This is a guest post by Alvina Lopez.
If you’ve ever gone to an industry conference, film festival, grand opening, or author signing, then you can appreciate the energy such events can create. Industry conferences gather together the best and brightest minds in order to share ideas and plan for the future. Film festivals celebrate great work by experienced and up-and-coming film makers. Grand openings drum up customers for brand new businesses. And author signings are often just one of many stops on a book tour to connect with readers who might want to buy the author’s latest books.
So how does this relate to you? Well, bloggers can also apply these same strategies to their own blogging practices. As bloggers, we thrive on buzz and the latest keyword trends, but we also need to figure out how to keep readers loyal. One way to do this is to set up a similar energetic event that excites our community of readers and other bloggers, while also creating momentum for the year until the event rolls around again. Here are a few ways bloggers could do this:
Organize a Blog Tour
This idea is similar to a book tour, and like a book tour it will take advanced planning. You’ll have to pitch the idea to a number of blogs within your community, create content to suit each blog, and then follow up by interacting with commenters at each blog. The pay-off is that your ‘tour’ can expose you to a greater audience, while providing some content to your fellow bloggers.
Moderate a Guest-Blogger Panel
The opposite of the Blog Tour is to moderate a Guest-Blogger Panel. Invite some of your favorite bloggers to a discussion, either live or edited, that you moderate. Make sure the discussion is timely and addresses a recent issue in your community. Also ask that your participants be available to respond to reader questions and comments. Your guest bloggers will get backlinks and you’ll have a week’s worth of content.
Lead a Book Club
You don’t necessarily have to discuss a book, but the idea is that you lead discussion with your readers about something that directly relates to your community. It could be a book, a movie, a magazine, a paper, a presentation. The idea here is to interact with other members of the community, but to regularly host that discussion at your site.
Create Themed Weeks
For this, you should consider both the atmosphere of your blog and the sensibilities of your readers, as well as the overall health of the community. Does your community need a pick-me-up? Then have a Positive Thinking Week, and post inspirational ideas for your readers. Could your community use some solid criticism? Then maybe a Truth Hurts week could be appropriate. Whatever you pick, make sure it will both create buzz and benefit the community of which you are a part.
What’s most important about these ‘events’ is that you make use of the momentum they generate by following up with excellent content and selling your services, if applicable. And, you should create anticipation among your readers by somehow having these events be reoccurring features at your blog.
About the Author:
This guest post is contributed by Alvina Lopez, who writes on the topics of accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez @gmail.com.