Andrew Hanely wrote a great guest post today for Jason Falls entitled “That website ain’t gonna visit itself.” The article gave five excellent suggestions for ways to build a community of visitors and commenters at your blog.
You are not entitled to visitors just because you blog. Building community at your site requires an investment of time, effort, learning, and patience. It starts by doing for others that which you want them to do for you. If you are not subscribing to, tweeting, and commenting on the blogs of other’s, you have simply not earned the privilege to host an engaged community at your own site. You are not Seth Godin, so get over it and get to work!
I have to confess that I never heard of Andrew Hanely before today (sorry, Andrew). But I subscribe via RSS to Jason Fall’s excellent blog, and today Jason put his brand on Andrew’s brand by inviting him to guest blog. I read the article, vetted it, and then shared it with my community of followers on Twitter. I signaled Andrew that I had done so by adding his Twitter address to the Tweet. Andrew and I are now connected on Twitter, and I now also subscribe via RSS to his blog. That’s an example the networking Andrew described in his blog post.
Blogging really is like training for a marathon. I’ve run eight marathons, and each required detailed planning, a commitment to execution, and a passion to learn from others how to improve. I never took a class on marathon running. Once I decided it was a goal I wanted to accomplish, I bought a few books to learn the basics and then just started doing what the books advised. I networked with other runners and asked a lot of questions. It’s a tremendous amount of work but also extremely rewarding. The process, while not easy, is relatively simple and anyone that puts their mind to it can do it. The same is true for blogging.
One way I learn from others is by subscribing to blogs on leadership, management, and coaching – the kind of community of folks I want to host at my own site. My blogroll provides a list of some of these blogs I subscribe to and recommend without hesitation.
But I also subscribe to blogs about blogging and social business because they are a rich and robust source of learning how to improve my own skills. I don’t list these in my blogroll because the readers of my blog don’t come here to learn about blogging, but a few of my favorite ones are as follows:
- Build a Better Blog by Denise Wakeman
- Convince and Convert by Jay Baer
- Junta 42 Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
- Remarkablogger by Michael Martine
- Social Media Explorer by Jason Falls
- Web Ink Now by David Meerman Scott
- Brass Tack Thinking by Amber Naslund
- Brian Solis
- Problogger by Darren Rowse
- Scott McKain Viewpoint
- V3 Integrated Marketing by Shelly Kramer
- Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel
- Youintegrate by Kneale Mann
- Top Rank
Did I miss your favorite blog on blogging or social business? Do you have any other suggestions about how to build community with your blog? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!