This week on ProBlogger we’ve been looking at the topic of building community on a blog. We started by identifying 9 benefits and 3 costs of community on a blog and then looked at 5 stages of building community on a blog. Today I want to dig deeper into some specific things to DO to build community on your blog.
1. Write in a Conversational Voice
This tip fits into the ‘it’s not rocket science’ category of blogging tips (as do many blog tips) – however as simple as it sounds I regularly see bloggers falling into the trap of talking ‘AT’ readers rather than blogging in a conversational voice.
The art of good conversation is as much as being ‘interested’ as it is about being ‘interesting’. Good conversationalists ask questions, pause to allow others to speak and listen to others when they are speaking.
Good bloggers similarly often write in a more conversational way and in doing so invite readers to respond.
Every bloggers needs to find their own style and voice but I’ve found a number of things have been helpful in writing more ‘conversationally’:
I write like I speak
y best blog posts often start out as me writing an email to a reader answering a question. Alternatively I will often imagine I’m talking to someone as I’m writing – which leads to a post written in a more personal way.
I tell stories
I don’t do this in every post but I find that when I weave some kind of personal angle into a post that it seems to draw readers into recounting their own stories. The story need not be long or highly personal story – it could simply be sharing how you did something in your business (you’ll see me do this below when I talk about how on dPS we added a Flickr Group to dPS as an intermediate step on the way to starting a forum).
I use personal language
When you talk to another person it is common to use words like ‘I’, ‘you’ and ‘we’. Conversely when you write in a theoretical language these words often disappear. Check out the top 20 posts on ProBlogger in 2012 and notice that over