20 Ways To Build Blog Community

Creative Commons License: Dr. Kelly Page

This blog, Soulati-‘TUDE!, has the most amazing community, evah. Not lying; it’s vibrant, insightful, buoyant, supportive, accustomed to a good blog-jack, and full of ‘raderie. I love this community, and it wasn’t built overnight.

I’ve been “accused?” of being an excellent community builder; I cannot lie, I had no idea what that meant when someone shared that with me the first time. So I started to pay attention, and here are my tips on how to make your blog community blossom:

20 Tips to Build Blog Community 

1. Engage with a commenter! So often when I hit a new blog and leave a comment, it’s crickets and I never go back.

2. Genuinely thank people for taking their time to come by and leave a thought. How many blogs are there now? A couple million? Good grief.

3. Be exceptionally welcoming (not drippy) to newcomers. You know who they are! It’s so cool when someone new stops in; thank them.

4. People’s time is so valuable; you have to respect those who stop in…until you get to know them, and then you can become more personable.

5. Mix up your topics. I did a test that Ralph Dopping was aware of…I wrote a post that was purely about public relations and he was the only one who commented. We deduced the post was not general enough and didn’t appeal to a wide audience.  A general topic promotes more engagement; people feel more comfortable participating because the topic isn’t over someone’s head.

6. Do what I just did…take more time to go to someone’s blog and grab their latest blog post and insert it as a hyperlink in your post. When you do that, I’m getting a pingback, and I know automatically I’m coming over to say thank you.

7. Don’t just put a Twitter ID in your blog post when you mention someone because they are totally unaware they’re being called out.

8. Send a note on Twitter to the folks you really want to read your post; ask them/invite them to your blog. Kaarina Dillabough is perfect at this practice when she guest post; she’ll send me a note and I try to get there as often as I can to support her. She also informs me when I’m tagged in an article.

9. In comments, ask another question like Shakirah Dawud does. She’ll comment on your comment and then pose a question back to bring you back. Smart commenting.

10. Join Triberr. Can’t say enough about Triberr. You may think you don’t need it, but every blogger needs Triberr. I’ve written about this too many times to go on a Triberr tirade here; just trust me on this one.

11. Your comportment says so much about the community you’re trying to build…are you personable, laughing, flirtatious, serious, professional, funny, witty, open-minded, welcoming, consistent, paying attention? (Yes, blog communities demand all of that and more.)

12. Do you comment and return that favor on others’ blogs? I believe that commenting IS quid pro quo…you comment at my house, so I better show up at yours. What do you know about that? I’ve done some experimenting and have deduced it’s true. Commenting on others’ blogs definitely leads to community building.

13. I have often wanted a roll-call menu so I can tick off my name to say I visited; sometimes I don’t want to leave a comment, but I want the blog owner to know I stopped in. So, when you stop in and don’t leave a comment, think of something anyway and do let the blogger know you’ve come over…it’s like a courtesy. Commenting is not ding-dong-ditch!

14. Make a point of remembering peoples’ writings and recall that in comments.  I cannot stress this enough. When you engage in comments and recall a post about someone recently wrote, then that visitor is impressed because you’ve made a point to make them feel special.

15. Ask for help, opinions, insight and expertise. No blogger knows it all; your community is a resource for you. When you ask for that knowledge, then you can build on it in a new post.

16. Reward your community with lists. Wait! Don’t yell at me…apparently, people hate lists that are link bait. I get that, but I don’t adhere to that practice. I do do lists and I do them infrequently; yet, when you see one here, it’s the real deal, written from the heart.

17. Help a newbie! When you see someone in your community struggling to get readers, commenters or topics, take them under your wing and try to help. Ask them to write a guest post for you, single them out in comments, use commenting systems that enable you to tag someone so they stop in…there are many ways to keep a community growing, and these are mine.

18. Add Comment-Luv or Lifefyre or another commenting system that allows commenters blog posts to be visible when leaving a comment. It’s a courtesy for visitors, and I love it because I can see what others are writing and jump there with one click.

19. Blog! You have to blog consistently to build community; no kidding. If you post once per week or less, or your blog has fallen off for more than a three-week hiatus, you’ll find your community disappearing or never growing. The consistency of posting is the secret sauce.

20. I’m done…no more tips! What’s your 20?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

38 comments
Faryna
Faryna

Lift others up. This is something we can all do. Noob or veteran.

geoffliving
geoffliving

I think the words you have here are great.I would generally say the karmic approach you espose is always good. How can you help others?  How can you make them stand out?

Hajra
Hajra

That's a brilliant list!

 

I still have to work on linking other people and "bribing" them to come by and take notice! ;)

 

What I really don't understand is that somehow I have "lost" contact with bloggers who I knew at the beginning of this journey. Maybe over time or whatever. But I feel I need to make the extra effort to get back. But yes, there have been people whom I have "known" for the whole two years I have been here!

 

And yes, I installed Livefyre! Let's see how it goes!

New England Multimedia
New England Multimedia

This one's going to be a repeat-share for a very long time, Jayme! What an excellent tutorial for all of us about how to build community. I learned a lot! #20? I can't think of anything at all to add to this list. 

 

I used to use CommentLuv, then dropped it. I don't remember why. But I always make time to comment on a blog that's using CommentLuv for their commenting system, so there's your social proof. Adam Toporek uses CommentLuv! 

lauraclick
lauraclick

Oh no - were you talking 'bout me with that 3-week hiatus?!? ;) Great tips, Jayme. Community building pays off if you're willing to take the time to do it right....just like you have. 

 

One I would add is to share their content. I think that was implied here, but sharing other people's posts on Twitter, Facebook, G+ or wherever your tribe hangs out is always a good idea. The bottom line? If you spread the love, it will pay you back tenfold. 

bdorman264
bdorman264

So, that's how this gig works, huh? You do a superb job of community building, thanks for sharing this information. I really like 17; I haven't tried that but it sounds like a really great thing to do. 

 

Typically for me, the more 'serious' my posts are the fewer the comments. 

 

I think you need to come up with the 'I was here' app for the posts; I guess the simple way is just to 'like' it. I know I have people in my community who read my posts but rarely comment; sometimes it surprises me to find out who is actually reading it. 

 

Write on. 

susansilver
susansilver

Too many wonderful ones here to mention my fave. I am always writing over people's heads! I think it is because I see so many general posts out there and I want to be more novel, but people fear new. I am still experimenting to find the right mix of original content mixed in with some familiarity. I really appreciate your comments on the latest series. It lets me know when I am too far outside of the comfort zone. 

 

I am printing this list out so I can remember the next time I write.

Mark_Harai
Mark_Harai

Yep, you pretty much covered all the bases here, Jayme : )

 

You're an excellent example to follow on how social should be done if you're looking to build something for long term value.

 

Cheers to you miss!

 

 

ShakirahDawud
ShakirahDawud

Ha--those expectations are too high for me right now, and that's just on that one point! I've plenty to say, just no time to say it at the moment, so I'm writing it down for later.

 

Oh, did you mention guest posts?

MarkCRobins
MarkCRobins

Rock solid tips here Jayme.. would be difficult for me to add to it.

 

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Your number13 is tied into why I sometimes leave short comments. I may not have time to write something of as much length as I might like or might not have a ton to add. However I still want to let the author know I visited so I will say "great post, or nice job."

KDillabough
KDillabough

Great tips @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing , and I appreciate the tip of the hat:) Building a community takes time and energy, but it's so worth it. I do find I've had to reduce the amount of time I spend commenting on others' blogs, and if I don't have something to say of value, I probably won't comment. But if I've enjoyed the post, I'll definitely share. So sometimes I lurk and share, and sometimes I comment and share...depends on the topic, and whether or not I can add to the mix. In terms of this post...you've covered the topic beautifully. I got nuthin' to add of value, but looky here...I commented anyway:) Cheers! Kaarina

rdopping
rdopping

Hey Jayme,

 

Thanks so much for the link love. Appreciated. It is mid-afternoon here in the south of France and my wife is having a well deserved nap. I am grabbing a few minutes of engagement time and I see you have been busy here. Your 20 tips are bang on and I can't say I have a different take. You covered them well.

 

What is most important to me is to make it to other places and engage there. It takes a lot of time to build any community and part of that is being present. That being said, being away on vacation is a godsend for the soul but not great form community building so my strategy is to visit others while I am away (it's just like I am taking a vacation from my blog) and not worry so much about posting a ton.

 

I will be posting once this week and once next so hopefully a few folks will want to pop by to see what we have been up to. Unfortunately it is tough to stay on topic when you are gallivanting about in France.

 

Bonjour, as they say here, à bientôt!

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

@Hajra Excellent, Hajra! Now you can add your Livefyre profile and your latest blog post will also appear in comments. Then, if I do not see you in Triberr, then I can stop by awhen you leave a comment here.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

@timbo1973 Hah, like I said this is not ding dong ditch! And there is a quid pro quo about all this, too. I like your strategy about RTs. I realized recently Klout does not recognize tweets from Triberr...but who's worried about Klout these days?

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

@New England Multimedia a recent comment by someone new here (who also is a WP trainer) said Comment Luv Pro is the bomb. Try it and report back ? And thanks, Lady!

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @lauraclick Hmm, was that you? Guilty? LOL. You're so right...need to always share others' content; great point.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @bdorman264 I wish I was a developer too, or at least had one iota of what they do. I never even took 2 classes of computer science in college before i was done. 

Should we start Bloggers Unite? Where issues to blog on pop up and the future of blogging becomes a vision that comes to life? 

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @susansilver You know what; stop analyzing how you think you're supposed to write and just do it with confidence. I'm so eager to read your work on the SEO stuff; your knowledge is amazing in this arena and I don't read anyone right now with the expertise about what you're writing about! Please do more and stay the course!

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @Mark_Harai Hey, Friend...thanks...listening to my podcast with Jon Buscall over at Jontus Media in Sweden...I told him to get you on the show about our topic, too!! 

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @thejoshuawilner Ahh, then it's not just me...good to know. There are times I have nothing to contribute to the post, but HAVE to let bloggers know they're being supported. That's a good approach; watch for it in your house!! Heh.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @rdopping Hah. You're so good to get here even before me this morning! Haven't even tweeted this thing out and look at you! 

 

I like your strategy and have seen  you all over the place; was impressed and wondered if you were having a vacation at all? 

 

So, cool to be in the South of France...how's the weather? Cold, damp, right? I've been to Paris in October and that ocean air just makes things wet and cold.  Thanks for your thoughts on the other blog, too; gonna try to see if those gents will come back and and answer  your questions.

 

You may get an email or call from Rebacca Caroe who was running the  Feedblitz contest...I think I said you were on the fence.

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  @New England Multimedia   I have been a ComLuv proponent since I started, and I've had CL Premium since pre-launch. I think you have to decide if you want a commenting system or native first -- there are pros and cons to each.

 

I think if you stay with native WP comments, CL is the way to go. Andy @commentluv is very responsive to his customers, even before there was a premium version.

 

Native systems don't foster as much back and forth, because they are less "chat like".

 @dannybrown an incredibly thorough piece on Livefyre the other day. http://dannybrown.me/2012/09/19/blog-comments-livefyre-is-here-to-stay/ He made some really strong points, and if I ever went off native WP, I would go LF.

bdorman264
bdorman264

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing That's probably already out there somewhere.

 

My one and only computer class was doing binary code to put into computers big as a room. This was pre home computers..........and telephones...........:). 

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @bdorman264 Actually, is there a bloggers organization?? I don't think so...I have never seen one. Closest thing is Triberr and that's not really.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] One of the reasons why I have agonized a bit over switching back to Livefyre. I think Danny makes a great case for doing so and I can’t say I won’t do it again sometime. I pay attention to what goes on and I enjoy reading posts about how to build community. [...]