Why You Need to Build Your Blog Community
Why Bloggers Need Communities and Tribes
“Find your tribe. Love them hard.”
I’ve been blessed to be in this blogging world for the last five and a half years. For those who have been rockin’ with me since the beginning when I was blogging about any and everything, thank you! Seriously. I love ya’ll something fierce! Ya’ll have seen me basically grow up on here from my college days to engagement days to marriage days to our baby journey days to motherhood days…. but that is not what this blog post is about. What this blog post is about is what has helped me (and what could help you, my fellow bloggers) stay in the game: building a community.
Building a community and having supporters (whether other bloggers, readers, or customers) makes the world of a difference in the blogging world. These are your people. The people who will support you, share your content, purchase the things you create, and encourage you.
In this post, I’ll talk about the reasons why a tribe (aka the trendy word for community) is so important for your blog, and how I plan to walk it like I talk it (anyone else all of a sudden get that Migos song stuck in your head?) and nurture the community I am blessed with.
I’ve seen the saying “ know, like, trust” floating around the internet. You want your people to not only know who you are, but to like you, and then to trust you. Think about the person you’ve come to trust: you probably not only listen to what they have to say, but you probably also follow their recommendations, too, right? You probably try the things they suggest you try and buy the things they suggest you buy.
Also, there’s a deeper connection with someone you trust. There’s a relationship there. You know when you hear people say “she’s my best friend in my head” when they are talking about a celebrity? That’s because a relationship has been fostered because that person feels like they know that celebrity on a deeper level.
The support is real in blog communities. Supporters will not only comment on your posts, but they will follow you on social media, share your posts, and buy yo’ stuff. When you have days where you just want to quit (trust me, you’ll have those), they will be there to cheer you on and get you out of your funk.
When I shared our miscarriage in 2015, my community was right there to wrap their virtual arms around me and shower me with comments, messages, and emails full of condolences and support. When I announced our pregnancy, those same people came from all over supporting me again. And then my community grew even bigger once I became a mom and started to share my journey. I’m telling you: the support you get from your community is invaluable!
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I hit writer’s block and don’t know what to blog about or share on social media next. But another benefit to building a community is that your tribe will tell you what they want from you. They will tell you what they want to read, see, or hear next. They will tell you what is work and what isn’t working. You will know this by what they like (or don’t like), what they comment on, what they suggest, etc. It really takes a lot of the of guesswork out of trying to figure out what your people need.
Remember what I said earlier about your supporters? When your community shares your content and purchases from you, you’ll start to see growth in traffic and revenue. When you start to get people who intentionally watch what you say and do, especially on social media, you’ll start to see an increase in engagement. People will comment on your posts more. People will start to send you messages. People will start to take action on your CTA’s (call to actions). People will start to buy the things you offer.
How I Plan to Nurture My Blog Community
One thing that I love and wish I could do more is hosting from my home. Maybe it’s because I live in the South, but there’s just something about that southern hospitality, ya’ll. Just like I would do in my home #IRL (in real life), I want people to show up as they are, take a seat, get comfortable and feel seen and heard. Inspired by Tiffany Bluhm’s hosting guide post, I want to gather people online like I would gather people in my home. Here’s what I plan on focusing on for the next 30 days to do that:
Define My Value and Give Value
Here is a question that I am asking myself (and that you should ask yourself, too): why does building a community matter to me? And how can I make it matter to those I am seeking to build a community with? I try to think of it as if I was trying to build an actual community in the area I live in. What is the purpose of inviting people in? What do I want to get out of it? What do I want others to get out of it? How do I want to love and serve my people?
If you’ve been following me on here or on social media, you know that I have NO problem being transparent. I actually think it’s one of my gifts! However, I know that I still have some areas where I can share a little more. Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to put all of your business out there. But it just means to show your community who you are. Show them what you struggle with (to the extent that you’re comfortable with, of course). Show them the beautiful imperfections. People like that. Think about it: are you more comfortable visiting a friend whose house is always magazine perfect, or would you like to relax at a friend’s house that is clean and put together, but imperfect enough that you know you can sit comfortably on their couch with a blanket without the fear of messing something up? Transparency is like that. It’s like “oh you have a junk drawer in your kitchen?! Me too!”
It takes work to build a community. It takes work to build relationships. I know I can be more intentional with reaching out to those who take the time to reach out to me. The people in my community are always so sweet to send me a message or an email. I always respond back, but I can go the extra mile and send them a “hey! How are you? How’s life been since we’ve last talked?”
How can you be intentional with your community? Maybe it’s making sure to comment to every comment, message, and email. Maybe it’s making sure to show people the behind the scenes of your life on Instagram stories. Maybe it’s being intentional about being consistent (this is definitely a goal of mine!).
Tying in with my decision to start reaching out to those in my community above, I also plan on asking more questions. Some great questions could be to ask what your community would like to see more of. Another great suggestion is to host a Q&A on your blog, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube. Ask them to share their stories with you. Got a question, or want to know something? Just ask. As they say, ask and you shall receive!
Having your own engaged community for blog goes a long way. Sure, it takes a lot of work to get the ball rolling, and you do have to be intentional, but what you get in return is so beyond worth it. You want your blog to truly be successful? Build a community, because it truly takes a village. And if you already have your community (no matter how big or small), love on ‘em hard.
Now tell me below: what are some of your struggles with building a community? What are some things that you have found success with in building a community?