Frequency of Updates, Reader Feedback and an active Community, these are the elements that distinguishes a blog from a Website. And when you have all these factors right, you are on the right track to success. It’s easy to control Frequency, but the User Feedback greatly depends on the Community around the blog.
Building a Community involves deep rooted networking, and lots of Community love. A community is something that grows along with the blog, the bigger the community, the bigger the blog as a whole. Here are some amazing WordPress plugins that will help you in building the community around your blog. All of them are hand-picked!
Building Blocks for your Community
These wordpress Plugins will help you network better and stay in touch with your readers. Networking is the key to build a great community!
Thank me later: This wordpress plugin automatically sends a customized message to every commentator. The plugin can be configured to send any number of emails; I have set it to one, so when someone leaves a comment here for the first time an email is sent. The concept of the plugin is to send a thank you note after a defined period of time. I have left enough time so that I can reply to a comment before the note reaches the person.
Make sure that the email address from which the mail is sent is a valid email id. Many readers have contacted me directly by replying to the thank you note and that’s a great way to start a conversation! It’s a highly customizable plugin.
Subscribe to Comments: You will see a tick box below the comment box that reads, ‘Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail’. That’s this plugin in action. This plugin lets a commentator subscribe to comments and stay updated when someone replies to their comment. People seldom trace back their comments, but this plugin will make it easy for them to track the comments and come again to your site.
Top Commentator Widget: Its payback time! Thank your frequent commentators with a backlink and automate the process using this plugin. It stays on your sidebar and lists the frequent commentators. You can choose to reset the list weekly or monthly or never reset at all. Here, the list never resets, so the top stays at the top till someone else comes in!
Contact Form: A contact form is a must have for any blog. I have seen some contact pages with just the email address of the author. That’s useful when people are compelled to contact you, but a contact form will do more. It serves an invitation to contact you. Some of my readers often send me a ‘Hi’ note and I really appreciate that. Feel free to contact me here.
CommentLuv Plugin: This is yet another way of saying Thanks to the community. It inserts a link to the latest posts of the commentator and is quite a good way to lure in comments. But it makes the comment area look very linky and a bit messy. I love to keep my comments clean, so I don’t use it. Different people have different views, use if you like it. (See this post on DollarShower to see CommentLuv in action)
There are 4000+ WordPress plugins out there and I haven’t even seen the tip of the iceberg. Do you know of another useful plugin? Share it here and serve the community? 🙂
That was a very innovative way of back linking 🙂 and thanks for that.
Nice list Arun. Btw, I am developing another plugin now…not getting much time to complete it.
Its another community building one..? Then I cant wait to see it, One tip from one of my friends experience: Dont rush a plugin, take all the time in the world!
Read the story of a Guy who took the challenge of releasing 6 plugins in a week, Awesome guy 🙂
I, in fact, 5-6 plugin ideas. At least one of them I want to make hugely successful. It’s not related to communities 🙂
Thanks for the story… If I had enough time, I would have taken that route as well 😛 Unfortunately the my software job is highly demanding and at home, not much time either.
Wow, that sounds great. Time is a big villian even for me, so I can imagine how much it would be for you. Wish we had more time in our days.. lol
Good luck with your plugins and when you have it ready, I will also help you promote it. Good things always hit the lime-light 🙂
Thanks a ton Arun. I’ve just asked Darin carter (darin.cc) what plugin he uses to thank his commenter’s. While I was waiting for his reply, your post landed in my RSS reader. It’s a great plugin to build a relationship with your reader’s.
So you didnt get the thankyou note from me..? Then why didnt you ask me..? lol 😛
Glad that my timing was right, else I would have been a copycat in your eyes.. Lucky me!
Make good use of it…
I thought I would ask you but it deferred went on like that and finally I forgot about it. Your post gave me the answer for a question I never put to you. Great !!
Well, There is a rule that I follow these days, Never deffer your questions and post ideas. There had been some instances when I had a post idea and kept it on paper, only to find someone post it the next day.
Thanks for the good words!
Good tips. I’m going to start using Thank Me Later and Contact Form.
I’ll let you know how it works out.
Thank me later is a defenite enhancement, its been a conversation starter for me many times. A great way to honor the commentators!
Very nice and Helpful Post. Some of the similar plugins are there for blogger too. So this post will also help blogger users. Thanks.
Nice post, thanks Arun 🙂
Thanks for support Anish, Glad that you liked it.. 🙂
I think i have used all of the listed above plugins.
Way to go, but do you have the thank me later plugin..? I dont remember receiving the thank you email, maybe I forgot.. lol
Just check that anyway 🙂
i tried commentluv.. its nice