sly : marketing

How to Engage Your Blog Community

Note from Jens** This is a guest post by John Edget, and it’s part of how to start a successful blog. I’m looking forward to seeing you in the comments. Let’s discuss.

Blogging can be a lively experience and it can also be rather boring. Many factors determine the experience of a blogger, and how his or her blogging career will look like. One of these factors is the community of the blog. If the community is dwindling, blogging will seem boring and unwelcoming to the blogger, but, on the other hand, if the community is hot and seasoned with informed and intelligent debates from readers, the author of that particular blog will feel proud and will be encouraged to produce more valuable posts on a regular basis.

If your blog community is not encouraging you to bring out more value for your blog, how will you tackle it and what are you ready to do in order to make things look alright? Below are some ways to bring life back to the community of your blog.

Provide valuable content for readers

You must be ready to provide valuable content for your blog readers. No one will post a comment on a blog that has no valuable content.

If your blog is short of valuable contents, start putting them on it today so that readers will come and visit your blog. Content is king – the quality of content your readers meet on your blog can really determine how they’ll like your blog and share their comment on it. If you don’t proof-read your articles before you publish them on your blog, your readers will be afraid of sharing comments on your blog.

Write Controversial topics

This is one of the techniques I use on my weight watchers and the bistro md coupon blog, whenever I want readers to start a debate on my blog post. Sometimes controversial topics grow more popular than generic topics and they prompt the readers of your blog to post their comments below your blog post.

However, writing controversial topics requires extra intelligence and needs you as the author of the blog post, to be well informed about the topic you are starting a debate on. Don’t just write about topics you don’t have a full understanding of just because you want to stir up controversy. That will only make your blog readers or “haters” ridicule you.

Ask Questions at the end of every blog post

Most times it’s questions that you ask at the end of a blog post that will prompt the readers of your blog to start a debate around your blog post. But, be sure not to ask questions that are too generic and therefore irritating to your readers.

You should ask questions that help your audience get involved in your blogging: questions like “what do you think?” “What other points can you suggest?” Try to put your blog readers or audience in the game and their responses on your community section will encourage you.

Let readers come up with suggestions

Some bloggers are used to doing everything themselves, hence they easily forget about their readers when they create contents for their blog. It’s not until you start asking questions in your blog posts that you will show that you have your readers in mind. It will also appear in your style of writing, the way you compose your article that you are writing to keep your blog moving and that you are building the relationship between you and your audience.

Let the readers of your blog, through the way you put forward you points, feel they can contribute to your blog by coming up with their own suggestions.

Hey there, what other suggestions do you think can help improve the community of a blog?

John Edget is a writer for discount coupon blog and shares blogging tips and ideas. He often researches about getting discount deals and promotional codes for weight watchers and bistro md. He has free weight watchers online coupon code and bistro md coupon code to share on his coupon blog.



55 responses to “How to Engage Your Blog Community”

  1. Raj says:

    I guess the ‘Write controversial topics’ is one thing that I have missed doing. I guess we need to be a master of certain topics to do so. More so, when the topic can be steered in any direction. But the thrill of having a debate is the best thing about Blogging experience.

    • Jens says:

      Hi Raj,

      I have not written on controversial topics either, but I have considered it. The reason I haven’t is that I don’t really want any “enemies”, and I want to be in control. And with a controversial topic, I have the feeling that we never know what will happen 🙂

      But, who knows, maybe I’ll try it sometime soon?

      – Jens

  2. Johnedget says:

    Hi Raj,

    I agree with your last point – I always look forward to days when my blog posts will strike a debate among readers, me inclusive. 🙂 But, do you know you can also learn from it? Which means you don’t have to be a master in one topic, but it’s always the best to only write controversial topics you are best at because you don’t know the direction it’s heading to, as you’ve said. Thanks for the comment.

    John

    • Jens says:

      Hi John,

      Thank you so much for this guest post.

      This is a topic that I’m always interested to read more about. I have a lot to learn, and especially when it comes to write on controversial topics and write things just to get a debate.

      Jens

  3. Jimmy says:

    I use to just write blog posts based on providing facts to my readers. After a while, I realize that my traffic was drying up.

    When I started out on this new site, I also made the same mistake. Thankfully Adrienne Smith pointed me in the right directions by asking questions at the end. Now I realize that blogging is not just about content but rather how you offer content as a spring board for discussion and exchange.

    One strategy I am particularly fond of is to write about famous people in my niche and get my readers to comment on them or introduce their favorite as well.

    • Jens says:

      Hi Jimmy,

      I understand what you’ve been doing, because I’ve been doing it for a very long time too. The thing is, most people who are reading blogs, are just reading. In order to get people to start leaving comments, and replying to the comments, we need to do something. Asking questions is the easiest way. We’re direct and we’re letting our readers know what we want to discuss, and that we promise to reply. I believe if we write that we promise to reply to all the comments, it will be even better. Usually, I don’t leave comments on blogs unless I get a reply. I would love to be part of a conversation, no matter what topic it is, but I don’t want to just leave a comment and never get a reply from the author. That would suck 🙂

      Your strategy writing about famous people sounds interesting, do you have an example?

      Jens

  4. Eddie Gear says:

    Jens, these are tips that I would consider for bloggers who have been blogging for a while. The reason I say this is because, we tend to be very hard on newbie bloggers who dont know what a blog is and what they can do with it. Excellent tips to help build a good blog.

    • Jens says:

      Hi Eddie,

      I’m not sure if I understand why this is only for bloggers who have been blogging for a while. I remember when I started out and didn’t have any comments for my first ten posts or so. It really sucked, and I had no idea how to get comments. I thought I had written high quality content, but nobody was commenting. I got traffic from Google, but it didn’t matter. So, I kept thinking about what to do. The first comments I got was when I started commenting on other blogs. I believe that new bloggers should think about how they write and what they write about as well in order to get comments… it’s a little like link bait, but comment bait 🙂

      What did you do to get more comments? Did you do anything in particular?

      Jens

  5. Ameena Falchetto says:

    I love the tips in this post.

    I am a huge fan of writing controversial topics. I started doing it with my Mummy site.

    I have an opinion in real life so why not online? I think I’ve taken it to the next level on my Marketing site. Why? Because nicey nicey posts are boring and I LOVE to push people’s buttons!

    Asking questions is important – I WANT to know what people think. I can take the haters – actually I always secretly hope I’ve really p*ssed someone off so I get free material for my next controversial post 🙂

    Valuable content is a very subjective notion. I know that I had someone yesterday tell my recent post was “mediocre” – I can live with that. My analytics said something else. It was my highest traffic day to date. At the end of the day if you think it’s going to help someone you are probably right. DO IT! Not everyone will love it but you may surprise yourself.

    Community is important. I love to share and give back … I also like to poke fun at some people and get into trouble but it all works out in the end. 🙂

    • Jens says:

      Hi Ameena,

      I’ve learned so much about you lately, but I had no idea that you loved writing about controversial topics. That’s awesome. I have thought a lot about it, but I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with it. I would love to try it, and I might actually do it fairly soon. But, I feel like I’m losing control and that I have no idea what will happen, and will my readers start being more hostile towards me and will I get some comments about my “mediocre” writing? I read the comment on your blog, and I couldn’t dissagree more. The post was awesome. But that’s what’s so great about people, we have different opinions.

      Can’t wait to read one of your controversial posts, and to get really p*ssed at you 🙂

      • Controversial topics don’t have to make people angry – they just need to create a reaction. If they don’t then I feel that I didn’t present it in the right way.

        • Hi Ameena,

          I absolutely agree, but on the other hand, does it need to be controversial in order to create a reaction? What we’re talking about is emotions, and as long as we’re telling a personal story (the right way) it should create some reaction?

          But, writing on a controversial topic is probably a lot easier when it comes to creating reactions 🙂

          Thanks a lot for your awesome comments Ameena.

  6. Trishia says:

    This is a very handy article for us bloggers.. I will always keep this in mind! Love to learn more with you!

  7. Juan Lulli says:

    Suggestion: Can’t have authentic blog engagement unless blogger engages in the comments. Also, yes, content is King but engaging that content with a mix of rich media and blogger involvement in the commenting thread is Queen. Nice piece.

    • Jens says:

      Hi Juan,

      That’s an interesting suggestion, and I absolutely agree. To me, the really important part is when the author replies to all of the comments, and that it creates a conversation. And, the readers should know this before they start writing their comment. This way it won’t just be a comment like “nice post”. It will be something we can all learn from.

      I actually don’t think content is King, I believe relationships are King and content the Queen 🙂

  8. Blackberry Tracker says:

    Others can say that blogging is boring but for me as a blogger I rather find it interesting, cause I can learn something on other blogs and can interact with other blogger with there opinions.

    I agree with you that to have the readers come up with suggestions cause with so many suggestions you can find many alternative opinion.

    • Jens says:

      Blogging is awesome, but as a blogger when you don’t get any comments, it might become boring in the long run. We don’t write for ourselves, and it doesn’t always help just to look at the stats to see that you have readers. You want to have a conversation, and you want to get feedback.

      In order to get the feedback and to have the conversations, I believe that it’s very important to write about personal experiences and to ask the readers about their opinions (like John is saying in this guest post), and then always reply to the comments. To me, comments are a way to build relationships and to add more value to the blog posts, and that’s exactly what you’ve done. Thanks a lot 🙂

  9. ashley says:

    I will always keep this in mind! Love to learn more with you!I love the tips in this post..Thank you for sharing.

  10. Manickam Vijayabanu says:

    Hi John,

    Very nice post. Ask questions at the end! I like that. I distinguish blog postings should be more interactive since people love to express their views and will open channel for healthy discussion.

    The next, Controversy question! Cool. I look when we place controversy question, need to stand out center of the issue and see both ends consequences. It should sound your opinion and also should reflect your are welcoming healthy assessments towards your question.

    Thanks for the wonderful post.

    • Jens says:

      Hi Manickam,

      I have tried to always add a question at the end, but I also believe that it’s important to start out with the same question. This way the readers can have the question in mind when they read the post and they’ll be reminded of the question at the end. I’m not sure if more people will leave a comment by using this method, but I prefer it when I read other posts.

  11. Brock Blohm says:

    Very good tips indeed. I should ask questions more often. I know I should do that, but for some reason I haven’t. I shall start ;).

    Thanks for the tips.

    • Jens says:

      Hi Brock,

      Absolutely. I should ask questions more often as well. I am way too eager to hit the publish button. Sometimes I don’t even proof read my posts. I just want some feedback right away.

      I have been thinking about creating a rule that says that I need to proof read every post three times before I publish, and maybe even wait to the next day before I publish it. But so far, I just hit publish whenever I feel like it 🙂

  12. Carolyn says:

    Excellent points! I think being controversial is important advice. Don’t be controversial for the sake of controversy, but say what you believe, even if it will invite criticism. Dino Dogan just wrote a controversial blog post about NJ Governor Chris Christie’s decision not to run for US President. I loved reading his article because it was from a fresh perspective. (Note sure if it’s okay to link it here, but feel free to delete the link if I’m violating rules). http://diyblogger.net/new-jersey-governor-chris-christie-declares-his-candidacy Who wants to read the same old stuff over and over again?

    Thanks, John, for the excellent advice and to Jens for welcoming a wonderful guest author!

    • Jens says:

      Hi Carolyn,

      I saw the post from Dino, but it wasn’t controversial to me, because I had never heard of the man before. That’s why I didn’t even finish reading the post. And by the way, you can do whatever you want to do on my blog, be my guest to post as many links as you want 🙂

      I believe that being controversial is great if you can bring a strong argument to your post. That’s what I really like about a blog post.

      – Jens

  13. Susan Silver says:

    I tend to be an overly technical writer. I am now trying hard to leave some things out. Things that confuse or aren’t necessary. That way my audience can add their expertise and share! I think you need to show your knowledge, but you don’t need to talk over everyone.

    • Jens says:

      Hi Susan,

      That’s great advice. I love reading blogs about technical stuff, and Carolyn’s wonder of tech is a great example. She knows a lot of stuff, but she explains them in a way so that even I understand what it’s all about. That’s very important, you should always be on the same level as your readers (explain things so that they’ll understand).

      That’s awesome Susan.

  14. Stuart says:

    Hi John (and Jens!),

    It was a pleasure to read this post on blog communities, that magical group of people that can get you to blogging greatness!

    I love the tips here, very useful. Another tip that I’ve found that works is to get your audience to do something. At the least, this could be asking questions, but also encouraging them to take a ‘next action’ on what you were talking about can work wonders.

    If they feel part of a project, they’ll feel more involved and, you guessed it, engaged 🙂

    • Jens says:

      Hi Stu,

      Encouraging your readers to take action is a great advice. This is not just asking them a question, it’s going a step further. Brilliant.

      I have read posts where the author has told me to take action, I’ve always added a comment and said that I would, but I can’t think of a time when I actually did. But I left a comment 🙂

  15. Adrienne says:

    Hey guys,

    I’ve followed all of these but the controversial topics. Don’t think I’m going to touch that one. Not unless there happens to be something I feel needs to be said on a certain topic.

    I use to read these posts where they got like 1000 hits in 24 hours or crazy numbers. I later learned that they wrote about a controversial subject but it really had nothing to do with the subject of their blog. They just wanted to prove they could get that many hits and share their results. I think that’s kind of a cheesy way to go about it.

    There are plenty of blogs out there that are able to pull this off. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m one of them.

    Thanks for these tips John. Great post as always Jens!

    ~Adrienne

    • Jens says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      I have also read those type of controversial posts. And all they did was write to get traffic. To me, it’s a lot more important to write to get relationships and keep connecting with people.

      I haven’t written any really controversial posts yet, and I probably won’t, or maybe I will. I guess it all depends if I feel like experimenting. But I can assure you that I’ll stick to marketing, and I won’t write about a naked celebrity or something 🙂

  16. Bill Dorman says:

    I give my readers $1 for every comment; that seems to work pretty well for me.

    I don’t really have anything to add other than you need to reach out to other blogs as well to start developing your community. It can’t be totally tit for tat but you do have to be willing to give without any expectation of return. If you can do this, are sincere in your efforts, and don’t totally stink it up as a writer you should be able to develop a pretty nice community around that.

    Sometimes the type of blog; niche vs non-niche will have an impact on type and size of community as well.

    • Jens says:

      Aha, that’s your secret Bill 🙂

      I absolutely agree. I didn’t start receiving any comments before I started connecting with people. It’s not just about writing quality posts. We need to focus on people, and I get a lot bigger smile when I see you on my blog than John Doe.. that’s actually a compliment, and that’s my point. When you see familiar faces you’re going to feel good and happy, and that’s what engagement is to me. Make your readers have an emotional reaction, and the reaction can come because of your writing, or it can come because of the relationship.

      – Jens

  17. Jens says:

    Hey,

    Thank you so much for the feedback. You should read some of the comments here, and you’ll get some great information that you can use. By the way, I visited the link and I received an error.

    Jens

    • olatoun-graceny says:

      Thankyou Jen it was my error its http://www.olatoun-gracenysviews.blogspot.com

      • Jens says:

        Hi,

        I have visited your blog and I believe that you write very well, and that your blog is very interesting indeed. What I would suggest is to find a way so new visitors understand who you are, and who’s behind the blog, and what you blog about. This can be done by adding a box in the sidebar that says about me. Add your picture, your name and a few sentences about the blog and then a link to an about page.

        The thing is that most people that comes to a blog will only read one blog post (maybe not even finish it) and they’ll leave and never come back. So, if we can make them stay by letting them know more about us and why they should keep coming back, it would be awesome.

        I also believe in writing about a specific topic. If your topic is your life, then you should be specific about why we should read about your life (in the bio box), because you live in a specific country, and because you’ve got certain things happening that makes it interesting etc..

        In my opinion, the most important way to get more people to visit your blog and leave comments is if you visit their blogs and start commenting and getting personal. But, it’s also important that you target the right people. For instance, you don’t want to keep commenting on a site for people who love to play golf, if you never write about golf 🙂

        Jens

  18. olatoun-graceny says:

    yes i have been reading and jotting * wink

  19. Nora says:

    This tips are amazingly great. I am thinking now on what controversial topic should I write. LOL! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Ted says:

    I think that letting your personality shine through is one of the keys to engagement. Many of us bloggers are capable of churning out posts that cover the same topics. We would probably cover those topics equally thoroughly within reason. So, the difference between someone wanting to come back to your blog and follow you is going to have a lot to do with your personality and originality more so than a lot of other factors.

    Another key is getting your first few good comments. When you get one or two good comments left by people who were really thoughtful, I think that sets the rest in motion. Think about it. When you are commenting on other blogs, would you think about leaving a shallow thoughtless comment on a blog where everyone else is participating in a high level discussion? Probably not. That is why I think it is important to only approve of comments where people are really making an effort to further the discussion.

  21. AstroGremlin says:

    John, I wrote a post on diet versus sugared soft drinks so controversial that several readers have organized and are looking for one another. Just kidding. But I have noticed the posts that are thought provoking (if not controversy provoking) get more comments.

  22. Ana says:

    I agree on your strategies for making people more involved in the discussions on your blog. Also, I think that, from time to time, it’s a good thing to make a post that is entirely about your reader’s opinion on something. Basically, asking them to explain something to you that you don’t get completely.

  23. Sonia says:

    Starting out with my blog, I had no idea what the hell I was doing and it has been a pleasurable learning experience ever since. Then one day I ran across a comment on a blog and it changed everything for me: “Add Value”. It was like a light bulb went off in my head and I never looked back. People want to know what’s in it for them and not what’s in it for you.

    I think everyone is always in “learning mode” and when we come across posts that actually teach us something, we can then pass it on to our readers. That’s the power of networking and blog commenting. You never know the awesome information you will discover next. Great post!

  24. jessica says:

    I love your article. You are so right when you said blog about controversial topics. This technique is so powerful. Your post will really deliver traffic to your website!

  25. rey says:

    I wonder what are these controversial topics are that i can write about to get comments on my blog…
    oh i like this : professional seo training in chandigarh- If your topic is your life, then you should be specific about why we should read about your life (in the bio box), because you live in a specific country, and because you’ve got certain things happening that makes it interesting etc.

    you are right about that…it was hard for me to write something in my bio box…I just can’t figure things to write about me as I am afraid to receive a negative criticism.. and fear of not being understood…but I guess i should write according to what I really have to say.

    But you know what..sometimes… i can’t understand why people just don’t comment even if the content is great…hmmmm..or maybe I think it’s great???

  26. Smith says:

    I give SEO training in Chandigarh. The SEO course starts from scratch and goes to advance level. In SEO Training Chandigarh I also teach SEM, PPC and online earning in my SEO institute.

  27. Tcilit says:

    Thanks for giving that type information.That information is so helpful to us.Will be visit again on your website.

  28. Levis says:

    I just want to tell something about the topic point “Provide valuable content for readers”. Sometimes it can happen that a content or article which is valuable for one person may not be valuable for another person. So I think it should be emphasis on article written on a particular matter. Thanks for a nice post.

    Renfrew dog walking

  29. Earl Dickerson says:

    Great! Now I realize that blogging is not just about content but rather how you offer content as a spring board for discussion and exchange.Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Earl,

      Yes, I believe that a mix of content is what works best. Once in a while, I write really SEO optimized content, other times I write short content in order to get discussions and other times I write really personal based on my own experiences.

  30. Charlesetta Pete says:

    The worse thing a blogger can do is to have a one way conversation and just expect their readers to carry it on. If you want your blog to be successful, you have to be a proactive blogger and engage your readers everywhere.

  31. Audrey Farrar says:

    Great tips in this post, love the emphasis on quality content, engagement and building a community. A blog to me is just as much about listening to what your readers have to say, as it is about broadcasting your message.

  32. Brain says:

    Include interesting images into blog which must be related blog topic so any Blog reader easily understand basic concept of that post. It is also good to make short but effective content because many person don’t like to read long article.

  33. very valuable and useful information,you has provided us for that I really thankful to you.

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