The vast majority of the questions I receive are from new bloggers asking me how to get their readers to be more active. I’m always hesitant to answer because I know y’all are expecting me to provide a list of quick and easy tips, but the truth is there’s no hard and fast rule to gaining a dedicated following. All I can tell you is it takes time.
Expect to grow your readership one person at a time. Become genuinely interested in your readers and their blogs, and they’ll show their interest in you. Make it a habit to comment, DM, retweet, and email those who reach out to you and those who show support for your projects. Ask them for their opinions. Start conversations.
There are only so many hours in the day, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t contact every single person. Your efforts will be noticed.
Provide your readers with something of value. Write an ebook on a topic you’re passionate and knowledgeable about and give it away for free. Link their blog posts or review their blogs. Most of us are pretty self-centered. We’re more inclined to pay attention to those who’ve given to us. Make a lasting impression with your generosity.
I cannot say it enough: online relationships are just like those we develop offline. Use the same strategies to foster community among those who enjoy you and your blog.
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Kimberly N. Foster is the founder of Black Girls Blogging and Editor of For Harriet. Email or Tweet her.