Blog Traffic Tips Weekly Newsletter
by Yaro Starak – The Blog Traffic King
You may or may not have received an email from me at some point when I was running a child sponsorship charity drive from my blog. I run the charity every year and we raise enough cash to keep the children sponsored for 12 more months, which is fantastic.
You can see an example from the 2006 drive here –
There is an obvious philanthropic benefit from doing this – the children get sponsored – and that’s ultimately why I run the charity, but there is also another benefit in terms of blog traffic that I want to discuss with you.
The people who donate to the charity are generally my most loyal blog readers, people who have been helping out with the sponsorship each year, or the people who happen to like the charity cause and have some cash to spare at the time. By donating these people hopefully feel a sense of participation – they are proactively making a difference in the world as a group.
So what does all this have to do with blog traffic?
The key element here is to create a sense of belonging and participation AT YOUR BLOG. You don’t need to run a charity drive, and I wouldn’t recommend it until you have a certain level of traffic or you may have trouble raising money, but some form of community participation creates a sense of belongingness among you and your core readers.
A sense of community is not something tangible and there are no good metrics that accurately measure community. The outcomes of establishing a good community though are obvious – repeat traffic, interaction and a good “vibe” amongst your readers. It’s something I have difficulty describing because it’s more a feeling than anything else.
Recently at my forums [ http://www.BlogTrafficSchool.com/forums/ ] some people told me they like the “feel” of my forum. It’s still a very small community, but perhaps that’s part of the appeal. You feel part of a community yet it’s a small tight-nit group where “everyone knows your name”. You don’t get lost in the sea of voices.
Big forums certainly have a lot more resources to draw from, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I hope one day my forum grows significantly larger, but there’s no denying that right now the sense of community is strong and friendly, and I value that a lot. If I can figure out a way to grow the forum exponentially without losing the sense of community, it will be a good thing.
CREATE COMMUNITY AT YOUR BLOG
Creating a sense of community at your blog ultimately will increase your traffic. Community is a positive feeling that attracts people to your blog. At a basic level you can create this by being very proactive with your blog commenting.
Liz Strauss from http://www.successful-blog.com/ is possibly the best blogger at doing this. She is the “commenting queen” in my book and establishes a relationship with nearly every person who makes a comment at her blog. Her community has developed as a result of her friendly personality, attracting similar people who actively converse with her in comments. She also takes extra steps to monitor the entire blogosphere for people linking to her blog and is certain to leave a thank you comment in response. I expect to hear from her as a result of writing this paragraph Other ideas for creating a sense of community include:
- Create a mentoring program where your more experienced readers help out the newbies.
- Invite readers to submit something for review and have your community leave comments to help out.
- Run a competition and have your community vote to decide the winners.
- Create a group blogging project and invite all the bloggers in your industry to participate. Focus on your niche topic area in order to keep things relevant.
- Conduct an interview of someone reasonably famous in your industry and ask your readers to submit questions to ask.
All these ideas encourage participation and reinforce a sense of community. It’s important that when you do this you are authentic and genuine. Any sense that you are attempting to take advantage of your readers will quickly result in a backlash.
Over time the more you can do to involve and reward your readers for participating in your blogging the greater the sense of community your blog will generate. While it’s hard to correlate a specific traffic increase from a community vibe, I can say with some confidence that it will help your blog traffic.
Here’s to your blogging success,
Blog Traffic King
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