Camp Blogaway was informative. Inspiring. Encouraging. I met wonderful people, ate great food and enjoyed beautiful scenery.
And since the weekend deserves more than your typical recap…
Welcome to the Camp Blogaway Awards, Part 1!
The first award I’d like to give out is that for “Most Inspiring Session or Panel.”
It is so easy for bloggers to get caught up in the ‘numbers.’ I’m talking pageviews, unique hits, subscribers and the like. In this panel, Cheryl and Susan talked about thinking more about the people reading your blog than you do about the ‘numbers’ in order to build a community and create loyal readers.
As much as I’d love higher stats and income from my blog, what I find really meaningful is YOU, my readers. Getting a reader submissions for my Little Things series always brightens my day. Watching a conversation develop in the comments section of one of my posts never fails to put a smile on my face.
Comments, retweets and Facebook ‘likes’ tell me that you’re enjoying the content I put on my blog. I love responding to your comments, knowing that you’ll soon receive an email notifying you that I’m continuing the conversation.
To build a community, your blog and your social media can’t be all about you. Think about how you can add value to the community yourself. I try to share posts in my sidebar and Google Reader that I think are well-written or that my reader will enjoy. Communicate with other bloggers and non-bloggers via Twitter and real-life interaction.
To sum it all up, “be real. The community should benefit everyone, not just your bottom line.”
The real toughie is getting non-bloggers to be a part of your blog’s community. Because as Cheryl and Susan said, if you’re only writing for other bloggers, you’re really just “preaching to the choir.” And honestly, I don’t have a good way to do that right now. But I’m working on it.
How do you build community on your blog? And how do you bring non-bloggers into your blogging community?
Huge thanks to Garlic Gold for sponsoring a portion of my travel to Camp Blogaway!