Comments, Following, Traffic

Grow Your Community

You’ve worked hard on building your site, now it’s time to explore the community and get noticed.

On WordPress.com, we encourage you to share your content with the world, discover other site owners with similar interests, and use the tools available to you to grow your community and following.

You want your work to be accessible and available to your readers. You want it to be seen by your audience. You want to reach out and delight the folks who are in search of what you have to offer.

Discover Other Sites Like Yours

WordPress.com has a wide variety of authors writing about every topic under the sun. By exploring tags in the WordPress.com Reader, you can find sites just like yours. Getting connected with other sites is a great way to find new readers, as well as become part of the global community of writers, bloggers, and content creators here.

The Reader is a great place to find and follow other websites.  You’re automatically taken to your Reader, where you’ll find the latest posts from the sites you follow, along with other tools for browsing WordPress.com. You’ll see an excerpt of each post, an image if available, and thumbnails of any other images in the post.  From there, you can like, comment, share, or visit the blog.

On the left, you’ll find a few tabs that help you discover great things to read:

Followed Sites shows you the newest posts from the sites you follow and is the default Reader view. Here, you can manage your preferences for these sites — you can choose to receive new posts by email as well as in your Reader.

Discover is a destination site showcasing the best content published with WordPress, including daily editors’ picks, recommended sites, and weekly features.

Recommendations are sites suggested for you by WordPress.com.

You can add new sites to the Followed Sites section of your Reader by clicking on the Follow button in the bottom right-hand corner of any WordPress.com site. (You must be logged in to see it.) You should also be adding tags to your own content so others can find you!

Engage With Your Community

Comments are a way for visitors to add feedback to your posts and pages. If you choose to enable comments for your posts, then a comment form will appear at the bottom of the posts and people can respond to what you have written.

Comments are also a great opportunity to open up the conversation with your website visitors and turn readers into loyal fans. A good comment thread can elevate a lackluster post and certain bloggers have built communities of loyal commenters whose insightful and entertaining conversations are almost more fun than the posts themselves.

When readers leave comments, keep the conversation going with a thoughtful reply. You can even reply directly from the notification email, before it has time to slip your mind. When you do reply, make it thoughtful or think about skipping it.  See your replies as a way to add something substantial that will build on the discussion.

If you don’t want public comments to appear, you can invite your readers to get in touch by using a contact form.The contact form comes with four predefined fields: Name, Email, Website and Comment. You’re free to edit, delete or add more fields to your form. Note that you can decide to make your field required or not.

Share With Your Network

Your site shouldn’t be an island — especially when it can easily function as your home on the web, the central hub from which you reach out to your audience, whether they’re your friends, family, or complete (but like-minded) strangers.

You’ve got a cool tool called Publicize right in your dashboard — access it by clicking on the Sharing tab in the left sidebar. You can use Publicize to automatically announce your blog updates to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Path. Once Publicize is set up, you can pick and choose which of your networks will receive announcements for every new post.

Once you’ve enabled a service through Publicize, you’ll be able to add a custom message (a short quote, an enticing preview…) to each post. That’s the text your readers on other networks will see once you publish your post.

If you want to share your content again, head to your existing posts in My Sites → Blog Posts and look for the post you want to promote again. Under every post in your post list is a Share button. When you click it, a sharing menu will appear. This feature is active for all WordPress.com paid plans: PersonalPremium and Business users.

While you’re still in your dashboard, you might also add a few sharing buttons to your posts. This will make it easier for your readers to pass along their favorite post to their networks. Just click on Sharing Buttons at the top of the page, then choose the ones you want and configure how you’d like to see them appear next to your post.

 

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