I think we all hear about the “blogging community” when we first start blogging. What many of us assume is that people will figure out what exactly the blogging community truly is. Unfortunately many people remain confused because of that assumption. They spend their hours desperately seeking this mythical community all the while they are swimming in the very thing they are searching for.
The truth is there is not “a” blogging community. There are millions of communities and all of them are as different as the random Facebook groups we get unwillingly added to each day. These communities are groups of bloggers that decided they wanted to connect and form relationships with one another. This is basic networking and is the same type of relationship people form in everyday life. The great part about forming such connections online is that distance, language, cultural barriers, and all the factors that prevent us from being social able in real life don’t exist. The only thing stopping you from joining, creating, or socializing with an online community is the limitations you place on yourself and your blog.
The dream of most bloggers can be summed up into two dreams. The first dream is that everybody wants to get paid to blog. They want to stop working for the man and start working for themselves. The second dream of many bloggers is that we want to form an online identity that becomes popular and maybe even viral. The reason popularity is a factor in this equation is because when you are popular you aren’t expected to do as much work socializing with others and active networking that takes up so much time. People are coming to you instead because you’ve become a big deal online. That is a dream for many bloggers, to sit back and write daily and have their fans gobble their shit up. The issue with this second dream is that originality died yesterday. You better have a pretty catchy topic or something amazing going on to stand out next to the guy blogging from his new platform made totally from butterfly wings.
The problem with most bloggers is that they want it all, they just don’t want to work for it. I get it and I am the same way! I wish I could have started a community purely off my hotness. I wish I wrote epic posts each day and that my blogfarts were so awesome everyone scrabbled to reblog my posts as soon as they were published. I wish I had started blogging ten years earlier and then I might have possibly stood out from the crowd. I wish so many things, but what I’ve learned is that wishing is for suckers. Wishing doesn’t do shit.
When I began blogging on WordPress I saw some communities. There were daily prompts going on and people were throwing awards around like they were drugs. I remember seeing those awards the first time and wondering what the hell that was all about… so I googled it. I quickly realized that they were simply a networking tool, a way to get bloggers to connect with one another. I also came to find out that you can join blogging communities online or you can create your own. You can do what everyone else is doing or you can find your own method of doing what needs to be done.
Bloggers often ask me “how do I find new bloggers to connect with?” They then want to know how to generate more comments on their posts. These two questions are linked by the hip and they also address something else I’d like to clarify – the subscriber number. The subscriber number is simply a number, it doesn’t mean a whole lot.
That is because when bloggers subscribe to another blog they are NOT pledging allegiance to your blog for the rest of their life. They actually aren’t even promising to read a single post. All a subscription means is that you made the “cut” and your posts will now appear on our readers. From there you have to make the daily cut again by catching our eye and interest with what you publish. It is a never-ending game and it is what blogging truly is. Even if you have 100,000 subscribers you still must attract them to your writing. Creating a fanbase that mindlessly “likes” you without a second thought is incredibly rare.
Many bloggers don’t want to rely on random views or google searches to gain their readership. It is too time consuming, frustrating, or doesn’t provide the internal satisfaction they are looking for. What these bloggers quickly learn is that there are communities out there waiting for people to join, you simply have to find them. These communities have one thing in common, the members of those communities! What ends up happening is that the “base subscriber list” of many websites become intertwined and similar because the same people can often be found in multiple spots. Someone once asked me who my perfect reader is and that is simple to answer. My perfect reader is a reader of many blogs and because of that is a blogger themselves. Real connections are what I am here for and that is what I’ve always worked towards.
Through tags, other blogs, comment sections, or the WordPress reader you can find anyone that wants to be found. Those are the connections waiting to happen, like the bloggers waiting in my Meet and Greet post! The only time it is hard to find bloggers to connect with is when those bloggers don’t want to be found. Maybe they didn’t set up their gravatar and links correctly, or maybe they are simply inconsistent at posting and become drowned out. Regardless of the reason, the only way you don’t connect in the blogosphere is if you just don’t want to. How bad do you want to meet new bloggers? That’s the first question you have to answer for yourself.
Jason C. Cushman
Note: I have a new link to the Meet and Greet which you can find at the top of my webpage! See the image below!