Live from Blog World Expo 2010: Building Community On Your Blog

Posted by Mark Thompson - October 14, 2010 - News - No Comments

This post are my notes from the live session at Blog World Expo in Las Vegas.  Please forgive me if I misspell anything or if some of the notes don’t make sense, as I am trying to gather as much information from each speaker as I can.
Quick Facts on the Session

* Topic: Building Community On Your Blog
* About: A blog REALLY comes alive when it has community. In this session Darren Rowse teaches the secrets of moving ‘visitors’ into ‘readers’ and ‘readers’ into ‘members’ who feel a sense of belonging to your blog and who begin to take ownership of it to help you take it to the next level.
* Speaker: Darren Rowse

Live Notes

Darren is going on to the 3rd pillar, which is Community.

He starts off by asking a question to the audience…”What was your best experience of Community? and he wanted everyone to tell the person next to them their favorite experience.

Why it’s important to build a community.

* Makes Your Site More Useful:  It allows people be interactive and the community can share their ideas and experiences.
* Social Proof Makes it Easier to Promote
* Increased Page Views (CPM Advertising)
* More Valuable to Sell More

How to Build A Community

I know its hard to make out, but basically this is a diagram that shows the life of a blog.  When you first start your blog, you are the only reader…then maybe a few family members….then a few in your industry…and it grows slowly, over time.

* Be the Community you Want to Have
* Invite Interaction (Ask Questions)
* Consider an Off-Site Community Area
* Start with Your Comments Section
* Drive Traffic to other Social Outlets (Facebook, Twitter) besides your Blog
* Write in a Personal and Engaging Tone
* Use ‘you’ and ‘we’
* Reader-centered posts
* Offer Additional Ways to Join or Become a Member
* Social Proof – Highlight Interaction/Community/Numbers
* Identify Natural Leaders –  Give Jobs, Train, and Pay Them
* Teach the Wisdom of the Crowd to Your Community
* Invite Reader Generated Content (Guest post & Compilations)
* Set Homework/Projects
* Give Your Readers a Chance to Show Off
* Involve Readers in Decisions and Change
* Be Accessible (He shows an example of how he uses Ustream for a public Q&A forum)

Dealing with Trolls

* Think about Policies and Standards Before You Need Them
* Model the Good Community
* Reward Good Behavior
* Outline Roles of Moderators Carefully and Talk About Policies, Values, and Procedures
* Marginalise Trolls (Be overly polite)
* Be Firm, Polite, and Calm with Trouble Makers

Make sure you tweet this post with the Hashtag #bwe10

About the Author

Mark Thompson

Mark is the creator of StayOnSearch and president of Search Creatively, a full-service Internet Marketing Company located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also contributes to many industry related blogs including Search Engine Journal and is active on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Mark on Twitter