The last 24 hours on ProBlogger have seen a lot of action around our social media love-in project that is currently running. Not only has there been a lot of action in the comments on that post but it’s driven up traffic and increased the numbers of emails that readers are sending.
Just now I scanned through today’s emails and here’s some of the comments (I’ll keep them anonymous as I’ve not asked permission to attribute them):
“Thanks for the Love-In – I’ve been approving new friends all day.’
‘I love that you’re using your blog to help promote us like this.’
‘Most bloggers, including me, dissuade readers from promoting themselves – this is a refreshing change!’
What strikes me today is that when you go out of your way to use your blog to not only build your own profile but that of those who read it that more often than not it is a powerful exercise.
This lesson has been doubly driven home to me over the last couple of days because on DPS over the weekend I invited readers to share their best ever photo with a link to their Flickr account, blog or other online photo sharing site. The responses have been overwhelming with over 230 images shared so far.
Once again the emails that have come from readers thanking me for giving them a little extra exposure to their work has been quite remarkable. I suspect in the simple act of dedicating a post to promoting readers I’ve created a little goodwill in the minds of 200 or so readers and in the process have made my blog a little stickier for them. I’ll be following the post up in the coming week with another post highlighting some of the images submitted to cement it even further.
So How Can You Make Your Readers Famous?
Perhaps it is a little easier to make readers famous on a blog about blogging or on a blog where many readers have an online presence in photo-sharing communities – however I think it’s something that can be done on most (if not all) blogs with a little thought and creativity.
Here’s a list of suggested ways to highlight readers that I’ve published previously here (plus a couple of bonus ones):
- Promote a comment to a Post – sometimes readers make incredibly insightful and wise observations and tips in the comments of your blog. While they will be read by a handful of people in the comment thread – why not pull it out and use it as the basis for one of your post – highlighting the wisdom in it and the person who made the comment.
- Write a Post about their Blog – visit the blogs of those leaving comments on your blog and pick one that you resonate with to post about. Write an ‘unpaid review’ of the blog – highlighting the best posts and what you like about it.
- Send Your Readers to Comment on Someone Else’s Blog – write a post that links to someone else’s great blog post and instead of asking your readers what they think about it on your own blog ask them to head over and comment on it on the other person’s blog. Shutting down the comments in your own post and saying that you’ve left a comment on their blog already can help make this more effective.
- Give Readers an Opportunity to Promote Themselves – run a project or write a post that gives readers an opportunity to promote themselves in some way. Last week on the spur of the moment at DPS I wrote a post asking readers – do you have a photoblog?‘ As I wrote the post I thought I’d add a line inviting readers to share a link to their photoblogs. I didn’t think much of it until the next morning when I woke up to 250 comments on the post and a whole heap of emails thanking me for giving readers the opportunity to highlight their work.
- Reader of the Week – SingForHim once left a comment here at ProBlogger talking how how she runs a weekly post called Readers of the Week where she highlights some of her readers and how they’ve interacted with her blog.
- Run a Reader Poll and Highlight Answers in a followup post – have a post one weekend where you pose a question to your readers. Then in the week that follows do a followup post where you add some of your own thoughts on the question and pull out some of the best comments left by readers. Alternatively you could survey your twitter followers on a topic relevant to your blog and then highlight their responses as a blog post (example of this).
- Invite Guest Posts – often ‘guest posting’ is talked about solely as a way to get free content for your blog. While this is nice – one of the things I love about it most is that it puts the microphone in the hand of someone else and lets someone who would normally be constrained by the comments section have a little more power and influence on the direction of your community for a moment in time. This can have a real impact upon the person doing the post – but also upon your readership as they see someone like themselves featured on your blog.
How do you highlight and grow the profiles of readers?