local blog can remedy these minor injustices and help you gain a following within your community.
Writing great content, and lots of it, is always the most important part. The following steps will help you take your community blog to the next level and allow you to get the traffic you’re hoping for.
Get to know other local bloggers
Reach out to other local bloggers.
Start commenting on their posts in a friendly manner. Link to their content. Even try asking them for an interview on your blog. Don’t start out by asking them for favors – instead try to become friends with them first and get to know the type of things they are interested in. If they have a strong reader base then eventually you should ask them to promote a great post you’ve done. Just make sure that it is relevant to their readership too.
Some communities won’t have other local bloggers so that means it wont take you long to become the source for news in your community.
Reply to comments
This is basic blogger etiquette but something that a lot of bloggers neglect to do. You want to create a conversation with the readers of your blog and give them a reason to come back.
Even if you strongly disagree with someone on your blog you should still tell him or her why (as long as it is done in a respectful manner). A lot of people skip down to the comments section of a blog post – if they see ‘0 comments’ they’ll think no one reads your blog but if they see ‘32 comments’ they’ll think you’re an authority on local topics.
Focus on local
If you start getting too broad with your posts then people in the community will lose interest. If you want to be a great source for news and events listings in your town then focus on that.
The odd personal or off topic post is fine but stick to the core idea otherwise you may alienate your audience. You can also ask local town figures to contribute guest articles to the blog.
This will get more people interested in your writing and allow you to network with important people in your community to better serve your blog readers.
Social media networking in your community
Depending on where you are located, a number of your potential readers may be members of Facebook or Twitter.
Try searching by town and you should be able to find a number of people that would be interested in your content. You can then start following them on Twitter or add them as a friend on Facebook.
Don’t bombard them with messages but a single request should be fine. Keep working at it and promoting your social media platforms in your blog posts and you’ll build up a following in no time. Some people use Add This or other plugins in their posts so that people will add them on a more regular basis.
If your content is good, people will want it so don’t forget about that part of blogging.
Find free local advertising for your blog
People sometimes forget about traditional advertising but even posting a small ad on a local bulletin board could gain you a lot of new readers. It’s usually costs nothing so you can’t beat the price either.
You could also put up a small sign at a local restaurant – perhaps in exchange for a review of their food. Some people leave rants in Craigslist posts that link back to their own local blog in order to add controversy and interest to their posts.
Get people hooked on your writing however you can and keep blogging.
This is post was written by Gary Kohler from LifeCover.