Blogging Tip- Find your “Graduating Class”

From time to time I get emails or tweets asking for tips on blogging. This is one I always include, so I thought I’d put it down in an official post finally.Β 

Blogging, whether you like it or not, is driven by community. Sure, you can throw a crazy/sensational/weird blog up, it can go viral, and you can attract hundreds of thousands of page views in a week, but you’re not going to sustain your popularity that way. It takes a *reciprocal* village.

When I first started this blogging thing I truly was just doing it for myself. If people read, cool, if not, cool. Whatever. I had no desire to get caught up reading other blogs and making friends through blogs. Obviously, that changed. I think I can blame thank Twitter.

Through Twitter, I found my “graduating class”of bloggers whoΒ were all very similar to me in a lot of ways. We shared a lot of the same audience, we were at the same stage of blogging, seemed to have the same questions, and we were all figuring things out (still are!) together as we went along.

I think a lot of us, instinctually, would view these other very similar bloggers as competition. And in a way, as much as any other page that takes up space online and a potential reader’s time, I guess they are. But, here’s why you should become at least friendly (if not friends who run and tackle each other every year in August when you are reunited) with them, and why their success is important to you:

Let’s think of this in terms of real estate. Say you’re a house, and there’s a house down the street that’s very similar to your 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1 level plan. They are your “competition.” Do you want that competition to be undervalued? Or would you rather that competition be recognized for the amazing floor plan that it is and sell for $20k more than the asking price? If you know anything about home values, you’re going to want that house to sell for more so that, hopefully, your value goes up, too.

By connecting with similar blogs (and “similar” can be interpreted many different ways), and building meaningful and reciprocal relationships, you can all work together to increase your collective value. Don’t be jealous when that one blogger lands a sweet freelancing gig (okay, you can be a little jealous). Congratulate her! Tweet it out! Support her at her new website. Not only because it’s a nice, friendly thing to do, but also because she just brought your collective value up a notch… and I bet she’s going to get some kickass connections out of it that she’ll be happy to share with her supportive friends.

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  1. Community over competitor–love it! As a competitive person myself, I got caught up in this. Easily. When I started to just read more blogs for the hell of it to see what’s out there, I realized there are some amazing people. Some are even starting to become internet pals after a simple act of commenting. I think this concept should be applied to almost all situations…foster the community, forget the competition, and you’ll see a better outcome πŸ™‚

  2. Woot. And even better than connections and raised value and all that, how’s about we JUST PLAIN SUPPORT EACH OTHER? Especially women. There is not enough “you go girl” in this world. (And by that, I do not mean that phrase should ever, ever come back).

  3. It is so true. I am only 2 months old-in the blogosphre! And I love connecting with all the different women out there whether they are part of my niche or not! ! I love blogging and am genuinely happy when another blogger does well! It makes me think I can and will someday be there too! It is so motivating to see all these women succeed. I just sit and watch and think they started where I am and look at them now! Look at you, Jill, you are a fantastic blogger! πŸ™‚

    • Well, thank you πŸ™‚ It’s been a long road for me, and I don’t know where I’d be without my bloggy besties. I’m glad you have such a positive attitude about it.

  4. As someone who only reads blogs but doesn’t have one, I can tell you that you are NOT competition. I like finding new blogs and don’t drop one every time I find a new one. The most frequent way I find a new blog is from one I already read.

  5. This is such great advice! I recently found my “graduating class” and I feel so much more confident about blogging as a result! We can ask each other for advice, get a second (and third and fourth etc.) opinion, and support each other. Definitely a must for any blogger.

  6. Great post my friend! I have been thinking about this a lot lately and sometimes find it hard to find my ‘community’. Sure there are other bloggers out there blogging about the same thing but I’m still trying to find the one’s that I think I fit the best with.

  7. Yay for blogging community or even communities. I love that my bloggy friends are so much more about building each other up than breaking each other down.

  8. I wonder what my “graduating class” would be? I started my blog a year ago with the intent being to record my journey to mommyhood, but then my husband decided he’s not ready for kids. So most of the time I blog about how I wish I was something I’m not. I feel kind of lost in the blogosphere with no direction. Can anyone help me or offer some suggestions on communities?

  9. So true. A few of my blogger friends and I have recently started a small, private FB group that’s focus is blogging and it has helped SO much and we have all gained alot of knowledge from each other.

    Love the new look!

  10. Jill, excellent advice as usual! I didn’t really start to get into my blogging till I looked outside myself & began connecting with others, lol, I also blame Twitter for most of my friendships.

    Love your site, I visit regularly for my chubby baby fix πŸ™‚

  11. This is such good advice, Jill. I read a lot of blogs that I look up to and aspire to be like them. These are people that I know are appreciative of my comments but don’t have the time anymore to commit to commenting on blogs (which I completely understand!). But I don’t read a lot of blogs where I feel like we’re on equal playing fields, ya know? Maybe I should do more of that. I support them, they support me.

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