A Blogger’s Journey: What I Learned Joining Blogging Groups on Facebook (Guest Post)

 

By Brent Jackson

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I’ve been blogging on and off for nearly 10 years. I start a blog and I’m off to the races. I have high energy at the start. I have lots of ideas for posts. It all seems easy. I can look down the road and imagine a thriving community around my blog and all is good.

Well that’s how it always starts. Then reality sets in. The energy starts to drop after a few weeks. The ideas for new posts don’t flow as quickly. Before I know it … dead blog. I was getting to the point that I could picture an imaginary graveyard with little gravestones for each of my past blogs.

I finally broke the pattern! My current blog is a year old next month (May 2016). That’s far longer than any of my past blogs. My energy level is still high (with a little help from coffee). I actually have a backlog of ideas to write about. Scheduling travel and taking time for research is my biggest challenges this cycle. I guess that’s the benefit of finding a subject I’m passionate about. I’m confident this blog is going the distance.

Problem one solved. I have a stable blog. Problem two is how do I grow as a blogger? I want to get better at my craft. I can listen to blogging podcasts and I do. I can take blogging classes and I have. Another good way to grow is to network with other bloggers. Where can I find a forum to network with other bloggers? Facebook Groups!

I did a search on Facebook for blogging and boom! Row after row of groups for bloggers. I picked 10 groups and joined. It’s been a few months. Now I’m down to just two groups. This is what I learned.

First, one of the Facebook groups I joined is Blogging Newbs. It’s basically an online support group for people who have been blogging for less than two years. This is a good group to ask questions and get general blogging information. I can honestly say I have learned a great deal about blogging from this group. It’s a very active group but it has rules to prevent the kind of shenanigans that made me leave most of the other groups.

Second, why did I leave so many of the other groups? My two biggest pet-peeves around the groups are:

Self-Promoting Snake-oil Bloggers – “Buy my book!” … “Take my course!” … “Attend my conference!” … “And you too can be a millionaire bloggers in just a few weeks!” That’s what you see all day on some groups. It fills your newsfeed and drives you crazy. A day or two of this and I’m history! One less group.

Like for like to grow followers – Someone posts a message saying, “like my Facebook page”. Or, “follow me on Twitter … AND I’LL FOLLOW YOU BACK!” Don’t fall for this. Many (if not most) of the people who post this never follow you back. Or worst, they follow you for a week or two then un-follow. Another version of this is the comment for comment. The blogger will list a post from their blog and ask you comment. The promise is you’ll get a comment back on one of your posts. You make the post on their blog and all you hear are crickets on your blog. I’ve seen many bloggers posting complains about this stuff. I get the feeling there’s plenty of consternation around this game. Stay above the clouds and avoid the stress!

I’m still experimenting with other groups. Let me know if you find a Facebook group for bloggers I should try. Thanks and keep blogging!


Brent Jackson lives in Fairfax, VA and blogs at Maryland Travel Stories. Follow him on TwitterPinterest or Instagram.


 

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14 thoughts on “A Blogger’s Journey: What I Learned Joining Blogging Groups on Facebook (Guest Post)

  1. This is very useful and interesting, as i am a new blogger myself. Yes, how I hate those self-promoting bloggers! I’ll check out the Facebook site you recommend, thanks for the tip.

    • You will see self-promotion on the group I recommend. It’s limited to “Self-Promotion Tuesdays.” The group manager will crack down when things get out of hand on other days. I hope you like it.

  2. I recently joined twitter and find my feed full of self promotion. I like these people and I’m irritated enough already to want to unfollow them, I have to wonder how people who don’t already like them perceive that.

    • I feel you on this so much! My biggest pet peeve is the instant DM when you follow them promoting their book. I usually unfollow pretty quickly.
      Or a lot of Twitter users also use bots to post their tweets all day/automatically reply to people who RT, etc. It’s annoying, but I’ve just finally decided to quit following the people who annoy me.

  3. I wish I could learn how to network well, but so far I haven’t found a way to really reach anyone outside the Googlers.

    I’m a bit spoiled, having started my blogging adventures on LiveJournal back in its heyday. The communities there were amazing and there was a lot of cross-blog chatter. Out here in the ‘real’ world comments are few and far between. I’ve even turned commenting off for a while, since 99% of what gets past the Akismet filters is still spam. I like Facebook groups, but they ‘hide what’s not important’ algorithms make it a frustrating slog for me.

    I’ve tried joining events like the Intentional Blogging Challenge by Jeff Goins a few times, but almost all the suggestions are focused around blogs that are selling things like courses or classes (or speaking engagements). Nothing about how to find readers who are interested in the content and not just a sales pitch.

    I’ve pretty much given up on finding any sort of blogging circle where focus of the group isn’t to make money somehow. I’ll have to check out Blogging Newbs– maybe they’ll be the one to break the cycle!

    • Have you tried a search on Meetup.com to see if there are any blogging meetups near you? Also, search Facebook for blogging groups in your state. I know there are blogging groups in DC, Maryland and Virginia.

  4. I’m still having a really hard time buying into the idea of twitter (it’s like a chatterbox joining a small talk competition-I’m just not gonna win) and my blog is tied to a page on my Facebook account and it keeps slipping back and forth between my blog and my actual account so I never know if I’m commenting as myself or as Cractpot. It’s giving me an identity crisis!

    • When you post on Facebook, there is a small drop down in the upper right corner that allows of the box. Use this to select who you are posting as (yourself or one of the pages you manage).

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