In a previous Blog Q&A post, I addressed how to handle any negative energy you may inevitably come across as an online content creator. Today, I wanted to focus on the opposite end of that – community because it’s the most satisfying part of being a blogger. From loyal followers to other blogger babes, I have met so many people have become great friends of mine. It’s part of the fuel that keeps me in this business. So how exactly does one build a deeply engaged and authentic following with existing followers, new readers, and fellow bloggers? Let me share how I managed to do so by prioritizing community over competition.
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1. Dig Deeper
Begin by starting with a little self-reflection and think back to when you started blogging. What were your initial intentions? Was it to find a creative outlet, make new friends, boost your resume or make money? These are all reasons to pick up blogging as a hobby, and I hope you were able to achieve some of these goals. On the other hand, if you were only in it for the free stuff, internet clout, and profit, it’s probably going to be hard to find your tribe.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s perfectly fine to be rewarded for hard work, but if you were only doing it for the money and gifts, chances are that competition is constantly in the front of your mind, pushing community to the back. To me, blogging has always been first and foremost, a place of community for like-minded individuals to share what they love. Once you’ve done the inner work, you can begin to focus on the right things, which leads to my next point…
2. It’s ok to be vulnerable
The most important ingredient to building your own community is to be genuine. It can be really hard to showcase your authentic self through a computer screen, but vulnerability and willingness to share will get you noticed. Everyone is unique and different. However, it can be hard for others to see that spark on the surface if you’re being as generic as everyone else, e.g. sharing outfit posts with no real value or lesson.
I’m a big believer that there needs to be at least one important takeaway or lesson in every post. One of the biggest debates I had with myself was documenting my pregnancy journey. It was a gamble but the response has been incredible, and I’m so glad I chose to open up about something that was initially so personal and private to me.
3. Common courtesy goes a long way
In the case of finding your tribe among other bloggers, my best advice is to not have any expectations otherwise you’ll just be disappointed. If you reach out and someone doesn’t respond, it’s probably because their inbox is flooded with unopened emails. (I am definitely guilty of falling behind on DMs and emails.) I also believe other bloggers are more likely to respond or connect when a relationship feels mutual. So always be respectful, don’t ask for anything in return, and genuinely be excited when things are going well for them. Also, don’t be afraid to compliment others, respond to commenters, and treat every interaction with respect. Remember that no one has any obligation to pay attention to you, but if they’re taking time out of their day to interact with you, the nicest thing you can do is respond. I try to respond to every single person who DMs me even if it takes me a few days! When someone feels connected to you, they are more likely to come back again and tell their friends about you.
4. Get Social
There are a ton of great Facebook groups geared towards new bloggers and online entrepreneurs! These are great places to find your tribe since so many people in these groups have common interests. Commenting on other people’s posts, giving advice, and sharing your personal experiences are a great way to break the ice and connect. When you’re willing to give valuable information for free and in abundance, people will naturally gravitate towards you.
How do you build your community?
Photos by Lainey Reed