This is a guest article by Pamela Brown. You too can be part of this great knowledge sharing community. Take a look at our guest blogging guidelines.
Blogging today has become a two-way street; so much of blogging requires that bloggers not only publish well-written and interesting posts but also to respond intelligently to the comments that readers leave in the comment thread of that post. In this way, the discussion can continue, which makes blogging not a self-reflective act (though it can be), but instead a public act of communication that can be extended as long as the conversation demands it.
So, if you’re looking to take advantage of this two-way street and create even more traffic, then you’ll want to consider reaching out to your readers and connecting with them. Here are five ways that you can do this; please feel free to leave your own ideas in the comments!
Try To Discuss With Your Audience. Don’t be shy!
Feature A Great Comment Each Week
I’m a big fan of featuring comments that have been left on posts. By featuring comments, you can reward a reader for carefully responding to your blog. Link to the reader’s blog, feature the comment, and then maybe type up a short response to it and explain why you liked the comment. This weekly attention could encourage more comments on your blog, and it will also show that you enjoy reaching out to your readers.
Run Blog Giveaways To Reward Commenters
Another way to keep in touch with your readers is to give them plenty of opportunities to win prizes. Run contests on your blog. Set up giveaways. Do these kinds of things that will encourage readers to participate in the community of discourse around your blog, and then reward your best readers. If readers know that your blog is a great resource and is really friendly to commenters, then they’ll make an effort to visit every day, especially if they know you run contests for them.
Ask Your Commenters What They Would Like You To Blog About
If you’re ever struggling to come up with good content, you can always post a quick question to your readers to see if they have any suggestions as to what you could write about next. This is a great way to open up a discussion as to what is important to talk about in the blog community. You could also have a contact field on your blog that will allow readers to submit anonymous tips or post ideas. Commenters will feel like they have some voice in the direction of your blog, making it a collaborative effort.
Seek Out Guest Posts From Your Commenters
As your blog becomes well-known as a great place for commenters, you could begin to get a feel for the various regular commenters and their writing styles. Eventually, you might find some commenters whose writing you really enjoy. In these cases, it can’t hurt to ask them to contribute a guest post every now and then to add variety to your blog. And your readers will appreciate being recognized as a great resource as well.
Actively Visit/Comment On Your Readers’ Blogs
Finally, you should make a big effort to actively visit and comment on your readers’ blogs. Doing so will show that you respect the fact that they too put a lot of effort into blogging. Your presence on their blogs will be a great sign because they will see that you mean to meet them on their own turf and converse with them. They’ll see that you’re not simply just worried about traffic; you’ll be developing the blogging community.