25 Ways to Build Your Community

performer You know me. Once something cool happens, I try to figure out ways to share, to get you involved, and to try and inform on what I learn as I learn it. Upon reaching some recent milestones, I thought it might be really interesting to share some thoughts with you on how I think this is what I’ve done. I’m not exactly sure. You know how that is, right? I’m wiggling this knob and at the same time, someone is pushing a button. Did the knob-wiggle do the trick or did the button push do it?

If this all works for you, great. If not, as always, I want you to give your thoughts. You probably know better than me.

25 Ways to Build Your Community

  1. Read at least 100 blogs regularly. Not every post, but a variety. Extra hint: go OUTSIDE your particular passion circle.
  2. Write brief, tight, actionable posts that people want to reference later.
  3. Don’t ignore the value of linkbait and viral content. Don’t ALWAYS do that, but hey, it can work.
  4. Give people your best. I know that sounds trite, but I’m saying don’t charge for the best and give away your crap. That’s a yard sale. Be Tiffany & Co.
  5. When you write about people, use LINKS to connect your writing to them. This encourages good neighbor policies.
  6. Write great titles that draw people in. (Brian Clark is the master.)
  7. Keep lists of blog topics handy for when you feel down.
  8. Learn how to write more than one post a day, and put the others in your blogging platform for rainy days (or when you’re busy). This saves my butt TONS of times. (I have a day job, you know.)
  9. Promote other people’s work 12 times as much as you promote your own. This comes back as great karma, plus it shows people you recognize that other people are brilliant, not just you.
  10. Comment the HELL out of other people’s blogs. Not fishing for your blog. Just adding your voice to theirs.
  11. Get regular or irregular opportunities to guest blog. Years ago, I was blogging for Leon Ho at LifeHack.org. That got me plenty more friends than I had before.
  12. “Claim” your blog with Technorati
  13. List your blog in Dmoz.org, Yahoo, Google, etc.
  14. Make subscribing easy. I use FeedBurner to do that. I also use easy to find buttons. I also ASK people to subscribe in about 5 different ways.
  15. Build outposts.
  16. Use Twitter effectively.
  17. Use plug-ins like ShareThis and AddThis that add little “share” buttons after your posts.
  18. Occasionally, when it’s a really good post, stumble yourself or bookmark it in Delicious. (Then go stumble 10 or 12 other people’s good work to absolve your sin.)
  19. Go to meetups, conferences, and all types of live events. The more that people know you and can put your face to your work, the more they are likely to promote your work (and you theirs). Yes, this takes time, but you asked how I did it. That’s also how.
  20. Make the occasional video or audio post so that people start to connect you the human to you the blogger. This works to “humanize” your efforts, and this is vital to what I think has made me successful.
  21. Don’t be snarky. There are precious few who do it well. And plenty who do it poorly. Yes, it seems to help grow traffic, but I’m not going to advocate for it. Sorry.
  22. Thank people endlessly. Be so full of humility and thanks and gracious awe at the fact that people share time with you (while not being one of those put-down artists) that your work comes off as perpetually fresh and energized and useful.
  23. Be helpful. Have you ever heard that from me? Be helpful. Be helpful. The more you do for others, the more they want to point it out.
  24. Keep your eyes on the STRATEGY of what you’re doing. Otherwise, there are tons of ways to fall into rabbit holes.
  25. Encourage participation. Make your blog about other people, not you. Share and encourage and ask questions. Give your stage to your guest performers. Make it ALL a partnership with your community.

That’s what comes to mind. Maybe you know better than me. Why do YOU stick around? What did I miss that you’d want to share with others here?

Photo credit, kalandrakas

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