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Pay Special Attention to a Reader [Day 22: 31DBBB]

Posted By Darren Rowse 27th of April 2009 Other Income Streams 0 Comments

Today your task in the 31 Days to Build a Better blog is to Make a Reader Famous.

The Task – Choose one (or more than one) of your current readers and do something out of the blue that acknowledges them, shows them that you see them as valuable and highlights them to your other readers.

Why This is Important

While many blog tips going around focus upon techniques to help make bloggers and their blogs more famous and well known one of the paradoxical keys to blogging success is that many bloggers who build great blogs actually go out of their way to make their readers more famous and well known.

When you create space on your blog to highlight readers in some way the impact can be quite profound (particularly when you do it regularly). Two groups of people tend to be impacted:

1. Those you make famous benefit – the first and most obvious people to benefit from your efforts are those who you highlight. Having someone go out of their way to talk about you on their blog certainly makes an impression on them. It gives them a feeling of being valuable, gives a sense of belonging to and participation in the blog and can help them to achieve their own goals if you send other readers to learn more about them on their own site/blog etc.

2. Other Readers are Impacted – one of the lessons I learned early in blogging is that when you publicly value one reader others often feel valued also. It shows you have an interest in and that you value all of your readers even when you just highlight a few.

How to Make Readers Famous

There are many ways to highlight your readers on your blog. Let me share a few that I’ve done over the years.

  • Promote a comment to a Post – sometimes readers make insightful and wise observations and tips in the comments of your blog. While they will be read by a handful of people in the comment thread – why not pull it out and use it as the basis for one of your post – highlighting the wisdom in it and the person who made the comment.
  • Write a Post about their Blog – visit the blogs of those leaving comments on your blog and pick one that you resonate with to post about. Write an ‘unpaid review’ of the blog – highlighting the best posts and what you like about it.
  • Send Your Readers to Comment on Someone Else’s Blog – write a post that links to someone else’s great blog post and instead of asking your readers what they think about it on your own blog ask them to head over and comment on it on the other person’s blog. Shutting down the comments in your own post and saying that you’ve left a comment on their blog already can help make this more effective.
  • Give Readers an Opportunity to Promote Themselves – run a project or write a post that gives readers an opportunity to promote themselves in some way. For example – one of the things I’ve done on DPS is give readers a chance to show off their photography. One time I did this was asking them ‘do you have a photoblog?‘ where I asked readers to share a link to their photoblog. Hundreds of readers left links to their blogs and many emailed me later to thank me for sending them traffic (another similar example was when i asked readers to share their best ever shot).
  • Reader of the Week – I’ve seen a few blogs do this over the years – they simply choose one reader each week to highlight in a post.
  • Projects/Memes/Competitions – long term readers of ProBlogger will be familiar with the ‘group writing projects’ that I run here every 6 months or so where I invite readers to all write posts on their blogs and then share the link with each other. These projects always generate a lot of traffic to other blogs. Similarly you can run competitions, Blog Carnivals, memes etc which give readers an opportunity to highlight their own online presence/blog/twitter account etc. (another example of this is my social media love-in that I ran last year inviting readers to tell us what social media accounts they had). Hundreds of people participated and those that did got a lot of followers on twitter and new contacts on other networks.
  • Run a Reader Poll and Highlight Answers in a followup post – have a post one weekend where you pose a question to your readers. Then in the week that follows do a followup post where you add some of your own thoughts on the question and pull out some of the best comments left by readers. Alternatively you could survey your twitter followers on a topic relevant to your blog and then highlight their responses as a blog post.
  • Invite Guest Posts – often ‘guest posting’ is talked about solely as a way to get free content for your blog. While this is nice – one of the things I love about it most is that it puts the microphone in the hand of someone else and lets someone who would normally be constrained by the comments section have a little more power and influence on the direction of your community for a moment in time. This can have a real impact upon the person doing the post – but also upon your readership as they see someone like themselves featured on your blog.

Don’t Have Readers to Make Famous?

Of course this exercise is easier for blogs that have been around for a while and that have developed a readership – those just starting out will find it tougher (there is only so many times you can make your mother, wife or best friend famous on your blog without looking a little desperate).

If you’re a new blogger or don’t have readers leaving comments yet to help you know who they are – try making another blogger famous today by writing a post that links up to them and highlights them to your readers.

Make Someone Famous

The blogosphere was built on principles of promoting others, conversation, celebrating diversity, open source knowledge etc. One of the things that first attracted me to blogging was the way that bloggers celebrated their readers and other bloggers – today attempt to recapture some of that ethos by making others famous today on your blog.

Share How You Do it

In the spirit of this post – I invite you to share how you make your readers famous in comments below. Share a link to the place you’re doing it so we can learn from you! Also stop by the forums thread for today to share your progress.

Want More?

This task is a sample of one of the tasks in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook – a downloadable resource designed to reinvigorate and revitalize blogs.

Join over 14,000 other bloggers and Get your Copy Today.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Good idea. An even better way to impress your site visitors can be to hold a contest and reward any person who leaves any valuable comment in a fixed time.

  2. I recently did a post that highlighted Becki’s post.

    I’m not sure how it affected Becki or how my readers related to it (Becki had already commented on my posts), but I certainly got a fair number of hits on that post.

    I’d like to know if there’s a way of working out how much this helps? I’m sure it does, anything that promotes collaboration and noticing/encouraging people is a good thing, but can it be measured (or does that even matter?)

  3. I do a link post every Monday and many of the links will be from my readers blogs whose blogs I also follow.

    I make an effort to look at all of the blogs of people who leave comments (easier for me with the small number of comments I get) and on my Friday ‘Here and Now’ post I link to the blogs I started subscribing to that week. I don’t skimp on the out links.

    It’s always really nice to be linked to and talked about on a blog and it always makes me interested in finding out more about the blog linking to me. It’s a great way to get those 1000 true fans!

  4. I do agree with this post. Readers are king. The power of one reader can multiply.

  5. To Paul: There are several stats programs that can track outbound clicks but I think it’s more the principle that you are genuinely trying to help promote someone rather than how many clicks they get.

    This is a great post and something I am definitely going to dedicate a few hours to later.

    I personally always want to reply to EVERY comment and visit each of their blogs and return the favour. This also includes replying personally to EVERY e-mail and linking whenever relevant. This isn’t for some kind of good karma or incitement; it’s simply because I am really grateful for everyone who contributes to my website. This is obviously harder to manage when a blog grows. For example, if Darren replied to every comment here he probably wouldn’t have much of a life… all day commenting!! :)

    I’ve been thinking of offering a prize for every 100th comment on my blog (itunes voucher for example) simply to show my gratitude. Do people think this is a good idea, or a bit patronising? Obviously it would be a random visitor and I wouldn’t want them to think it is some kind of shady promotion. :)

    Thanks for today’s task; really useful! :)
    Sam x

  6. I’ve arranged to get guest posts from some of the people I’ve met through the challenge, but those won’t be ready for a while. Looks like it’s time to feature the readers I met in a recent post called ‘Getting To Know You’.

  7. Making people special turns them from visitors into subscribers and then into advocates.

    People also like to hear their own name – so use it whenever possible.


  8. Yeah, blogosphere is about sharing knowledge and promote others. But sometimes we don’t want to randomly promote others without getting know them first, at least we need to understand what they blog about and their plan in a short term and assist them by doing a post in our blog.


  9. I just did this a couple of days ago, when the comment of a reader was the item in a new post: http://mario-live.com/blog/2009/04/authentic/

    I think it’s very important to acknowledge readers who take the effort to comment. Especially when they inspire you for a new post.

  10. I alwyas congrats readers those are regular commentor on my blog,going ahead giving link to readers blog is other thing to show him our thankfulness.

  11. Great idea. Now, which of my readers, and which medium to choose?

    I’ve actually already done a couple of these, but I think I’ll do a few more today. Thanks.

  12. I had been thinking about this over the weekend. I was thinking of creating Featured Blog for the week or something but I still don’t know how to do it. Maybe just a text Box or something with their Link. what do you think?

  13. Yey! My blog pal Squiggle Mom tells me I made her feel famous with a post I published yesterday.

    ‘Follow or foe? Deciding who to follow or unfollow on Twitter.’

    I can relax for the day. My work is done :)

  14. Oh I didn’t know I was doing this, it just seemed the right thing to do.

    Recently I saw a comment that really resonated with me, so I wrote a post on it.

    In the post I linked to the other blog, the commenter and the other blogger. I also rather than rehashing Jennies words, I told my readers that she had done a brilliant job (which she had) and told them to go and read her blog.

    It just felt good to give praise where praise is due.

    My post on this is at


    For once Darren I am already doing what you teach (probably the only time though ;) )

  15. I did this a while back when I posted about a giveaway that one of my readers what having.

    I also featured her in a guest post when she kindly agreed to be interviewed for my e-book

  16. I’ve been looking into ways to reward some of my regular readers and comments, but haven’t found the right thing, yet.

    This post gives me several ideas to brainstorm. When I do a monthly wrap-up of the blog, I want to be able to highlight some of them!

  17. one of my readers made a good comment and I decided to make a post on it(giving him the credit as well)

    basically many ideas for new posts came from my reader’s comment.

    in my case, one of my reader commented about how long should a guy wait before calling the girl after the first date,and the next day,i posted about that topic


    Thanks to that reader:)

  18. i would like to see you doing this Darren :)

  19. A real Gr 8 Suggestion Darren . Thanks a lot …would keep that in mind

    Blogging for Optimum Health Care

  20. I have done this quite a bit without being aware that I was…

    I have seen a comment that added to the post (and actually added it to the body and credited the commenter). I have asked a commenter to even do a post on a topic they had a great comment about.

    I also have guest bloggers speak on their area of expertise both for content and to help let them get some fame and new viewers. I have a series right now on Senior Photography for example – and I found someone looking to get more a name for herself.

    Hope these ideas help someone here.

    MCP Actions
    http://www.mcpactions.com/blog (if you go here and click on the category guest reader for the archives – you will see all of the above as examples)

  21. actually just taking time to acknowledge their comment is already a big help in making them go back to the site and comment more and making them famous is definitely effective

  22. I had done this indirectly a few weeks ago, so I will go in to that prior post and add a more direct link and revision (lesson: updating posts). I found that person and established a connection by emailing her after her first comment ( another lesson) and today I credited her for her new recognition on bloggingwomen.blogspot.com through my post, giving links to her site and the blogging women site.
    Thank you so much fo helping reinforce the value of this.
    footnote: by sending commenters emails I’ve begun an email conversation w/ someone that may lead to new and unexpected places! A big plus.

    today’s assignment: http://delicacies.wordpress.com/2009/04/27/shout-out/

  23. I just think that we have to reply all of the comments that made by our readers, it’s to show that we’re care about their voice (But I’ll ignore reader who just want to leave their link by saying “great post!”).


  24. give chance to readers to promote themselves is a nice idea!

    thanks for the enlightenment

  25. Great idea!! On my wedding blog, I do a couple of feaures including: guest bloggers, interviews, local vendors etc. One blogger I love to talk about is Princess Lasertron. You can see some post love here:


    On my personal website, I have an eco-guest blogger (although she doesn’t have her own blog) each Monday (in week 2).


    There is one regular reader who I will reach out to and show some blog love.

    Thanks Darren

  26. I installed the “Get Recent comments” plugin and set the preferences to include the readers name and email to given them credit for commenting on my blog.
    I also am wrote a post today referring back to a very successful post giving preference to everyone who made a comment on my blog http://www.reallifepurpose.com/reader-appreciation-day/

    The info you provide here is excellent and it is really making a difference in my internet business

  27. Hi,
    Last week, we did two blog posts about 3 of our readers.
    Here they are.


    We did get a few comments but not as many, as when we post about someone famous or controversial.

  28. I did did this today-before I read your post! (Love it when I’m a step ahead.)

  29. Darren-It is so funny that you suggested this assignment because I did this today!! Every monday I post a meme where other bloggers can put in their links. Most Monday’s I highlight a readers blog. Here is the post about Tina from MommyComplex http://toddlercraft.net/537/click-and-comment-monday/

    Stop by and check it out!

  30. This is real good advice. A lot of times I think bloggers think more about what kind of content they want and not the content their readers want.

  31. It feels so good to find out I’m on the right track! I promoted a reader comment to a post 2 weeks ago, and you can find the result here: http://averyfoodlydiary.blogspot.com/2009/04/spice-of-life.html

    Thanks again to Michael for his insighful comment.

    H :)

  32. PS. Happy birthday, Darren!

  33. This is a great idea, Darren! I love that you’re always helping us find ways to interact with our readers. I don’t think enough bloggers do that. It’s definitely one of my favorite parts of writing my blog–getting to know the people who read it.

    I recently asked my readers to submit guest posts and a ton of people e-mailed me and said they were interested. Initially, I just tweeted it, but on Friday, (and since I received so much interest), I created guest post guidelines (http://procrastinatingwritersblog.com/2009/04/24/procrastinating-writers-guest-post-guidelines/).

  34. Could this make another reader upset that you are not promoting their content or thanking them? I always worry about praising one person and upsetting the rest. The other thing is that some Blogs do not have readers that have a web site. I would definitely make it difficult to show off their content or articles. Any ideas? Or should someone in this situation just thank one reader? Or thank everyone?

  35. Hoping to make this artist famous.

    I really loved doing this assignment. I had been meaning to do this for a while. Nothing like an assignment and a deadline to get me moving.

    Thanks Darren!

  36. I wish I saw more blogs using this technique. While you can’t do it too often or you’ll start looking a little too promotional, it’s great to recognize/thank a reader for their support and valuable information. I’m sure the favor will be returned in most cases!

  37. I wrote a post sometime ago on “Who else wants to be a topnotch blogger.” One reader left a long, wonderful comment. I emailed him to thank him for his insights and asked his permission to post his comment as a guest post. He had only to put in minor modification and add a couple of important points. He jumped at the opportunity and promptly emailed back the revised long comment.

    Our collaboration produced my first guest post: Film Critic’s Take on Successful Blogging. – http://salabasngmandaluyong.blogspot.com/2009/03/film-critics-take-on-successful.html

    It’s one of my most well-read posts at the time.

    Today, I highlighted in my post a new reader because of her active participation in my blog. I wrote it hours ago:
    “CommentLuv Plugin for Blogspot Users” – http://salabasngmandaluyong.blogspot.com/2009/04/commentluv-plugin-for-blogspot-users.html

    I love writing about my readers. Perhaps this explains why I’m starting to have readers who are active blog commenters.

    Thanks, Darren. I’ve read it before in your archives, I guess. You can say I cheated a little, doing some advance readings. “,)

  38. I love doing this on one of my sites. One of them is too new to know my readers yet, but the other has a regular run of readers and I think it’s great to share the love about them.

    It’s fun to have them contact you and tell them how shocked and surprised they were to be mentioned. A guy I mentioned on Saturday wrote that he had never been blogged about before; so that was lovely.

    If people share news with me through email that is relevant to the site; I always big them up in some way and it feels great to do that.

    I was fortunate enough to be able to do interviews with both Ecover and Nestle over the past month and i’ve got one coming up with Tetrapak recycling too – so from little acorns and all that.

    here is the nestle one, which was formed by questions asked from our readers on a previous article:


    Here is one about one of our readers who shared some info about recycling in her area:


  39. Darren.
    I did this in a way in a little personal blog carnival. It was a combined link and kudos post. I also wanted the people I linked to see whether or not they got any pingback or trackback notes in their comments area – and explained this concept to my readers as many may not know how this works.
    In fact this post is very much like a little blog carnival.
    Pingback and Trackback in a little blog carnival.

    I have a few people that are constantly giving good advice in the comments section and I shall approach some of them with a blogpost. In fact some of the peers wrote about my blog early on and now I am a constant fan. Not a week pass without me referring to thier blog.

  40. As always – you kept it sweet and simple. Nice article.

  41. I have brought more focus to my blog because of this 31 day project. As a result, today’s assignment actually applies to me.

    I have at least one reader to whom I have responded.

    Thanks Darren.

  42. I do agree with this post. Readers are king. The power of one reader can multiply.

  43. I haven’t thought about readers like this way before. This brings the relationship between author and reader to another level. Thank you! Great post.

  44. Ever thought about before in my local blog of mimeblogger.com and many thanks for making me sure that my thought is on the right way.

  45. There’s a reader in my niche (blogs about sailing) that is always leaving comments that are often better than many of the original posts. He sends in emails to contribute to group writing projects and generally does everything he can to be a member of the circle of sailing bloggers, even though he doesn’t have a blog himself. So today I made him Sailing Blog Reader of the Year.


    Thanks for the idea Darren.

  46. I so like this idea I implemented it immediately using Sarah Schoenfeld as my first post: http://www.visualartsjunction.com/?p=1301

    Sarah was the first to introduce herself in my “Introduce Yourself” section: http://www.visualartsjunction.com/?p=1265

    This whole concept goes along with my belief of what the spirit of internet community should be all about. This type of “servant service” is catching like wildfire. I want to be part of, and help along, THIS type of community.

    I guess I would call it a spirit of: “Give help unto others before they help unto you.” What a fabulous way to connect and promote each other, because when we help others, we can’t help but be helped ourselves.

    Thankx so much, Darren Rowse, for spreading this around. It’s not only good business sense, but a sound and respectful treatment of each other we can all implement.

  47. I’m going to send a reader/commenter a long email asking her if she’s interested in a guest post. Fingers crossed.

  48. ok ok proof read before I send duh….sidebar I meant was, when i want to add google or something else it doesn’t work for me, the code,etc on where to put it. I did copy and paste, but must have did it wrong or something. Sorry and thanks again, I will try not to whine here again lol.


  49. Hey Darren
    Great idea.
    Still working on getting my traffic up for my blog so I don’t have too many readers to make famous just yet.
    I like the guest post idea and I also like the contest idea as well that was posted in an earlier comment.

  50. I’ve been getting some traffic to my blog – but still not alot – but that’s ok. I try and reply back to any comments that are made – but over the weekend I did comment on one of my commenters blog.

    I don’t know if it will help – but I guess I can’t hurt.

    Thanks for the great tip!

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