When I decided to start blogging, I had literally no idea what I was doing. Creating a blog was easy enough, but once I had put my first two stories online, I sat back, looked at my screen and thought: what now? I wanted my stories to be read, but who would read it. Only then I did my research, and realized I needed to build my community, and that it takes work to do so.
Find your community
There are several different blogging communities out there, such as the writing community, the toy/book review community, the food bloggers community, travel blogs, book blogs, sex blogs, photo blogs, and many more. If you know what the primary focus of your blog will be, the first step is to search for other blogs with similar interests. Of course, it might also be that you started blogging after being inspired by well-established blogs in the genre. Then you already have your community, and the next step is to do the work to become visible.
Please note that when I speak of writing community or food bloggers community, or any other blogging community, there are several communities within it. For instance, all of the different kinds of blogs I have mentioned above, can all be assembled under the heading ‘blogging community’. In the same way there are many different groups – let’s call it sub-communities – under the heading ‘writing community’ or ‘travel blog’ community. Where one group may not be the right one for you, another may fit you like a glove.
How do you become visible to others?
As said, there are quite some work you have to do to become visible to others, and make known that you have a blog and want to be read. Ways to do that are through liking, linking and commenting.
One of the simplest ways to support other bloggers, is to click the like button at the bottom of their posts. That way you show them you like what you’ve read, but not only that. You also show them that you have visited their blogs.
Where liking is the easiest way to support others, it’s most definitely not the only way. If a reader clicks like on every post you have written, and ever comments, you will start questioning whether they have even really read your content. Commenting on blog posts is equally important as clicking the like button.
No like button on the post? You might want to suggest to the owner of the blog to add one.
And do make sure your own blog displays those like buttons at the bottom of your posts!
I just said: Commenting on blog posts is equally important as clicking the like button.
Of course, it can happen that you really don’t have anything to say on a post, or that others have already said the same and you don’t want to sound like an echo. Those are the moments when you click on like. Personally I would say the commenting-liking ratio is 80-20. Comment on 80% of the posts you read, and click like on the rest. And this is per blog.
When you comment, it can be anything from ‘I enjoyed reading this’, to giving your opinion on the contents of the post, but one thing you should always remember: be respectful. If you can’t say something nice, don’t click like, don’t comment… just browse on!
Then there’s the other side of commenting. Once people start commenting on your posts, answer them. There are always comments that don’t need an answer, but sometimes a simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way. Alternatively, turn on likes on comments, and always like the comments left on your posts. That way the commenter knows that you’ve seen what they have written.
Have you read something on someone else’s blog that sparked you to write your own blog post? Share a link to the original blog post. Give them credit. If the blog owner allows ping-backs, they will receive a notice that their post has been linked. This is another way to build your community, to show people there words are valuable, and have struck a chord with you.
Consequently, make sure you have those ping-backs turned on for your own site, so you get alerts when someone else links your post in one of their own.
Keep up the work!
Once you have found your readers and receive those much desired comments and likes on your posts, don’t stop with supporting others. Keep on visiting those blogs. Never stop liking their posts, never stop commenting, and occasionally link to posts you have read somewhere else. Blogging is a two-way street: you can’t expect to get when you don’t give.
Image from Pixabay