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Aug 20, 2014

Blog With Purpose



call it cliche, but if you ask my why i blog, i'm going to tell you that it's because of the community.  the more this space grows, the more i find that i love meeting other bloggers!

when i first started blogging, i had no idea that there was even a blogging "community" out there!

i can't tell you how many times i've had those "friend crush" moments...when i've found another blogger who i identify with and just know that we'd be great friends, you know?  that's what it's all about for me, and i'm so blessed in the fact that i can say that i have some really great blogging friends out there who i regularly connect with!

1.  reach out // when you find another blogger that you really connect with, don't be afraid to shoot them an email to tell them that!  i can't tell you how much it means to me to get an email from someone telling me that something i wrote touched them in some way or that they enjoy my blog!  but you know what feels even better?  writing that email to someone else!  and what's just the best is when that initial email sparks a conversation.  you never know until you reach out to someone, and those bloggers that you connect with can turn into potential collaborators, mentors, and friends.  the same is true with bloggers that you want to work with...whether it be advertising with them, guest posting, or co-hosting a linkup or giveaway, you will never get a "yes!" from someone until you reach out.  just be sure to work on establishing a relationship before asking for big favors!

2.  be active // in order to get people stopping by your blog, you need to be active in the blogging community!  read and comment on other blogs (and be real with those comments!  don't just say "great post!"), respond to emails and comments that you receive, advertise on other blogs, and promote other bloggers!  i once read that you will get much more engagement when you promote others than when you promote yourself, and i totally believe that's true.

3.  join a group // this has to be one of the best pieces of advice that i can give you!  there are tons of facebook groups out there for bloggers, (in addition to other intentional communities like the influence network), and this is one of the easiest ways to actively engage in a community just for bloggers!  there are also a number of blogger networks for different genres of blogging and areas of the country!  i'm a member of the northeast blogger's network, where i'm able to connect with other bloggers in my area!  utilize these groups to grow your blog and network with other bloggers, but just like #2, remember that there's more to networking than just self-promotion!  ask questions, leave feedback, and be encouraging to other members!

4.  attend a conference or meet-up //  this is something that's on my personal blogging to-do list.  my friend natalie recently found this post that gives you a calendar of blogging conferences throughout the year!  meet-ups and conferences are a great way to meet other bloggers in person, network face-to-face, and really build relationships!  meet-ups tend to be much cheaper (sometimes even free!) compared to attending a conference, and can help you connect with other bloggers near you.  if you can't find one that's already in the works, consider starting your own!  another option to an in-person meet-up (because sometimes it can be hard to find other bloggers in your area) is to host a twitter party or google hangout.

5.  be authentic // if you're looking for organic, true community, then you need to be authentic on your blog.  this means that you need to break down the wall between you and your readers.  be vulnerable once in a while; let your readers in!  you don't need to overshare or give specifics about personal situations, but sharing your heart and letting your readers get to know you a little will create relationships.  think about some of your favorite bloggers...why are they a daily read?  chances are it's because you feel connected to them, and you probably feel that because they've let you into their lives.  even if you love reading a beauty blog or a diy blog, i'd be willing to bet that while 90% of their content might be focused on a certain topic, they still give you a peek into their personal lives the other 10% of the time!

no matter what you blog about, if you desire true community in the blogging world, you need to be you.  people want real...there are so many websites and blogs out there that it can be hard to get readers to stop by, let alone stick around!  if your main goal is to build up community around and through your blog, then you need to connect with your readers on a deeper level.

what do you think?  what are some of your best tips for engaging and building a community around your blog?

want more blogging tips?  check out some of the other posts in my blogging series here:

87 comments:

  1. This was so beautifully written. Since I started writing in January, I have been able to connect with some lovely people and that is what drives me to keep producing content and reading what other people are writing. Be Active: that is what I'm going to aim for. for the next part of this year I am going to be more active with the blogging community. Thanks for the kick up the bum! x

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  2. I just love the community, too! It was something that really surprised me about blogging, but I am so happy to have found so many amazing women that I would consider my friends even though we haven't met! When I first started my blog, I was pretty much anonymous. I thought just sharing recipes was enough. When I started building community and talking about my life on my blog, it took off!

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  3. you're right on point(s)! i love the blogging community, never knew there was one too before i started my blog earlier this year. your blogging series are very helpful :) x

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  4. So I'm sitting here reading this post and nodding at every point you make...dead on! And yes, the community is the key reason I fell in love with blogging and the reason I keep blogging. You have been a wonderful presence in that community and have fostered so many great relationships! Kudos to you...such a blogging role model!

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  5. How true these things are! Sometimes it is so hard with real life (major moves and career change) but if I am not blogging with a purpose and I am still making blogging a priority, then why do it? I love this!

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  6. Love love love this, Betsy! I'm nodding throughout the entire thing! The connections I've made through blogging are just the best!!

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  7. Thankful for the community you have created!

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  8. I can relate. I love this community!! I have a couple of best friends that I met
    through blogging years ago. It’s wild to think that you could actually and
    truly connect with someone on the Internet. Love this post! PS - thank you for creating the Peony Project. It's blessed me in so many ways.

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  9. when you said join a group i smiled because i'm in the one you created!!!! thanks so much for starting such a positive group. i'm in another group but there's quite a bit of finger pointing and drama and not near as much encouragement and postitivity!

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  10. awe, yeah...by "join a group", i meant "join the peony project!" haha....i agree...choosing a group carefully is important....there are obviously ones out there that have different purposes, and they're all necessary! but if you're looking for community, it's important to join one that is encouraging and life-giving! glad you're a part of the peony project, laura!

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  11. thanks ali! glad you're a part of it!

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  12. agreed! thanks so much...i love the friends i've made through blogging (you included!!) :)

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  13. thanks so much anne! those are such kind words! i totally agree....community is why i fell in love with blogging too! :)

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  14. same here! it was one of the most welcome surprises about blogging! and it's the reason i continue to blog so regularly!

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  15. thanks Liz! I totally agree...one of the goals I have for myself is to be more proactive in promoting others and exploring other blogs! Some people are soooo good and it and i aspire to that!

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  16. The blog community is so amazing and lovely! I have loved building relationships through reaching out to other bloggers!

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  17. These are great tips. The blogging community is indeed awesome

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  18. Love these tips! It might be cliche but you are totally right. The community is definitely the best part of blogging.

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  19. AWESOME tips my dear! Blogging can be such a weird, scary endeavor when you first start out. These are definitely some great ways that you can grow your blog and become part of the incredible blogging community!

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  20. These are all great tips, Betsy! Blogging can be so confusing when you're just beginning + these tips are ones I wish I would have had starting out. :)

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  21. I loved reading this! Virtually meeting other bloggers is my favorite part of blogging. It's such an uplifting community. Love tip #4...going to blogger conference is definitely on my bucket list, just need to get over the fear of doing it!

    xo, Mandy
    Saguaros & Stilettos

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  22. GREAT tips!! Definitely join groups & be active!

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  23. awesome tips! These are really helpful. I think it can be hard to maintain authenticity with all the craziness that comes with running a blog, but definitely important to do it.

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  24. Love these tips. thank you for all the blogging posts you post. i love them and am always encouraged by them.


    xoxo ,kerri

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  25. Great tips! Being authentic is one of the best things you can do because it will only encourage readers to keep visiting!

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  26. i totally agree...it can be hard, but if you make it your top priority, it can definitely be easier :)

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  27. thanks so much! it definitely can be...when you first start out its a totally daunting task to build your blog and a community! but so worth it :)

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  28. i couldn't agree more! i think about all of the people i wouldn't know if i didn't blog, and it makes me so grateful that i do!

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  29. Very valuable list of tips for bloggers of all ranges of experience. Two thumbs up at all of them! It's interesting how much more outwards/community-facing blogging is than a lot of industries, actually. Lots of time to invest, but so many rewards as well. :)

    xo,
    lauriel
    EyeForElegance.com

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  30. these are all great tips! i'm teaching myself to be a little more valuable on my blog.. even though sometimes i wonder when it's oversharing and when it's appropriate. :P

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  31. These are AWESOME tips! In the age of giveaways, reviews, and paid blogging - I miss the friendships! Not that you can't still find friends, it just seems like it's really easy to get caught up in all the other stuff. These are great tips! :)

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  32. Community engagement is one of the tougher parts of blogging. I find that being authentic truly does help the most.

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  33. There is nothing like meeting other bloggers in person! I found each of my blog conferences brought some of my best friends, cheerleaders, and support system.

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  34. songbirdsandbuttonsAugust 20, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    I totally agree with being active in the community - that's the best way to meet other bloggers and make connections!

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  35. this is great! very helpful and so true. I find myself only really following people who are authentic and genuine, even if I can't really relate to them on a personal level. I always love reading your posts, and I appreciate that you respond to comments!

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  36. I totally get those "friend crush" moments with other bloggers!! I wish there was a way that we could all meet in person! Well, I guess blogging conference sort of give us that opportunity, which is awesome. But still... ha ha. Loving all of these tips! Most important thing to do while blogging is be ourselves.

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  37. I love these, and community is why I love blogging too. I'm fascinated with people's stories, so I just love the medium, and reading about them. The problem is, I think I know someone when I really don't, so the outreach is vital. It's about so much more than content.

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  38. haha it is so easy to feel that way! so many bloggers give us peeks into their lives that it's easy to feel like you know everything about them! i'm constantly saying "ok, remember that you've never met this person" to myself!

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  39. glad i'm not alone :) and i totally want to go to a blogging conference some day! it's a blogging goal :)

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  40. absolutely! it's such a gratifying way to spend your time/energy too!

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  41. thanks amy! the way i see it is that if someone takes the time to read my post and write a thought-out comment, i should try to keep that conversation going! :) and i agree...i'm definitely drawn to those who are really authentic!

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  42. i have so many blogging friends that i'm dying to meet in person! a blog conference is definitely on my bucket list :)

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  43. agreed, but its also one of the most gratifying! being a part of an intentional community definitely pushes me to be a consistent, honest, and authentic blogger :)

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  44. thanks Breanna! i totally hear ya...i think its fine to do the reviews and giveaways, but i also think you need a balance! and personally, i love running giveaways on my blog that are a collaboration between a bunch of different bloggers! those can be SO fun!

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  45. thank esther! it can be so hard to find that balance, but i think you do a great job! i love stopping by your blog :)

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  46. thanks lauriel! i agree...it does take a lot of time, but it's very rewarding!

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  47. well said, Jessica! growing a consistent readership is key to community, and authenticity definitely feeds into that!

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  48. awe thanks kerri! i'm so glad to have met you in this great wide world of blogging, and am so glad you stopped by!

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  49. thanks amber! yep...those two tips are HUGE in growing community!!

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  50. thanks kayli! totally agree....it can be so daunting when you're first starting out!

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  51. thanks tabitha! i've been so blessed by the blogging community....it is so great to continue to discover more and more of it!

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  52. haha it's so true! i'm emailing a new blogging friend (we got paired up through a snail mail swap) and it's crazy how much we have in common! i feel like we've been bffs forever, which is just hilarious and awesome! SO glad that you're a part of The Peony Project...truly! and so glad to hear that you're enjoying it!

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  53. awe, thanks megan! i totally agree...it's completely amazing how you can really connect with others over the internet! i always have the hardest time explaining it to non-bloggers...they look at me like i'm nuts! haha

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  54. well said, Nina! and you have such a purpose for your blog...god is doing awesome things through you, girl! :)

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  55. thanks sharon! i'm glad you're finding them to be helpful! :)

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  56. Great tips! I just started getting more involved in the community this year and it is so rewarding! I have "met" so many fun, interesting people.

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  57. Great post! I love the blogging community as I get to share my inspirations with like minded people. :-)

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  58. This is so great! As a new blogger I am so excited to be welcomed in the blogging community. Everyone is so nice and I love meeting like-minded people!

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  59. Those are really some great tips. I do agree with reaching out and joining a group. I've met some great blogging friends through groups.

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  60. I love this post! Its so great to know other people feel this way too!

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  61. I love how this is more about investing in the blogging community than simply becoming involved and taking from the community!

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  62. I love this! I like to think I tackle most of these pretty well... I am attending my first blogging conference , Blended here in Arizona in October! I am so excited to meet and connect with others just like me! Thanks for sharing!

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  63. These are all great tips. I wish I could be even more involved in the blogging community. So much of it just takes so much time though, which is in short supply here. :(

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  64. Absolutely correct on this! I have only been blogging a few months, but so far, I LOVE it and LOVE getting to know these virtual bloggers through these communities. Great post!

    Thrifting Diva
    www.thriftingdiva.com

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  65. Love all of the tips. It really is true how important a community is. Being active is so important, I wish it took up less time, haha but it all is worth it in the end.

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  66. These are all great tips!! I really would like to go to a conference or convention to meet other bloggers.

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  67. Great post!.... Just kidding.. no it is awesome but you're right connecting with other bloggers is so important and leaving quality comments for them too. When you connect with other bloggers you have to do it with the intention of helping them build their blog and not make it a one sided relationship. I am hoping to attend a blog conference sometime this next year. Thanks for sharing the blog conference calendar as well as some of the networks you're a part of!

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  68. These are really great tips. When I started blogging (not that long ago) it was just to put something out there, I had no idea I would enjoy reading all of the blogs and learning about all the bloggers that I do now. The community is fantastic!

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  69. Great tips! I started blogging just to get out my emotions during my pregnancy but now I love my little blogging community!

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  70. These are some great pieces of advice. I love the community of blogging as well.

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  71. WITH PURPOSE! That is KEY. I am just getting into the purpose of it all. There are so many niches and keys to this whole adventure.

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  72. Michelle ChouinardAugust 22, 2014 at 4:25 AM

    Thanks for this. I'm really trying to build my writing blog, and this was great to read!

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  73. Plus, it's such a fun way to get to know people and make new friends. :)

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  74. Thanks so much for linking to my blog conferences & events calendar!

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  75. I love finding blog soul sisters!!! I definitely need to go to a conference! i can't wait!

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  76. thank YOU for having such an awesome and comprehensive calendar!

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  77. me tooo! it's on my bucket list :)

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  78. oh gosh yes! that's so important....it's not a one-way street!

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  79. so fun! attending a blogging conference is on my bucket list! i want to go to one so bad!

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  80. it does...and you have a few little ones running around! that is definitely time-consuming! haha

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  81. awe thanks! obviously, i agree...connecting with other bloggers is hugely important for growing community! i'm hoping to get to a blogging conference at some point!

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  82. I love love love this. Seriously helps so much. You are too perfect!

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  83. I love this post! I've made so many great friends and created so many great opportunities through blogging. Thanks for your tips :)

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  84. Loved all of this, thank you so much for the advice. As I try try try to get more involved in other Peonies' lives and blogs my own life seems to keep getting busier with my 'real life' job, family & lots of other things. It's hard to balance it all! Also thank you for sharing the blog event calendar I'm always looking for places near to home!

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