Tuesday, 7 March 2017

How To Get Involved In The Blogging Community

Blogging is addictive.

It is probably the only hobby I've had that I've stuck at for longer than a year or two at most.

And yes, the fact that I started to earn money from it has probably helped spur me on to keep going but there is more to it than that.

Something I didn't realise about blogging when I first started was just how strong the sense of community among bloggers can be.

Infact I'd go as far as to say that more than 50% of the people that I consider my friends today are people that I met because of blogging.

I've always been the kind of person that makes friends more easily online than in person for some reason, probably because I'm not that confident and not amazing at starting conversations particularly when I don't know people - but I'm a friendly and sociable person, I like to have a chat, I like to be around people and I find the online world perfect for that...and blogging, in particular has given me a place that I feel I belong. 

I think it's important as a blogger to find your "Tribe" - and I don't mean to find a tribe of people who will help to boost your social media likes by commenting on your IG photo right away, as useful as those things can be - I mean a group of likeminded people, who you can talk to comfortably when you're feeling rubbish about things, who you can vent your frustrations with, who you can feel at ease with - a group of friends.

I probably didn't really find my Tribe properly until 2015, two years in to my blogging journey, and I feel that I'm always adding to it...getting to know more people and making new friendships in the blogging world ...and I can honestly say that having these friendships with other bloggers has helped me to feel so much more confident.

So for those who are new to blogging, I wanted to share my tips for integrating with the blogging community and finding your tribe.

1) Linkies are EVERYTHING!

Toward the end of last year I started to take part in linkies, which is something I haven't done since I first started blogging...I always thought "What's the point?!" but I started in an effort to help my DA increase (selfish reason, I know!) and I was soon completely hooked on them...not because they massively increased my DA (I didn't see any real difference to be honest!) but because it meant I was making time each week to READ other blogs...and I found so many bloggers I hadn't discovered before, whose lives I became invested in and whose words I fell in love with.

And it reignited my passion for what I do, it made me fall in love with blogging all over again.

This is why I started my own Sunday Best weekly linky with my lovely friend Sian (which, incidentally, takes place every Sunday...so be sure to come and link up with us!)

If you're looking for a way to get to know other bloggers, and find some new entertaining or inspiring  new reads I can't recommend linkies highly enough.

I try to do one linky every day if possible (though I often fail!) and my list of favourites is as follows:

Mondays - Anything Goes with My Random Musings

Tuesdays - Dream Team with Bridie By The Sea, 3 Little Buttons and Rhyming With Wine

Wednesdays - Blogger Club UK with My Random Musings and Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum

Thursdays - Sharing The Blog Love with Dear Bear & Beany and Hot Pink Wellingtons

Fridays - Friday Frolics with Life, Love & Dirty Dishes

Saturdays - KCACOLS with A Moment With Franca

Sundays - SundayBest with myself and Quite Frankly She Said of course!

2) Facebook Groups

These can be a bit of a bone of contention with me, as sometimes they can absolutely fantastic for chatting with other bloggers and getting to know them - and sometimes they can be a bit of a nightmare, full of know it alls and preachers, and just a really annoying place to be.

I quit almost all of the Facebook groups last year for that reason, but for a newbie it's worth joining and making up your own mind.

Here are a couple of the ones I stayed in which seem to be relatively drama free and a great place to get to know people.

The Blogging Mums Club
Mummy, Beauty & Lifestyle Bloggers

3) Twitter

I hate Twitter as a social media platform. Like, seriously hate it.

It bores the pants off me and if it weren't for blogging, I definitely would not have a Twitter account.

But...it's where most of my blog views come from...so it's a necessary evil tool to have.

But it was only recently that I actually started scrolling through my Twitter feed occasionally and replying to peoples tweets, and it has actually made a lot of difference to how much I interact with other bloggers.

It seems to be the favoured social media option for lots of bloggers, and so is a great place to get chatting.

Searching the #Pbloggers hashtag will find you a steady stream of parenting bloggers to go through or alternatively #bbloggers for Beauty bloggers, #Lloggers for life style bloggers, #MHbloggers for mental health bloggers etc.

4) Find a "Pod"

There seems to be a "pod" for everything these days - Instagram, Facebook, you name it...there's a pod for it!

I'm not altogether sure how helpful they are for their intended purpose (helping to get your content seen by liking and commenting on each others photos, posts, etc)  but they can be a good way to get a bit more familiar with a small group of bloggers so if you are totally new to blogging and don't really know anybody - finding a pod might be a good place to start!

You can ask on Twitter or in blogging groups for Pods taking in new members, or you can start your own by asking if anybody would be up for setting a new Pod up!

5) Respond to comments

This is something I suck at...but it's important and it does help.

Nobody wants to talk to someone who isn't talking back so if somebody takes the time to comment on your blog or Facebook page, message you or tweet you...Reply!

Try to strike up a conversation.

Some of the best friends I have in the blogging community are bloggers I got chatting to in the comments and I don't know where I'd be without them now!

I hope these tips were helpful and not too obvious.

It's easy to feel isolated as a blogger when everybody seems to have their little "cliques" but on the whole we are a friendly bunch, so do try to mingle and get to know the community - I promise you won't regret it!

If all else fails, come and tweet me...I'm always up for a chat! ;)

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