Instead of building their own freelance writer websites, many writers keep blogs to build their reputations. Some writers blog to stay in contact with other writers and speak out about the industry. Some bloggers are drawn to blogging because of their passion for their topics. Still others do it for the sweet, sweet cash. All of these goals are helped considerably by building a community around your blog.
Popular blogs draw people regularly not only because of their posts but because they are a part of a vibrant community that has sprung up around them. These community members feel loyal to the blog, and they spread the word about it accordingly. Here’s how to foster a community that will push your blog to the next level of popularity.
Write Blog Posts That Matter
If you don’t care about what you’re writing about, it’ll show. That’s why most blogs go nowhere and fade into the night once the novelty has worn off. Don’t pick a topic just because the keywords are high paying. If you don’t have a passion for the topic, the blog won’t go the distance. You’ll find it exhausting to write about it day after day, and you’ll run out of topics quickly.
Getting comments is what builds a community. The comments provide a place for people to respond to each post, a place for the commenters to get to know each other and a way for the blogger and the readers to interact. If you want to encourage comments, you need to write something that people will comment on. In addition to dynamic topics that bring out the emotions in people, you can also ask your readers direct questions that encourage them to get involved in the conversation.
Respond to Comments
To keep comments coming, you need to be responsive to readers. This should be at least the occasional comment in response to the comments you get. However, it can also mean tailoring your next blog post to the comments you get from the last one. If one blog post is about how amazing Han Solo’s aim is, and the comments berate you for not talking about Boba Fett’s aim, the next post can be about how overrated Boba Fett is. Or how great. Either one.
One of the most important factors in building a community around your blog is how often you actually blog. For a community to develop, you can’t leave too much time between your blog posts. If you let weeks go between your posts, you will lose readers. The readers you don’t lose won’t feel a connection to the other commenters the way they would if they regularly saw those people and formed a virtual relationship with them. Blogging at least two to three times a week is often recommended for keeping a community in contact with both you and each other.
Lizz S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.