One of my favorite things about my own blog and a few others that I have found is that I feel like I’m part of an environment every time I visit. The posts feel personable and as though I’m having a conversation, commentators bring more personality to the posts, and a community has emerged rather than a place to just get information. And the environment is “Blogging“.
When I considered what it is I liked about other blogs, I wondered “how can someone create this environment?”
Here’s my personal OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) approach to creating a warm and friendly environment for your blog.
1. Just Talk
Information and news posts are great. But they won’t create a warm fuzzy, friendly feel to a blog. So write as though you’re having a conversation with me, not as though you’re talking to me or at an entire community.
2. Clean Up
Your blog should be orderly, easy to navigate, provide options to subscribe to your RSS feed and keep people shifting and moving from area to the next. If you have an ounce of an organization in your bones, use it.
3. Optimize for Readers
Having banners randomly scattered around and navigation that is hidden is no way to keep someone on your site. In fact, for many people, this is a turn-off. Ensure that the advertising you choose to place on your site is in a great location but doesn’t take away from any reading experience.
4. Ask Questions
You never know what someone has to say unless you ask. Commentators often provide another point of view, create inspiration for more posts, and largely make up the community that will surround your blog. If you’re not inviting them to speak, how will they know that you care about what they have to say?
5. Take Part
Popular bloggers are great to read and they have a fabulous community. But I’m tired of hearing that they don’t have 5 minutes to take part in their own comment community — even if they only respond to a couple of people or answer just a few more questions. Comments are significantly more personable than posts.
6. Monitor Stats
Oh, the many posts that state we’re wasting time checking stats. I’m sure the bloggers that publish this information don’t have a clue until it’s too late that they got a nice spike of traffic that they didn’t optimize for. If you know people are coming from a specific place on any given day, welcome them to your blog with a new post!
Almost 2 years ago, something strange happened. Every time I speak, have a conversation or watch TV, I’m writing a blog post in my mind. Everything I do I can put into words of how it pertains to blogging. Never stop brainstorming and relating your life to your blog.
8. Take Notes
My most favorite accessory is my blogging journal. It goes everywhere I go with my pen from The Palazzo. This enables me to keep my thoughts while on the move creating post titles and bullet points to touch on when I’m ready to sit down and write.
If you receive an email, reply to an email. You’ll keep readers coming back from more if you just take a minute to respond. Don’t slack, it’s important and worthwhile.
10. Make Yourself
Don’t count on others to link back to you, talk about you, or create your community. Seek out places to network and get involved to bring people in.
11. Give A LOT
Do more for others than you do for yourself. In the end, your blog and brand will reap the rewards.
12. Create Value
Before clicking publish, ask yourself a single question — “why will they care?” If you can answer the question, your post is valuable. Publish it!
13. Be Consistent
Easier said than done, I’m well aware. But creating consistency lets your readers know that you’ll always have something for them, you’ll always stand for or against a specific topic, and you have an interest in their needs. It’s not always easy, in fact, it may be the hardest thing you do with blogging. But, DO IT!
14. Keep It Simple
The famous K.I.S.S. rule always applies — Keep It Simple, Stupid. Remember who your audience is and write for them. Trim the fat by rewording posts to make it less wordy.
15. Give Love
Few people choose to network with bloggers that don’t send out a little love in their posts. By this I mean links. So link to other — industry leaders, bloggers in your niche, and most importantly, your commentators.
What creates a warm fuzzy environment for you while visiting another blog? Why do you come back and read more and how can bloggers improve their own blogging environment?
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