Traditionally, when a reader has a book in front of them, it is written, developed and, basically, a finished product.
Well, have you novel online is not traditional. With so many novels being posted online, the challenges of getting people to your site, then reading your work are as tough as before.
There are many ways to get readers involved with your work. Here are a few suggestions.
1 - if you have a complete novel, think about setting it up as a series that is emailed to the reader once or twice a week. Set the blog up so people can get to it easily after each chapter and allow them to post comments about it. Encourage people to give suggestions on what they think is about to happen next. Not only will the reader be personally involved, you may get better ideas or get some inspiration from the comments.
This may mean some rewriting, but which novelist hasn't had to do that before?
2 - if you are only half way through your novel, do the same thing as above. Serialise it. Set up a blog, am make it possible to let readers have influence.
3 - if you are brave, write a few core chapters, get your readers hooked into the story then offer several directions the story can lead down. Let readers vote, suggest and push their ideas through the blog. Then write the ideas that appeal most to you as the writer. With this you will need to have a decent following already and be confident you can write the material quickly and well. If you can, the reader will be incredibly involved in the story.
Blogs are also ways for people to ask you questions about how you write, get tips from you as a writer and to get to know you. People are fascinated with writers, give them an insight into your thinking through the blog.
Rodney Goodall writing a serialized fantasy novel. Using his membership site to first capture readers, then keeps them updated through emails about new chapters or blog updates which allows his readers to get more involved with the story.
Rodney's goal is to be a full time writer, get published and to help other writers make their online presence and experience a positive one.