A blog is more than just the content that you post on it and, even though you might be the star of the show, it’s more than you, yourself. A blog is a tool for communicating, so running it needs to include the people that you’re communicating with. If you want your blog to continue to grow and improve, then you need to focus on building the community that will sustain it in the long run.
Know your audience
You shouldn’t assume that you know who is reading your blog. You might think it’s safe to assume that they are people who share a lot in common with you, demographically, but this isn’t always true. A great way to learn who audience actually are is to use capture forms. This can help them sign up to newsletters and the like that can keep them engaged, but it also provides you with critical information on who you are actually writing to. You don’t have to change what you write depending on who your audience is, but it can avoid you from making some erroneous conclusions.
Stay active with them
Your community is a living breathing thing, and you can get them more engaged by choosing to directly engage them. Having a presence on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and posting reliably can help. However, to make sure that you never miss the opportunity to engage with them, you can use social media trackers that will give you a dashboard from which you can see follower posts, replies, mentions, and more. This way you can always ensure that you’re reaching out and replying to those who are doing the work of being your community.
See the site from their eyes
When it comes to the design, navigation, and categorization of your website, then there is no perspective more important than that of your audience. To that end, testing with their involvement is crucial, not simply using your own judgement solely. With a usabilty testing framework, you can get a third-party perspective on the critical parts of the website, what works, what doesn’t, and what you can change. By getting their feedback, you can make sure that your site is much easier to use for future visitors.
Get them involved
The better you can convince members of your community to become actively involved, the stronger the connection will be between them and the blog. For instance, you can have them create user-generated content such as by running a competition for a giveaway that encourages them to share their own thoughts or take photos and videos. Even something as simple as giving them homework, like a recipe to try or a task to do to reach a certain shared goal can help get them more actively involved in the blog.
Your community will always be a crucial part of your blog for however long it exists. As such, you always need to be working on it. The tips above should hopefully help with that.