Do you have a strategy in place for increasing your blog readership and influence? Or do you just rely on keywords and SEO plugins to optimize your posts and submit your links to social media sites and hope for the best?
Both techniques are recommended but will only get you so far. With Google relying more on social reach and social reach depending on how many dedicated followers you already have, it’s a catch 22 situation. SEO techniques and social media submission work best to increase readership when you’ve already got a readership.
In the early days of blogging many dedicated blogging communities sprang up. Anyone remember MyBlogLog? These were great to begin with. The larger they got the harder it became to develop close contacts and find people willing to help each other. Your own content got lost in the crowd and then the spammers started taking advantage.
It was the same with today’s major social networks. When they were smaller it was easier to get yourself and your blog known.
All is not lost as blogging communities and groups still exist for the purpose of mutual help support and sharing.
- Small Private Blogging Communities
These are set up for the purpose of mutual promotion of member’s blogs. Participant’s comment on each others posts and share them on social networks.
Virtually all my comments and shares for this blog come from just two smallish groups of supportive and influential bloggers. They have brought many visitors in their wake. Both have their main admin base on Facebook but also have their own websites. They are both friendly, vibrant communities where members really get to know each other.
- Biz Blogging Buzz – a closed Facebook group for blog writers covering all sorts of business areas. Membership is approved based on the quality of your blog and willingness to fully participate.
- Our Power Blogging Tribe – an open Facebook group for small business bloggers. All all posts are visible, but you do need to have your joining request approved before you can post and participate in our tribe.
Membership of this type of group is based on posting good original content and following the participation rules. No-one gets a free ride. Facebook and Gplus are the best places to find this type of group.
Less formal groups are scattered throughout the blogosphere. Find a blog in your topic area with lots of comments from the same people. Make your own comments regularly, visit the blogs of the others and comment there too. It is likely that they will reciprocate.
Blogging Support Groups
Groups set up for help and support on particular subjects. Asking for help as well as offering it can bring you blog visitors, promote your brand and increase your social influence. An example is the
- Large Blogging Communities
Up Yours Sites
I call these “Up Yours” sites because you submit posts which get voted up (and sometimes down) by fellow members. You can add your own posts but you are more likely to increase your influence if you submit other good quality content too. Most have groups and/or some sort of like/friend functions.
It takes time and regular participation to get yourself noticed.
Connect with like minded people and those who blog on a similar topic to yours
- Vote up posts they share
- Engage them in conversation in groups or social walls
- Find members on the mainstream social media sites and interact with them there. SMS (social media stalking) goes a long way.
- Connect with bloggers who could do with some help; and not those who have so many followers that you will get lost in the crowd.
I am only going to list a few sites here as examples. Please let me know of any that you belong to.
- Blog Engage
- Biz Sugar – for sharing small business news and tips.
- Blogher is different in that it is for women only and you can write posts on the site itself
Blogging Community Sites
By these I mean sites that give you your own social page, groups, forums and sometimes blogging privileges.
- Triberr you can find me here (I have just upgraded). On Triberr you will find a social wall, groups (tribes) covering the whole range of blog topics, Bonfires for asking questions and announcements, and Campaigns for promotion. You are likely to find plenty of your friends on this network.
- Social Media Today
It can take work to get yourself noticed on the more popular forums so find one or two that suit you the best and concentrate on those. Examples:
- ProBlogger Community is now more than a forum. With the newly launched format, members also have access to webinars, discounts, free downloads as well as posts, suggestions and blog challenges by ProBlogger Darren Rowse. You can score an early bird discount if you join now.
- WordPress.com Forums
- Digital Point Blogging Forum
- Blog Parties
Blog Hops/Linky Parties are popular among mommie, craft, and food and lifestyle bloggers. Here is a good explanation Everything you always wanted to know about Linky Parties from Moms Make Money.
There are so many link parties, it is best if you to do a Google search for linky parties and blog hops which are suited to your own blog topics but here are a couple of resources:
- Pinterest Board where you can find some. Weekly Blog Parties
- This one is different as parties are held on gPlus and Instagram The Ultimate Linky on Facebook.
Facebook Fan Page Parties are common and mostly held on a Friday probably because the term Facebook Fan Page Friday became popular and a term that is searched for.
The rules for joining in vary but the most usually the idea is to share your own Facebook Page and to visit the other posted pages. So make sure you have your own Facebook Page where you post your blog posts to and join in some parties.
Here is a list I created of some of the more popular parties. Facebook Fan Page Parties
Fan Page Friday – What is it and How you can Benefit from Scalable Social Media
- Blog Challenges
Challenges range from writing a post on a particular subject to writing every day for a set number of days.
- NaBloPoMo National Blog Posting Month a month-long challenge now held each month.
- 30 Days to a Better Blog by ProBlogger, Darren Rowse
- Blogging from A to Z Challenge – post every day in April except Sundays
- The reason I wrote this post – to take part in the Problogger Community Forums Challenge to write a Top 5 Post
I know I have only skimmed the surface with the community sites that I mention so please add to this by letting me know of blogging community sites that you belong to.