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Building Blogging Relationships – Be a Good Host

Another way to Build Blogging Relationships is to be a good host on your blog.

V and I went out to a friend’s home recently for a meal and had one of the best nights we’ve had in a long time simply because of the efforts of our hosts. They went to a lot of trouble to make sure that our night was just perfect on so many levels. Our wine glasses were never empty, they had a wood fire burning, they took genuine interest in us and asked a lot of stimulating questions, they offered us the best seats in their living room, they served some wonderful food and basically spoilt us rotten all night. As I look back on the night I realize that because of all of the little things that they did, V and I went home feeling very special and wanting to return the favor and have these friends over to our home as soon as we could.

As bloggers we have an opportunity to make a similar impression upon our readers as our friends made upon us that night.

Here are a few things that could help in being a good blogging host:

- acknowledge your readers – I’m constantly amazed how some blogs that I come across are written in a tone that barely acknowledges their readers. They are written in a very non personal or engaging tone – they present themselves as being ‘the’ answer to every question and they can be very ‘cold’ and arrogant. Maybe this is about the personality of the blogger or perhaps it fits with the blog’s goals – but I rarely return to such blogs.

- reply to comments and emails – ok this can be difficult when your blog gets popular – but give your readers a little respect and time by going out of your way to show them that you’ve noticed the way they’ve gone out of their way to interact with you. We can all improve on this area – but I’m always amazed by what impact a simply thank you email to someone who has left a comment can have.

- create a positive vibe - I’m not really sure how to word this – but I’ve noticed lately that I’m more and more drawn to positive bloggers than negative ones. Life is too short to hang out with grumbling, sour, bitchy people (of which there are many in the blogging community) – I’d rather hang out in an inspired, fun, optimistic and constructive environment. I suspect that when you create this type of blog you’ll draw others to you. Of course you can still have a bad hair day and do the occasional rant – but ask yourself if your posts are written in a positive or negative tone and what impression that might be giving your readers?

- link generously - perhaps one of the most powerful relationship building tools in blogging is the link. Links send traffic, they build page rank, they tell another bloggers ‘I’ve noticed you’ and they can actually affirm what another blogger has written. Links send people away from your blog but in my opinion they give back a lot more in the long term.

- engage your reader – one of the most powerful things you can do on a blog is engage with your reader. Many bloggers write in a tone that leaves little room for this. They write posts that are so comprehensive that there is little need for people to write comments. Here at ProBlogger.net I write more questions than I do on any other blog that I write. I constantly ask for comments, feedback, ideas and interaction – and you know what? This is by far my most commented upon blog. People like to be included, they like to be consulted, they like to be given a chance to give answers. In doing so you’re building a blog not only on your wisdom but your readers also – and in doing so your blog will be a much richer reader for all concerned.

I’m sure there are many more ways of being a good blogging host – feel free to tell us how you do it at your blog in comments below.

Read the rest of the building blogging relationships series.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. David says:

    I totally agree with what you have written. (I wish I had friends that treated me like that…rather than me sitting on the most useless seats)

    The hardest thing I find though is to show personality in a blog because many of the jokes that people tell sometimes have more of a personal “inner-circle” meaning rather than a general thing everyone can understand and relate to.

    I find the best written blogs are from people that would be considered by most to be well-rounded, and interested in the world they live in, and their surroundings, and while they usually have a positive message, sometimes bad things happen to them (and then they complain and are bitter) which makes them seem more human rather than text on the screen. Dooce is a good example of that in my opinion.

    If a blog is always positive and happy and the person has nothing negative to say, after a year or two you wonder if you are only getting a highly filtered version of them, and that as a reader of many blogs, makes me feel disconnected from the writer. I don’t need to know when they went to the washroom, but I’d love to feel like they want me to understand something about them.

  2. I’ve found that a simple acknowledgement email to people who’ve left comments is a great way to win readers. It’s often the case that even a grumbling comment, when responded to, becomes a cheery reader who’s willing to come back.

  3. A post like the ones I like to read Darren :)

    How could we not agree with such a writing? It’s impossible…

    So, I would like to suggest a book to David: “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser. For Zinsser, a good writing is a “human” one. One that you know it was written by someone human This is applicable for any type of writing: corporate, personal, memo note, technical, anniversary card, etc.

    However, when I read this book some months ago, I tought that all bloggers ought to read it. Everything is in the writing style :)

    I think I blogged something on this book… wait I’ll check it… Yes I wrote something about the general idea of the book, but I tought that I had wrote some quotes, unfortunately, I didn’t. So, you can have an idea of the book by reading this post.

    I hope you’ll enjoy it,

    Salutations,

    Fred

  4. Hummm, I linked the category and not the post, sorry. So, there is the post I talked about in my previous comment.

    BTM, You have a beautiful blog David, I really like it.

    Salutations,

    Fred

  5. Srinivasan R says:

    Excellent series.

  6. neezee says:

    ‘share such good friends with your readers so they get spoiled too’ *g*

  7. Bali Boy says:

    Great ideas all…especially the one about creating a good vibe! My wife has been fighting cancer for the last three years (and let’s face it, we all have SOME kind of burden to bare,) so the last thing I want to do is read a blog that whines and bitches about the world…I mean, I’m all for reality (I have posted a number of times about my wife’s plight) but seriously, I wouldn’t hang out with a person like that in the real world, I’m certainly not going to do it on-line ; )

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