Last week I wrote about blogging as an evolved wide web of very complex ecosystems. I argued that in order “to get the most out of your blog, to know how to achieve the goals you have for your blog, it is becoming crucial to understand your ecosystem well”. Analogous to the studies of ecosystems I divided blogs into biotic (community) and abiotic components (a technical support system). This post is about the community: the blogger, readers, and ideas.
Falling in Love with Your Community
The blogger (an individual or an organization) is at the center of the ecosystem. His main objective is to keep the blog alive as long as he needs it. In order to do that he must supply the needs of his community, because if their needs aren’t met, they will move to a better blog. Their needs can be met by regularly posting relevant and engaging content.
To do so successfully, the blogger must know his community really well. Most blogs are written for a specific group of people: friends, loved ones, prospects, buyers, etc. Basically, a community is the blog. If the community is gone, the blog doesn’t exist.
You need to wow them constantly. To paraphrase Samir Mr. Magazine™ Husni’s words, the blogger needs to fall in love with his readers. It’s like dating, your goal is to find as much as possible about your potential partner and then nurture the relationship. So, how well do you know who you’re writing for?
Nenad Senic recently wrote on this blog: “It doesn’t matter, whether it’s a personal, corporate or technical blog, TALK to your readers.” Be personal and use your own recognizable style! You can hardly build a meaningful relationship with your community if you speak to them from somewhere above. Just look at the dictatorships, they never work in the long run.
Regular, relevant and engaging content
When you learn (imagine) about your community as much as possible, you may write better, you will know what they’re interested in. This infographic clearly shows all the things you may think of when writing a blog. Their answer to how make your content king is “come up with that great idea that the other bazillion blogger haven’t done yet”. The biggest fear every blogger has is to run out of the ideas to write about. Remember, content is always all around you. Always! All you need to do is pay attention to comments to your posts, conversations you have with your friends, clients, and coworkers, what is being discussed in other channels, such as social media, etc. Turn a question or a problem into a blog post. By the way, as I mentioned last week, “you should regularly step out of your ecosystem and investigate other blogs and even interact with them in order to make yours better for your community.” So, regularly check out other blogs – did they adequately discuss a particular problem, do you disagree with something written somewhere else. Everything is potentially a great idea for your next post.
Let me end this post with a quote by Darren Rowse: “Above all, the best way of building a community on your blog is to lead the way and start to BE the community that you want to form.” Indeed, blogs are more than a tool to publish on the web.
Next week, I will conclude this 3-part series on blog ecosystems and how to make them work by outlining the other support system, the abiotic components: what they are and how to utilize them efficiently. After all, a blog (an ecosystem) results from the sum of individual responses of readers (organisms) to STIMULI FROM ELEMENTS online and offline (in the environment).
How well do you know your community? What other advice would you give for how to never be left without things to write about?
- Your Blog Is Like an Ecosystem: Know It Well and It Will Have a Long Prosperous Life (zemanta.com)
- Reblogged Vs. Retweet: A Case for the Former (zemanta.com)
- A Blog Is Like a Print Magazine: So Spice It Up! (zemanta.com)