October 6, 2011

12 ways to develop a loyal community for your blog

blog community
Image by Palto for Big Stock

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, businesses, Web publishers, bloggers, individuals


Live-blog sessions you attend, or ask others to do so and post to the blog.

4 Blog conference sessions. The surest way to attract a community is to be part of the community when events and conferences are happening. Live-blog sessions you attend, or ask others to do so and post to the blog. Use the session’s Twitter hashtag and tweet that you are live-blogging certain sessions. Those following the conference online will refer to your blog as a source of session content, expanding your organization’s usual reach.

5 Remember you ABCs: Always Be Commenting. Reply to (almost) every blog comment. Readers comment on your blog post because they want to be recognized, add to the conversation, and be considered. Replying to comments can lead to other interesting discussions within the blog posts’ comments, and deepening a reader’s engagement with your blog and its content. No need to reply to every person who writes, “great post!” Instead, comment after a few of these types of comments are up.

6 Ask for blog comments. Don’t be afraid to ask for comments. Send a DM on Twitter to people you know would be interested in a certain blog post. Ask Twitter and Facebook followers and fans to comment as you share the post. If there is a great discussion happening in the blog comments, tweet that out and ask for even more comments!

7 Friend and acknowledge your commenters. Once you begin to see regular readers commenting on the blog, seek them out and friend them in your social spaces. Follow them on Twitter, connect on Linkedin, comment on their blogs. Periodically send a public shout out to those who comment. You could even recognize them in a tweet such as this: “Great comment from @username on today’s blog. Thanks!”

8 Install an easy-to-use social commenting system. Disqus and Facebook comments are two very easy-to-use commenting systems that are inherently social. Once users are logged into Facebook or Disqus, the comments are publicly shown either on Facebook feeds or the Disqus network.

9 Include a “recent comments” widget on the sidebar of your blog. Highlighting recent comments sends the message that your blog already has a blog community. I’ve installed the Disqus “recent comments” widget within Community Organizer 2.0’s sidebar for that very reason.

10 Post the latest blog posts to your organization’s social spaces. A recent case study implied that autoposting to Facebook may decrease views, so be sure to post manually the latest from your blog to Facebook and Twitter. Consider also posting great blog comments to your Facebook Wall and other social spaces.

11 Show blog post retweets on the sidebar of your blog. Consider creating a Twitter feed that pulls in all the blog post retweets as a way to show that your blog already has a community of readers.

12 Give out some link love. Though linking out a lot is not always recommended as a good SEO practice, linking will get your blog noticed. Especially when your blog is relatively new or unknown, don’t be afraid to create links to other blogs your readers will recognize. When you link to others, the blog owner is usually notified of the link and will often take a look at your blog. This is a simple way to get your organization’s blog onto the radar of other industry blog owners.

January 16, 2010

9 ways to attract more comments on your blog

Creative Commons photo by AndYaDontStop on Flickr

This is day 12 of the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media.

John HaydonIf you’ve been using Twitter for a while, you’ve probably been commenting less on blogs. It’s just plain easier and quicker than commenting and creates more exposure for that post than commenting ever could.

But let’s face it. You love it when people comment on your blog – especially when you get hordes of thoughtful comments.

Comments rule because of the following:

  • Solid social proof – Think about the blog posts you read. Whenever you come across one that has a few dozen comments, you suddenly pay closer attention. You start looking for the value that lots of other people have found.
  • Snowballs roll downhill – Brian Clark, who publishes Copyblogger, has no problem attracting comments. He’ll publish a post, and within an hour, he’s got 100 comments. The more comments his posts get, the more likely a new reader will add their comment.
  • Shelf life – When your blog posts get retweeted, they gets massive exposure. But that exposure has a short shelf-life. The tweets get buried with a few days. Comments, on the other hand, stick around for years.

Getting more comments has a lot to do with the content and how inviting the post is to make comments. So how do you get more comments with social media?

1. Comment on other blogs

This is the most important thing you can do to get comments. Well, actually there is one thing that’s more important, but let’s save that for last. Commenting on blogs shows you’re “one of us” and that you’re sincere in your commitment to the blogging community. That in turn will have other bloggers promoting your blog, sending commenters your way. Beyond that, it’s just good blogging sense. Look at how Grant Griffiths responds to comments on his guest post.

2. Ask for comments

Tweet your post and ask for comments. Really – it’s ok to ask. There are a few plug-ins that will tweet your latest post as soon as it’s published.  If you’re using one of these plugins, set the prefix to ask for comments. Continue reading