Chapter 22

Ten Ways to Grow Community

Every online community needs leaders or facilitators to keep the discussions lively, upbeat, and on topic. Taking on the role of community leader or even founder can be a tough job, and sometimes the rewards come slowly. Don't let these realities discourage you, though. Encouraging growth in any community requires a certain level of patience, persistence, and attention — but when it works, it really works.

This chapter offers ten simple tools for developing your blog from your soapbox into a real community, with true interaction between you and your readers, and more importantly, among the readers themselves.

If you're lucky, in the process of getting people to read and comment on your posts and on each other's comments, you’ll even discover how to convert readers into community evangelists who can make the community larger, more fun, and more active.

Write Often

Get writing! (Or podcasting, or posting photos, or whatever it is you're doing on your blog.)

Establish a regular schedule for maintaining your blog. A schedule really helps readers know what to expect and when. A regular schedule can even build anticipation and excitement. Be open to ideas, provide a welcoming environment, and keep yourself on topic so that interested, engaged readers get what they're looking for when they visit.

Need a break? Enlist the help of your growing community to keep the content flowing while you’re enjoying some rest and relaxation. Or consider writing ...

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