Creating a Conversation with Your Blog

Creating a Conversation with Your Blog As you begin to blog your book – this week I’ve been exploring how to write your book through blogging – you’ll also be building a platform for your writing and, by extension, for you and your business.

You do this first by getting out there: putting your words down and creating blogs. If you’ve set up a plan to blog about three times a week, you are well on your way to beginning to build an audience. Now, how do you do that?

You go to other blogs

That’s one way.

You also utilize social media to draw people to your blogs.

Just because you’ve written a blog, you shouldn’t expect that people will discover it on their own. With billions of words being uploaded every day, yours will surely be lost unless you learn how to direct people toward what you’ve written.

You do this first by posting what you’ve written as links on Facebook and Twitter and other social-media sites. There have bene stories lately about how young people are avoiding these two social media outlets in favor of ones where they can text. This should not worry you. Unless you’re writing a book aimed at teens under 18, you shouldn’t worry about capturing these short-attention-span readers, who are more interested in texting each other or posting photos than in engaging with your message. You want people who will respond to your message. Start with those two sites, and find others that can get your work out there.

Second, look at blogs in the areas you follow. If you have a particular blogger you like, go to that site and see what he or she has listed on the “blog roll,” which is a list of blogs that this person likes and perhaps links to. But first, engage with this blogger by posting on a particular blog. By doing so, you’ll begin engaging in a conversation with this blogger and the audience reading the blogs. Your name will automatically link back to your blog site.

Here are a few tips for commenting on other blog sites. Remember, this is just the beginning.

  • Find the blogs of interest to you in your subject are or niche. As you read them, make a point to comment in some way on what the author has said – and you can disagree. But you want to have a real, if virtual, conversation with this author and this author’s readers. Becoming a regular commenter will do that.
  • Lay out your argument – if you’re arguing – in a few strong points. But always be polite. Everyone likes to read a good discussion. No one likes to read rude trolls online. Too many of them are out there, and you don’t want to be known as someone who holds a grudge or who can’t hold a civil discussion.
  • Respond to the responders. If someone agrees or disagrees with your answer or your comment, make a point of going in and engaging. This creates a lively discussion and perhaps brings in more readers.
  • Set aside time to go through other blogs and comment on them. This should become as routine to you as the writing of your blog. ON “off” days when you don’t have a blog, spend even more time, and see if you find other blogs of interest to you. You really need to devote energy to building an audience, so that other members of other audiences can find you.
  • Take each commenter seriously. These folks might even steer you in a new and productive direction, or might help you course-correct. Or they might provide you with valuable ideas.
  • Be open to change. You may be an expert but you should also be humble. And readers love to k now that a like-minded soul is out there who has the courage to engage and to solicit other opinions.

In my next blog, we’ll look at finding ideas.

 

Bob Hughes
Author: Bob Hughes
Robert J. Hughes ("Bob") was a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal for over a decade, specializing in culture reporting. He was the paper's theater reporter, wrote on publishing, the art and auction markets, television, music, film and philanthropy, and reviewed books.
  • KirstenNelson

    Great tips, thanks Bob! The blogs I follow the most regularly are the ones that respond and engage to comments made by readers.