I think I have the best community in the blogosphere.

If you’re a regular reader/commenter here, you are a part of that awesomeness. 8)

For that, I say “Thank you”.

Today’s Lesson

When I started blogging, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as “community”. Sure, I saw people commenting on other blogs, but to me, that’s all they were; comments.

Little did I know comments are the building blocks of a blog community.

My community was born when a blogger named Akemi commented on this blog. Via her blog I met Cath, who in turn introduced me to Ian. The three of us visited each others blogs, commented and followed each others progress. Slowly more bloggers entered the circle and each of us began growing our respective communities.

Some of the members (for lack of a better word) frequented one or two of our blogs, but not necessarily all of them.

That’s how blogging communities work since all blogs won’t appeal to everyone.

When I made it my mission to help new bloggers “get found”, I started a series named “New Blog of the Week”. Each week I hunted for new bloggers (usually 3 months old or less), and showcased them and a sampling of their blog entries on this blog. I’d ask my community members to visit them, read their posts and leave a comment.

My community obliged. (See how great they/you are?)

In the process, their communities grew, as did mine.

How about you? How can YOU build a community?

  1. Be visible. Get out there. Visit other blogs, leave comments and answer the comments on your blog.
  2. If you’re new to blogging, I’d suggest finding other new bloggers to connect with. Take time to read their “about” page and see if they’re someone you’d like to befriend. If they’re answering comments, chances are, they’re looking to grow a community too.

    Not all bloggers will reciprocate by visiting you, but some will. These are the ones who can potentially become part of your community.

    Also, when you leave comments on another blog, you’re leaving bread crumbs. The readers of that blog may be intrigued with your words and click over to your link. All the more reason to leave meaningful, heartfelt comments.

  3. Link to the posts of your new online friends or share their post(s) on Twitter, Facebook or your favorite social networking site.
  4. Remember, it’s all about karma.

  5. Form a pact with another blogger (or two) and agree to help each other succeed.
  6. Here again, promote the posts of one another. If you feel comfortable (and safe) taking the conversation offline, email each other behind the scenes to discuss your strategy.

  7. Continually visit, read and comment on the posts of your new friends. Continually answer the comments on your blog.
  8. Just like real life friendships. a blog community needs to be nurtured. Make time for yours.

  9. Don’t get hung up on the size of your community.
  10. Blog communities take time to form. Patience is key. Build yours on a solid foundation.

  11. Keep in mind, community building is not tit for tat.
  12. We might be a part of another blogger’s community, but that blog author may not be part of ours. And the same holds true for us. Someone may be a part of our community, but we’re not a part of theirs.

    Remember, just like in real life, we and our blog/topic may not appeal to everyone. Don’t take it personally.

  13. In time, some of our community members will move on, comment less often or even disappear.
  14. It’s not easy to sustain a blog, therefore we can lose community members . Add to that how bloggers are also using their blog(s) as a stepping stone to other endeavors.  Enjoy the time you have with your members.

  15. Some people believe blog communities are dying due to social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook or Google+.
  16. Although commenting on blogs may have decreased over the past few years, communication on blogs “feels” more intimate. Personally I prefer commenting on blogs vs on social networking sites, however, community can be built on social networking sites, as well.

In the four and a half years I’ve blogged, there has not been a blogger I’ve met that I’ve forgotten.

And even though we may no longer visit each others blogs, when we bump into one another online, it’s like seeing an old friend.

Today’s Assignment

If you’re a seasoned blogger, what hints would you give a new blogger about forming a community?

If you’re a new blogger, what’s your biggest challenge in forming a community?

Care to share?

signature for blog post

P.S. As for Akemi, Cath and Ian; Akemi appears to have left the blogosphere. I see Ian occasionally on Facebook. Cath remains to be a great friend who is on a blogging hiatus, however we continue to communicate on Facebook.

P.S.S. I ended my New Blog of the Week series after a year and a half. The complete list of the ninety bloggers I showcased is here (in my sidebar under “Featured Blogs From the Past”).

P.S.S.S. If you’re not sure where to find other bloggers, click on the names of the bloggers who comment on this blog, and/or check out my “Free Blog Registry” – where over 500 bloggers have entered their names and a short description of their blogs. (While there, add your name, too.)

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  1. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    Part of building and maintaining a blogging community is simply to blog, read other blogs, and comment where you have something to contribute.

    Ironically, all too many of the bloggers who I have on my feed reader seem to have cut down on their blogging or stopped altogether. I’ve “seen” some of them on facebook, but seldom, if ever, on their blogs. I keep their blogs in my feed reader, just in case they decide to start posting again.
    Check out Mike Goad’s awesome post.Torn AsunderMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      That’s true. It’s just a matter of making the rounds. But like you said, when blogs/bloggers go dormant, it’s pretty hard to stay connected.

  2. EvanNo Gravatar says:

    An extra hint. Be clear about what you want to do with blogging.

    If you want your blog to be more widely known, if you want to make money from your blog, if you just want to connect with people with a common interest, all of these can make a difference to the community you create.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Evan,

      Good point. Some bloggers don’t even need to worry about building a community, especially if they’re just looking for high traffic numbers so they can sell their “wares”.

  3. maddieNo Gravatar says:

    As a new blogger, my biggest challenge is patience. I’m starting to get a lot of interaction with people on twitter and I think that’s how people are finding my blog.
    Check out maddie’s awesome post.step one of “the plan” and sacrificing peeps until moral improvesMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Maddie,

      We never know where our readers, who can become community members will come from, or how they’ll find us. Twitter is a great to find like minded people, as well. (plus, you can also form a community on there, too)

  4. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara.

    Hmm.. yes, I’m one of those #7 on the list of yours I’m sure.

    I certainly have not given up blogging, but like you mention, sometimes as bloggers we move on into a different direction, or like in my case, more focused on completing my goals in regards to the original reason why I started a blog.

    I use to call myself a blogger, now I call myself an Internet Marketer who has a blog.

    That shift in thought process has really helped me define the strategy I’m using to get myself to where I need to be.

    And by the way, it’s always nice to bump into you every now and then. Just like Cath was to you, you are to me (one of my first blogging buddies).
    Check out John Hoff’s awesome post.11 Smart Tips for Using Easy Video PlayerMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      That’s one thing about having a community. Even though we see less of each other, we still enjoy seeing each others face online.

      Thank you for sharing the tip about mindset, as well as your kind words. You know I truly appreciate them. πŸ™‚

  5. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. great post and all the points are very salient – I think you found me via comments I’d made here and with others within our mutual community (at that stage mine was very small).

    It’s being good in your field (as you are), having a passion, and finding like minded people who are interested in your subject .. or perhaps who have an eclectic educative informative blog with posts that interest you .. eg mine!, or a cookery blog, or historical blog, where you just read for pleasure and pick up some points of interest.

    People have to be interested in your blog posts to visit you .. and may not comment every post ..

    I commented a lot on other blogs to start with – usually by finding perhaps someone who had commented here, whose points raised interested me .. and then I wanted to meet them and find out more .. and so the cycle started ..

    It’s a great world – the blogging world .. cheers Hilary
    Check out Hilary’s awesome post.Diamond Congratulations for a sparkling marriage …My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Hilary,

      That’s right. The cycle which leads to community can begin anywhere. I know many bloggers have met each other here on this blog, and from there have gone on to build a community of their own.

      What you said is true. We may not comment on every post others write, but we always know where to find them. As blogging buddies, we’re never that far away – just a click or two.

  6. JaneNo Gravatar says:

    I like how you have put this blog together. Its like giving a reality check to all those who belong in the “blogosphere”. I have to agree when you said we need to visit other blogs and check them out so in turn, they might also visit ours. Its a matter of helping each other out with the traffic. Great blog! Kudos!
    Check out Jane’s awesome post.Aug 1, Worst Weeds In The World?My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jane,

      Yes. By visiting other blogs we’re getting our name out there. Even though everyone may not check out our blogs, some will. From there, community begins to build. Fun!

  7. JoyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I first entered the blogosphere with a personal blog. I made amazing connections because what I shared was life stories, so my readers felt they knew me. I made it a point to know my readers.
    When that blog morphed into my current site, I had a foundation of readers I knew online, some of whom have become my closest offline friends. I have reached out to meet quite a few bloggers through my travels, and theirs. I learn so much from these connections which enhance my life in many ways.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Joy,

      Isn’t that wonderful how that works? To think we meet someone online and in time they become a real life friend is pretty awesome. Your comment reminds me of how small the blogosphere really is.

  8. Jo WakeNo Gravatar says:

    I follow a number of blogs and try and make a point of commenting on them regularly. However, I find very few people comment on my blog despite the fact that I appear to have a number of faithful followers, maybe not as many as I would like to have after several years blogging.
    Check out Jo Wake’s awesome post.Stormlord`s Exile, Morning News,My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jo,

      As mentioned in this post, building a community does take time. If you’re interested in growing your community larger, just keep doing what you’re doing (finding and commenting on other blogs) and soon your group will expand, too.

  9. Great post Barbara – I totally agree. Building community is what adds life to the electronic/impersonal feel of the internet. Its really all about the people!
    Check out Larry Lourcey’s awesome post.The Weakest LinkMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Larry,

      Yes. People are what drives us. Not only is it great when they read our work and comment, but the ability we have to create online friendships is the the icing on the cake.

      Our community can also be what motivates us to continue on, especially when we don’t feel like blogging or just need a lift.

  10. BenjaminNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara! I really enjoyed your post here! It can be harder than expected to build a responsive blogging community around your blog. But I think the most important point is to stay active : Reply to comments, comment on other “befriended” blogs, share interesting stuff on Twitter,Facebook and Google and so on….combine that with valuable content and you are ona good way,arnΒ΄t you?
    Check out Benjamin’s awesome post.Google+ Plus Features and First ImpressionMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Benjamin,

      You’re right. It can be difficult to build a community, but like you said, once you get out there and start sharing interesting stuff, others will find you and your community will grow.

  11. Hi Barbara.

    You do have a great community πŸ™‚ And this is good advice for a new blogger. Not getting hung up on the size of your community is important. When I first began blogging I was very aware of how many comments I was getting. If folk are too hung up on the numbers it can be discouraging because the numbers do go up and down a lot.

    What I appreciate is when bloggers reply to their comments. When I visit a blog where I see readers commenting and no blog author replying I don’t feel inclined to return. That sense of community and the discussion is what keeps me interested, in addition to reading the actual blog post. I think this is why a lot of folk are flocking to social networking sites; for the conversation as opposed to the writing.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Davina,

      You’ve raised a good point. When blogs are just showing a list of comments from others and the blog author doesn’t show up. the comment section almost feels cold.

      I agree. We do look for conversation. If we can’t find it on blogs, we’ll turn to social networking.

  12. DavidNo Gravatar says:

    I totally agree with you post here, if we don’t help and support each other then it will be hard for everyone. But if just try to help and support then we give everyone a chance to succeed. I also like how you give back to your readers here. Wonderful post, I continue to find more articles here that I love to read. Thank you.
    Check out David’s awesome post.My Personal Review of the Western Digital 2tb External Hard DriveMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you David,

      That’s true. When we support each other, our load gets lighter too. I find that the blogging community (in whole) are a wonderful group of individuals; most who willingly help each other. Although I see some of that on social networking sites, in the blogosphere (to me) it seems more evident.

  13. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! I’m thrilled we have found one another via the blog world – it’s been great meeting so many like-minded people in the blogosphere. So many of the bloggers I used to visit a few yrs ago are gone – where/why anyone’s guess – and I have been so busy with my food coaching I haven’t had time to find “replacements”, hence I visit very few blogs these days. I know I really “should get out more” – haha!

    I DO try to respond to every comment on my blog, hoping that people are coming back to see, and discuss the topic further. So far that really hasn’t happened on the blog tho I do get emails with questions on the health topics I write about. It is what it is. I certainly welcome comments!
    Check out suzen’s awesome post.Depression and Anti-DepressantsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Me too, SuZen,

      One thing about a blog community is that it doesn’t have to happen entirely on the blog. Like you said, you’re getting emails from readers. Oftentimes our readers don’t feel comfortable asking questions in public, but may feel you’re open to an offline conversation. That’s community, too. Maybe not as obvious though.

  14. kingsleyNo Gravatar says:

    Quality content. Quality content rules. If your blog contains high quality content which will interest your reader, he must surely be back to learn more. Also ask the reader his thought at the conclusion of your post. The biggest challenge in forming a community is usually traffic. If you do not get traffic, then they will be no comments.
    Check out kingsley’s awesome post.Buying Phen375My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kingsley,

      True. We first need to get traffic to our blogs before a community can form. And yes, by asking questions at the end or our posts, we’re more apt to see comments to which we can respond.

  15. HowardNo Gravatar says:

    You obviously have an active community, and no doubt it is the commitment to community building that builds your success. Like many businesses as well as the main site we have a blog. However, the main site is our focus and taking time out to build a community with limited resources could be a distraction.

    Difficult to quantify the rewards of using resources on developing a community.

    A problem shared by many small businesses?
    Check out Howard’s awesome post.10 Things You Should Know about a Summer in South of FranceMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Howard,

      You’re right! Since I started blogging over four years ago, community has been very important to me as has paying it forward.

      I understand what you’re saying about your business blog. With your business being real estate, instead of a community of loyal visitors, I think you’ll see some of your members come and go. (i.e. they may visit regularly until they find a property, but after they do, they may stop commenting)

      And that raises a good point. If we have a business blog, how much time do we want to spend answering comments and building a community. Or, do we even want to build a community on a business blog?

  16. carynNo Gravatar says:

    I may not have a large number of followers but so many of them comment regularly and that’s what makes our “communities” fun! I think some bloggers need to do a better job of making new visitors feel welcome. Many visitors won’t continue to comment, or even return, if they’re never acknowledged. Even a general comment to everyone is better than no comment at all. Although there are a number of blogs where the communication seems completely one-sided and no one seems to care!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Caryn,

      You got it. It’s not the size of the community, but the quality of the communication. In reality, a community could be two people.

      I also see comment sections like you describe. Since the blog author isn’t showing up. I assume they don’t want to build a community, but instead leave their comment section open so their readers can have their say.

  17. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    I am still trying to achieve this. Building a community and not satisfied till date. So far i am simply trying hard to make my visitors experience better so that i can build a community one day.. may be in near future πŸ™‚

    Nice article.

    Check out Robin’s awesome post.WIN Samsung Google Nexus S [Giveaway]My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Robin,

      That’s smart on your part to realize you want to make your visitors experience better. That’s actually the first part of building a community; asking yourself who you want to attract to your blog and what do you want them to take away? Finding a way to get your readers to interact will then be the start of your community.

  18. DiannaNo Gravatar says:

    For me i like to have one because i am very friendly and i want to meet some friends and i like to meet them so we could chat and we can share some ideas in blogging , i am looking forward to it one day.
    Check out Dianna’s awesome post.angry birds computer gameMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dianna,

      Yes. When we have a community those are all things we can do; meet new people, chat, share ideas and show support for each other. It’s all good.

  19. Creating a blogging community requires time and cooperation from bloggers in different niches. You must be sociable enough both online and offline to attract and make loyal followers.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Menachem,

      You’re right. We do have to be social to have a community. For those bloggers who are shy, one good thing about forming a community is that it normally starts small and from there we learn to adjust as it grows.

      • It’s also very important to determine what are the things that we can give that the members of the community. That way, they will stick and will grow along with you and the rest of the members.
        Check out Melly Lifshitz’s awesome post.Menachem Lifshitz Top 10 Vacation PhotosMy Profile

        • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

          Hi Melly,

          That’s right. It’s not just about us and the size of our community, but like you said. what can we give back and how we can help others grow their communities, too.

  20. jimNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks Barbara great post. I have always struggled in the discipline in maintaining a blog. I have recently tried to stay on a great schedule and build a community of others who are interested in my writings.Ill get there πŸ™‚
    Check out jim’s awesome post.self hypnosisMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Jim,

      That’s true. Discipline is part of maintaining a blog community. Give yourself time. It will happen.:)

  21. When I began, I went to “like minded” blogs and began commenting. Then, I connected with a couple of bloggers whose readers wrote comments that appealed. I visited them, commented and sometimes subscribed. Out of that process, people began to subscribe to my blog.

    We do change and evolve. You are wise, Barbara, to emphasize that this happens naturally and we are not to take it personally. If we are not growing/evolving, it means we risk stagnating. That will surely mean losing readers so we may as well keep the process moving forward.

    I’m really grateful for this blog. You give me a welcome reality check!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Amy,

      That’s a great way to get started; find who we think are like minded individuals and go from there. And on that note, sometimes we’ll surprise ourselves by finding blogs which challenge our thinking and even though they may not be a blog we thought we’d like, they can end up being a favorite.

      Yes. We do change and evolve. In fact, that’s what I’ve seen happen on this blog. New bloggers show up and as time passes what’s shared here is “old news” to them, so they move on. It always warms my heart when I check out their blogs and see how they’ve grown and established thriving communities. Sometimes I’ll comment, but most times I just click off and have a smile on my face, knowing they’re on their way. πŸ™‚

      P.S. I deleted the second comment you left, I don’t why CommentLuv was showing a random article and attributed it to you. Maybe a glitch?

  22. DavidNo Gravatar says:

    Yesterday i was arguing with a friend on the fact of community building. He told me that all he wants is driving traffic to his non updated blogs and converting them to email subscribers. As i know that this model works, i advised him to stick with one thing and try to build a community around it. I guess i didn’t have a lot of proofs to convince him (may be i should send him this post).
    Check out David’s awesome post.When to give flowers?My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi David,

      Even though community can be rewarding, some bloggers do not want to deal with growing one, nor maintaining one. It would be interesting to do an experiment and set up two blogs – one with a community, one without and see which one grows faster.

  23. AscentiveNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you for your nice tips. I am thinking I build my own blog for my second business. I hope I can build nice community with the blog!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Ascentive,

      I wish you well with building your community. Hopefully the tips I shared as well as what’s shared in the comments will be beneficial to you.

  24. Rob BenwellNo Gravatar says:

    hello Barbara Swafford,
    Your post really helped me to understand this.It has great details and yet it is easy to understand.That’s what i was looking for.I will definitely share it with others.Thanks for sharing. now i can build my own blog..
    Rob Benwell
    Check out Rob Benwell’s awesome post.Hello world!My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Rob,

      I wish you well with your blog and appreciate your kind words. Hopefully I’ll see you here again soon.

  25. ChrisNo Gravatar says:

    I agree that social networks can take away from the intimate feeling of a site. I decided to keep my social links off of my blog and simply focus on what I want to write. It’s my little retreat, where I can be myself, do what I want and not have to worry about my existing networks.
    Check out Chris’s awesome post.Dare to be differentMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chris,

      Blogs can be like that, hey? Kind of like our own retreat. Although we can form a community on social networking sites, on our blog it “feels” more like our readers are visiting our “home”.

  26. AnswersNo Gravatar says:

    I think that if you make a dofollow blog, people will post and comment on your article frequently. Thanks for this article.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Answers,

      Making a blog dofollow will (probably) result in more comments, however when our blogs are dofollow, we also expose ourselves to visitors who are only looking for link love. It can be a catch-22.

  27. Climax MediaNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara, thanks for sharing your story. I still run quite a few successful blogs and they all started with a single comment, just as you described. You form a small group, and as long as you keep at it, that group will grow. Before you know it, you’re getting 30 comments per post and new visitors everyday.

    I still think it wouldn’t do harm to have your social links on your blog, especially since people already know your name as a blogger – what’s the harm?

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Climax Media,

      Yes. It all starts with one comment, and like you said, from there it builds. It’s a remarkable process to watch, isn’t it?

      As for sharing our social links on our blogs. I don’t see any harm in doing that. Especially if fellow bloggers want to follow our updates elsewhere and get to know us better.

  28. MelodyNo Gravatar says:

    Heya Barbara.

    I really appreciate the enlightenment you have given me while reading this blog. I realized that blogging, like in real life, is making friends with people on the blogosphere and making each other’s comment benefit each other. Aside from that, oyu are building trust and friendship beyond they lines of internet. You get new ideas and also share yours. Blogging is really one of the most wonderful thing that happened in the history of internet. don’t y think?

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Melody,

      Yes. blogging is awesome. I know I sure enjoy it.

      You’re right. Blogging is very much like making friends in real life. We visit each other, support each other and if a fellow blogger needs assistance, we help.

  29. MichaelNo Gravatar says:

    Well this is a great community to stumble upon. I bet it has already been said, but routine is key to forming a community to your blog. Post on a sked and do it at the same time daily.

    Then your readers fit your posts into their reading sked.

    Before you know it, you have a bunch of people sitting down to the computer looking forward to your content.

  30. Hello Barbara,

    Pleased to meet you! I found your blog through Patricia of Patricia’s Wisdom. It seems appropriate that I begin reading at your post about building blogging community. My Creative Potager blog is a creative community and I find that readers love to come for a visit and, like you described, have then connected with each other as well.

    In addition to the community building practices you have identified, I also like to give readers a bridge into leaving a comment. For me that has been my “sprout question” at the end of each post. I also encourage readers to include appropriate links to their own blogs or work that will add to our conversations. It is so much fun!
    Check out Terrill Welch’s awesome post.Good Morning En Plein AirMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Welcome Terrill,

      It’s great to meet you, too.

      I agree. If we ask a question at the end of our posts, it not only opens up the conversation (for comments), but our readers know we’re interested in hearing their opinions. When I was on your blog I noticed you also link to other bloggers in your comment replies. That’s a great way to give back to loyal readers.

      P.S. Your paintings are gorgeous. πŸ™‚

      • Glad you had time to drop by and have a quick look around Barbara. Thank you for the p.s. πŸ™‚ it made me smile. My encouragement of linking and actively linking to reader content in comments are about more than giving back for me but a way to deepen our conversations and connections. Like Melody mentioned, overtime friendships are built, ones that I treasure as much as my face-to-face friends. Online community is community and something I deeply value.
        Check out Terrill Welch’s awesome post.Good Morning En Plein AirMy Profile

  31. ClaireNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I agree with you here. Building a blog community is through visiting other blogs and meet other bloggers too. It is also another way of creating a good relationship with them.
    Check out Claire’s awesome post.play angry birds onlineMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Claire,

      Yes. That’s not only how a community forms, but how we become friends/acquaintances online. Sweet, hey?

  32. MithNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    First of all a wonder post…I liked the way you explained how your community was born and went on..the 8 tips are crucial and must be followed and i must not forget to mention building up a community is a chain process which is linked to each another.
    Great post.Keep it up πŸ™‚

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Mith,

      That’s a good way of putting it. Communities are definitely linked together.

  33. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with you that blog comments seem more intimate than social networks. They have a more professional feel as well. I think the fact that it takes a little more time to fill out a comment form is kind of good since you get more meaningful comments than say a facebook post where it is very quick for people to post one line comments and such.

    Linking with friends is a good idea. As with any business having friends in the industry can be a major help. I have had free hosting, free advertising, and numerous other benefits because I have helped people out in the past and have made friends in the internet marketing scene.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      I know. On Facebook we can get away with a “thumbs up” (like) or as you said, a one liner. Whereas on a blog, it’s more of a process which takes some thought if we want to leave a meaningful comment.

  34. JoeNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for the tips.. I just started my blog 2 days ago, and I have not tried to build a community yet, because I want to get better at writing blogs first! Blogging, social networking, and sharing any parts of my private life do not come easy to me, but I am a musician, and I’ve come to the realization that I need to learn how to blog, as a way to build a fan base and interact with fans. Your articles seem very informative and interesting, I will be sure to follow!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Joe,

      I listened to some of your music. You’re VERY talented.

      You raise a good point. When we’re trying to get out name “out there”, whether as a blogger or business person, it takes time. Add to that how many bloggers are introverts and the process can be even more difficult.

      I wish you well with your endeavors. I’ve no doubt you’ll be successful.

  35. Hi Barbara,

    It really pays to be friendly and generous. All the favors you give can also be given back to you. I surely learned some tips about building a community from this post. Thanks, Barbara. πŸ™‚

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Tiff,

      I’m happy to hear this post and the comments have been beneficial. And I agree, it does pay to be helpful. πŸ™‚

  36. StephNo Gravatar says:


    I have found that is very difficult to establish a blog community. For example, most people come and spam my blog with all those pharma products. Very few actually comment and provide good insight.
    Check out Steph’s awesome post.Higher Ground MovieMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Steph,

      Spam is inevitable. A little tip. Try ending your blog posts with a question and see if that helps gain comments.

  37. StocksicityNo Gravatar says:

    Commentluv helps build a community (or at least help get visitors that may turn into the community you’re looking for)
    Check out Stocksicity’s awesome post.Stocks Turn Around while Gold Drops; Steve Jobs RetiresMy Profile

  38. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Stocksicity,

    I’m with you. CommentLuv is a fabulous plugin for building community. It’s my all time favorite plugin as it gives our readers a chance to showcase their latest work, too.

  39. ArunNo Gravatar says:

    Building community is not a simple thing it take a lot of time to build community. For those who want to build community here is my small tip- just replay to all the comment which you got on your blog also comment on their blog. This may help in building community.
    Check out Arun’s awesome post.ConvertXtoDVD Coupon Code for September 2011My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Arun,

      You’re right. Responding to comments is a great way to start building community. Visiting your commenters blogs and commenting helps, as well. Even though we may not become online friends with everyone, we won’t know unless we “get out there”.
      Check out Barbara Swafford’s awesome post.Commenting Know HowMy Profile