How to Get User Generated Content for Your Blog

One of the things that’s fascinated me is how blogs can get their readers to create content for them for free.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that user generated content (UCG) can be a great boon for your blog. UCG allows you to have more content for less work. Once you start getting submissions on a regular basis, you don’t have to worry about posting frequency.

UCG turns your blog into a community site. This is a great thing because we humans are social creatures. We like to participate in content as well as consume it. Instead of the blog being just about you, it becomes a site about a group of people. You’ll get free marketing because those people are invested in your blog. They will want recognition so they will tell others about your blog.

A couple blogs in my niche have started to get user generated content so I investigated them to see what they were doing.

Comments

Many of the blogs I looked at had an active comment section. Getting feedback seems to be one of the best incentives for attracting UGC. Your readers have something say but they also crave interaction with other readers. They want to know what other people thinkĀ  about their content. They want an audience for their posts.

It’s not just the number of comments that matters. The blogs I looked at had a good number of regular commenters. These commenters created a close-knit community. If you were a regular reader, you felt like you knew them as friends. This adds even more incentive for UGC since it’s usually more enjoyable to create content for friends rather than complete strangers.

Social Proof

One blog I looked at has an interesting strategy. They started off as a podcast. As they grew in popularity, they started syndicating all the other podcasts in the niche. Soon, others readers thought creating a podcast was the thing to do, so they created podcasts on their own. They wanted an existing audience for their content so they submitted their podcast to the blog. Now the blog has a thriving podcasting community and the podcasts are getting started every month.

Now you can’t just syndicate written content because of copyright issues, but other bloggers may not mind having their content syndicated on your blog as long as you have a good audience and give proper credit. It doesn’t hurt to ask bloggers if you can syndicate their content.

Social proof is all about generating momentum. Once you get the first couple of people to create UGC regularly for your blog, their content will attract other people to create their own content. So, a possible strategy is to hire one or two writers to demonstrate that your blog is open to UGC.

Ask Your Readers

Some people will need a little bit of prodding to produce UGC. And if your readers don’t know you’re looking for content, they may never offer their help.

Once you have an active comment section and an audience of many repeat visitors, setup a page with your submission guidelines and then blog about it asking your readers to send in their content. There’s a very good chance you’ll get some UGC.

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Comments

  1. Comment section is very excellent place to have our say. Without comments section nothing goes interactive in the blog. Sending content can make the users that they are honoured and it is must we mention them in the post and link them. This can make the users to have a good interaction, they may refer other friends and we get more traffic and reach more audience.

  2. Commenting and also guest posting are all good for UGC. However, you need to show your readers that you have good content and good traffic. So they would get encouraged to leave comments and sending unique content as guest poster.

  3. very good article , i never thought ablout that angle of blog promotion

  4. One of the other ways to get UGC is to offer your services to someone too. Trading articles is more beneficial for both of you, because then each of you get to share your content with a different audience. But, make sure that whomever you ask to write for you allows you full edit writes, just so you can make sure everything is as it should be.

  5. Good article,thanks commmenting and guest posting are very good for UGC.commenting is a very good place to say what we think about anything.

  6. Fantastic article – thank you very much.

    I think that getting comments and suggestions from you readers builds a very good relationship. Because we are these social creatures (as you mention) we sometimes just want to be heard and give our opinion.

    People feel that they are contributing and there’s nothing better to build a following of loyal visitors to you blog by getting you visitors involved in the evolution of the site.

  7. Great post! I have found the UGC can begin to indicate new topics of discussion and present topics that the original author may not have thought to address. New topics keep the blog fresh and entertaining…
    Thanks for the info

  8. this is really an interesting post. I have to try out one myself. cheers

  9. Your thought are very useful and wrathful for us.i try theses tips when i post my next blog and i hope its gave me good result.
    http://www.goarticles.com/cgi-bin/showa.cgi?C=2218817

  10. thank you for your post. UCG in indeed so helpful.

  11. Comments section is a good way to interact with users..(just like this) but is there a way to make this more interactive?

  12. interesting article good job on posting. i like it

  13. I find that asking my readers is the best way to get user generated content. I also make my own blog posts often, even if I get a lot of comments, because I figure I am bringing even more traffic from both efforts going on at the same time.

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