Trying to build an online community around your blog? To create a community around your blog is a totally different ball game altogether. Take an example, imagine you create a blog about restaurants in your city. You have the most beautiful images uploaded in your blog, you have written about them in great detail and you have the most interesting insights about those restaurants.
But still, your blog hasn’t got a good amount of readership, nor you have got any shares on social media. And to top it all, you just can’t understand what’s wrong with your blog.
Most bloggers miss out a very important factor for the promotion of the blog, an online community! Your blog might be getting a decent amount of audience, but it doesn’t really needs an audience, it needs a community.
Audience are passive, community is active. A community actively participates, while an audience just silently passess away.
Now wondering how to build an online community around your blog? We present you a step by step guide to help you build an online community that will surely take your blog to the next level.
Step 1 – Decide your Niche!!
Don’t confuse your readers about what actually your blog is about. Your target audience and your blog’s niche must be decided, even before thinking of building your community.
The best possible way to decide or master this step is to write blogs about what you are passionate about. We all are passionate about something. If you are blogging about, let’s say your childhood passion, football, then you’ll have a ton of things to write about.
For example, you can create high quality content about your favorite football club, or the local sports store to visit or maybe you can write stories about your childhood football heroes.
Deciding your niche gives your blog a vision and direction. If you write about food for some day and cars for the other few days, you’ll surely confuse your audience. To make a mark, you need to be specific and unique.
Step 2 – Don’t be an A.I.
Your writing or your blog’s layout should never look or feel like it was written by a robot. Now imagine taking advice from a robot on topics like divorce or pregnancy! Weird, isn’t it?
Your writing should have a human touch to it. That simply means that it should be interactive as well as simple to read. It is simply a blog, don’t make it feel like some official government letter.
You should ask questions, provide facts, make your reader write some comments, provide infographics, and so on. And if your blog allows, then there’s no harm in adding some memes or gifs in your blog.
Writing is an art. As a writer you should have the vision and capability of engaging your reader as much as you know.
Step 3 – Build connections
Now that you have decided you nice and your blog has been started, you need to find out ways to engage potential audience to your blog. There are many ways to do so.
One of the most used ways to do so is guest blogging. Contact some famous influencers or professionals in your niche and get him to guest blog on your blog page. One catch here is who exactly should you offer to guest blog on your blogging page?
Now this is where you have to really play smart. You should know the previous works, background, upcoming projects, social image, and popularity of guests you are inviting to blog.
One famous practice used these days is to choose the one who has established his connections and is getting famous gradually, rather than choosing the one who is famous but is disconnected from his niche community.
You might not be able to pay money to guest bloggers. But that shouldn’t be a reason to discard guest bloggers. You should opt to offer them services or values in return of the guest blog. You can offer them a dedicated blog for their work, or a side banners for their site or something like that.
Another very famous method of making connections is sending promotional emails to the people of your community. You can create a group of email addresses of your target audience and can use email promoting platforms like MailChimp to do so.
Another very popular practice used in building a community around your blog is to use forums. Forums are basically threaded community discussion platforms. Subscribers of a forum hold discussions about a certain topic or happening.
Bloggers all around the world are using this method to engage audience into a certain topic related to their niche. They put up questions related to their niche and then people from all around the world come up with their answers.
You can very well estimate the level of engagement and community buildup it can give to your blog. Building community around your blog is all about engaging people around your blog and your niche. And don’t forget to take part in the discussion yourself!!
Step 4 – Are you offering value to your community?
A community demands offerings. In order to establish yourself and to build a community around your blog, you need to offer some solutions to common issues of your target community.
You have to closely observe your target’s problems and keep an eye on what the people of that community are searching on the internet.
People are more likely to share something that is a help to their community and something that makes them feel more homely.
There are few common practises that have been implied in targeting people of certain community, such as :
1. Set your target audience : There are certain tools available on the internet that will help you make sure that you choose those topics that are being searched by your target audience. You even get to know the geographical areas from where certain keywords are being searched.
You also get to know the frequency of those keywords and you get to analyze the stats of your targets favorite keywords.
2. Categories the content : No doubt you are targeting a certain audience, but you must categories your content. It makes the navigation simpler and helps your target audience explore more of your related blogs.
3. Select theme that connects : If you are targeting a certain community to build your online community, then look out for the themes your competitors are using. Choose the colors prominent in your target communities and make smart use of them.
Step 5 – Social Media is HOT!!
If you neglect social media in building up an online community around your blog, then you are missing something really big. Facebook groups, Pinterest groups, Instagram pages, WhatsApp groups, and many such social media community platforms are a must if you want to engage a large number of audience to your blog.
95.9% of bloggers use social media platforms to build engagements on their blogs(seotribunal.com).
The reach of social media is very vast. You never know if any of your content establishes itself online and gets a lot of comments and sharings. Social media sharings and even cheap paid promotions on such platforms can help you blog build a trustworthy community around your blog.
These days, social media memes are being used widely to engage audience on blogs and social media fan pages. You can make good use of that too.
Another very famous. tried and tested way to build community around your blog using social media is Facebook groups. With over 1 million user, Facebook is still the most famous social media platform around the world. And building a community around your blog using Facebook is very easy.
- Create a Facebook page by clicking on “Create a Page” button on the top. You’ll have to follow the steps to add logo, title and description of your page
- Reach out to Facebook groups. You can do so by taking part in their activites, commenting on their posts and sharing your posts
- You can definitely use the Facebook Ads to advertise on Facebook. The turn outs are pretty good.
Step 6 – Respond to Comments
While building a community around your blog, it is a must to reply to the comments on your blogs. Don’t just take them as mere words. These are actually people sharing their experiences and thoughts with you. Respond to them. Make them feel noticed and valuable.
And specially for beginners, this is a no-brainer. As a beginner you have to hold your visitors on your blog and you have to make sure they revert back. And how else you can start conversations on your blog so easily?
So this is how you build an online community. Successful communities around blog are visioned for long term. You have to develop trust and common understanding with your community. Creating an online community takes a lot of patience and engagement strategy.
You have to answer questions asked by your community people and share content with them. And also, you have to agree people to join your community as much as you can.
And if your blogs are doing really well, then what’s the big deal in appointing a community manager for this purpose. Because at the end of the day, an engaged community not only helps you build relationships, but also expands your blogs reach and motivates you to improve your content.
And don’t miss out “What is domain authority ?” if you’re digging deep into the how to’s of building your online community.