10 Quick + Easy Ways to Jump into the Blogging Community
By: Ashley Robison

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The one thing I see most often on IFB is bloggers wondering how to build relationships with other bloggers and become part of the blogging community.  Many may advocate that content is king in blogging, but community? Community is really what makes blogging worthwhile.  Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to call many bloggers friends, to meet them when we’ve visited in each others towns, to commiserate over blogging woes, or even grow into real, online girlfriends.

It can seem daunting, especially if you’re a new blogger, to take that step to building a network with your fellow bloggers! It can be overwhelming to figure out where to start.  But once you know a few easy ways, participating becomes second nature.   You become a nurturing element in the community.

If you’re a veteran blogger, a lot of these may be “duh,” but I’ve found in life, it’s the So easy! Why didn’t I think of that?? approach that is the most fulfilling and rewarding.

Leave comments regularly.

In life, you have to give in order to receive. When I first started blogging back in 2007, I wouldn’t be surprised if most bloggers spent more time commenting on other sites than we did on writing our posts.  But it was okay, because we genuinely enjoyed reading with each others blogs and interacting with the content coming out.
Leave a thoughtful comment on a new blog. 

Take the time to say more than, “Cute outfit!”  Share your opinion on why you think green skirts are great for spring, or why you’d never be able to wear a pearl necklace. Having trouble finding new blogs? When I’m looking to branch out and find new blogs, I hop over to Links a la Mode.  I check out the weekly roundup on my favorite blogs to see what others are reading.  I hop over to the blog rolls on my favorite sites to see who they’re reading. In short: it’s easy to find new blogs if you take 5 seconds to look.
Speaking of link roundups…schedule and share your favorite posts on the web. 

Readers love to see what you’re reading, and it can create a great reaction from your community.  It’s also really flattering, as a blogger, to know someone is sharing your posts. When I know one of mine has been shared, I tend to thank the blogger and often share their roundup myself.

Shoot an email to a fellow blogger. 

If you’re emailing some mega-superstar blogger to say, “I love your site!” you may not hear back. But if you email someone you admire, ask them questions, or share how much a post meant to you, you’re more likely to build an honest and earnest relationship.
Interview another blogger.

See that email above? Maybe highlight your favorite bloggers and what you love about them. Get them involved–find out what they do for a living, how it impacts their style.
Jump into a conversation on Twitter.

It’s okay, don’t feel embarrassed about interjecting!  If people wanted to keep the conversation private, it’d be in email.  If you see a couple bloggers talking about the most recent episode of American Horror Story, chime in with your input!  Twitter doesn’t have to be about self-promotion only; it really is best when the conversation is flowing!
Participate in a fashion meme

This is a great way to create new content, challenge your writing, share your site with others, and visit new sites. How’s that for killing four birds with one stone?
Sell ad space? Swap ads with a fellow blogger.

I love finding blogs with similar sizes and audiences to mine and proposing an ad swap. A cute little banner on your sidebar says, “hey! I love this lady’s site, and you may too. Check it out!”  This is an easy introduction to building that relationship with a blogger you admire and show support of their site.

Ask for a guest post instead of pitching yourself.

Maybe your blogger crush wrote a  quick sentence about breaking their leg; this is a great chance to say, “Will you write a post for my site sharing your tips for staying fashionable when you can’t wear shoes?”  Maybe they recently attended a fundraiser gala; you could ask, “Can you share your top tips for dress and decorum in a black-tie affair?”
Respond to a thought provoking or inspiring post with a personal post.

Jennine may write a post about her favorite art influences and how they inspired her style… and rather than leave a comment the size of a book, I’d write a blog post in response about my love of Cindy Sherman (linking back to her as the inspiration)!  Sometimes we have so much to say that a comment really isn’t the best place to share our thoughts.  Expand the conversation by making it the content of your next post… and maybe you’ll inspire another to do the same!

And one more bit of advice: don’t limit yourself to only the fashion blogging community.  There are thousands of niches and amazing blogs out there… just because they don’t write about the same topic as you doesn’t mean you won’t both share similar interests, beliefs, or ideas!

Veteran bloggers– what are your favorite ways to reach out and engage with your peers?  Any tried and tested tricks for reaching out and being part of the bigger blogging community?

 

[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

 

Comments

  1. maddie says:

    Great tips. Seriously. I especially like the last tip to not limit the scope of your search for other blogs. My blog is a sewing blog but that doesn’t mean I only connect with other seamstresses. In fact, some of my favorite blogs are NOT sewing blogs. If you want your blog to grow, you have to find others OUTSIDE your box.

    • Avatar of Nathalie F.
      Nathalie F. says:

      The last one resonated with me the most as well! I discovered Sally’s Baking Addiction last month, and I fell in love with her blog. I baked her strawberry chocolate chip cookies and let her know how it went (they’re delicious, by the way), and she not only replied to my comment, she also visited my blog and commented on my Valentine’s Day post! Mind you, she’s pretty huge. Has tons of followers, but she replies to each and every single one! Gotta admire her spirit and her genuineness.

      http://earnestyle.blogspot.com/

    • Looking outside the box is a very good tip. Thanks!

  2. Avatar of Oksana Radionova

    “Community is really what makes blogging worthwhile.” Well said! As I continue exploring the IFB community, I’m becoming slightly disappointed with the widespread “follow for follow” mentality. It seems like many bloggers simply focus on increase their numbers at all costs, instead of focusing on genuine interaction.

    • Bike Pretty says:

      That’s an interesting point. It makes sense that the IFB community is somewhat metrics-driven.
      That’s actually something that I really appreciate about the group. It makes sense to work smarter, not just harder.
      But as EIC of your own blog, you have to make sure that the links you put on your blog are up to your standards.

      • Avatar of Z
        Z says:

        Being driven by increasing numbers isn’t negative… It is one of the things that is most important when running a blog. However, I agree that following a blog you don’t really want to see again just so that they follow you back is having an overall detrimental effect on the blogging community as a whole.
        It is masking the quality bloggers who don’t want to do it, and so are being under-appreciated because of their slightly smaller audience (who are probably more interested anyway!)

        I tried it for a week or so when I first started my blog and it made me sad :( So I stopped.

        Z
        http://www.are-we-on-time.com

  3. Avatar of isawsomethingnice

    Perfect Tips!
    I am new to this community and I hope I can use all these tips above to gain more viewers for my blog. Because besides that the blog is my own passion I want to share it with you and you and you – “sharing is caring” xxx

  4. Isabel Rose says:

    This is so true! I’m currently trying to grow my fashion blog and I’m always happy to receive comments and questions, like most bloggers are :) Feel free to say hi! My blog is blondieslens.blogspot.com x

  5. Avatar of E-M
    E-M says:

    Your articles over here in IFB are always something I enjoy thoroughly .. and wow! Being a new blogger it really is hard to get the start by saying something more than just “you look nice” .. or “this is a great post”. Then again I have these special blogs that I really read constantly, comment them thoroughly and I’ve seen the results! It really does work. What I’ve learned is that you can’t comment or talk to someone thinking ” Oh gosh I wish I’d get some followers from this” .. or “I wish someone would notice my blog now”. You have to do it because you really sincerely like the post or the blog! Passion leads to victory :) Thank you so much for sharing your tips <3

    Much love to all the new bloggers and also to the amazing veterans,

    http://zerxzastyle.blogspot.com

  6. Avatar of Incognito
    Incognito says:

    I agree with all the tips you gave in your article but I would also add about building a community here in IFB. I receive a lot of mails of bloggers telling me they are new and they would like me to visit their blogs and blablabla. Well, that’s good but how about to write a genuine mail where you have visited my blog first to really engage the conversation ? Because when speaking about your blog it only sounds like a monologue.
    I might seem pretentious (don’t hope so though) but this is how human works. We all need something to relate to in order to react. It’s also like that when looking for a job when you have to write a motivation letter, you speak about yourself for sure, but you also speak about why you would like to work in this particular company and how your qualities can be used by your employer, if you don’t tell about WHY this particular company attracts you I don’t think you’ll be given the job. I think this rule also applies to blogging to create a community.
    I can cite Devon of Informed Style (http://www.informedstyle.com) who kindly sent me a mail telling me she appreciated one particular post of mine and then told me why she appreciated my blog, lastly she introduced her blog to me. The mail helped me figure out why a reader finds interest in my blog but I also came to discover a great blog because she perfectly knew how to make the connection between her blog and mine, her personality and mine which means that she was interested in creating a bond with me more than gaining a follower.

    Hope I have been clear, not that I want people to write me beautiful mails about how much they appreciate what I do, actually they can also pinpoint the defaults they find, but I find more valid sending a mail to someone if I know what his/her blog is about, like that it is easier engaging and creating a real relationship, in brief a community.

    Shug Avery of Incognito

    http://www.thinkincognito-eng.blogspot.com

  7. Avatar of I AM TURQUOISE

    Great article , again:) so many useful tips! for us, new bloggers, it’s essential to have tools for growing our blog and audience. :) thanx !

    http://iamturquoise.com

  8. Avatar of Anna
    Anna says:

    Wow, I really like the insight about having other people guest post, instead of always focusing on guest posting. I think as a new blogger, it’s easy to get caught up on getting more publicity, as opposed to really working on developing your content and making it more appealing with different perspectives!

    http://clothesmedley.blogspot.com

  9. Avatar of Tanya
    Tanya says:

    Thank you so much Ashly for the post. I really much apprecited you guys a lot. Right before I started my blog, I came by everyday just to read your blogging tips. I still do though, It’s really does helps me so far. I only wish, and hope all people in the tire world are nice to one another by hearts and be kind to one another as well. not only business, we will then follow each other with loving and grow big together as a team
    Tanya
    http://attraction2fashion.com

  10. I love the tips!! I just started blogging and I’ve been trying to think of new ways to promote myself and become more engaged in the community. I’ll definitely have to start putting these ideas into action!

  11. Sandra Costa says:

    I like that tip about swapping adds, but i don’t know, i don’t think it’s a good way to go. In future this may be a little embarrassing, especially when you start having advertisers paying for ads on your blog while you advertise other people for free … it’s doubtful. but you are an expert. I’ll think about it.
    I loved this post.
    xox
    http://blogdasandracosta.blogspot.com

  12. Mlle Parker says:

    Me too I just started blogging and I have been reading a lot about the importance of commenting in other blogs. I never really got into it, but sure will now..Thank You!!

  13. Avatar of Z
    Z says:

    Really good tips.

    I love getting guest posts from people (anyone interested!?) and it increases your readership, as their followers come and have a look at your blog too.

    Something else that I would advise, coming from London, and far away and with out access to any of these big blogger conferences that seem to be happening every month in the US, I tried organising to meet bloggers and spend some time photographing each other. I haven’t got the time, space or organisational skills to create a proper meet up, but I got in touch with a few bloggers I knew were from London and we got together and took pictures. It was a fantastic way to get in touch with other likeminded bloggers and share our experiences over a cup of tea!

    Z
    http://www.are-we-on-time.com

    P.S. If anyone wants to guest post on my blog, I’d be happy to look at your link…!

  14. Tatiana says:

    This was wonderful, especially the tip about not limiting yourself to blogs in your niche! I’m not a fashion blogger, but I read a LOT of fashion blogs. I’ve learned quite a bit about blogging by doing so, but never really thought about trying to proactively build community with bloggers who are not in my nice. Thanks for the encouragement to do so!

  15. My favorite emails are the BCC: ones where you can tell a blogger just whipped up a list of emails and blasted their self-promotion to hundreds of people. How utterly annoying.

    I try to look for thoughtful bloggers in little clumps…I remember finding Be Frassy and I loved her blog. Shortly after I found Making Magique through her and I realized there was just a little hub of bloggers that all enjoyed thoughtful interaction commenting on each others’ blogs. If I find one, usually their comments section yields more wonderful bloggers. :)

    And I agree that thoughtful emails, blog-hopping and cross promotion are all really helpful. I remember sending a long-winded email to Madeline of http://jeangreige.blogspot.com/ regarding a post on “Girl Hate” which I loved. I got a great response and I was also really happy to reassure her that she does have support out there in the internet abyss. She’s very thoughtful but casual in her writing, like myself, so it felt natural to share my thoughts. :) Still one of my favorite blogs.

    Yasmeen
    Castle Fashion

  16. Avatar of Pumps and Lipstick

    Thank you so much for sharing these tips. I really like the ad-swapping idea with another blogger. Sending an email after this post! :)

    http://www.pumpsandlipstick.com

  17. TSOH says:

    With regards to this follow4follow trend, I think it’s important to remember that we need to talk, not tell. You can’t build a community just by telling everyone to follow you.

  18. Risa says:

    These are such great tips. I have to say I absolutely love hearing from other bloggers and building new relationships. I just received an email today from another blogger I met at the IFB conference wanting to work together and it made my day! Leaving comments is definitely the best way to build connections and get and give helpful feedback. Yay for making new blogger friends!

    xoxo, risa

  19. Avatar of Laura Lily
    Laura Lily says:

    I agree with Incognito above. My IFB inbox is full of “follow me and I will follow you emails” or, “you don’t have to follow me but just check out my blog.” Sometimes I do, but it would be more engaging and of interest to me if these people took the time to actually write something genuine about what they liked on my blog in order to get a response out of me.

    I have also seen first hand the negative side of the blogging community: the blogger cliques that are so hesitant to open up to other bloggers. It makes talking to these bloggers difficult. I get that some of them might have been friends for a long time, but if you have a new blogger in your midst, and especially in your conversation, you should not exclude them or make them feel unwelcome in your presence. I personally met a blogger this past week, that was extremely rude to bloggers and people that she did not know. Be nice to people, you are a blogger, your image is your brand. Needless to say she lost a fan that day.

  20. Aily says:

    “But if you email someone you admire, ask them questions, or share how much a post meant to you, you’re more likely to build an honest and earnest relationship.”
    This is the best way to build a relationship with a blogger. I once mailed a blogger (relationship columnist and sometimes fashion blogger) about how much I related to one particular posts of her. Het writing also helped me discover my writing skills (english is not even my third language). We really built a relationship after that.

  21. Blog Hops are also great, the biggest and one of the most fun are The Wordless Wednesday hops!

  22. Avatar of Pia
    Pia says:

    These are all great tips. I try hard not to get caught up in the numbers game although it is hard. I would so much prefer to know that 5 people read any really enjoy my blog than have thousands of followers who never even look at my blog. I try hard to comment on the blogs I love to read.
    Going to go and check out the blogs above and show some support.

    Pia
    Pjmscloset.blogspot.ca

  23. Sabrina says:

    I’ve had my blog for a few years but in all honesty, I have been very active in the past 8 months. I appreciate any kind of tips or help from other bloggers. It’s sometimes very discouraging not getting any comments from your followers but I know that it’s about consistency and luck. Being a part of IFB is a great motivational tool for all of us – thanks for sharing all that you know! I do truly believe in the Quality of followers rather than the Quantity. AFter all, in all our social media platforms, isn’t it more rewarding to have followers who actually engage with us? This is my philosophy….. Shine on fellow bloggers!!
    Sabrina
    weloveaquaskye.blogspot.ca

  24. RK SAM says:

    I followed …….i have very good page views in my Blog and got Ranked 54 /100 in blogging community ranking.

    My blog: Loveddestinations.blogspot.com

  25. Isabel Rose says:

    I think blogging is all about getting the balance between passion and numbers! Yes, numbers are important so that you can feel the progress of your blog – it is one of the main aims of blogging – however the quality of your posts is so much more vital. Leave follow for follow for other social media! I’m so much happier with my 40 followers who follow my blog ( http://blondieslens.blogspot.co.uk/ ) for my odd 15-year-old teenage ramblings & DIYs than if I had 100 followers I’d gained through F4F.

  26. Avatar of Teju
    Teju says:

    This is super helpful. As someone who just started a fashion blog after consulting and reviewing fashion blogs for a while it is really inspiring and helpful to see that people care about creating and maintaining a community of bloggers. I’m into working harder and smarter and helping each other reach our metric goals and style goals.

    Check out my blog: idontwearheelseveryday.blogspot.com

  27. Fyntage says:

    Thank you so much. They are super very helpful guides. I couldn’t help to translate the post into Madrine and share on http://fyntage.blogspot.com/. Wish could inspire more people on the other side of the world. Thank you ❤

  28. Fyntage says:

    I mean >>mandarin<”<

  29. Anna Burrows says:

    I have had tumble for a while and I have a nice amount of followers, but only recently got BlogSpot and and ifb account. I feel like there is a greater sense of community here than on tumblr. Thank you for these tips, I never thought to do most of the things you suggested but I will now :)

    http://anna-in-venture.tumblr.com/
    http://anna-in-venture.blogspot.co.uk/

    X

  30. Avatar of Liz N
    Liz N says:

    Great tips! I’ve been wondering how to get involved in the blogging community for a while. I try and comment blogs I love but I’ll have to do that a little more.

    <3 Liz
    http://www.imwildcat.blogspot.com

  31. RunEatRepeat says:

    Agree all ’round! Great tips :)

  32. Kendall says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting these tips! With being new to the blogging world, I often find myself overwhelming and beyond excited all wrapped into one. I often have to remind myself to take a deep breath and it will all fall into place and I can’t accomplish everything in one night. Everyone’s feedback helps me to realize I’m not alone :)

  33. Jessica says:

    This is a great post! Thank you so much for sharing your tips with us. Starting a new blog is crazy intimidating, so I will definitely take this to heart. You included some ideas that I hadn’t thought of before…. like interviewing a blogger I admire, asking for guest posts, and responding to a blog post with a personal blog post. I’ve been researching a lot about how to grow my blog and be a more active member of the blogger community, so this post was super helpful. I found it through pinterest, by the way. : )
    Thanks again!! Jessica

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