Building a community around your blog: scribbit

Table of contents for Blog community building

Have you ever been to one of those blogs where there are always 10,000 comments on each post? Where readers are so loyal that they’ve actually become friends through the blog’s comments? I think my first personal encounter with a momblogger who’d really hit it big in developing a community around her blog was with the famed Michelle of scribbit.

Michelle’s blog offers awesome, entertaining posts on everything from childrearing decisions to crafts to books to fitness to blogging. Recently, she wrote about Five Ways to Promote Your Blog Niche, or ways to spread the love and help all blogs in your niche grow (and hopefully your own blog with it!).

Here are more of her thoughts on building up a community around your blog:

Commenting on other’s posts is the best way to build community–but beyond that choosing topics is the most important.

Honestly? It’s difficult to get excited when reading about someone being sick or having writer’s block. We all have those times and unless there is something to make your experience catastrophically unusual (contracting ebola, being laid up with sextuplets or having altitude sickness from your latest Everest expedition for example) it probably should be ignored. At least as the main topic for a post.

Choose topics that are relevant to your readers. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what you’d want to read. If your readers are primarily other bloggers then post about how to blog but if your readers are low-tech moms who have stumbled across your blog during their first foray into the blogosphere posting about blogging will alienate them.

Paying attention to other people’s posts and then responding to them in a post of your own is a good way to promote discussion and build community. It’s also appropriate to email them and let them know you’ve done so or to leave a comment with the permalink to your post. One of the few instances when leaving your link is acceptable. [Note: if you blog with Type Pad or WordPress, trackbacks and pingbacks notify other bloggers of links to their posts.]

I get concerned that there isn’t enough disagreement among women bloggers. I don’t mean that what the world needs is more cat fights, what I mean is that women bloggers are too quick to say “Oh yes, I agree” rather than respectfully saying, “Well, have you thought of this?”

It’s scary to disagree with another blogger because without the benefit of body language and an accompanying tone it is easy to have a comment mistaken as harsh or belligerent. I never thought I’d actually use a smiley face in my writing, it’s something I swore I’d never do but I found myself quickly picking it up and dropping smiley faces everywhere so that my comments would not be taken as critical when I only meant them as friendly. But I think the momblogging community would be taken a little more seriously if we had more discussion and less “me too’s.” But then someone could disagree with me and say that that’s what makes women bloggers great fun–their
kindness, generosity and compassion and who needs more negativity?

Thanks for your thoughts, Michelle! Some of those same points have been on my mind a lot this week. I can also attest that commenting on other blogs helped MamaBlogga grow tremendously—it seems like one of my biggest growth weeks was the week I commented on 50 other mom blogs.

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4 thoughts on “Building a community around your blog: scribbit

  1. Michelle is the only blogger I’ve come across who responds by e-mail to every comment I’ve left on her blog – I’m always amazed that she is so responsive and it really helps me feel like I’m getting to know her better. :)

  2. Thanks for putting all these tips in one place. I am completely new to this and have enjoyed the blogs I have come across. These tips really help. Thanks.

  3. I must disagree with your point about bloggers writing about bloggers block. Actually I’m joking (smiley face here). I am guilty of having written about bloggers block probably more than once. The first time I did it, I linked to articles to try and allay your bloggers block, and I’ve even written myself about how I get my “blogging groove back time and time again” (if you google that it’s top of the list).

    I do agree about the building community thing. I’ve made an effort toward that this year and my comments, subscribers and readers have all gone up. I’m getting de ja vu typing this so hope it wasn’t here that I’ve said exactly the same thing.

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