31DBBB Day 22: Pay Special Attention to a Reader

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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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.

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    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.


    • 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" –