Matt Colebourne, CoComment
Dave Nalle, BlogCritics
Great session - please share your impressions or thoughts about building an online community.
The tone that Wendy sets in her posts is extremely personal. She stays appropriate and relevant. Because that tone is there, people are respectful. That personal aspect causes them to want to join the conversation more. People are touched emotionally. As much as you can do that. As passionate and personal as you can get, that’s what makes people want to share.
Any time you do see a new comment come in – shoot them an email, encouraging other new people – making your blog user-friendly for all levels. They might be too afraid to ask that publicly, put a little something in your side – beginners guide as a little welcome mat.
Wendy tries to let her readers know they come first. With that tone set, she suggest her readers work together and connects them via email. We need to push them to talk to each other. I don’t want it to be a one-way project. Tell me what you want and I’m going to have you guys work together. Within your own niche, there are ways to help readers work together. Put them in the spotlight. Really important, really simple and really easy to achieve. You need to answer that question every day: What’s in it for them?
Profitability on a blog is a wonderful dream, but unless you have something to sell, it’s a lot harder to make a profit on a blog. Find other creative ways to include ads. Find things to be related on that topic. It may take a very long time for a blog to take off. Go to blogger, click on next blog in random and you can click on dead blogs.
Wendy – the stickier that your blog is, the more that they’re invested in the content, the less they’re going to be interested in buying. What do you want? Clicks versus sticky? Sometimes they work against each other. Moneytize a sticky blog: sell your own products, direct.
Want to make good money? Join another group or create your own. You can get more attention. You can do deals and that pushes your monetization from a few cents to the $2-5/000 range.
Wendy realized that in order to grow her blog, she launched six more blogs on her site, but now she has six other people creating content for her site. Two of her readers are now writers. She went through a hiring process.
It’s important to advertise your blog as well. One way is to become associated with a larger site like BlogCritics with the goal of getting their name out there so the traffic will be driven from their site. Extends the community from your blog outside your blog. Community is everywhere. You need to be part of other communities as well.
IF your blog is sticky, your readers will come for the conversation. The number one way is to create ways to bring people into conversations.
Show people that there is a community, show some of the interaction so that new people realize that they are becoming part of something. A top commentator widget – with the number of comments next to the title encourages people to post. Be as open and as honest and as personal as you possibly can. The most comments out there come when people talk about life.
Updated 11.13.07 With Wendy Piersall at BlogWorld.
One in a series of lightly edited transcripts or comments by Barbara Rozgonyi.