About a year or so ago, my blogging pal Kita over at Kokoa Magazine invited me to a few blogging communities.
At that point, I’d been a social media personality and blogger for a few years but hadn’t ever heard of blogging communities. Kita added me to a few Facebook Blogging Community Groups and I was exposed to a whole new world. I was introduced and exposed to a new league of bloggers. I met professional bloggers, outside of entertainment blogging, who were making their mark on the world wide web and offline as well. It, blogging communities, exposed me to streamlined branding, design, and the workings of blogging communities.
At that point, I felt that I could master blogging communities and take my blogging success with my nearly half a million views to another level.
However, that’s not quite what happened.
Blogging Communities 102 – part 1
There’s a wealth of information in most blogging communities. You can find everything from tribes, to campaigns, designers, and events. The information is vast and can prove to be overwhelming for the seasoned and novice blogger. Before delving into every variable, identify your personal and blog goals. Determine which avenue of blog information best suits your needs. Do not pursue an event or campaign because “Betty Big Blogger” did so well with it. There’s nothing more off putting that inauthentic information on a blog. Your readers know you and understand your style. Don’t deceive them with “dead information” because it’s paying a few dollars.
2. Follow Trains
Follow trains and support thread are the anchoring of many blog communities. For novice readers, follow trains are threads, posts, in which bloggers share their social media links for a “follow for follow” or a follow for a predetermined number.
I absolutely 100% dislike, hate even, follow trains. This behavior is novice, removes authenticity, creates dead weight on your blog, and it’s a huge waste of time. Follow trains will increase the number of followers, for a certain time, but if these “followers” aren’t engaging and giving you a one shot experience, how beneficial is it really? Follow trains are also a source of bad energy between some bloggers. Among a few, the “follow for follow” or I’ll unfollow you is present and exceptionally childish. Even the apps created to support the “Who unfollowed me” syndrome is peppered with insecurity. Follow a person because the content is great, not because of a silly requirement. I absolutely don’t not engage follow trains. I will peruse them to see if there are new blogs of interest. I will follow those blogs organically.
3. Comment Posts
I know just above I ragged heavily on follow trains and for good reason. Now, the sister or perhaps cousin, of follow trains are the “comment post” threads. I’m on the fence with these and I do participate in them on occasion. If the community has a predetermined number of required comments, this is an awesome thing. I can click the various links and comment on content that is of interest to me. My comment is then authentic and carries some depth. It’s always more than “Nice Post” and “Oh great idea”. Those inauthentic comments are irritating to most bloggers and many of us would prefer not to have them. You’ll find a ton of fluff comments in comment posts that require the participants to comment on all blogs. I’ve been caught in that web before and it wasn’t pretty. I really just don’t have anything to say about “toddlers soiling their diapers” or deeply religious posts. It’s tough; really it is.
Overall, comment posts aren’t a bad thing, but be aware of the requirements before jumping in.
I’m doing a three part series on blogging communities. I’ve learned quite a bit from them this year. There are pros, cons, and oh hell no with them. I want to share them with you.
Are you a part of any blogging communities?
How are they working for you?