Being a blogger, one thing you should always strive for is building an active community of readers and subscribers on your blog. When you have great interaction, this does two things that improve your SEO without having to work to do it. You have more interaction in the form of comments and also visitors stay longer and this improves the dreaded “bounce rate”.
Here are 5 great ways to build that active community and take your blog to the next level:
- Be Human (Be Real)
Your blog is like your own personal or business “hub” and an important part of your personal branding. You should always look to be “you” because your community is built around the value that you give.
Comments require a response, even if it’s just “thanks”. The way to build up interaction is to be sure that your readers are acknowledged for the comments and input they offer to the community you want to create. This also shows that conversation is welcome.
- Ask Questions
Encourage comments by asking questions. If the subject of your blog post offers opportunities to ask questions, then it’s a good idea to do it. Encouraging the reader to comment by asking questions helps to give the impression that you care about them. Take the response activity mentioned in 1 and you can have some really good interaction and value added content.
To further encourage return visits, include subscription form or newsletter sign up forms at the bottom of your posts. This will give you more opportunities to ask more questions and build rapport. What’s more, people who love your content will likely subscribe or at least share it with their friends and colleagues on social media.
- Write For Your Market
Writing for your market, which is something you should be doing anyway, is key. You can go to sites like Yahoo answers to find out questions people are asking and focus your post around those questions. Use the questions technique to encourage the interaction and find out how you can help your community.
- Give The Reader A Reason To Hang Around
It goes without saying that you want visitors to hang around. Creating content of high quality and offering great tips is a great way to keep them on your site looking for more. Also they will come back in the future if you give them things they can use. If they get results from your tips, they will want to come back and stay longer.
To keep visitors on your blog, make sure you link to related content. This is good for SEO too because the internal linking helps the search engines to “see” the relevance and map out your site better. Check out some of the top blogs and see how they do it for some ideas. Related content helps to keep the visitor engaged
- Create Community Focused Event On Your Blog
This is something I have not yet set up, but have seen in action. It’s another great way to build relationships and that feeling of a “community” and the reason why I am pursuing this to include in my strategy.
You can make up some challenges to encourage people to take part in and report back on their progress, which is another way to get return visitors to read your content. This in turn increases engagement.
Keep your events niche specific as much as possible so that it triggers interest within your community. You could even use the “ask questions” tactic as a small survey to find out the things your readers want to read about or learn.
I hope you find these tips to build an active community on your blog useful. I would love your feedback, so please leave a comment. If you think this is of use to other people you know, please share too.
To the future,