C is for Community Building
Welcome to Part 3 of my Blogging Basics Series for the A to Z and Ultimate blog challenge!
Today I’m going to discuss blog community building, and how uncomplicated it really is to build a strong online community. After this post, there will be 27 more posts on blogging basics, so you’ll want to make sure you subscribe to my blog to keep up with all these valuable little nuggets.
One of the most frequent questions I get from new bloggers is, “How did you build such a great community?”
I wish I could say I woke up one morning and magically had a strong blog community with comments galore, but that would be a complete lie. In reality, it required a lot of hard work and an earnest commitment of personal time and effort, and it still does–only more. I am still in the process of building a larger community, and I don’t intend to slow down any time soon.
The blogging tidbits I’m going to share in this post might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised at the number of bloggers who give up blogging, because they are unable to effectively build and retain a blog-based community. Generally this is due to sheer laziness, a lack of enthusiasm, or extenuating circumstances. If none of these issues apply to you and you’re ready to build an awesome community, remember these simple pearls.
1. Without other bloggers there is no community.
No matter how beautiful your blog theme or poetic your words, if you don’t reach out and make the initial efforts to network with other bloggers, you won’t be able to build a blog community. After you set your blog up and have added some awesome content, you must seek out other bloggers. Most people who comment on blogs are bloggers themselves, and it’s important to keep this in mind for all time: Bloggers are the backbone of your community.
2. Without comments there is no community.
Building a blog and then figuring out how to get comments may seem like an overwhelming task at first, but if you seek out other blogs and build slowly, you’ll have a steady stream of comments in no time. When I first began blogging, I found other blogs similar to mine and left comments on those blogs. I’d also leave my URL–not in the body of the comment, because that’s tacky–but when registering, I’d leave my URL in the proper box. I also didn’t leave worthless comments, always striving for thoughtful and relevant to the post, and as a result, other bloggers started returning the comment love. Over time, relationships were forged with other bloggers, and I still have a give-and-take relationship with many of them. The blogging community is a beautiful thing.
3. Without interaction and engagement there is no community.
It frustrates me to see some blogging turd disable comments, because he or she is making it clear they think their ideas are amazing and not to be questioned or discussed. They could care less about a blog community, and they are missing the best features of blogs. I say this is totally lame and am quick to dismiss these bloggers. I don’t visit or support their blogs, and I usually don’t think much of them. Harsh, I know, but that’s human nature, baby.
For the bloggers who do enable comments, if they don’t engage or interact by replying to questions on their blog or the commenting blogger’s blog, they aren’t building a successful community with long-term resilience.
My tactic is overkill, and I opt to do both. I get a lot of comments weekly, and sometimes I am pretty busy with real world obligations, but I always employ the dual comment method. I respond to people on my blog, and if they’ve been smart and left their URL, I follow them and leave a comment on their blog. Sometimes it takes me two weeks to do it, which is terrible, but I eventually get around to it. It is time-consuming but worth it.
With those simple blogging tactics, you’ll build a successful blog community more quickly than you ever thought possible. I love my blog community and I am grateful for all the connections I’ve made, because they make my online experience infinitely sweeter. I hope your community becomes just as rewarding.
That’s all I have for tonight. I’ll be back with Part 4 of my blogging basics series tomorrow. If you’ve missed them thus far, catch them here:
I’ll see you tomorrow!