Developing a loyal and responsive audience is crucial to being a successful blogger. If you are able to connect with your readers on a personal level, you’re well on your way to building a loyal base of subscribers. But how do you develop that personal relationship with your readers when the internet can be such an impersonal medium?

Here are 10 ways to give your blog a personal touch:

1 – Respond to comments and email from readers

Comments and emails are the most personal interaction you will get with the vast majority of your readers. Always appreciate those opportunities and make the most of them. A thoughtful, helpful and gracious response will go a long way towards building that relationship.

2 – Reach out especially to first time commentators

When a reader visits your blog and leaves a comment for the first time you have a wonderful opportunity to welcome that reader, demonstrate your appreciation, and open the door for repeat visits and maybe even networking possibilities. If your blog doesn’t yet have a large audience personal emails to new readers can be extremely effective. I’ve had great success with this recently at my blog. People appreciate the fact that you take the time to write a personal note, and they’ll remember that.

3 – Use a plugin to email first time commentators

If your blog receives too many comments to respond manually, consider using a plugin to accomplish the same thing. WordPress users can download the Comment Relish Plugin that will automatically send a customized response to first time commentators. Although it may not be as effective as a personal email, a well written message can still sound thoughtful and appreciative. Be sure to include a link to your RSS feed in case the reader has not already subscribed.

4 – Visit the blogs of your commentators

Most of your visitors that leave comments will have blogs of their own. Click-through to their blog and, if possible, leave a comment on one of their posts. This is a great way to show that you pay attention to your readers, especially those that get involved and leave comments.

5 – Link to your readers

It’s been said that links are the currency of the blogosphere. If that’s the case, nothing shows your appreciation for your readers more than linking to them. They’ll appreciate the fact that you are willing to help them out and they may return the favor.

6 – Write guest posts for your readers

Writing guest posts is a proven way to reach new audiences and to build networking relationships with other bloggers. Why not do this with your readers? Obviously you won’t be able to write for all of your readers, but those who you select are likely to follow your blog more closely in the future.

7 – Allow your readers to write guest posts for your blog

Some of your readers will also be interested in getting some exposure of their own, and providing a platform for them to reach a new audience can be a great way to help. Again, you won’t be able to accept guest posts from all of your readers, but those that submit quality content may be a beneficial contact to have in your network.

8 – Create a descriptive “About” page

The About page or bio is one of the first places new readers will go to learn more about you. It’s an excellent way to start to give a personal touch to your blog. Readers who can relate to you are more likely to continue to read your blog and get involved.

9 – Let your personality show through in your writing

Nothing gives your blog a personal touch like your own personality. No two blogs are the same, so let yours stand out. Effective writing can draw your readers to your personality and give them the same information in a more personal way that will make them want to come back.

10 – Find a way to be different

Showing your personality is easier when you focus on what makes you unique. Look around at some of the other blogs in your niche and see what sets you apart. It will help your readers to remember and appreciate you and your blog.

What methods do you use to get more personal with your readers? I’m sure I missed some good ones, so I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.