How to Build Your Blog Community, Part 2: Common Myths About Community Building

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Welcome to the second part in a multipart series about how to build your blog's community! In Part 1, we talked about what a blog community really is. This week, I want to share some common myths around community building. There are things your community absolutely needs to get started, and things it definitely doesn't need…and it's important to be able to distinguish between the two. Here are three myths I hear about blog communities pretty often.

  • Myth #1: Your blog community needs to be just like [insert popular blogger here] in order to be successful.  No. Definitely not. Though I can certainly understand why it seems that way. Yes, the most popular fashion bloggers have a tried-and-true formula that works really well for them, but that is their formula. You don't have to be and you shouldn't want to be “just like” any other blogger. Your have your own voice, your own passions, and your own interests. Those are what you need in order to attract your own readers who want what you, and only you, have to offer. Think about it. Do you want to be 1 of 10,000 or 1 of 1?
  • Myth #2: Blog communities require complex add-ons, like a forum. Nope. While a forum is a great way to build or grow a blog community, you don't have to have one. And if you're not prepared to invest either the time or money in updating, monitoring, and promoting your forum, then it's better not to have one until you can. You can build a stellar blog community most anywhere – in the comments section of your site (highly recommended) or one of your social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. The important thing is that people have a way to interact with you and with each other.
  • Myth #3: Communities need a lot of people to really “count.” Absolutely wrong. In fact, it's better to smart small and grow, then to try and be huge right from the start. You can have an amazing blog community with only a handful of people, and many of the communities you know of and frequent regularly might very well have started that way. The hardest and most important thing is giving your community a good start. Who do you want to talk to? Why do you want to talk these people? What will they get out of being a member of your blog community? And so forth and so on. As we'll talk about in more detail next week, everyone isn't a good fit for your community. You're more likely to build something that really lasts if you focus on attracting the people who belong there and want to be there…even if it's not very many people at the start.

Now that I've talked about the things your community doesn't need, next week I'll share the things it does need. After that, I'll discuss some actual methods for building your blog's community.

What are some common myths you've heard about community building in the blogging world? I'd love to read them in the comments.

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18 Responses

  1. Amanda

    I agree! All bloggers are unique in their own way and not all communities will operate the same. I’m excited to see what a community does need, I want to start building mine 🙂

    Reply
  2. Monika Faulkner

    I am really excited about your series, Cora!! I’ve been blogging for about six months now…just long enough to start seeing a little growth in my readership (page views) and community interaction (comments.) So I await your further advice and tips with bated breath!!

    http://www.StyleIsMyPudding.com

    Reply
  3. Jeanine Marie

    You will find like-minded people if you put yourself out there. I have a handful of repeat readers and they are from the blogging community. I couldn’t be happier because it is refreshing to see bloggers helping other bloggers out.

    Jeanine Marie
    avalonandkelly.com

    Reply
  4. Zhenya Hutson

    Great tips! I love being a part of different blogging communities, but nothing beats twitter for me! It’s alive and kicking, and the easiest to keep up with!
    ~Zhenya
    http://beingzhenya.com

    Reply
  5. Roxanne D'souza

    I’ve been blogging for over three years and shamefully I have just recently started building up my blog community. Thanks for the article 🙂
    head2heels.co

    Reply
  6. Oriana

    Thanks a lot for your good advice and tips! It´s helping me a lot. Can´t wait to read about the things the community does need. By the way, love the jacket and leather bag in your pic, gorgeous!

    Reply
  7. Diamond

    I look forward to reading the next part. I think that it is wonderful if your readers interacted on not only the comments but also through Twitter Chats via Twitter and on Facebook as well but of course you have to know where to start and I am still learning about blogging communities so I’m not sure as to where that start may be. But I find this post to be extremely helpful!

    Thank you,

    Diamond A.
    http://styleonedge.me/

    Reply
  8. Kelly

    Thank you for running this series! One of my resolutions/goals for 2014 in blogging was to build a stronger community with my readers. I’d love to to be able to reach out to the lurkers and have them reach back out to me. Looking forward to next week’s post, and any thereafter 🙂

    xoxo
    Kelly
    http://www.dreaminlace.com

    Reply
  9. Amanda Aguirre

    Building a community is what I’m trying to focus on this year so it’s great timing that this is a series! Can’t wait to see what’s next.

    Reply
  10. Casey Shteamer

    This is a little off topic but about building a blogging community. I am wondering how to get included in different blogger events around the city. I do not know where to actually meet other bloggers, which I would love to do. It would be nice to really have someone to talk to face to face as this is such uncharted territory for me.
    Casey
    http://ImperfectWonder.com

    Reply
  11. Miss 5 Eyes

    Great post! It’s hard for me to find my community, since my niche is tightly targeted to only eyewear, but this article helped me a lot. Thank you!

    Reply
  12. Marianne

    I struggled with this when I had my own business and I actually had to take a break from the blog I had to really find my voice. I was distracted by the popular people who had thousands of followers. I see now that what matters most is what I want to share, sharing it my way, and from there the right community will be there to receive what I want to share from my heart. Look forward to reading the other posts in this series.

    Reply