If you’re blogging without a tribe, there’s a good chance you’re wasting your time… and wasting time sucks. It was only a couple months ago that I was sitting at my computer, blogging my little heart out, proudly posting, promoting my content via social media and noticing no results. ::Crickets:: I wasn’t building community. Being my worst critic, I became confused and depressed about my lack of results on my blog. I needed a tribe.
What is a blog tribe?
A blog tribe is a small (or large) crew of like-minded and driven individuals who genuinely support each other’s efforts via social media and building community on and off each other’s blogs. If you sound like me a couple months ago, keep on reading.
Who should be in my tribe?
Family, friends, tweeps (friends on Twitter), classmates… All these people should be considered for your tribe. The pre-requisites for members are them possesing a high level of determination to succeed, committing to never-ending support of their fellow tribe members and the having above average writing ability (or the willingness to improve their writing). Most tribes form among people who are at the same level. Young guns hang with young guns. Rock stars congregate with other rock stars. And losers usually continue to pull each other down. The point is that you should focus on recruiting people who are on your same status and skill level. But remember, your team members must be constantly seeking improvement. Forming your team this way is easiest way to get started. Don’t avoid securing a mentor, but just know they will usually be in a “more elite” crew. The key is to get to their level and then you’ll gain access to their club of influence.
It starts with you. Prove to your tribe members that you’re willing and able to lead by example. You can’t expect your tribe to survive if you (the leader) take unannounced breaks from showing social and comment support. You can’t expect your tribe to last if you only post to your blog once a month. Forming and being apart of a tribe takes sweat. It’s all worth it because of the results.
Finding members for your team is about physically and virtually networking. I found the first member of my team, Fabrice Calando, through a recommendation from Julien Smith on Twitter. I started reading Fabrice’s blog and noticed that we see eye-to-eye on processes for self-help and personal development. After several months of reading his blog and supporting it with comments and tweets, I decided to approach him about the idea of forming a team. He agreed and *boom* we’re now co-advocates. Next, an opportunity for our network to grow came through. Fabrice had formed a crew with fellow Canadian Ray Hiltz. Now Ray has joined our new up-and-coming tribe of bloggers. I can depend on them for blog support and they can depend on me.
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The beauty of a tribe is the potential for diversity and fellowship. You don’t have to limit your admission of blog tribe member sites to one genre, style, or subject. This is an opportunity for you to learn about new and exciting things. Imagine having a wine aficionado, an expert on Google+ and a blogger who knows her stuff about viral video all in one crew. The possibilities for that mash up are amazing.
How do I support my tribe?
Support your tribe by posting their content to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Please make sure all your tribe members have social sharing buttons on their blog. You want to make it as easy as possible for your team and your readers to share your content. Strive to be the first person to post a comment on your member site blogs. It’s important to give your team members the choice of not sharing specific content if they don’t agree with it, if it is offensive (hopefully this doesn’t happen often) or if it doesn’t relate to their networks (if this is a common issue, you might want to consider not being the same tribe). This keeps relationships open and honest.
UPDATE: Head over to Google’s Feedburner.com and make sure you have a clear way for people to subscribe to your blog via email. Subscribe to the blogs in your tribe so you can receive their updates via email and never miss a beat.
This all sounds easy but life often gets in the way. Power through distraction and focus on the benefits of helping each other grow. Remain open to suggestions from your tribe and give advice to your team members if you see a way they can improve in any area. Once you’re comfortable and knowledgeable with the style and niche of your tribe’s blogs, consider guest blogging for each other. There are huge SEO benefits to this practice and you’re helping your team with keeping their blog fresh. Just be sure you’re qualified to write on your team member’s blog. Lastly, once you all become superstars and start writing books and giving presentations across the globe, be sure to continue to support each other. Don’t let ego kill the crew.
When people arive to your blog, you want them to be impressed with the support other people have given you. They might give your post a read but getting readers to support with a share/like, tweet or pin on social media or with :gasp: a comment doesn’t only depend on the quality of your content. This is where many bloggers leave off and think their job is dones. If there’s no evidence of you and your tribe building community, then readers will have no incentive to join the party. This is why we need each other. Focus on helping others win and we’ll all win in the process.
So while keeping your head down and letting the support build up for your blog on its own is honorable, the idea is quite wishful. You must network and jumpstart your blog’s community with a tribe. The positive psychologal effects of knowing you have a team that has your back keeps us energized and inspired to keep creating. We can’t do it alone. Seth Godin is right. We need tribes. We need leaders. Apply his concept, leverage the advice given in this piece and lead the push to increase awareness for your team’s content by sparking conversation for each other.
Want me to check out your blog? I’m open to networking. Post it in the comments below and let’s see what we can do together.
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