My name is Cody Hodge and I am the blogging correspondent for Mandy's Pages. Please don’t hesitate to follow me on Twitter @Codycustomcont to talk more or send me an email at Codyhhodge@gmail.com or just drop me a note here as a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.
Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words ... but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right — as right as you can, anyway — it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Or criticize it.
The Internet is much more social than it was just five years ago. Today, you need to engage and interact with your audience if you want your blog to succeed. While comments and social shares of your blog makes it easier to expand your blog’s reach, there is a dark side to this as well. How do you make sure that readers are part of a respectful and civilized dialogue?
It is critical that you engage with your audience in a meaningful way. First, you have to make way for feedback, so that your audience can respond to your post. Two easy ways to do that are to add a contact form on the site or to allow comments on each post. By allowing your audience to interact with you, you go from talking 'at' your audience to talking to your audience. For most people, there is nothing better than good conversation. A 'platform for interaction' are the keywords here.
There are times when you are going to get comments that have bad language, are critical of you or are simply spam. Generally, spam comments should be deleted as they offer nothing to the conversation and can make your blog look unprofessional. Comments with bad language should be moderated depending on what your audience will accept and critical comments should be accepted and embraced at all times.
There is a lot that you need to think about before starting your own blog. There are many technical issues as well as small details that you have to think about before you begin writing. By taking the time to think about your readers and your audience, there is a great chance that you are going to find success in your attempt to become a blogger.
Next week, I will discuss the different blogging platforms available to you as well as whether it is better to host your own blog or use a free subdomain. Check back next Wednesday for what will be another fascinating and informative post.
Image Credit: Nagy Reader at Wikimedia Commons
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