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This Week’s Episode
Before I launched the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show, I sent out a survey to a few online friends for feedback on show topics. Kathy Kelly from the Crochetbird blog asked about ways to engage with blogging community. Thanks for the suggestion, Kathy! In this episode, I share 6 suggestions for engaging other bloggers.
6 Ways to Engage with the Blogging Community
- Participating in challenges
- Joining link parties & blog hops
- Finding blogger groups
- Attending blogger events and meetups
- Connecting with bloggers on other forms of social media
Each of these different ways of engaging has its own benefits and challenges. Deciding which ways work best for you will depend on your goals.
Commenting on other blogs is a great way to engage with bloggers. Unfortunately, due to spam, trolls, malware, etc., some bloggers don’t allow comments or have so much security to cut through that it makes commenting near impossible.
Include a link to your blog in the comment form, and, if appropriate, include a specific link to a post that’s relevant. When possible, include a substantive comment. Try not to include links within the comment unless they are highly relevant to the discussion and/or you already know the blogger. (The best analogy I’ve heard about this is that including links in the comment is like a party guest jumping up in the middle of dinner to shout, “Come on over to my house for dinner instead!”)
2) Participating in challenges
There are several types of popular blog challenges, including:
- Daily blogging challenges, like Blogtoberfest (find out about Blogtoberfest 2014, hosted by Shells in Bush, here). You can find other challenges on Madison Clayton’s 30 Day Challenges, Kim Trenholm’s Blog Challenges, and Dawn Shiree’s Photo Challenges and 365 Ideas Pinterest boards.
- DIY challenges, like Me Made May or the Seamless Pledge.
- Yarn-related challenges, like Knit Picks’s 52 Weeks of Dishcloths. Red Berry Crochet is a little more than half way through a 52 Week Crochet Challenge which you are invited to join in at any time.
- Blog improvement challenges, like ProBlogger’s 31 Days to Building a Better Blog or the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Tomek Sysak shared Four Free Ways to Improve Your Photography in 2014 through photo challenges.
You can join in a current group challenge, or follow along with another blogger’s personal challenge, or work through an old challenge. Challenges can help you improve or diversify your blogging skills while engaging with other bloggers.
3) Joining link parties & blog hops
Link parties and blog hops are organized activities that take place on a regular basis. A host (or hosts) write a blog post and participants can add links to their blog post directly in to the post. Some popular yarn-related blog hops and link parties include:
- Off the Hook Monday is co-hosted by Daisy Cottage Designs and Little Monkeys Crochet and includes a combination of DIY projects, crochet projects, and weekly meal planning/recipe posts.
- WIP Wednesday is Tammy’s Amis weekly link party for yarn-related projects in process.
- Hookin on Hump Day Link Party for the Fiber Arts is a bi-monthly link party on Tuesdays, co-hosted by My Merry Messy Life and Moogly. Link up through either blog.
- Yarn Along combines a love of knitting (and other yarn crafts) with reading and is hosted by Ginny from Small Things on Wednesdays. (I always find ideas for new books to read through Yarn Along.)
- Fiber Arts Friday is hosted by Wisdom Begins in Wonder.
- You can find other link parties through Oombawka Design’s Crochet Link Parties Pinterest board, Crochet Dreamz‘s list of crafty link parties organized by weekday, and Little Monkeys Crochet’s list, also organized by weekday.
Each of these link parties has its own culture and rules. Generally speaking, you are expected to visit several of the other posted links and comment. It’s often the norm to visit every blogger who comments on your blog as well.
4) Finding blogger groups
You can find blogger groups on every social media platform, so choose a setting where you feel comfortable. Some of these groups are private or secret, so you can discuss some of your blogging concerns more privately. Others are public. Most of these groups combine elements of blog support (discussions about tech issues, posting ideas, etc.) with cross-promotion. Some are open to all bloggers and others are focused on specific types of bloggers.
Some groups you may want to consider are:
- Blogging, The Blog Hub, French Blogs, and Self-Hosted WordPress on Ravelry.
- FastIncome shared a list of 23 Active Facebook groups for bloggers last year. You can also click these links to find Facebook groups with the words “blogging,” “bloggin,” or blogger in the title.
- HubSpot shared a list of 20 LinkedIn Groups Every Marketer Should Join. You can also click these links to find LinkedIn groups with blogging or blog as keywords.
- Google + also has many blog communities.
There are also blogging communities for specific cultural or social groups. For instance, my Underground Crafter blog is part of Blogs by Latinas. You can also ask your fellow blogger friends for recommendations or see which groups they promoted on their blogs.
Great New Craftsy Class! Custom-Fit Tunisian Crochet (w/ Dora Ohrenstein)
5) Attending blogger events and meetups
In person meetups and events can be a great way to connect with bloggers. Events can be the places to introduce yourself to a blogger with a large following or finally get to meet your online friends face-to-face.
- She Owns It: Celebrating Supporting & Connecting Women Entrepreneurs has a great list of events, most of which are relevant to bloggers, here.
- If you live in or near a major metropolitan area, you can probably find a local group of bloggers via MeetUp.com or Craigslist.
- You can also engage with other bloggers at yarn industry events, like The National NeedleArts Association trade shows or the Knit & Crochet Show.
- You can meet bloggers from your region through local or regional fiber events. You can find a calendar of such events here on Knitter’s Review.
Large events may include workshops or other training opportunities that can help you improve your blog. Face-to-face meetings, especially the larger events, may involve more costs. Some very large events can be overwhelming for introverts.
6) Connecting with bloggers on other forms of social media
Most bloggers have a presence on other forms of social media. You can engage bloggers on whatever platforms you are mutually involved in, including Ravelry, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.
- Engage authentically with the bloggers you follow by commenting, sharing/reTweeting their posts, and writing feedback via social media. It’s nice to include links when you can (though, for space reasons, that can be a challenge on Twitter!)
- Some blogger groups have their own hashtag. For example, Blogs by Latinas and Latina Bloggers Connect use #LatinaBloggers. Using a hashtag can help other bloggers in your group identify your Tweets to share and comment.
Before you engage with other bloggers…
Consider why you want to engage with bloggers.
- Are you trying to improve your own blogging? Groups might be best for you.
- Do you want to monetize your blog or become a pro blogger? Events and meetups might be best for you.
- Are you looking for new blogs to follow? Link parties/blog hops and challenges might be best for you.
- Do you want to increase your following? Commenting, link parties/blog hops, challenges, and connecting with bloggers on social media may be the best way.
You may find that just one, or a combination of these ways works well for your goals, comfort level, time restrictions, and budget.
Those are my 6 tips for engaging with the blogging community. What suggestions do you have for engaging with other bloggers? What do you/would you do differently? Leave a comment below, Tweet me at @cyeshow, or leave a message at 646-713-8973. (You can call me for free through the Contact page.)
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