No matter what you're writing about, nurturing a community around your blog involves sincere efforts to closely connect yourself with the readers. Direct connection with the readers helps you not only present your views and ideas much strongly, but also ensure that they listen and apply your advice wholeheartedly. There are several ways to make a strong bond with the community around your blog. It does take some time and effort, but the implications are always positive helping you build your brand and authority. Before even attempting to make a connection with your readers, you must prepare yourself to bring the necessary changes in your general online marketing and promotion strategies. So let's see how you can develop a close connection with your readers that will eventually give you an identity as well as will bring you more business from your blog.
Reveal YourselfThis is the first step towards making a connection with your readers. Unless they don't know who you are and how you look, they'll find it very difficult to listen and trust you. Readers like to connect with a real person whom they can identify and can converse with. Unless there is a strong reason to conceal your identity, create a good 'About' page and tell about yourself including your personal and professional achievements.
You must also include your photograph to let people know how you look. This helps in elevating your credibility and in removing any kind of suspicion in the minds of the readers. Create your author box with a thumbnail image and a shot bio. This instantly provides concentrated information about you without any need to click a specific web page.
Write StrategicallyWriting blog posts is trickier when it comes to creating connection with the audience. You must employ all the available methods to directly converse with your readers. This is done in several ways and you just need to learn the tricks of the trade. Here's how you can do it.
- Think like a reader - Start with putting yourself in readers' shoes. This way you can better assess what needs to be done to directly approach them. Visit your own blog as a reader and find out how and when you can personally connect or converse with your audience. Note down your findings and implement it in the upcoming posts.
- Use active voice - The strongest way to directly converse with your readers is to write in passive voice. This opens the door for directly addressing your audience. You can be more flexible and personal through this approach leading to direct conversation with the reader.
- Share your personal experiences - While presenting a case study, it will be much better to present your own experience rather than picking from somewhere else. This way you can instantly relate it with your readers creating a close connection with them. Remember, the more you start sharing your own findings, the more you have the liberty to relate it with the reader.
- Ask questions - While crafting your blog posts, you can also ask relevant questions to directly start engagement with your readers. This is one the best methods to start receiving comments on your blog. It opens the door for starting conversations with your readers creating a trust between you and the audience.
Reply Individual EmailsIf you're not getting very high volume of emails, you can definitely afford to reply emails from your readers that deserve attention. This works wonderfully well and helps in fostering the community around your blog. If you find a genuine query, complain or suggestion by a reader, you must address and reply it to trigger the conversation. Once you win that reader, he will not only be your loyal fan, but will also spread your blog across his network.
This methodology is used by large number of bloggers as it effectively helps in creating strong connection as well as trust among the readers. Keep the weekend for such kind of email activity and answer selective emails from the readers who've sent a genuine email that can initiate a constructive debate. You will be surprised by the positive results and will definitely continue it without any fail.
Engage Within Comments SectionThis is yet another powerful strategy to create a strong connection with your readers. All you need is identifying opportunities to capitalize on. If you're receiving decent volume of comments, keep an eye on new comments (critical or constructive) to kick start a conversation. It provides you as well as the reader an opportunity to know each other well. It also let both the ends express their views in a more casual manner which is not possible within the article or a blog post.
To benefit from this methodology, you must also enable comment subscription facility, so that the participating readers can get timely notifications to keep the conversation going. Do not hesitate to quote, highlight and elaborate your views while replying the comments. The more you give a personal touch to your comments, the more you connect with your audience. But, you must take care of trolls while extensively engaging through comments.
Reward Loyal FansGenerosity is one of the common traits of successful bloggers. Your regular readers deserve more than just a daily or weekly dose of quality content. Identify active community members and proactively reward them in different ways. Readers, who regularly comment, share your posts and refer or recommend your blog must be given their due. Here are some of the techniques to reward and create strong bond with your readers.
- Link or quote them - This is the biggest reward a loyal fan expects from a blogger. You can link back to their top content and can quote them while crafting your blog posts. This gives free exposure to them and also signifies that you care for them and acknowledge their contribution within your blog's community.
- Pamper on social media - If you have a large following on popular social media platforms, you can mention about your loyal readers to let your network know about them. This can be done either by sharing their content or simply by greeting them.
- Write a personalized mail - You can also appreciate their loyalty by individually replying them through email. Although this is not possible for large number of readers, but you can certainly connect with some of the top fans to give them a reason to come back to your blog again and again
- Invite for guest post - You can also ask your readers to submit guest posts giving them the platform to share their knowledge with you and with other readers. This is one of the best incentives for the readers that help you connect with them.
Start Monthly or Weekly NewsletterAlthough some may argue that newsletters are primarily suited to market your services and products, but you cannot undermine their value when it comes to initiating engagement with readers. Newsletters give you the liberty to converse with a personal touch through a dedicated section within the template.
You can ask questions, discuss a hot topic or ask readers' view about a trending development within your domain. You may insert links to quizzes and surveys within the newsletter to increase the engagement with your audience. You can also feature the most active reader of the week in your newsletter to create a strong bond with each one of them.