I’ve made no secret of the fact that blogging has changed my life beyond all recognition – my initial post was published without any expectation and my journey over the last three years has been so amazing that I have to stop and pinch myself every so often to check that it actually happened.
I’ve documented my blogging process on many occasions, creating a number of advice posts based upon what has or hasn’t worked for me. It’s hard-work and can be a time-consuming and often lonely business, with countless hours easily being spent just on the writing, publishing and promoting of a single post, and I’m beyond proud of everything that this little space of the internet has achieved. However, none of this would have been possible without the support from the community, and, above all, my tribe.
Actually, if I’m being honest, I’m not a fan of the word ‘tribe.’ It sounds cliquey, which is one of the things that I dislike most within the blogging world, but it is inevitable that you will naturally gravitate towards certain individuals online in the same way that friendships are formed in real life. So, for the sake of this post, I’ll stick to using the terminology, just for now…
My tribe. My crew. My blogger-from-another-m…logger? Ok, that was poor, but you get the idea – these are the people who support what you do, share your work, who celebrate your successes, who are prepared to listen to the inevitable worries and self-doubt that plague most writers, and then who give a verbal slap, tell you to shut up and stop being silly.
I’m fortunate in that there’s a number of people I would consider to be part of my community, and I value all of them, but there are six or seven that I speak to regularly, and four who I speak to daily. We promote each other, offer advice, find solutions to problems… There’s a source of genuine friendship and camaraderie, and I look forward to their messages or their calls.
Based on my experience, there are two different types of tribes:
The natural tribe – those who naturally form a group based on a friendship and a genuine like for each other’s company. These are the sorts of tribe that I prefer being a part of – the ones where I enjoy the conversation and don’t feel stupid when asking different blogging questions.
For example – one of my tribe is currently creating her own podcast:
TM1 (Tribe Member 1): Just edited song and intro in Garage Band for my podcast. I have merged the two together.
TM2: High fives! Well impressed – back it up a million times so you don’t have to make copies for every episode! Have you heard my intro for TM1’s podcast TM3?
TM3: No – could you email it to me?
The targeted tribe – a deliberate grouping of bloggers who are committed to the sharing and promotion of each other’s posts at specific times. These can often be found within Facebook groups – I’ve been a member of one or two in the past and they are incredibly effective at boosting traffic.
Both are just as effective (a post that was shared recently on StumbleUpon by my friend who is part of what I would consider to be a natural tribe has received 10,000 views in the last month), but if you want to build a successful tribe, then you have to take it a little more seriously than simply commenting on and/or sharing the odd post.
Why do you need a tribe?
The answer is, you don’t. However, think about it this way:
I look forward to opening my social media messages in a morning to see what has been discussed in my absence, and then enjoy catching up with the conversation.
I have somewhere that I can ask all of my blogging questions, and will usually receive a helpful answer really quickly.
I can easily gain loads of blogging hints and tips every day through discussions I have within my tribe.
Still not convinced?
You publish a post and then promote it to all of your readers across your social media. Then, two, three, five or even ten people also promote the same post to all of their readers. And perhaps some of their readers take a liking to your post and comment on it. And then follow and/or share the post further. And before you know it, your community has grown with no extra effort!
Want to build you own tribe?
These are a set of ideas that you could use to potentially build a tribe to increase your traffic. You don’t have to do all of them, or in any particular order, but these are things I have tried myself, with good levels of success.
1. Decide on the size of the tribe you wish to build, and invite people to join. This could initially seem quite intimidating, particularly if you are a newer blogger, but you can easily start building connections simply by repeatedly and consistently commenting on other blogs. The grouping could be on Facebook, or across a group message on Twitter, or via email. All members have to be completely committed to the group.
2. Establish a set of rules. This is particularly effective for larger groups – everyone needs to be clear of what the expectations are. Above all, it needs to be a secure, honest and non-judgemental place where everyone can feel comfortable in asking questions and sharing what they wish to.
3. Create a schedule. There are several different schedules that could be used – one person a day could be the focus of the rest of the group, or a number of posts for each person could be shared across specified media etc… Set out a thread of posts that everyone wants to share. Each person then shares each post once across different areas of social media – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Stumble Upon. Note: the larger the group, the more difficult it may be to do this on a daily basis.
4. Be generous and authentic in your sharing and support of your tribes work. If you genuinely like a post, it’s likely that some of your readership will too, which may result in higher traffic for you both. It’s a win/win for everyone.
What about you guys? Are you part of a community or tribe? Have you found them to be beneficial?
You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.