One of the most helpful pieces of blogging advice I never see is about blogging communities. We vaguely know they exist, but do we really know how to best leverage them? Well, I’m here to crack the code on communities.
What is a blogging community exactly?
Blog communities are groups where bloggers come together and share work, ask questions, collaborate, and just communicate in general. There are many general groups and also niche-specific groups that tailor to specific content.
Where do I begin?
In general, groups are most often found on Facebook. There are also Discord servers being made for bloggers as well. Facebook groups are easier to find because you just need to do a search on Facebook. Discord servers are usually tied to existing communities or a particular blogger. I also recommend seeing what communities that bloggers you follow are in. Most often these are in the sidebar of a site.
If you have a well-defined niche, start looking for niche-specific groups. You’re gonna get more bang for your metaphorical buck if you have a niche and join groups specific to that niche. So if you are a food blog, find food blog groups. If you are a geeky blog, find geeky groups. I have also joined even more specific groups than that for board game reviewers and book clubs as well.
If you have a blog that is more general and covers a lot of topics, or you want a very diverse set of members to reach out to, look for the general groups.
I would definitely consider group size when looking because there are groups with a few thousand and some below 50. Bigger groups are more active because of the number of people, but that activity can turn into content overwhelm and you get lost in a thread somewhere. Smaller groups are less active, but you have a better chance of having your content stand out. It really is a matter of preference.
Also, read the description of the group and the rules in advance. The rules tell you what kind of environment that the community has and how certain things are done. Some groups are very strict with how you share your content and others are more flexible. Depending on your personal preference and what you can commit to, you’ll want to know these things prior to joining.
I’ve joined some groups! What now?
READ THE RULES!
Yeah, I have to shout it because I have seen many people join groups and not do that, and thus see admins give the same warnings over and over again. Generally, groups all have similar rules. But you should read the rules of every group you join so there are no surprises and you know what’s what.
Check for pinned posts
These are important admin information that you will want to know. It will probably have the rules link in there as well. In Geek Blogs Unite, I have a master post of all the info needed for a new member that is pinned for easy access (shown above).
As an admin of a group, when people don’t introduce themselves relatively soon after being accepted, it saddens me a bit. The point of a community is to be a community, so feel free to introduce yourself to your new group of connections. Plus if you take the step to introduce yourself, others will welcome you and then your experience will overall be better than if you just lurk in silence.
Check for Threads
Often you will see threads for blog posts and other purposes (social media stuff, discussions, etc) Make sure you read the thread instructions if they are included. If it says remove previews, then remove your preview. If it says to comment on 5 other posts, comment on 5 other posts. This keeps everything fair and motivates conversation on blogs. Threads are a big part of blogging groups, and for some, it is the only way to share your content, so pay attention to these.
Lastly, check the group often and not just when you’re sharing your own post. Ask questions and answer other’s questions. Collaborate and discuss topics with the group. You get way more out of it based on what you put in.
Do you have any groups you love being in? Share with me below!