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4 Ways to Create Community on Your Blog in 2013

By Jan 2, 2013July 8th, 2014120 Comments

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Being part of, and having a community, is one of the best things about blogging. It is also one of the most important things. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people, being able to draw on each others’ experiences, having folks who understand and can relate to what you write about – it is truly one of the most rewarding parts of being a blogger.

Community does not just happen, however. You need to build it. How do you go about this? You may find that as a new blogger, you may quickly build up a small community via the “follow me, I’ll follow you” tactic. Getting the numbers is one thing, keeping them? Is another.

4 ways to create community

How to Build Your Blog Community in 2013

Here are a few ideas on how you can build, and keep, a great blogging community on your blog:

Read And Comment Often

There are a sea of blogs out there, and you will find some that you will love. To do so, you need to read, and read often. Designate some time each day to visit your favorite blogs, and don’t forget to comment meaningfully. Bloggers can tell when someone merely hops in, goes to the latest post and writes, “I am following you, please follow me back!”. Trust me, they won’t follow you back. If you read and comment often enough, they will definitely return a visit, and before you know it, you’re friends and reading each other’s blogs.

You may also find other great bloggers in the comment section – some folks write comments as well as they write their blog posts! Go check their blogs out too.

Love, Care and Share

There are more ways than one to let a blogger know you enjoyed their writing. Sharing posts is a wonderful way of showing your support. Support begets support, and that is how tribes and communities are built. So if you really liked a post? Tweet it. Share it on Facebook. Give it a +1.

Reciprocate

One of the great things about The SITS Girls is that there are plenty of opportunities to get your blog some exposure. You can apply to be theΒ Daily Featured Blogger. You can share your favorite blog post of the week during Saturday Sharefest. But blogging is never a one way street. When you get plenty of comment love as the Featured Blogger, take the time to visit each and every person who took the time to go to your blog. When you receive comments on a blog post you’ve shared, visit each commenter back. It’s simple courtesy, and it goes a long way.

Connect Outside Of Your Blog

Social media is an essential part of growing your community. Set up a Twitter account, start a Facebook page, and give Pinterest a shot. They may all seem very overwhelming and time consuming to start with, but just as with everything else, practice makes perfect. Put a little time aside each day to do something on each platform.

On Twitter, tweet or retweet posts you liked. Have a conversation with your followers. Ask a question. Answer questions you see.

Facebook is not just about getting likes, and just another avenue for you to post your blog links to. It can be incredibly interactive and fun. Engage with your fans by sharing pictures, articles on topics relevant to your blog and/ or your fans, ask questions or create fun polls. When someone comments on your posts there, respond to them, like their comments and keep the conversation going.

Building your community on your blog will take time and some hard work. It is however, incredibly rewarding, so keep at it and remember to have fun while you’re at it!

More Post on Building Community

120 Comments

  • TOI says:

    can’t stop coming to this to refresh my mind of the aim πŸ™‚

  • Good tips! I vow to get back to commenting more in 2013. I still read a lot but mostly on my iPad and I get lazy about commenting there. πŸ™‚

    • Alison says:

      Oh me too. Which is why I need to be on my laptop (let’s not discuss how I can’t actually get hold of the iPad :))

  • Building a community is tough, but it really is worth it. I’m in the rebuilding phase now. Great tips!

  • Magdalena says:

    This is very useful especially for new bloggers. For others it’s obvious but we often forget about it or have no enough time.

    • Alison says:

      Time is a big issue for many of us. Which is why I schedule time for all these blogging activities, so that I can live life first. πŸ™‚

  • Jeanette says:

    As bloggers and business women, it is so easy to do our own thing so we can rush to the next item on our to do list that we forget interacting is the icing on the cake and what puts a smile on our face!

  • These are great ideas- and I could use all the ideas I can get! I actually find building a community somewhat intimidating! I think part of it is my “face to face friends” are not supportive of blogging – find it very self centered. So, in turn I think I have shyed away from sharing. This will be the year I attempt to make some online connections! Thanks for the tips!!

    • Alison says:

      Leah, I get it. My real life friends don’t really read my blog (which is okay with me), so making the online connections is a great alternative. Good luck and you’re welcome!

  • TOI says:

    this is one of my #1 aim of 2013 blog adventures.

    thanks for sharing.

    happy 2013 everyone!

  • Pingback: Farewell, 2012 |
  • The Lassie says:

    Thanks so much for this post. I am a new blogger and sometimes it feels like I am writing to an empty space. However, I do have some lovely friends who read my posts have stated that they have tried to leave comments (on blogspot) but they have experienced issues, even leaving comments as “anonymous”. Have you had any other bloggers comment on this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    • Alison says:

      Hi there! I checked your blog out and commented, and had no issues – probably because I have a Google profile I use to comment. Blogspot offers many options for commenters to comment, including as Anonymous. Mostly, non-bloggers can choose to comment via Name/ URL and not include the URL. Try that!

  • Tips that are SO true!!

  • Estelle says:

    This is great advice! Top bloggers also create their own communities by starting groups, linkups etc. like Scary Mama.

  • Nellie says:

    Great tips!! Its almost a full time job keeping up with all of these sites πŸ™‚

  • Fantastic ideas that anyone can do today. Love it. I was thinking you were going to recommend a new site or plugin. I’m already doing these things and they do create a solid, loyal community.

    Thanks!

  • Sandra Foyt says:

    Thanks for the tips! Over years of blogging it can be easy to forget the basics, but this is a great reminder.

  • Alexa says:

    You never let me down Alison! Great advice! I have noticed that certain bloggers really do start banding together… I can tell I have stumbled upon a good blog when certain bloggers I love and admire are in the list of commenters! My biggest challenge is limiting my time. Otherwise, I could spend HOURS hopping from blog to blog to blog reading and commenting away! Where does one draw the line at numbers of blogs to visit?? πŸ˜‰

    • Alison says:

      Thank you Alexa!
      It is easy to get sucked in once you get started. I use Google Reader – I subscribe to blogs I don’t want to miss and categorize according to Read 1st, Read 2nd and so on. Every couple of months, I go through the reader to purge the blogs who haven’t updated in a while, or who I don’t feel like I connect with anymore. I try and keep the number to about 50 blogs at most, at any given time.

      I also believe scheduling time to do things really help keep me on track!

  • Jamie says:

    Such great tips!!

  • Alma says:

    Alison, these are great tips. I need to get better at some of these and managing my time.

  • Thanks for the great post. I’m the featured blogger on January 2, 2013. I got home from work and was replying to comments, visiting websites, and replying to comments. Part way through the comments weren’t left below my reply. I’m having to go back to my replies to find and visit everyone. My favorite day other than today was the Sharefest Day that I devoted myself to visiting at least ten sites, look around and comment. It was a great way to feel community. Keep up the articles.

  • Jeanine says:

    Thank you, thank you for this well needed post! As a newbie, it is important to know and as a long time Blogger it is a good reminder of the proper etiquette. Thanks again and all the best for 2013!

  • Hi Alison! Nicely written. I get so overwhelmed with social media sometimes, as does everyone, but it’s such a great way to make connections. We’re lucky in that we have so many venues on which to meet people- I’m loving figuring this out and meeting so many new people and finding my peeps.

  • Great post! And I totally agree with adding in other social media sites into the mix. It did seem overwhelming at first but once you get the hang of it, it’s fun spotting a new Internet friend on different sites. It’s like bumping into them at the grocery store and then the library and again at the gas station!

  • Kristiina says:

    great advice! I have been loving the sharefest twitter party because it makes connecting on social easy.

  • very true,i appreciate the advice and reminders. i love the support of every commenter and blogging makes the vast world just a little smaller and allows us to know people we may not otherwise meet.

  • Sadie U. says:

    I love this post! Thank you for all the great ideas and reminders! πŸ™‚

  • Kat says:

    These are great reminders for all bloggers…old and new alike!

  • Kate Burt says:

    Like many others, one of my resolutions for 2013 is to get more organized which will include mandatory scheduling. I plan on using your suggestions and incorporate them into said scheduling. I think it’ll allow me to feel like the steps I need to take to build a community will feel less like work and more like fun! Thanks!!

    • Alison says:

      Scheduling helped me SO MUCH. Social media can be a time suck and distracting, you need to know when to tear yourself away. Also, life needs to happen, so there’s that. πŸ™‚

      Good luck for the new year!

  • Kristen says:

    Thank you for this! One of my blogging goals this year is to build my community and readership. I will admit that I’ve been a bit lost and stymied about how to do this, so this was perfect timing for me! I will definitely carve out time everyday to visit, share, and spread the love.

  • Erica Deuel says:

    This was great! Thank you!!

  • I appreciate your advice, being a “newborn” blogger means that I can’t get enough advice and wisdom! I never realized HOW much work a blog really is, until I started. I feel like a have an almost full-time job. It’s not just about posts, but organizing, planning and research, too. I feel like I am on an uphill battle, but I am going to keep on plugging along and I will eventually be the blogger I want to be!!

    • Alison says:

      It is quite a bit of work isn’t it? You’re in the right place for advice, SITS is a great community. Yes, keep plugging away and you’ll see results real soon, good luck!

  • Great tips! I have started a daily to do list hoping to comment more. My time is so limited with it only being nap time, but it really is important to comment and make friends. Thanks for the list.

    Julie @ Naptime Review
    http://www.thenaptimereview.com

    • Alison says:

      You’re welcome, Julie! I understand the time constraints – I have two little boys πŸ™‚ Do what you can, life has to come first after all.

  • These are all 4 fabulous tips and tips that I couldn’t agree with more! I do my best to follow back whether on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+ and of course share the comment love back to a blogger who took the time to comment on my website.

    Great article! πŸ™‚

  • Corinne says:

    Thank you so much for this article! As a relatively new blogger, I’m excited to get started “officially”. These tips are perfect, and I’m happy to share this!

  • Galit Breen says:

    Absolutely fabulous tips, girl!

    {It also has to be said that you are a pro at this and definitely lead by example!}

    xo

  • this is great information and I have been doing all of the things you suggested for a few years now. For some reason, I don’t get any other bloggers to reciprocate on my blog. I comment reguarly, feature blogs every other week on my party ideas section (and credit back to them and let them know they were featured) I give daily shout outs on my facebook page to promote the businesses of other cake decorators and their blogs and I don’t get any love back. It doesn’t stop me from doing it, sharing is caring and I am supportive of all other food bloggers as we share common interest. It would just be nice to get the same love back from time to time. It’s been a slow start to growing my blog but I have been doing it for two years now and it’s about time things changed a bit. Some of these bloggers should be sharing the love by now. Just saying.

    • Alison says:

      I’m sorry to hear that you’re not getting any love back on the blog. However, perhaps the love shown is via other means? Do you get your recipes Pinned? Have you had posts shared on other Facebook pages or on Twitter?

      Truth be told, I follow a lot of food blogs and rarely comment on them, but if I like a recipe I always Pin it. The blogger may not know that, but it’s still love. Though I should do a better job of letting them know I shared and loved their post.

      Have you tried connecting outside of the food blog niche? That may help in growing your community. Good luck!

      • No, I do not notice anyone promoting my facebook posts on their pages. I do it for them ALL THE TIME! Never get that back in return. Also, as far as Pinterest goes…I follow all of the blogs I comment on via Pinterest and I only have noticed one or two of them pin my recipes when I upload a new pin. Not every time and not every blogger. Not very many pins in that arena. Don’t know what I am doing wrong but I take your advice and for two years have been bloggy friendly to all fellow bloggers and I have never had anyone seek out my blog to comment, share, pin on their own EVER!! Weird isn’t it? NONE have ever commented on my blog in return for commenting on theirs. So, for food bloggers (just my experience) I can say that not all of them are bloggy friendly and share the love and support. That is why I love SITS. Just wishing some of these tactics would pay off for my own blog.

  • Keely says:

    I agree- Alison is the QUEEN of this. You, sister, are what inspired me to really engage with folks way back in ol’ 2012.

  • Community. It’s so special out there in blogland. It’s easy to get lost if you don’t find a community! It’s about making friends. That’s my favorite part of blogging!

  • I have been actively doing as you stated. I must say The Sits Girls bloggers are true to your post. Thank you very much for the encouragement, at times the process appears to be slow but there is a light at end of the tunnel.

  • these are amazing tips! i’m guilty of reading other’s blog but not posting … can’t build a community if no one knows you are there!

    • Alison says:

      That is true – have you thought about creating a posting schedule? For example, 2-3 times a week on the same day? Having a schedule is great to keep organized. Good luck!

  • Amanda says:

    These are great reminders. It’s not always easy to put in the time to build community, but it’s worth it.

    • Alison says:

      You’re right, finding the time is the hardest. What I do is, I schedule the time in. It means a little less sleep, but it’s been worth it!

  • Lisa says:

    Fabulous tips. I doing all of these to an extent. My blog community is slow growing, though, I am trying.

  • Those are some great tips. My goal this year is to read way more and comment a lot!

  • You are a perfect person to write this post Alison. You definitely do create and cultivate a pretty incredible community on your blog (and here!).

  • Alexandra says:

    As Linda said, no better spokesperson on community than Alison. How she does it, I can’t imagine. But she covers all the platforms. I’m wondering if she gets sprinkled with bloggy fairy dust in the night…she is tremendous. She is always the first to visit my blog and I can never thank her enough, or let her know just how grateful I am for her support. A loyal follower is something that that I am lucky lucky to have, and that is what Alison is to so very many.

  • Awesome tips, Alison! Very timely for me, too, since this is one of the things I would like to continue building upon this year.

  • Stephanie says:

    I really do need to get better about commenting- I’m a chronic blog lurker! haha

    • Alison says:

      I know it’s hard to take time to comment. Maybe set aside 30 minutes a day or comment on 5 blogs a day? Start slow, take it easy, and you’ll get into the habit. πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  • jennifer says:

    Totally agree! It’s nice once you start to build up a community, too, since you will naturally find people who have the most in common with you and it’s a great way to inspire and encourage others!
    I love the health/fitness community, so it’s awesome reading about others who are going down a similar path and lifestyle.

  • Thank you, Alison! As you already know, creating community is a HUGE blogging goal for me this year. Because really, without it–um, what is there? I’m going to schedule my time a little better so that I can read and leave good comments on more blogs πŸ™‚

  • These are such important things to do.

  • Laura says:

    There is no one better than you to write this post! You are so right! About all of it! When I find my readership/comments are low, it means I probably need to put more effort into engaging other blogs.

  • Great post. πŸ™‚ You said so well everything that is wonderful about being a blogger. Because the community is definitely where it is at. Off to share this! πŸ™‚