Most of you know I’m now in my fourth year. I’ll be having an anniversary in June.
Looking back to 2009 it’s obvious that the way we blogged then certainly doesn’t work today. Back then it was about writing keyword rich posts that would get my target audience’s attention and entice them into buying what I had to offer.
It worked beautifully… Ah, the good old days!
Why doesn’t it work today?
Because there are a lot of very dishonest people in this world. People who want what they want right now and have no intention of waiting. They are more into instant gratification and love to figure out how to get around the rules.
Google started getting a little smarter and decided to go after the bad guys!
Oh but wait! Some of us good guys got stuck in the crossfires. Google didn’t care, what’s a few casualties!
So gone are the days you can write a lot of articles and link those to your blog posts to build up high quality backlinks. Gone are the days for keyword rich posts that Google will love because those guys ruined it for us.
My theory is that unless you’re willing to pay for advertising, you’re not going to see great results in the search engines anymore.
So what do we do! What’s the solution!
Concentrate On Blogging
Change is inevitable, we all know that. So the SEO tactics aren’t what they use to be. So what…
Blogging will never die, we just need to change things up a bit that’s all!
Our blogs (self-hosted blogs) are ours. They belong to us and they are our prime real estate online. They are our home and what do we all like to do at home?
How do we entertain with our blogs?
We write content that your target audience will want to read.
Why do people come online?
They are searching for a solution to their problem.
In a lot of our cases, mine in particular, my audience wants to learn things pertaining to blogging, social media and building relationships online.
So what do I continue to do?
I provide solutions to their problems.
My posts are simple to understand so that even if you are brand new today you’ll be able to comprehend what I’m saying even if you don’t fully understand everything. You’re obviously here to learn.
I make my posts on a more personal level so even the brand new person will feel comfortable enough to leave a comment, especially if they have a question for me. Even if they’re too bashful they will end up emailing me. Why? Because I’m approachable.
Who can resist my big old smile!
That is your goal… Be approachable, let your audience learn from you, help them solve their problems, remind them to ask questions if they don’t understand or they can get in touch with you through email, make your blog your home that has a “welcome” sign hanging on the door.
Building Blogging Communities
That’s a really great way to start making people feel at home on your blog. So now it’s time to start building those communities.
How do you do that?
Well since we have them interested in what you share and feeling right at home you always want to include your call to action at the end of each post. You know, asking them to comment but we can’t forget to ask them to share it either.
I’m sure all of you have learned a lot just from the comments right! I mean my goodness, the value that I often find in the comments is bar none! This is one of the main reasons you want to be sure and ask questions at the end of your posts. You want that interaction.
Now it’s also imperative that you answer every single comment too. Remember, this is about having a conversation with your readers. Keep asking those questions now and others will even want to pipe in at times too. I’ve responded to other people’s comments on other blogs as well. If you have something to share then join the conversation.
Make them feel at home.
You might even find yourself creating posts around some of the suggestions you’ve found in the comments. You can personally email someone that left a comment and further that conversation as well.
You want to be approachable, helpful, kind, considerate,etc. You know how it feels when someone acknowledges you right! Makes you just want to keep coming back for more wouldn’t you agree?
It’s not hard to do.
Reaching Out To Your Friends
If you’re over on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or any other site and you see a post or tweet from a blogging friend or new commenter, join in.
Send them a personal email if you prefer but once again, make them feel like you’re a long lost friend they just found again.
If you continue doing this on your blog and as you move across the web, you will start to watch your community grow.
See how many comments my posts get? Do you think that’s just because everyone only loves my content?
I make them feel at home, I appreciate them stopping by and I tell them, I help them when they need help, I go that extra mile.
Be that person and watch your community grow. Remember, it’s about quality not quantity. When you build relationships with your readers they’ll keep coming back time and time again to support you. You do the same for them and that’s what’s going to help you as we move forward.
Blogging Communities Rock
If you have a blog and you are moving in this direction, do not give up. These things take time and remember, I started seeing the conversations on my blog around the four month mark.
It just grew from there because I was consistent. So whatever you do I don’t want to hear about you quitting. Okay!
So let me know your thoughts! You know, question time.
Do you agree with me? Do you think SEO will rise again? Do you think that 2013 is the year for blogging communities? What has been your experience so far?
I look forward to hearing your comments and of course I appreciate you sharing this post. I would be nothing without you!
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