Blogger Networks: 10 Reasons to Find Your Inner Circle
No man is an island, as the idiom goes. That’s especially true for bloggers.
Once you embark on a creative venture, like building your brand as a blogger, it’s crucial to find like-minded people who understand you – even if they aren’t in the same niche.
If you don’t have others to lean on, dream with and scheme with, you could end up stunting your creativity as well as your personal and online growth. This lack of a support system could diminish your true blogger power.
I connected with a few established bloggers from various niches, including some from my own network, to talk about how their blogging community has impacted them.
In their words, here are 10 reasons to find an inner circle of like-minded creatives for the success of your own blog.
1. It’s a community, not a one-person show.
The more you help other people and collaborate, the more you will be helped in return. A lot of people get competitive and look out for themselves, but blogging is an area where collaboration and helping each other will get you further than looking out for No. 1. – Chanelle Laurence of The Penelope Times and Valley High, @chanelledotcom
2. Bloggers form powerful bonds.
The diabetes online community is rooted in taking care of one another and making diabetes something that we live with instead of something that we are consumed by. Diagnosed as a young child, I didn’t have access to many other people who understood the intimacies of life with chronic illness. As I grew into adulthood, I wanted to connect with like-minded (and like-pancreased) people who could offer advice, anecdotes, and those “me, too!” moments. Sharing stories and experiences with others helps our community grow, allowing people to feel less alone and more empowered. – Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me, @sixuntilme
3. They inspire new ideas.
My wedding editor friends and colleagues are those I’m influenced by daily. It’s an iron-sharpens-iron situation; we challenge each other as we all really strive for one goal: provide wedding inspiration on a daily basis and financially support our families for the long haul. – Chelsea LaVere of Tidewater and Tulle, @TidewaterTulle
4. They teach you how to up your game.
Many blogs are one-person operations with their bloggers being expected to write, design, code, etc. However, no one is an expert on everything. Although some bloggers are strong writers, others are experts at graphic design or shooting, editing, and publishing video. My favorite thing about networking with other bloggers is being able to ask questions in a supportive environment and learn from my peers who excel in areas I don’t. – Amanda Hicken of clePOP and Beyond PR, @adhicken
5. They offer the outside perspective you need.
We don’t always agree, but contrary to the Internet at large, when we disagree, we are almost always civil to each other. This is one of the biggest benefits of a community – of trusting of the opinions of people you’ve never met in person – that you can talk and learn and have disagreements without losing your mind, and retreating to sites that just reinforce your already-held opinions. – Greg Zimmerman, The New Dork Review of Books, @NewDorkReview
6. They provide long-lasting exposure for your blog.
Networks and building friendships can help grow a loyal blog following. I did a #connectchat with Bryce Gruber who said, “Build traffic like you’d build friendships.” New bloggers make the mistake of assuming new visitors will regularly revisit their site – this is not always true. To have a successful blog, people must be able to find your blog. Blogging networks expose your blog to other people within your niche. – Mel Ibarra of Diaper Etiquette and The Blog Blog, @melibarratv
7. They can help you grow both personally and professionally.
Blogging has helped me develop a career that involves a topic that I care deeply about, while aiding me in giving back to a community that I respect and value. In a professional sense, blogging has helped me develop my voice as a writer and, through my work with different diabetes organizations and companies, has allowed me to support my family. The psychosocial influence of blogging and finding community makes any professional opportunity seem insignificant by comparison. – Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me, @sixuntilme
8. Their support is key to building a successful brand and business.
The very foundation of my business is built on relationships, including the connections I’ve made with bloggers. I’ve built my agency from a small regional PR agency to one with national recognition among my industry peers, and I owe that, in part, to the mutually beneficial relationships forged with bloggers. – Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting, @ofdconsulting
9. They help reaffirm your mission.
We have learned more about Filipino Americans and what makes their successes and struggles unique. Many times we’ve picked up new skills and shared our own with others. We’ve learned how much people really love Filipino food and culture. It’s a constant reaffirmation of our mission. – Sarahlynn Pablo, co-founder of Filipino Kitchen with Natalia Roxas-Alvarez, @filipinokitchen
10. They empower you to keep going – every day.
Networking with other bloggers can also provide inspiration and accountability. There have been many moments when I’ve felt burned out on blogging (every blogger does!). But, spending just a few hours chatting with other bloggers renewed my passion for my blog. Currently, I’m going through a complete redesign and retooling of my personal blog. It can be a drag sometimes. However, being asked by my fellow bloggers how it’s progressing keeps me on track. – Amanda Hicken of clePOP and Beyond PR, @adhicken
So how can you build your own inner circle?
Stay tuned for Part Two on how to unleash the power of the blogger friend network, with tips on how to cultivate your own blogger brain trust.
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Anna Jasinski is manager of audience relations at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter at @annamjasinski for expert tips on writing and social media. You can also catch her tweeting the latest news in journalism and blogging on @BeyondBylines.