Pull Up a Chair and Get Comfy: Building Blog Community and Reader Engagement

building blog communityDo you remember when traffic used to be something you wanted to avoid?

If you’re involved in any type of Internet marketing, whether you do business online or just have a website for a local business, your attitude toward traffic has most likely changed. Traffic is now something you try to coax to your site like a squirrel herder trying to get his charges to all go in one direction.

Once you get your squirrels headed the way you want them to go, you have to do something with them.

I have some Amazon affiliate sites where the goal is to get my traffic to click through to Amazon and buy the products I’m recommending. Or any products, to be honest. I’ve deliberately set those sites up to give the customer a review of the product in a quick, concise manner so that they can decide if they’re interested or move to the next review.

My goals for site, and one other that I’m in the process of putting together, are different. I want people to come back frequently. Every day, even. I want them to comment, share, settle in and feel at home. I’m hoping to build a community.

Yes, it’s still a business. From time to time, I review products. If you click on my affiliate link and buy the product, I get some money. I enjoy that. Feel free to do it at any time. :-)

But that’s not the only reason I started this blog. Money is important, but it’s also important (to me, anyway) to have a feeling of fulfillment and a sense that I’ve contributed to the world. If I can help someone else gain the freedom that comes from having a solid online income while building that same kind of income for myself, then I’ve accomplished something worthwhile.

So in addition to reviews, I post how-tos, round-ups of articles I think you’ll find helpful, and discussions of Internet marketing-related matters. I try to give you useful stuff that will help your marketing and blogging efforts. If I do my job right, you’ll enjoy what you get from my blog and come back for more.

If I don’t do my job – if the quality of my information is lacking, if I don’t get the word out that my information even exists, or if I totally fail to provide information by not posting – the best I can expect is a quick click-through visit.

What kind of sites do you have? Click-through affiliate sites or ones where you want reader engagement and community? If it’s the latter, what are you doing to build that engagement and community? Let me know in the comments.

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8 thoughts on “Pull Up a Chair and Get Comfy: Building Blog Community and Reader Engagement

  1. My blog is for the latter–to build community and support. I’m working on a book that, when finished, I hope I’ll have enough following readers that they’ll be interested in my book. I’m enjoying the process immensely!
    Amy recently posted…Elven Lembas bread: one bite will satisfy a man for an entire dayMy Profile

  2. My sites are definitely aimed toward reader engagement and community! On my site, http://www.PersonalEnergyMastery.com I engage my readers by offering how-to videos and instruction, top weight loss and health tips and uncover juicy diet industry secrets! I also encourage community involvement by asking opinions of others, offering guest blog posts and offering free training calls – the last one I did was ‘How Your Subconscious Mind is Sabotaging Your Weight Loss…and what to do about it!’

    All techniques are a great success but always being tweaked and updated as my following grows! :)

    Gina Macaluso~
    Gina Macaluso – The Mindset Queen for Weight Loss and Wellness recently posted…Weight Loss and Metabolism Sabotage…what’s to blame?My Profile

    • Gina, it sounds like you’re doing an excellent job of building community! Sharing great information and giving it the personal touch with training calls will definitely lead to that feeling of “she knows stuff I want to know!” that brings readers back for more.

  3. Hi Katie,
    My website’s purpose is to inform and build community. I try to ask a question or call for action from the reader. Like you, I get a sense of fulfillment from writing. Thank you for posting on this topic.
    Tee Ming recently posted…Be the Match!My Profile

  4. My site is to teach people how to do stuff with self help online guides and some how to books they can buy as well. I scatter some amazon products on some pages where it is relevant, but basically just focusing on informing the readers, and hoping they will keep coming back when they want comprehensive diy information.

    I leave the product click-through pages to places like Squidoo and some small sites I still keep going for the moment, but while squidoo used to get me a ton of direct sales every month at amazon, now with the new changes and the drop in traffic, direct sales have dried up… need to find a new place for product promotion pages.
    Helene Malmsio recently posted…Apr 23, How to Get Natural Menopause ReliefMy Profile

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