A simple tip to help you build your online community

July 21, 2010

Everyone’s always complaining about how much time it takes to build an online community — to grow a following on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, etc. It’s true. It does take a lot of time.

So I like to give my clients tips to maximize every minute they spend online. And this particular tip will help you across the board, on every network and platform. Best of all? It’s easy.

Whenever you write the name of your blog, make it clickable. How do you do that? By including http:// at the beginning of the address.

I’m going to use my friend Melanie’s blog as an example, because I was teaching her this yesterday. I know she won’t mind because y’all are going to go check out her blog about life as a new mom, right?

Melanie should be writing her blog address like this: http://soveryvienna.blogspot.com

Not: www.soveryvienna.blogspot.com

Not: soveryvienna.blogspot.com

The http:// is crucial. It lets readers click on your link right there, rather than having to cut and paste it into their browser. The fewer steps it takes to get to your blog, the more readers will visit. The easier it is for readers to visit you, the faster your online community will grow.

Do this when you’re leaving comments on other people’s blogs. Do it in your e-mail signature. Do it in the blurb on the left-hand side of your Facebook fan page. (Profiles have a website option built in, so no need to worry there.)

This applies to all parts of your online life! To your Twitter handle! http://twitter.com/yourhandle. To your Facebook fan page! http://www.facebook.com/yourpage. To everything!

Ingrain it in your head. I will always use http://. It doesn’t matter whether or not you include www. That’s your choice.

Note: This trick will NOT work when you’re writing a blog post. You’ve got to use your link button to make a link live.

If you already knew this, don’t growl. Pat yourself on the back. That’s way more productive. And if you learned something new today, go forth in your online community and show off those skills!

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