Your research, write, edit, rinse, repeat.
And you post, share, rinse, repeat.
Yet, for some reason, no one notices.
When you started your blog, you had high hopes. You imagined dozens—even hundreds—of comments flowing after you hit “publish.” Instead, it feels like you’re posting into a void. If you’ve worked so hard on your blog, and if you’re receiving regular visitors, why hasn’t it spontaneously sprouted a little community?
Maybe you’re missing these three elements:
Don’t just shout into the vacuum. Participate.
In his guide to building up a blogging community, Neil Patel notes that he’s always looking to participate with other contributors online. That includes practical tips like slipping in relevant hashtags (think #SaaS, for example) whenever possible.
In my very first Instagram post, I included a quote from Calvin and Hobbes, then included the hashtag #calvinandhobbes as an afterthought. Just that little tweak resulted in more likes than most of my pictures ever get—because I inadvertently participated somewhere else.
If it feels like you’re shouting into a vacuum, stop! Start sharing your content where it’s needed most, whether that means joining LinkedIn groups or finding relevant hashtags on Twitter.
The trick to getting college students to participate in seminars is to give away free pizza. Here’s a little hint: it works like that in the post-college world, too.
No, you can’t serve your readers free pizza. But you can focus on content that gives helpful tips. That’s why effective research is so important; when you share what you’ve learned, you’re essentially giving out information for free. That tends to attract followers. It will also draw comments from people who learned something in your post.
3. Get Personal (and Vulnerable).
Years ago, I reached out to personal development blogger Steve Pavlina for some tips on finding content that resonates with people. I can only paraphrase, but this was his advice to me:
Find the challenges in yourself that you’re struggling to address, then share them with the world.
The deeper you go inside, he argued, the more your topics will resonate with the shared humanity of every reader who comes across your work.
How many times have you laughed at a comedian’s jokes because their observations were “so true”? It’s our shared human experience that makes content compelling, no matter what the medium might be.
Comedian Louis CK revealed a similar method for discovering new material. By his own admission, he’d spent decades building a mediocre act—with little to show for it. Rather than hold tightly to all that work, he threw it all away and started writing jokes that more resembled his day-to-day thoughts.
Find what you’re struggling with, challenge yourself to find the answers, then relay the entire experience to your audience. You’ll find that there are no original problems and that your quirks will give you a universal appeal you would never have imagined.
You might not build a community overnight with these three tips, but you’ll find that they’re essential if you want to build a community that grows organically. Over time, you can also use the same tips to discover new content ideas you would never have imagined.
How do you build community around your blog?
About the Author
Dan Kenitz is a freelance writer and ghostwriter from Wisconsin who helps individuals and companies build their brands through valuable content. www.empirewriter.com
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