When I first started blogging, it was because I was starting a new business and wanted a way to position myself as an expert. By taking the time to write a post everyday, when potential clients came upon my site, they could see a sample of my work. As I am a writer, that was my entire goal.
Then a funny thing happened. I got sucked into blogging. It became not just a way to promote my business, but my favorite part about what I do. It became addicting to put out a post 3-5 times a week and sit back and wait for a response.
So I started trying to branch out my blog. I submitted a few guest posts and saw my traffic spike. I started having conversations with other bloggers and realized what was once a way to communicate with customers had become more than that. I was now a part of a community. And it's a fabulous community.
If you're thinking of blogging, or you already blog, do you feel you're a part of the community? If not, it's time to join.
Here are 5 ways to join the community.
You could try one or all, but in the end, you will never get as much out of blogging without feeling that you are a member of such a special group.
1. Comment on other blogs
This is the number one way I started feeling involved in the community. I figured I couldn't ask others to comment on my posts if I wasn't willing to comment on theirs. I began with just a few posts a day and worked my way up to as many comments as I'm moved to write. I try to never leave the "great post" comment. I attempt to say something that really adds to the conversation.
2. Guest post
I love to guest post not just because it helps me reach more people, but because I really enjoy the conversations I have with the blog owner. I like seeing how they run their blog, how they handle guest posters, and I enjoy being more than just a commentator, but being a blog author.
3. Read as many blogs as possible
I have hundreds of blogs in my Google reader and I make an effort to read as many of them a day as possible. I like to know what the blogging conversation is, and how people are responding to it. You can't be part of a community if you're deaf and dumb to what those in the community are saying.
4. Join the conversation on Twitter
I think the statistic is 70% of Twitter users have blogs. There is a HUGE population of tweeters who use Twitter as a way to share their posts, share others' posts, and talk about what is going on in the blogosphere. Get on there and start not just posting your own blogs, but responding to questions and posting questions of your own. Don't be afraid to answer a question of someone you don't "know." They wouldn't ask it on Twitter if they didn't want the opinion of the entire Twitter community.
5. Actually Join a Blogging Community
I joined Blog Engage, and while I'm not as active as I'd like to be, it's a great way to share your posts with other bloggers and get feedback and traffic. Definitely check it out.
Are you going to try any of these suggestions to get more involved in the community? Do you feel like you are already involved?