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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