3 Ways to Build Up Your Community

When we talk about marketing your work, there is a lot of focus placed on becoming an active member of the communities where your readers hang out. This is super important. That said, I think sometimes we lose focus on building up our own communities. After all, we hope that our readers will want to come to our websites and engage with us and each other. The question is, how do we do it.

How do you get them hanging on your every word? Source

Here are three simple steps you can take to improve engagement in your writing community and create a place where people want to come back for more.

1. Respond to Comments
This is an easy step, but a lot of writers skip it in an attempt to save time. When someone visits your blog or website and leaves a comment, they are taking time out of their day to tell you they appreciate your content. Responding to these comments is an easy way to say thank you. It's also a great way to engage with your readers and let them know you care about what they think. The more you respond, the more opportunity there is for meaningful conversations, and that's a win-win for everyone.

2. Click the Link
When someone leaves you a comment, they have the opportunity to list their own website and their name turns into a hyperlink. Make it a habit to visit the website of your readers and comment on their own content. People like talking to other people, not untouchable entities who rain down words of wisdom from above. Visiting the sites of your readers says "Hey, I'm a reader, too."

3. Link to Others
Have you read a great blog post lately? Why not link back to that blog and give your own perspective on the topic? Linking to others is a great way to actively engage in the community and share the love. Plus, people are much more likely to re-post your content or help your marketing efforts when they see you are willing to return the favor. Never underestimate the power of the WAM principle.

These tips may sound easy, but that's because they are. In the end, it's the little things, not the grand gestures, that build a community people want to be part of.