There are a plethora of blog posts giving advice to new and prospective bloggers. The tips may vary, but most every post will include "the golden rule" in some way, shape or form. You know the one: do unto others as you want done unto you. If you're serious about blogging, this is the #1 rule:
Want your blog to be read? Read other blogs.
Want to receive comments? Leave comments.
Want your blog to be noticed? Notice other blogs.
Starting a blog? Growing your blog? Involve other bloggers—blogging is a community!
It can be easy to get independent or competitive, but I've found blogging is best when done together. In fact, the person I text most these days (aside from my husband) is another blogger who I haven't even met in person.
The blogging community is very large, yet can still feel small at times. Just like being the new kid in school, there are many groups to explore, and at least one is certain to "fit." I've found that in blogging terms, the best groups, or communities, are found on Facebook.
Facebook communities for bloggers tend to fall under 1 of 2 categories. Many do a bit of both:
- Networking and advice. These groups are for bloggers to meet one another, bounce ideas around, ask questions, and troubleshoot. A great example of this is a group I'm in that's exclusively for bloggers who use the blogger platform (vs. WordPress). Having this in common ensures we are able to help one another.
- Promotion and growth. These groups are full of threads with a "quid pro quo" attitude towards blog (and associated social media) growth. Want comments? Leave a blog post in the thread and you'll receive them—and return the favor to those who did. Threads can range from blog traffic to social media follows to increased interaction. The best groups regularly monitor activity and "clean up" members who don't follow rules to ensure fairness for participants.
Both groups have their value. I recommend joining at least one of each kind, though as mentioned, many groups have both threads and the opportunity to network. I'm a member of several different groups, though I have my favorites which I use most often.
The best way to get started? Just search. I was curious if there were many bloggers near me, typed "Maryland Bloggers" into my Facebook search bar, and there was an established group of the same name! Other bloggers can also invite or recommend groups that will be a good fit. Each is different, so it's good to explore several to decide which ones are best for you. Factors to consider include group size, rules, and consistency (always find and read a group's rules before posting). It might be overwhelming, for instance, for a new blogger to join a group where hundreds of bloggers sign up for an "all or nothing" thread each day. A simpler start may be to find a group where questions are encouraged and thread submission requires a set number of reciprocations.
Joining the right community is worth it's weight in gold. It's just as satisfying to be able to help another in the community as it is when another member is able to advise you in a particular situation. Plus, the work you put in to help others grow will bring you growth as well!
Are you a member of any blogging communities on Facebook? Why or why not?