There’s been a lot of negativity about the blog community, or at least a lot of us moaning about the negativity and I’m not having it.
We’re better than this.
I spent the first 3 years blogging alone. It took me until 2014 to realise there was a big world of bloggers all looking to share their content. Blog communities were everywhere and I found the biggest and best one. UK Bloggers.
It is a facebook group that opened its doors, and my eyes to this new world of
“blogging as a profession”
The group had more than 2,500 people when I first joined in late 2014 and it really felt like a community of friendly and passionate writers. I sat back and watched them and learned a lot about my skills as a writer and publisher along the way.
Learning that my content wasn’t up to scratch and that it takes more than a good one-liner to get someone interested in a blog post. After joining some more blog communities I got in with lifestyle bloggers and beauty bloggers.
What I learnt from other types of bloggers in the blog communities
Even if you’re an established blogger, joining a blog community can give your blog an added boost.We all have our niches and our own skills and that’s a huge lesson I took away from my first 3 years in blogging – I’m still learning now!
Each blogger has a unique skill like I said, and they’re all willing to share and communicate!
- The Business bloggers gave me advice on SEO and brand marketing “How to get paid as a blogger”
- The Parent bloggers share some great kids crafts (I have little nephews who need to chill with a good project) and really made me feel protected – giving me advice when I feel low and sharing their home-life via their blogs. It’s a really personal thing to talk about your kids online and I always appreciate that.
- The Foodies have offered all of their wisdom in jazzing up boring foods into sensational dishes. Sometimes I even tweak their recipes to make them a bit healthier – bonus.
- The Fashion & Beauty bloggers gave me a sense of pride in my outward appearance, skin health & mental health.
After learning a few things and improving my blogging style, and my poor writing skills. I decided to get back into the health bloggers groups. I knew my blog had a long way to go to confirm it’s place in the health category. Images and networking skills were needed, but more importantly, I needed to show my audience I was skilled in something specific – my ‘niche’. Mine being Health.
I’m pretty confident that my passion and my little smidge of knowledge for this topic has solidified my place somewhere in the ‘health bloggers network’. So I knew I had to start getting to know even more bloggers and growing my audience and engagement.
The thing is…
I really hated the health bloggers.
Back in 2015 – I mean, I really felt really out of my depth with them.
They seemed to all know each other and have an insane amount of time to dedicate to their own health ( I was really quite jealous). They all seemed to be qualified in nutrition, or were personal trainers and had been professionally writing about it (and working) in the industry.
I felt like a liar.
I was in no way on the same page as them and I really hate them for it. I had become an advocate of health and fitness through my own disorders and online part-time courses and didn’t have much sway in the health blog community. We were ‘competitors’ and in my mind and they were winning the game.
After hiding away for a few months and refusing to read any health blogs, I spent the time focusing on my own work and my own health. Eventually getting a few qualifications in general health; sports recovery and a short course in nutrition but it took me 2 years to realise
We have the same goals
Erm – duh.
We weren’t competing for an end goal. We were all shouting out the same message and as they say ‘two heads are better than one’.
Learning that the health bloggers (and any blogger in your own niche) are all, well, mostly, actually pretty friendly helped me to learn more about the industry. Invest in them and they will invest in you. It’s how a friendship works. Joining a blog group means you’re with people who are as driven and as focused as you in getting what they want. We are all goal-orientated to be better bloggers, to get our content read and to have a connection with the online world.
I have spent the past year dipping in and out of conversations. Learning about the new health legislation from other bloggers, attending expos and events (and having people to go to them with!) that I wouldn’t have heard about without their groups.
But that doesn’t just go for me and the health blog community, it goes for all bloggers.
For the days that you feel like signing off
Some days it can feel like crap. If someone has put you down in a comment or a tweet about your content – it hurts (hell- it hurts me when I get them with my vegan posts). but it means they have read and given their opinion on your work- and honestly? It’s great cannon fodder for a retaliation post, eh?
But let’s face it – unless you’re spouting hate speeches you’re probably not making any hit lists for ‘bloggers we hate’ you know?
If you don’t get any negative comments (or any comments at all). You’re probably doing alright as a blogger, it’s tough to get regular ‘natural’ comments so really, don’t worry about it!
If you’re getting low views? It means you need to push your work harder, find new platforms and engage with your audience more. It’s probably not your content but it’s worth checking that it’s up to par. So don’t let any ‘quite’ or ‘low days’ get you down. But eh if those days do get rough, remember, there’s always a blog community to help you out!
Things that the ‘blog community’ can help you with;
- Giving you feedback & Views;
So engage with them! Most of the bloggers you communicate with on a regular basis will have the same interests as you and probably 30%-40% of your readers are other bloggers! Make sure you appeal to other bloggers too (like say, writing a blog-related blog post?)
If you want feedback from your audience, ask a blogger. If you want to know how your template works with certain text, ask a blogger; Pitching and outreach advice, Template Advice, Networking, Personal talks, Coding & optimising your website.
- SEO & Networking strategies;
If you’ve been around the blogging circles for more than a day you will notice that they’re a lot of bloggers. These bloggers, as well as being your audience are also key allies in sharing your work. Join circles & blog shares *link building* where you can network between your social media channels increasing your reach to their audience. As for SEO, a lot of us work in media-related jobs and will be able to help you with any SEO issues and confusions.If you share their work, they will probably share yours too (not a guarantee) but if you like what they’re writing then your audience probably will benefit from it too!
- Content Ideas;
Have a look at other blogs. Find out what is popular on their blog, could you do something similar? Be creative find something new and don’t be afraid to read other people’s work, leave comments and share in on social media. Think of the backlinks you could get (It’s all about the backlinks – and the erm…’relationships’ too, I guess..)
- Stealthy Brand Outreach;
Me and Jenna were talking about this recently. I mentioned that I stalked her blog to approach some of her brand contacts (I stalked her website for review posts) and she did the same for me! It’s a brilliant tactic with people in similar niches to you, use the blog community to help boost your brand endorsements!
- They keep it relevant;
There’s always someone writing about, and sharing their post for mothers day, Christmas and ‘national bikini day’ a month before hand. Keep in check with the celebrations and upcoming events by staying in the communities that are relevant to you. I’m in a fitness group that have already booked their 2018 running spaces – get ahead of the game!
The key thing from all of this; communication – all you have to do is ask and they will help.
Don’t expect over an over-night boom of engagement and views. You need to put the graft in, make sure people see you regularly, give them chance to learn your name, let them see your comments on their work. It will pay off once they read your content and see it’s value to them and their own readers.
Some great blog communities for you to join;
Facebook; There are bloody tonnes of them so I won’t list them all but here are some top picks.
- The Big one; The biggest blog community with a group of UK bloggers (almost 5k) All niches with different skills all offering advice! My first ever group!
- Small social pods; Comment swaps and sharing groups, you choose when you share. BHEO is a great one for UK bloggers
- Local Blog groups; Find local events & local bloggers to get to know when the best things are happening near you!
- Niche Specific groups; Keep your friends close! They’ll have all the relevant brand deals, events and networking contacts for you!
- Opportunities boards; Offering products for review or contracts direct from the PR’s
- Pitching motivation; Motivate yourself to pitch to brands, hotels and sponsored post opps!
Twitter chats; Find evening chats to talk with all sorts of bloggers, Interact, follow – engage. You can follow me and see what I’m getting up to at any point.
Reddit; Yup! You can even share on Reddit boards to get people from the ‘other side’ of the internet interested in your work, you can follow me..or like whatever they do on there.
Was that enough rambling? The right amount? – Good. I hope these tips keep you busy and gain you a tonne of new contacts to chat with (like me!). So, Put these tips into motion, get your blog booming and remember me when you’re on 100k a year…I take donations in PayPal & bottles of gin, Ciao!