Okay, “to the death” might be a little extreme, but building a community that loves you, supports you, and spreads the word about you is imperative if you want to take your blog to the next level.
Just think about your favorite online bloggers and the communities they’ve created around their brand – how can you develop the same loyalty amongst your readers?
Developing this strong sense of community doesn’t happen overnight and it usually doesn’t happen by accident. Instead, it takes a plan. This post is going to share five things your blog should have to strengthen the bonds of your community.
A Common Problem
Humans tend to congregate around problems in an effort to solve those problems. Whether it’s a group of hunters who gather to fight hunger, a group of protesters who boycott a local business, or an online community trying to fight government overreach problems unite people. What problems can your community rally around?
Sometimes it’s okay to be a little provocative in your message. No, I’m not talking about flashing a little skin, though that may also work. I’m talking about being a little edgy, a little spontaneous, and even a little radical. Give them something to talk about, to share, and to admire.
No one is going to die for a robot. In your brand, it’s important for people to connect with you on a personal level. Don’t be afraid to share personal stories or anecdotes to help your reader connect at a deeper level with you. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to constantly share photos of your cats or kids, but have some fun when you write and let your personality shine through!
Sometimes stalking isn’t such a bad thing. The internet is such a vast place, your brand is easily going to be forgotten and lost—unless you make it difficult for your readers to get away from you. Fill every corner of your niche and be present where your readers are. Connect with them on other blogs, forums, and on as many social channels as you have time for. Build your email auto-responder and engage regularly with your readers.
Building a strong community doesn’t happen overnight, but from long periods of exposure to your brand and message. Make your plan and move forward, even when it doesn’t seem to be helping. Understand that respect and love must be earned, and earning it takes time.
Remember, there are millions of blogs out there, so if you want to earn the love and respect of your readers, you need to start building something they can rally around. By making sure your blog contains the 5 characteristics listed above, you can help strengthen the bonds of your community and build something that people might just give their life—or their money—for.
What other tips do you have for cultivating community on your site?
This article from Joshua Dorkin first appeared in Issue 2 of the FinCon Connection. Joshua is the Founder and CEO of BiggerPockets, a die-hard community of over 130,000 real estate entrepreneurs dedicated to working together to build wealth ethically through real estate investing. Josh is also the co-author of The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing.