Creating a More Valuable Blog for Your Readers

Most of us as bloggers and website owners devote so much of our focus on increasing the value of our visitors to us that we neglect to focus on our value to the readers. If we dedicate our efforts to creating more valuable and useful content for our readers, the natural progression is that readers will become more loyal and more valuable to us as well.

What Can You Do to Create a Blog that is More Valuable to Readers?

1. Provide Better Quality or More Unique Content.

Ok, this one is pretty obvious, but it’s definitely true. Readers appreciate those blogs that give them the best information and that provide the type of content that they don’t find everywhere else.

2. Make Yourself More Accessible.

Your readers will appreciate your willingness to answer their questions and provide additional feedback. You should have a contact page that’s easy to find so visitors can send you an email. Try to answer questions submitted by readers, and consider using a new blog post to answer a question that other readers may be interested in. Rather than just responding by email you provide all of your readers with your answer.

3. Take Reader Suggestions for Post Topics.

Most readers like to know that you consider their interests when you choose a topic to write about. You can tell readers that you’re looking for input on your future posts and ask them to email you, or you can run a poll to get reader feedback (get a free poll from PollDaddy).

4. Link to Your Readers.


Many of your readers have blogs of their own. Providing links to their posts will help them out and help you by building more loyal readers. A good example of this is David Culpepper from PureBlogging. David regularly links to posts from his readers who are most active with comments on PureBlogging, and as a result he has a very active community and lots of interaction on his posts.

5. Allow Guest Posts.

Posting articles from your readers is one of the biggest things you can do to make your blog more valuable for them. It will give them some great exposure, a chance to find new readers, and a quality inbound link. However, you should only post high quality articles, otherwise your reputation will suffer.

6. Get More Involved in the Comments of Your Blog Posts.

Many readers are looking for some type of feedback when they leave comments on your blog. Simply following up, answering a question or just thanking them for reading will show that you appreciate them as a reader. They’re much more likely to come back and post more comments if you’re interacting with them.

7. Leave Comments on the Blogs of Your Readers.

Most readers that leave comments on your blog will leave their URL. Try to make it a priority to click through to their site and read some of their posts. Leave comments and interact to let them know that you’ve visited. Getting traffic from comments is definitely a great way to make your blog (and more specifically, their participation on your blog) more valuable for them.

8. Create Networking Opportunities for Your Readers.

You can increase the value of your blog to your readers by helping them to connect with other bloggers that may result in beneficial relationships. You can accomplish this in a number of ways, one example would be to create a forum. Starting a community at a site like BUMPzee is another option, although this will take visitors away from your site. A more simple option is to simply write a post with an open invitation for readers to introduce themselves in the comments and leave a link to their own blog.

9. Display the Top Commenters.

If you’re a WordPress user, the Show Top Commentators Plugin is another way to add value to your readers. Those who actively participate and leave the most comments will show up with a link in your sidebar.

10. Consider Removing the “NoFollow” Tag on Comments.

This one is a bit controversial and different people have strong feelings on both sides. It is, however, one way of adding value to your readers, as they will get a link that will be followed by search engines when they leave comments. The DoFollow Plugin is available for WordPress users who want to remove NoFollow tags.

This list, of course, does not include everything you can do to create value for your readers. What methods do you use to help your readers?

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35 Responses

Comments are now closed on this post.

  • Stephen Cronin, August 21, 2007

    Some great tips there. I try to do most of these but there were a couple I hadn’t thought of – the link to polldaddy may come in handy.

    Personally I think the most important are responding to comments and leaving comments on other people’s sites – and of course content.

  • Marrisa, August 21, 2007

    Hello! Thanks for the tips, they are really useful! Cheers!

  • Dave RH, August 21, 2007

    I have a few blogs that are languishing…I post frequent quality content but just can’t seem to get anywhere.

    I think this may be because I’m not putting some of this into practice. I will definitely be trying some of these methods out in the near future, thanks for the ideas!

  • TheAnand, August 21, 2007

    beautiful tips here….I am mailing myself these articles from the rss reader for future reference :-)

  • David Culpepper, August 21, 2007

    Excellent tips, I could certainly do better on a few of these. Ad thanks for the link love… much appreciated!

  • Henri @ B2B Sales blog, August 22, 2007

    Good article and amen to most of the above. But I do not necessarily agree to point 5 to allow guest posts of readers. Especially in the case when you’re trying to build an authority blog and a reputation. I do agree to getting really involved with your readers and commenters, but I would not open my blog up to them. However if I could get an authority blogger in my field (sales and marketing) to do a guest post I would consider it.

    Another thing I have been successful with is by developing useful free downloads like WordPress plugins, custom Google toolbar buttons and wallpaper. All related to the field of (interactive) marketing though.

  • Sarasota, August 22, 2007

    This is all wonderful info. I’ve added you to my feed reader. I think the idea of guest posts is great.

  • Goyin, August 22, 2007

    Don’t forget that having a blog with focus also increases the user experience. unfortunately my blog lacks it a little…

  • Vandelay Design, August 22, 2007

    Thanks everyone for your comments. Sorry I wasn’t able to respond to them earlier.

    Henri,
    I don’t necessarily disagree with you on the guest posts point. It’s definitely a matter of preference, and each blogger should way the pros and cons. But with that being said, if you choose to allow guest posts, it will increase the value of your blog to those readers that get published. And to repeat what I said in the article, you should never publish anything that is below your quality standards. Thanks for your comment.

  • Malok, August 23, 2007

    Thanks for the advice! I’m fairly new to blogging, so I’m trying to play catch up. Your list was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing! :)

  • Vandelay Design, August 23, 2007

    Malok,
    Thanks for your comments, I’m glad it’s useful for you.

  • Gyms & Health Clubs by Aaron, August 25, 2007

    This is a great list of reader-friendly practices- the bottom line – like you show – is that the more you interact with your readers and reward them for participation, the more likely they will be to return and stay loyal, link back to you, and so on. Great stuff

  • Sly from Slyvisions.com, August 25, 2007

    All are very nice points. Although it’s very hard for my main blog, Slyvisions, to show top commenters since I don’t use WordPress or Blogger. The developers for the software I use haven’t figured out a way to do this yet. Other than that, this was a nice read.

    Sly from Slyvisions.com

  • Vandelay Design, August 26, 2007

    Sly,
    If want to reward your most active commentators you could probably accomplish the same thing by writing a short post once a month or once a week with links to their websites. It seems like the link is the motivation behind the WordPress plugins, so maybe you could do the same thing manually. I know currently link to others, so maybe you’re already doing this.

  • Crystal, August 26, 2007

    Great post. I especially like #4. I have been more active on sites after seeing my blog linked there. This is something I think I’ll do more often

  • Vandelay Design, August 26, 2007

    Hi Crystal,
    Thanks for reading! Yes, linking to others can be very effective. I personally visit every site that I get a trackback from (out of curiosity if nothing else). It’s a good idea to try to focus on linking to small or mid-size blogs if you want them to notice you. The major blogs get too many links to really notice.

  • Tay - Make Money Blogging, August 31, 2007

    Steven,
    Thanks for sharing your tip on my site, I highly appreciate it!
    I agree with you 100% on all of these points. I especially like the ones where you should link to and comment your readers. ;)
    Thanks,
    Tay

  • James Mann, August 31, 2007

    I recently changed all my static web sites to WordPress blogs. I have been working at various things to improve the target traffic and am always up for more tips. So thanks for the great advice and keep them coming.

  • Vandelay Design, August 31, 2007

    James,
    Thanks for reading!

  • Gyms & Health Clubs by Aaron, September 7, 2007

    I finally bought a domain name and I’m getting everything ready to go, but I can’t seem to get word press working on my site correctly… i set it up through an auto-install that the hosting company provided for me, but my index.php is messed up… any advice?

  • Vandelay Design, September 8, 2007

    Aaron,
    Have you tried uninstalling WordPress and then re-installing it? What theme are you using? If the error is in your index.php file you should be able to copy another index.php and paste it into your theme to replace the one with an error. Most themes use a very generic index.php that doesn’t have that much code in it. Since your hosting company provides the auto install you may be able to get some support by calling them. Hope that helps.

  • Campy, March 7, 2008

    Great site. Get your self some banners from cj to make extra $:)

  • Dr. Ethiopia, June 13, 2008

    Helpful indeed.

  • Max the Micro Niche Finder, March 24, 2009

    Hiya, i have seen your site when searching a few weeks ago and i really love the design! I just bought a new 3 character domain (cost me a packet) for a niche review blog, and i was wondering if your design is a free or paid one? I’m new to WordPress and about to set it up, and i would really like to get something with a similar look to yours. Any ideas where i could download or buy something similar? Thanks for your help! :)

  • Molly, December 1, 2009

    How to Keep Your Website Attractive to Both Visitors and Search Engines ..?

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