By Brent Jackson
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!
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