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Rethinking Audience: Turning Readers into a Thriving Community


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Jodi Ettenberg and Annemarie Dooling talk community-building, why having a community is more important than general readers and how to deal with negativity and trolls. Presentation is from the TBEX 2013 conference in Toronto.

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Rethinking Audience: Turning Readers into a Thriving Community

  1. 1. Rethinking Your AudienceTurning Readers Into A Thriving CommunityJodi Ettenberg & Annemarie Dooling
  2. 2. Hint: It’s not just engaged readers andit’s not just a platform.What Is A Community?
  3. 3. How Do I Find And Relate To My Community? Be sure of your unique niche and tone. Be mindful of authenticity from dayone.Always aim to provide value.
  4. 4. Keeping Relationships Continuously Beneficial There’s no stopping point for providing value and building out acommunity. Reward community members for their loyalty and interest. Pay attention to reader feedback and expertise: Take your cues fromthem. Remember that when reaching out to ask questions, open-endedquestions to generate one-time engagement is not the aim – truelistening/value is the aim.
  5. 5. 860+ comments and suggestions from valued readers, incl. changingthe kerning & modifying fonts.
  6. 6. Trolls And Grouchy People Trust that an established and strong community will oftenspeak for you to defend you to negative users or trolls. To keep in mind when confronted with negativity: thinkabout (1) when to step in, (2) when to let community step in,and (3) when to walk away.
  7. 7. What Does Success Look Like?How does community make a brand stronger? Ability to pivot into new field of expertise,taking your community with you. Wider net of expertise to draw from andlearn from. More brand recognition and wider spreadon social networks.
  8. 8. The Bloggess Prompted her community into actionboth for important and more whimsicalprojects. (In this case, drawing a ladymaking out with a unicorn and thentweeting it). Rewarded and elevated participatingreaders by calling them out/drawingattention to them.
  9. 9. Wandering Earl@wanderingearl Responded to comments whileproviding additional information. Created an atmosphere ofconversation.
  10. 10. John GreenVlogbrothers Created a sense ofcamaraderie between communitymembers . The NerdFighters have becomeself governing.
  11. 11. Andrew Sullivan@sullydish After creating a valuable product, measuredthat value by asking his readers what theywanted, thus moving a popular column to anindependent site. A month later he had earned over $625kfrom readers paying $19.99/year permembership.
  12. 12. Provide continuous value to your readership.Be authentic and invite your readers to speak often.Know when to stand up and when to walk away.Be mutually beneficial to each other, always.GRAND FINALE!
  13. 13. Questions? Concerns? Cats?Annemarie can be found:@travelingannawww.frillseekerdiary.comJodi can be