I see it all the time, why even some of the more prolific bloggers do it!
It amazes me and it shocks me, so I want to help remedy it, because to be honest – it’s not doing anyone any good.
What exactly am I talking about? Why, Only the single most important reason that we started our blog in the first place.
COMMUNITY – Social interaction, engagement, having a voice, sharing, indulging, debating,
They’re all necessary for the survival of our blog, and whether you like it or not – the core ingredient to a well grounded (and ultimately successful) blog is community – but there are ten common
mistakes oversights that so many bloggers make that not only negatively impact their ability to engage and be engaged, they take less than 60 seconds to fix remedy!
You Want More Social Interaction Right?
Great. Give me ten minutes and I’ll give you a better blog
Community is the single most powerful force online (just look at Facebook, Twitter, ..anything Darren Rowse touches), so if you can create one on your blog then quite frankly, you’re good to go.
But the first step in building this community is in how you interact with others. So Why do you make it so hard for me?!
10 Reasons Why I Won’t Tweet, Share, Comment, Reply or Even Vaguely Linger – and 10 Things You Can Do To Change That!
- I Want to Tweet Dagnabbit!, Why Must you Make it So Hard?
Twitter is a powerful ally in the blogging world, so make it as easy as possible for me to ReTweet your blog post. If I have to search for a RT button then I don’t or won’t bother retweeting your post. I strongly recommed installing something like the TweetMeMe Plugin which adds a ReTweet button to every post. Plugins like DiggDigg and ShareBar also provide this option.*
*I have both the sharebar and TweetMeMe plugins installed.
- I Want you to Know I Tweeted Your Shit!
Yeah so I’m vain, but show me one blogger who isn’t! When I RT your stuff and you have not even bothered to take the time to add your @twitter_name to the Retweet plugin settings then it says a lot about you that you really don’t want it to say. Surely you care about who is sharing your content? What if you wanted to thank them?
Kristi Hines of Kikolani fame recently posted a really detailed and helpful article on the subject titled – How To Increase Your ReTweets, Twitter Followers and Klout, and I strongly recommend you pop over and check it out (and not just because it’s got the word Klout in the title!)
- I Loved Your Post! I’m Going To Follow You…
But I’m lazy. Most people are, so if I can’t find your RSS button, your Twitter button or any other ‘follow’ or ‘subscribe’ button anywhere then I’m not going to bother following you. Pity – we would have been awesome together!
- I Want to Keep Talking About This! Seriously…
Some of the most important conversations that have taken place on my blog have not even involved me (no respect I tells you). If I had not allowed my readers to subscribe to the comments thread and stay in touch with the growing conversation I doubt it would have happened. Getting your readers to start engaging is the first step in building a thriving community. Install the ‘Subscribe To Comments‘ Plugin and give your readers the chance to talk.
- The Conversation is Confusing. Besides, I don’t like @ symbols.
This is probably not your fault. Either you didn’t know until just now, or your WordPress Theme doesn’t support threaded comments. If you are in the former camp then there is help at hand.
The most common oversight I see is the non use of Threaded Comments. This setting (in Discussions – under your Settings in WordPress Admin) means that when you reply to someone in your comments, that reply actually appears under the person to whom the reply is directed. This means no more @their_name to respond to people, and no more messy and confusing comment threads! (It also encourages conversation between readers)
- I Wrote The Most Wicked Awesome Post Yesterday, You Should See… Oh.
No Matter how bad you wish it was about you, it’s not.
Your Readers are the important ones, and sure they come to comment because they like you, but they also came to comment because they like themselves, and they want others to like them too. Make this process as easy as possible by installing the greatest plugin the social-blog-o-sphere (just made it up, promise I’ll NEVER use it again) has ever seen – CommentLuv.
- You Don’t Respond to Comments at all!?
Either you’re really big, really ignorant – or Just Too Proud To Beg. Whatever the case – not reply to comments tells me that you’re not really interested in what I (or anyone) has to say, and worse still you don’t really respect your readers point of view either. There are some pretty big bloggers out there who still manage to respond to comments – Corbett Barr, Pat Flynn, just to name a few. Hell, even the Temptations would have replied had they had a blog 😉
- You’re the Man Without A Face. Or You’re a Roof Tiler from San Diego?
There’s nothing stranger to me than the faceless blogger who leaves a valuable comment and remains nameless. I understand you want the keyword in your backlink I really do, but surely you were not christened Detroit Sound and Lighting* or iPhone 4 Cheats? Why take the time to leave an insightful comment – that clearly demonstrates expertise and a willingness to engage, only to then not sign your name? Each to their own I guess?
*If your name really is Detroit Sound and Lighting, then seriously I think I may know some of your family! Any chance you are related to Michigan Sound and Lighting or Sound and Lighting Repair? They both came and commented on my blog! WOW, small world. Or did you tell them about me? Aww thanks Detroit 😉
- I Like You. No, I Reeeeaaaalllly Like You.
That’s not in a creepy way. If you have a blog then the chances are you have a Facebook page too right? Make it easy for me to ‘Like’ your Facebook page by giving me easy access to it on your blog.
Not only does the social interaction on another network help you grow your audience, the social proof that comes with having thousands of ‘Likes’ will only help grow your community expontentially in the long run.
- You’ve Fed me Dinner but Where’s My Dessert?
I really enjoyed that post you wrote, and I even shared it with my followers – despite having to manually add your @Twitter_name to the RT. But now where do I go?
Making your blog easily navigable is one thing, but giving your reader somewhere else to go is just as important. Not only does this increase pageviews and decrease bounce rate, it’s also easy to do. Install the Related Posts Plugin and let it find posts for others to link to when they are done with this one. Of course, if you know for a fact that there is a post that is particularly relevant then link to it there and then.
Like I am about to do. Because speaking of giving your reader somewhere to go what about giving them somewhere to start.
Have You Got a Starting Point?
Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income recently posted an article that was a real eye opener for myself and a lot of others on the importance of giving your reader a Starting Point. Although I had started to take steps to remedy this (see the BUILD A NICHE SITE TODAY section in my sidebar) the fact remains that Pat goes into so much more depth and considers so many more options that I simply did not take into account. The Post (Brilliantly) Titled ‘The Hole On Most Blogs (Including Mine) That Needs to Be Filled‘ is definitely a great place for you to head after reading this post (and commenting, and subscribing, and signing up to my course, and Retweeting this post, and Liking my page, and telling your… )
What Are Your Thoughts?
- Do You Bother Sharing or Commenting if it is not made easy for you?
- Do You Agree That Community is the Key to Building a Successful Blog?
- Are You Going to ReTweet and?or share this Post?