The following post is an excerpt from my chapter in Danny Iny’s new book, Engagement From Scratch: How Super Community Builders Create a Loyal Audience and How You Can Do the Same.
It features lessons in community building and content marketing from the likes of Guy Kawasaki, Brian Clark, Mitch Joel, Kristi Hines, Gini Dietrich and many more.
In this excerpt, I share lessons learned and what I would have done differently if I were a new blogger on the scene today.
I Would Have Posted Less Frequently
I started off writing a blog post a day (and sometimes I posted more than once on the same day). Sometimes this made me publish stuff that, in hindsight, could have (should have) been better.
In the middle of 2011, I made a conscious decision to post less frequently, and really ask questions of things in the stuff I wrote about. It made me a better blogger, and resulted in the ensuing comments going through the roof.
I Would Have Been More Honest
Let me rephrase that: I would not have been afraid to speak more honestly.
There were times early on when I wouldn’t have said anything negative about certain people, since I (incorrectly) thought they were right. Turns out we all get blinded by vacuous respect.
When I realized this, and began writing openly about bad practices and calling out bullshit, it once again raised the level of engagement through the roof, as others were clearly thinking the same thing. Be honest, and you’ll have engagement.
I Wouldn’t Be So Closed Off
One of the things many bloggers complain about is that social sites like Twitter and Facebook have seen comment numbers decrease, as conversations about a post shift there, as opposed to taking part on the blog. Heck, I even wrote a post about Twitter killing blog comments!
But that’s missing the point – engagement comes in all shapes and sizes, and while your blog may be the most desired place for discussion, true engagement allows the discussion to expand in all directions.
If I was to do anything differently, it’d be to get active on Facebook sooner (and now Google+). Because, ironically, I’ve tended to find that the more willing I am to converse away from my blog, the more likely people are to click through and read more of my stuff.
And that’s a win-win for every blogger.
How about you? If you could revisit your early days, what would you change the most?
Engagement From Scratch: How Super Community Builders Create a Loyal Audience and How You Can Do the Same is available now. 50% of all profits from book sales go to support the teaching of entrepreneurship.