31DBBB Day 22: Pay Special Attention to a Reader

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

This is Day 22 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a group project 60+ of us bloggers are doing together in an effort to help each other become better bloggers.

One of the really cool paradoxes of life is the more you give the more you receive.  This is true in just about every facet of life.  Those who are generous with money find that when they’re in need more people are willing to help them out.  Those who are generous with praise and encouragement find when they’re down they have no shortage of people encouraging them.  Those who are generous with their time find others offering to give them their time as well.

This is true with blogging as well.  While some bloggers do all they can to hype their own blogs, those who help their readers will find no shortage of people willing to help them.

9 Ways to Give a Reader Attention

  1. Use a comment as the basis for a new post.  I did this last week when Chris Branscome posted a comment asking “How often should you post to your blog?” and I wrote a new post to discuss it (and cited both Chris and Erica in the post by name)
  2. Ask readers to introduce themselves in the comments.  We did this on Day 1 of 31DBBB.
  3. Ask readers to promote their relevant resources.  For example, if you’re doing a post on Facebook Pages for churches, ask people to post a link to their church’s Facebook page so other readers can see examples.
  4. Invite guest posts.  Something we’ve been doing all series long here.  I think it’s particularly helpful to include an image, short bio, and link their blog.
  5. Write about a person and their organization/website/blog.
  6. Interview a reader.  This not only promotes that person’s organization or website, but helps people make a personal connection with them.
  7. Top commenters plugin.  There are WordPress plugins that display the names of the readers who have commented most often.
  8. Tweet about your readers.  Tweet a thank you or #FollowFriday tweet about one or more readers.
  9. Tweet about a comment.  Instead of just retweeting a link to your blog post, if someone makes an insightful comment you could tweet something like, “Great comment by @whoever about xyz”

Of course, there are additional suggestions in today’s lesson in the 31 Days ebook.

One other thing to note, don’t limit your attention only to readers who have their own blogs.  Give some love to your non-blogging readers too.


  1. In what ways have you given readers attention in the past?  Which things did readers seem most appreciative of?
  2. Do you have something that gives attention to readers as a regular feature of your blog?  Like a monthly reader interview?  Or weekly #FollowFriday?  Are you considering starting a regular feature?

The Extra Mile

A few other things you can do to take your blog, other bloggers, and this project even further today…

  • Reply & give other bloggers feedback on the little things they do.
  • When other bloggers include a link to a new article they’ve posted today, click, read, and comment on it.
  • Tweet, share, & bookmark this post.
  • Please review Kevin Weatherby’s blog, Campfire Cowboy Ministries, and give him some feedback.

About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.


  • So far using the comments for inspiration for a new post
    And guest posts
    Have been the easiest way to single out readers. In both cases I went back and cited the origin of the comment or included info on the person who provided it. So far readers have seemed to really appreciate it. I think I need to work on crafting responses to all my readers though instead of just a handful… then again when you only have a handful of readers – lol

  • 31DBBB blogger interviews – woot.
    well it does not have to be 31DBBB.
    I saw it done at ChurchCrunch, but John stopped that, hmmm, well I was lucky to be a part of one.
    IntenseDebate has a points system that highlights commenters – although it takes forever to get points.
    Or those widgets that show the profile of recent visitors, like Feedjit.

    Well, Paul has done a great job of it on twitter and here with the 31DBBB. Kudos man Kudos.
    Makes me want to come back and comment, even it is arb.

  • For about the last year now, I've realized that some of the greatest growth on my blog ( has come when I give others more of a platform. I now regularly run group blogging projects that allow people to lead the rest of us through a study on a book (or whatever), and I often have people contribute who are not bloggers anywhere else (they are regular readers).

    But there are some other great tips in here that I'll have to apply. I particularly LOVE the idea of tweeting about comments that people make! I know that would bring some great traffic to a post (a.k.a. 'promote a blog post' from Day 3), and would encourage more conversation.

    Cool stuff!

  • This is a great idea to put into practice. If we could all help each other out, then the bell curve for sharing God's Word would go through the roof.

    Thanks for everyone helping me out on my site today…I have already put some stuff on there from some of the comments already made.

  • I shared a post on prayer today and at the bottom of the post I shared a link to Chris Branscome's blog over at The Prayer Experiment for folks to involve themselves in an ongoing dialogue about prayer. You can read the post here:

    Since my blog is new, I haven't done much of this. I have been more concerned about getting my own content on the site. I have really depended on twitter as a reference tool. For those of you that use a widget or other tool to highlight top commenters, what benefit do you get out of it? Do readers actually click through?

  • I've done interviews in the past but had never considered them from the point of view of someone that reads my blog. My struggle here would be what to ask them so that a genuine sense of reaching out occurs rather than a mechanical Q&A approach.

    Will look to include some of the above ideas in the future on a more consistent basis.

    An extra thought – I always try to remember to click on the "thumbs up" on any comment on my site and on any comment I respond too on other sites. Do other folks do this as well?

  • I've used several ways of giving my readers attention. I've blogged about someone else's post I enjoyed reading, and using some comments for a post sometime hopefully soon. I want to encourage guest posting too sometime.
    I don't have anything yet that gives attention to my readers, I want to though. I do have a blog stats counter at the bottom of my page.

    Today I'm honoring all my readers and commenters, if you've commented you have special recognition – "Honoring my Readers" –

  • Cool post, Stuart. You have inspired me. It's so great to learn about another brother out there in our big, big, wonderful family. 🙂

    Off to check out his site . . .

    Blessings, Cindy

  • Oh man, I am having so much trouble with this response system. It's always telling me I'm timed out even when I've just logged in. And then if I try to log in again, it won't let me. So I have to cut and paste my posts back in after I've logged out! Anyway, this last one was supposed to go to Stuart (obviously!)

    What I wanted to say here was that I've done a number of these things and people did seem to like them. There are other ideas here that I hadn't thought of, and I look forward to trying some of them. Thanks for a great reminder. 🙂

  • This whole challenge has centered on this aspect, because we have all come to this blog, Paul has given us opportunities to guest write for the challenges on certain days he has called our attention to a specific blog.
    Obviously, some of this requires that you know more about your readers. It's easy to take a comment and build a post off of it. One my blog today I tried to leave a question that would spark some discussion about running plans:… . My plan is that the comments will provide me with some information about other plans that people have used so that I can review them and write a post about it later. I could also talk in more detail with the person who suggested the plan.
    Like a few of the challenges in this series, this one may be a little harder for new bloggers to use because we are still trying to build a readership. My take on today's assignment was to try to lay a foundation so that I can actually do it at a later point.

  • I found a widget at, and I now have a "Recent Comments" widget on my sidebar. It's not everything I'd like to do to recognize my readers, but it's a start! I'm still brainstorming about the rest.


  • I did this lesson last night w/o even realizing it! I have been unable to spend much time on my blog, here at 31DBBB, (or anything else that doesn't involve my kids lately) so I used Twitter's Direct Message to let some of those who left comments on my last post that I appreciated their comment, and for others I went to their blogs and either left a comment or I tweeted about something on their blog. I ended up getting a great response quickly from almost everyone and they seemed really appreciative of my little DM note or that I can advertised their blog via a tweet.

  • This is a great idea and one I have not incorporated into my blog in the past. Ironically, however, I have participated in such things on other blogs, including guest posting one time for Jonathan Pearson, who has a significant following on his blog. I will seek to give this a try and hope it yields some great results.

    It's nice to be back in the saddle again after a few weeks somewhat "unplugged."

  • Glad to be back at 31DBBB. Been away from the computer for the long weekend. Drove to Kansas to see my girls.
    The recent comment gadget is useful on my blog. It highlights those that are commenting. I have had several great comments from readers in 31DBBB and plan to reference them in some upcoming posts.
    You all have some great ideas for highlighting readers.

  • Thank you, Paul, for all the great ideas. I copied them onto a word doc that will go in my Blogging Notebook–to be looked at frequently. Two things that I have done along these lines is start a prayer series based on a email reader's comments, and I have asked a friend of mine to guest post on prayer. She was on the prayer ministry team of Family Life Radio when I worked there.

    But there are so many more ideas that you have listed. Can hardly wait to try them.

    Tonight my hubby and I are going to work on changing that header!! We painted this weekend so there was no time to implement changes. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR GREAT COMMENTS. Stop by during the next week and see what I get accomplished.

    In Him,

  • Thanks Paul, the more I read the more ideas I come across. I have started implementing a lot of these ideas as time permits. I believe there needs to be quality and consistency not just quantity.

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