As readers become more involved with the blogs they frequent, a new form of communication is becoming prevalent – interactive blogging. There are a few ways to look at this and determine whether or not this form of interaction is right for your corporate blog and your readers.

When used properly, interactive blogging can be a huge weapon in your arsenal towards building better relationships with your customers, but it can be a double edged sword.

Business Bloggers

First, let’s look at the most common form of interactive blogging, using your posts to answer reader questions. This commonly occurs when you have someone leave you a question in the comments section of your blog, frequently asking for more information on a certain topic.

Now, if one person asks this question there is always a chance that there are more people that want to know the same thing.

You can use these comments to determine what your readers really want to know. If it’s a good question, consider writing a blog post that will answer it. If not, you can keep focusing your energies on your regular posts. However, it is a good idea to let your reader’s dictate what you will be writing about – at least to some extent – since this can help you develop a stronger reader following.

The second form of interactive blogging takes your comments section to a whole new level. This is where you encourage your readers to contribute on a regular basis and the comments section may even start to look a bit like a message board. This is another powerful tool that can benefit corporate blog owners.

First, you’ll be getting the benefit of having your readers return throughout the day to keep tabs on the ongoing conversation. You can also set up an RSS feed for your comments to make this easier. Second, you’ll be increasing the amount of page views you have as well as the opportunity to attract new readers through word of mouth advertising, and through search engine indexing.

Interactive blogging does have a catch though, as we mentioned above. If you can keep tabs on your readers and avoid having flame wars, or nasty comments, it can work quite well. However, if you let it get out of hand, you’re only asking for trouble.

On one side, you’ll have readers that will wonder where you stand on the issue if you don’t take care of a problem, and on the other hand, if you take quick action and delete problem comments, you may be cast as against freedom of speech.

The easiest way to take advantage of interactive blogging is simply to set some ground rules, make them clear, and then stick to them. If your readers know right off the bat what they can and cannot do with your interactive blogging elements, there will be a lot less confusion and a lot more interacting going on. Try it for a week and see how your corporate blog changes.