This post was most recently updated on August 1st, 2016
It’s good to know how blogging communities build site traffic whether you are just starting your blog, or you’ve been blogging like a pro.
That’s because the blogging communities not only build site traffic for you, but they also attract the very best quality visitors.
I’ve been blogging quite a while now, and I do get a lot of site traffic to donnamerrilltribe.com.
That’s not because I’m an SEO wiz, or because I paid some overpriced company to build site traffic for me.
It’s not because I’ve budgeted a lot of advertising dollars for Facebook, and it’s not because I have some fancy re-targeting campaigns set up.
There’s nothing wrong with those approaches, but it’s not the first approach I’d recommend to bloggers looking for the best quality site traffic.
I think the place to begin building site traffic is within blog communities.
What Are Blogging Communities?
People often think that you need to join some official blogging communities in order to get attention to their blogs.
That’s a good idea, and there are many such communities, sometimes called blogging tribes or co-operatives.
What’s great about blogging communities is that they give you a chance to connect with other bloggers who are also looking to build site traffic.
Because everyone has the same goal in mind, they are all committed to sharing with you, as you do with them.
A typical blogging community sets guidelines for all members to encourage reciprocity.
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If you visit the blogs of 5 other people in your community, they should visit yours in turn. Engagement is a key element of this reciprocity.
The vast majority of people who visit your blog will never stop to engage with you.
In other words, they will read your article and then click away rather than leave a comment with their thoughts on the topic.
When fellow members of blogging communities visit, though, they should leave you a thoughtful comment.
You will then do the same when you visit their blogs.
Build Your Own Blogging Communities?
One of the drawbacks of being involved in such communities is that their members usually come from a wide diversity of interests and niches.
Let’s say you have a blog about computer software and technology. Then you find yourself in a position of having to share your content with another blogger whose content is all about health and nutrition. Of course, you need to reciprocate by commenting on their articles. But they are written for an audience within a totally different niche than yours.
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This is a very common situation, and on that you’re likely to encounter in any blogging community.
It’s a good idea, therefore, to build you own blogging communities.
All I mean by that is to seek out other bloggers in your niche.
You don’t have to be in a formal blogging community with them, but if you just start making a practice of visiting their blogs regularly, and leaving a comment… they are very likely to come to your blog and reciprocate.
They are not obligated to, as they might be by the formal rules found in blogging communities.
But if they are serious bloggers, and they are looking to build site traffic just like you are, then there is a good chance they will do it, anyway.
Make a list of good blogs you can visit within your niche.
This list is, in effect, you own blogging community.
You can choose which bloggers to follow, according to several criteria:
- Do they blog within your niche?
- Do they have a well designed, easy to navigate blog?
- Do they share good quality content?
- Do they blog consistently, and often enough to keep pace with your own requirements?
- Do they reciprocate, meaning do they visit and comment on your blog posts, as you do on theirs?
- Do they get enough traffic and engagement?
- Does your blog get some decent exposure as a result of your commenting on their blog?
These are basic criteria that most bloggers should consider, but you can develop your own specific requirements, too.
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Where To Find Bloggers To Follow?
If you have no idea of what blogs to follow, you could spend some time doing Google searches for topics within your niche.
Just add “+ blog” to your search. So, if your niche is computer software, you might try searching for “computer software + blogs.”
It shouldn’t take too long to find some good blogs to visit.
You’ll probably find some very high authority blogs when you do this.
It’s a good idea to visit these blogs and leave comments.
High authority bloggers aren’t likely to reciprocate by visiting your blog and leaving a comment. But you will start becoming a familiar face in their comment section, and you’ll start recognizing other regular commenters.
Look them up. They may become good people to add to your blogging communities.
You can also find bloggers by putting your niche keywords in Google Alerts.
So, for instance, you could create an “alert” for “computer software blogs.”
This will help you monitor the web for blogs that are in your niche. Check your inbox each day for your “alerts” to see what bloggers are doing in your niche.
You’ll find many good blogger to follow using this method.
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I find that new bloggers think it’s a big job to find bloggers to connect with in this way, but I can tell you from experience… just open the door a crack and you’ll soon be flooded with more good blogging connections than you can imagine.
It’s like a snowball.
You go to somebody’s blog and leave a comment.
Then you check out other bloggers in the comment thread.
Chances are, the blogger from the blog you visit, and others on the comment thread, will follow you back to your blog.
So it’s not just that you give leave one comment, and hope for one in return. You could leave a single comment on somebody’s blog and get 5 people coming to your blog to see what you’re all about. Or 10 people.
The longer you’re active in your blogging communities, the more steam you’ll pick up.
Your bigger problem should soon become, not how to find bloggers, but how to choose which ones to include in your circle, your own little blogging community.
How Blogging Communities Build Site Traffic
Besides the sharing of visits and comments, you can use your blogging communities to build site traffic in many other ways.
Social Shares. When you make the rounds of those in your blogging community, make sure to share good articles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… whatever social media sites you use.
People will see your social shares and start sharing your posts, too.
This can drive a lot of traffic to your blog.
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Connect with some of your new friends in your blogging communities. Ask them to do a guest post on your blog, or offer to do one on theirs. You could do a guest post “swap.” Do a guest post for someone in June, and then host their guest post in September.
This way, you’ll build site traffic from your blogging buddies. They’ll be happy to help because they’ll benefit in the same way by exposing their blog to your followers.
This has become very popular in blogging circles. I’m not crazy about it, but it is good for new bloggers looking to build site traffic. You simply write a blog post featuring other bloggers in your circle of bloggers.
You could tell your readers “here’s 5 blogs I love to follow” with outbound links to their blogs and a summary of what their blog is about.
You could also base your roundup on other bloggers’ expertise. So, you could tell your readers “here’s what 5 of my favorite bloggers do to find great content.” Ask your featured bloggers to write you a paragraph or two about how they find great content, copy and paste their response into your blog, and you have what’s often called an “expert roundup.”
The idea behind roundups is that all the people you feature or ask to contribute, will share your blog on their social media sites. This drives new traffic to your blog.
I say I’m not crazy about this method because I see too many people doing it, and doing it too often.
To be effective, I think you should only do a roundup post occasionally.
There are other ways that blogging communities can be used to get traffic to your blog.
Do you build your own blogging communities?
Do you join formal blogging communities? … or both?
I’d be interested in hearing of your experience, and ways that you use blogging communities to build site traffic.