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How To Build your Blogging Community!

How To Build your Blogging Community!

Blogging can be a lonely business, you need solitude to write after all, so it’s really helpful if you know people are going to read what you’ve written afterwards. Even better when it leads to comments and conversations!

The people most likely to leave comments on your blog post are other bloggers, but how do you meet them?

You could wait for them to find your blog and you might get lucky, but even if you do it will take a long time! I recommend being proactive!

Bloggers hang out on a huge variety of social media platforms, you’ll find a lot of them on twitter and Facebook of course but you’ll also find them on YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+.

Deciding Which Bloggers to Follow

Before you start building your personal blogging community think about who you want in it.

As you know I blog about social media so of course I read and share a lot blogs on this subject. It keeps me fresh and up to date and also helps me raise awareness of my capabilities within my peer group.

To be truly recognised as an expert in your field it does help if others in your field have at least heard of you! Even better if you have a relationship of mutual admiration and co-operation. And of course those in your industry may have a different area of specialisation so may refer clients to you.

But why limit yourself to that?!

After all those that also blog on that subject as you aren’t likely to ever become your customers themselves!

So it’s also worth reading and commenting on other blogs. For example I also read, comment on and share blogs by copywriters, SEO specialists and offline networking experts in particular. These people complement my work so having them as part of my community helps me enormously. Particularly as this also increases the chances of becoming a guest blogger for them and therefore reaching their audience directly!

However I also read, comment on and share blogs by accountants, business experts, VA’s,

These bloggers all provide information that is likely to be useful to my customers (and to me!)
Also as we are a little further apart in business alignment these people are more likely to be my potential clients!

I have one more circle, even further away from my own business that I like to read. I read these less often and purely for pleasure but I will comment and share too. These are blogs about food, travel, art, literature etc. For me these are hobby blogs and I enjoy reading them and sharing them, after all none of us are completely one dimensional and it is fine to share more than one side to yourself through social media! Also the people that write these blogs are often my customers too, and reading their blogs helps me understand them better which means I can serve them better.

Blog support, Blog comments

Finding bloggers on Twitter

Apart from keeping a beady eye open to see which of your connections is already sharing relevant blogs, you can also easily search tweets to find more bloggers. Simply type the subject of the blogs you want to find (in my case that could be ‘Facebook blog’ or ‘LinkedIn blog’ for example) into the search bar, scroll through the tweets it comes up with and start reading those that piqué your interest. If it is well written and you’d be happy to share it with your followers then do so. Don’t forget to follow the person on twitter and send them a message letting them know you enjoyed their blog!

It’s also a good idea to create a twitter list you can read regularly with all your favourite bloggers in so you can easily keep up to date with their offerings.

Finding bloggers on LinkedIn

There is an app you can add to your LinkedIn profile that automatically pulls in and displays your latest blog post on your profile. However it also shows you the recent blogs shared by your contacts, provided they have this app too! Well worth checking out and adding as often it’s better to strengthen a relationship with someone you are already connected than to begin a relationship with a stranger.

Those that blog will often post their latest blog post as a discussion in a group. This can be a great way to find niche bloggers! Start by joining groups that are either specifically for your industry or more general business groups. LinkedIn isn’t such a great place for finding beauty or lifestyle bloggers however!

Finding bloggers on Facebook

Like LinkedIn being a member of a group can really help you find other bloggers, make sure you visit regularly and read what other group members are posting. Again these can be groups centred tightly around your niche, for example I belong to a group called Pinterest for Business, or be more general, I belong to many business groups that include the types of businesses I listed above.

There don’t seem to be an awful lot of groups specifically for other bloggers to meet but a couple of good ones are The Guest Bloggers and The Blog and Comment Exchange.If you do join these groups make sure you know the etiquette and abide by it, you want to build mutually beneficial relationships not offend people after all!

It’s also worth adding the networked blogs app to your Facebook profile. This app works as a blog directory, you can add your blog to it for free and use it to automatically publish new blog posts to your Facebook profile status, Facebook page and twitter account.

But it also allows you to find and follow your facebook friends blogs as well as others by topic. So you can strengthen your current relationships as well as find new friends!

Finding Bloggers on Google+

You can do this pretty much the same way as you do on twitter, there aren’t as many people on Google+ now so you might not get the same quantity of results but as most Google+’ers are early adopters and tech savvy this can be a really useful place to find high quality blogs.

Finding Bloggers on YouTube

Ah YouTube, the home of vloggers! But of course a lot of these people write blogs as well as record vlogs … And who knows when you might start to branch out into video too and need a few vlogging buddies for advice and encouragement!

Using the search bar here is a great way to get started, and as a lot of vloggers know people watch how-to videos try typing that in, so if you are wanting to connect with tax advisors type in ‘how to claim car expenses’ or something along those lines as an alternative search.

Once you have found some vloggers you like you can subscribe to their videos on YouTube and you can also follow the links back to their website and see how else you can connect with them.

Finding Bloggers on Pinterest

Surprised? Thought Pinterest was just full of women pinning their ideal wedding dress? (Even though they’ve been married 20 years already!)

Well, a lot of the things people pin come from blogs, and as Pinterest also serves as a bookmark people generally pin content that they want to re-visit. Clicking on the pin will lead you back to the original source, the blog or website the image was pinned from.

As with all social sites, Pinterest is what you make it! So type the topic you are interested in into the search bar to find the things you want to pin. What I like about Pinterests search is that it gives you 3 options on each search, Pins, Boards and People.

Generally I would recommend looking at the boards or the people that come up first, if someone has started a board on that topic then they are likely to keep adding to it meaning you have more opportunities to find good blogs.

Of course Pinterest is a fantastic place to find lifestyle and consumer bloggers, but business bloggers are there too!

Other places to find bloggers

The following places offer you ways of finding blogs you might like but sometimes the social side isn’t so strong. So whenever you find a blogger you enjoy leave them a comment and connect with them elsewhere. If you regularly comment on and share their stuff they will notice you!

StumbleUpon
StumbleUpon is a web browsing site that has been around for years, read more about it here.

ScoopIt
ScoopIt started life as a content curation tool, when you find really great articles relating to a topic you can gather them together in ScoopIt both for your own bookmarking purposes and to share with others in a coherent fashion.

But, it’s also becoming a place to find good bloggers! In some cases these bloggers are scoopers and you can follow their topics, in some cases they are not on scoopit but their work has been scooped!

Zite
Zite is a smartphone app that finds blogs for you to read on the topics you choose.

Blog directories
I recently wrote an article on social blog directories, have a read as it has some great places to meet other bloggers!

Over to you – do you blog? Where have you found blogging buddies? Comment below and you never know – it could be the start of a beautiful friendship!

39 Comments

    1. Gemma Thompson

      Haha! Take your time Rudi and work on a couple of areas at a time! There are only so many hours in the day after all!

      Thanks for the speak pipe message! Came through clear as a bell!

  1. Christine Brady

    Hi Gemma,

    These are some great ideas, many I had not thought of!

    I am always on the lookout for more blogs to read and people to connect with – it seems like you find a few and get so entrenched with them that you forget to go out and meet others!

    I have found many great connections through groups on FB – that’s my primary go-to at the moment.

    Thanks for sharing!

    ~Christine

    1. Gemma Thompson

      Hi Christine,

      I do like connecting with people on Facebook and I find the groups great places for finding a good read or two! Thank god for the Internet … I’ve learned so much!

  2. Jeanne

    You’re absolutely right about being proactive.

    I like to find bloggers I can network with in the comment section of my favorite blogs. By reading the same blog, we already have a shared interest.

    And the percentage of people who post a quality comment after reading an article is very small. So I look for people who write really thoughtful comments…because those are the bloggers you want commenting on your blog.

    1. Gemma Thompson

      Hi Jeanne,

      Great point! I have connected with a fair few fabulous bloggers that way!

      Thanks so much for adding that … And anyone else reading this connect with Jeanne quickly, she’s an intelligent blogger and thoughtful commentator :)

  3. Anneliz Hannan

    Thank you Gemma.

    I am so happy when I find posts that have so much to teach so I can get myself some learnin’. I promise to be a good student so knock, knock, I am coming on in and I am staying a while! I will bring an apple the next session :)

    Thanks for sharing…see you around the social swirl.

  4. Keri

    Gemma,

    Nice post — Someone for everyone, and a plethora of options in finding candidates to fill a blogging community!

    You mention Scoop.it. I’ve seen it, referenced it, and think it’s pretty groovy. I like finding blogs with it. However, I’ve found some individuals making their post a scoop.it. That, I am not a fan of.

    Pinterest is getting hotter and hotter, isn’t it?? :D

    Thanks for your insight,

    ~Keri

    1. Gemma Thompson

      Hi Keri,

      You’re right Pinterest is burning up the social media world!
      Have to admit I do scoop some of my own posts but I try to make sure I add at least one other post from someone else to the topic every time I do. I do it because I genuinely believe my posts have something useful to offer the subject, I didn’t always believe that but I’m kind of getting the hang of this blogging malarky now!
      I think the key to it is balance, if it’s all about shameless self-promotion then that’s not so good, but if it is about sharing good content then it’s fine … actually as I’m writing that I realise that some shameless self promotion is fine too, as long as it’s honest so people know what they are getting into rather than sneaky then it wouldn’t offend me too much.
      Thanks ever so much for coming by and commenting – I’ll go and find you on Pinterest now!

  5. Annika Martins

    So comprehensive, Gemma! Good job.

    I’m curious about your LinkedIn mention… Do you really get good value there? Is there a strong corporate bend to your customer base? I’m finding it’s not as friendly to non-corporate service providers..

    1. Gemma Thompson

      Hi Annika,

      Glad you liked it, thanks for commenting!

      Yes I know what you mean about LinkedIn, I get a lot of value there but it’s not right for everyone. For me posting my blog into different groups leads to between 10 and 15 connection requests a week and 1 or 2 customer enquiries a week. But I do work business to business!

      As a business coach you should get a lot of interest there, it does take time AND it takes being in the right groups, if your focus is on finding Canadian clients then use the search bar on LinkedIn to find relevant groups – maybe use Vancouver or Toronto as Keywords for this. If you work internationally via skype then the LinkedIn is your Oyster! Search for groups that will help the kinds of clients you want, maybe use keywords like entrepreneur or female entrepreneur.

      If you want groups that are more relaxed go for ones based around networking or look for smaller groups for creative people – it’s all there!!

      Most groups will take at least 2 months to start to yeild any result as people in the group need to get to know you so stick with it for a while, but if after 6 months you’ve had not a single like, comment or click to your blog then leave the group and spend the energy on a new one!

      1. Jackie

        Gemma

        Linkedin for me is like the black sheep of the social media family I don’t spend hardly any time there, this info is really helpful thanks.

        As for commenting in general, its something that I was very slow to get into…lurking alot and not really saying much. But since I jumped in I’ve connected with some pretty amazing people.

        1. Gemma Thompson

          Hi Jackie,
          Thanks so much for stopping by! I know what you mean as I was pretty reserved about commenting to begin with but when you do jump in you start to meet some great people! It still surprises me when I see a blogger from one of my circles commenting on a blog in a different circle though! It’s actually a smaller, friendlier world than it first seems!
          LinkedIn is a very particular place, and in a lot of ways less social. But for the right business it’s worth the time!
          Look forward to bumping into you on lots of other blogs ;)

  6. Tom Treanor

    Gemma,

    That is a ton of ways to find bloggers. Who knew there were so many options. I like your advice about going outside of your direct industry to learn more and also to connect with more likely customers. Great resource!

  7. Dawn

    Hey Gemma — one of the BEST pieces of marketing/creativity/business/sales/everything advice was to step WAY outside your industry. So glad you mentioned it.
    Pleased to meet you. Dawn

    1. Gemma Thompson

      Hi Timo, thanks for stopping by and commenting, you are right it is a great way to find guest posting opportunities, another great way to reach more people :)

  8. Peter Sandeen

    Hi Gemma,

    You’re spot on; bloggers need other bloggers. There’s hardly any limit to what they can possibly offer you. They can drive traffic, give social proof (by commenting, sharing, and giving testimonials), encourage you, etc.

    And you really need to go a little further than your closest “competitors”. “Think of audience, not topic.” meaning, when you want to grow your audience, you need to find the right audience even if they hang out in places you wouldn’t…

    1. Gemma Thompson

      You are absolutely right Peter, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting :) Thinking that way can also help you come up with the right posts for your audience :)

  9. Dorien Morin-van Dam

    Great post, Gemma.

    Sorry it took a bit of time before I stopped by and told you! :)

    I appreciate the mention of this group and it sure has been a great way for me to find QUALITY bloggers. As admin of the group, I hav e to tell you I’ve deleted members AND I have deleted posts that were not appropriate and I constantly have to keep people and etiquette inline, but it’s all worth it.

    What a great resource you’ve provided!

    One more thing to add: Besides reading and learning about others and thier insights and ideas, commenting gives you back-links for your blog and that is another GREAT feature!

    Read with pleasure!
    ~Dorien

  10. Cindy Cardinal

    I think we could spend days lost in the blogging world, trying to root out the worthless-worthwhile-funny-useful ones. I saw a series of comments above about LinkedIn. I don’t post all my blogs on LinkedIn, only business-related ones, but I do find people commenting or emailing me personally about them.

    Sharing our thoughts with other bloggers does make the day a bit brighter, that our words are not going to a black hole.

    Lots of ideas here. Thanks Gemma!

    1. Gemma Thompson

      And thank you Cindy! As you say it really is good to know the words haven’t sunk into the void! I’ve just peeked at your blog and really enjoyed your writing – think I may well become a regular reader :)

  11. Mallie Dein

    Gemma,

    That was quite a comprehensive list! I often Stumble around for a short period each day to see what’s new and interesting and I often find blogs on topics of interest.

    I’ve also joined Triberr and find it’s a good way to increase activity and sharing, if not comments.

    Dorien’s group on Facebook is quite helpful and keeps growing and becoming more active.

    I’m an avid blog reader and I try to comment only when have something pertinent to say and can actually add to any conversation started amongst the other blog readers. Of course, that also requires me to put more time into my own blogging!

    Thanks again…

  12. Anne Egros

    Thanks Gemma , great post full of valuable insights. This is typically the kind of blog I learn from. I am not in the “social media business” but I am a user and my clients too need experts like you to make informed choices in such a plethora of technical platforms and new tools

  13. Marc Rougier

    Thanks much Emma for this great post, so comprehensive and useful!

    I’m Marc from Scoop.it. I appreciate your mentioning of Scoop.it here !

    As you noted, an increasing number of users come to Scoop.it not only to publish but also to search. It really becomes not only a means of expression, but also a means of discovery (of content and of people). We are preparing a new release to make this search and social experience richer. Hope you will find it useful! And please feel free to contact us if you have any feed back.

    Thank you Kery for your nice words too :-) You are right, there is a fine line between worthwhile “auto-scooping” (when one of your content really serves a cause and deserves more air time) and lazy “self-promotion”. I guess finding the right balance is an art, and it’s a matter of style and responsibility by the blogger or curator to do it right. I like it when I find a great content, even if it was auto-scooped. And when I stumble across a topic with too much self promotion, I just don’t follow it!

    1. Gemma Thompson

      Hi Marc, Nice to meet you and thanks so much for commenting! I will have to look for you to follow on scoop.it as I’m sure your scoops will be a mine of useful information :) I am looking forward to the new release!

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