Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why You Need a Blogging Community!

This is a completely impromptu post, but after a big bloggy mess yesterday, I decided to talk about why community is so important when you are a blogger.

While the girls ate their breakfast yesterday, I sat down to check my email and go through my Blog Roll for a couple of quick reads. As usual, I deleted a bunch of random messages and clicked over to my blog to see which blogs on my Blog Roll had new posts. I was met with a huge, giant, and completely unpleasant surprise! 


A giant, pop-up warning blared in my face, and to make matters worse, I wasn't the only one seeing it. Several blogging friends and readers sent me emails and FB messages letting me know they couldn't view my blog because of the pop-up message.

I took a calm sip of my coffee and decided to check in on the matter later in the week. Uh huh. Yeah right. No, I completely freaked out. As fast as my little fingers could type, I high-tailed it over to a FB networking group for bloggers that I'm a part of. I asked for some feedback there and bloggers were quick to offer to take a look at the site for me and offer me some advice.

As I sat, worried that maybe my blog would blow up, and no readers or sponsors would ever want to click over again to my site, I remembered that my friend Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage experienced something similar awhile back. 

I figured that Gina would be way too busy to get back to me since she runs a very successful blog and Etsy Shop. But I took a long-shot and sent her a desperate email to see if she might have some advice for me. Lucky for me, Gina happened to be checking her email and saw mine come through. After talking me down from the ledge, she directed me to a post she wrote about what to do if your blog has a malware warning pop up. I confirmed with the Blogger Help Forum, but basically the pop-up had nothing to do with my blog. I had linked to another site that had been hacked, and so Google flagged me too. It took some work, but I was able to get everything cleared up by deleting all the links to that site.

The moral of the story is...if you don't have a community of blogger friends, you need to find one or form one!

There's truth to the old "strength in numbers" quote. If you don't know the answers, chances are good that someone else will. It's nice to have a network of bloggers who are quick to offer support in different ways. Bloggers know how it feels to spend hours working on a project, photographing it, editing photos, writing a post, and then publishing and marketing that post. Receiving feedback, whether it's through comments, Pins, emails, ReTweets, or Facebook shares is encouraging...it makes you want to keep up the good work. Last but not least, I have personally learned that community can lead to opportunities, whether it's through guest posts, blog swaps, campaigns, or even job offers!

So, now that you want to be part of a community, how do you find one?

Community won't come and find you. Writing posts 5 days a week won't help. Linking up to 64 blog parties every day won't help. Tweeting your own link every hour won't help. You have to reach out and do some work to make connections. The easiest way is to comment on other blogs. I wrote a whole blog series devoted to the importance of commenting on other blogs. You may have to click around some, but eventually you'll find your own groove and establish some relationships with other like-minded bloggers. 

I'm not sure what I would have done yesterday if I didn't have a great group of blog ladies to bounce ideas off of. I probably would have just posted in the Blogger Help Forum and yelled at the screen until someone eventually came by to answer me. That sweet Gina would take the time to personally address my dilemma speaks volumes for the type of person she is. The "Ginas" are the people you want to befriend when you are blog surfing...talented, professional, and friendly...but above all, kind.

So...this was not exactly what I had planned on posting this week, but I felt like it was important for other bloggers to read. Some of you may experience problems with those awful pop-ups and need a fix, and some of you might be new to blogging and need some direction. 

Do you have a network of blogging friends to interact with?


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32 comments:

gail said...

What a great post Amanda! :) So happy Gina was able to help you. I'm going to check out her post just in case this happens to me someday.
I saw your post come through on fb, but I had no words of wisdom. I am sure you must have been a mess!
All is good now,
gail

Jessica Bruno said...

Glad you got it all figured out Amanda. I know, it was a little freaky to see that big o'l malware message. Good post :)

Krystle @ Color Transformed Family said...

That would have freaked me out too. I haven't been blogging long but have already established some great relationships. Some have even let me know when my blog has been loading slowly or giving them other problems. This allowed me to fix it and then check with them to make sure the problem had been solved. I am so glad you were able to fix your blog. I enjoy reading it every morning.

Jean @ Flower Hill said...

I think I would have freaked out too! So glad you have blog friends to rely on!

Karen At Home said...

How awful Amanda, glad you had such a strong support system to help you through it. I wouldn't 't say I belong to a strong blogging community but have met a lot of great friends through blogging.

Jamie said...

I couldn't agree with you more on the need for a blogging community. It is amazing how much one can remain anonymous in the blogosphere, yet still have such a network!

ChaoticallyCreative said...

I feel like I am forming a community but it really does take some time to figure out where you fit in. I am still very new to blogging. I am not shy to ask for help and comment but at the same time I don't want to seem like a blog stalker. Does that make sense? So I try to comment on a variety of blogs that I really like and feel like I fit in with. Thanks for the tips. I am going to go back and read you article again about commenting to see if I missed anything. Lesley

Little Bit said...

Great post! I'm finding this to be so true, I've really been stuck a few times and the help from other bloggers has been so much faster and better than Wordpress' answers! Little Bit from DecorateWithaLittleBit BTW I'm now following you on LF...hope you'll follow me too!

Amy @ Positively Splendid said...

Gina is such a jewel! And you are too! I am so glad you figured everything out.

Missi said...

I am a brand new blogger and this post could not have come at a more perfect time. I sure hope I can gather as wonderful blogger friends as your friend Gina. I have so many questions - I sometimes don't know where to turn.

Love your blog and appreciate the advice! Thanks Amanda!

Missi

Kelli @ RTSM said...

I didn't notice anything wrong on your blog yesterday, but I kept getting a strange warning on my blogger dashboard about malware from a crafty site that I follow. It was strange, but I just ignored it and it finally went away. I agree with you...community is so important! I love blogging, but I love my blog friends even more:)

Nadir@StitchSense said...

Oh my, glad you got it fixed. Are you a member of a specific group or are you talking more about your making relationships with other bloggers? I'm still finding my way around blog land every day it seems; its hard to know who are the right people to connect with that will actually connect back with you. Thanks for the helpful info!

Jessica @ Stay at Home-ista said...

So true! I've been nusy building relationships, and now I have a real community of bloggers to rely on.

debsheartandhome said...

Hi Amanda - great post about the blogging community :'). I clicked over to your series on blog commenting & it was very helpful. Thanks so much for taking the time to consistently post great content!

Anneke {RustiChic} said...

Yeah...I would have been freaking out too. Gina is SO great! I remember when I first started blogging and contacted her for a giveaway, but I didn't really know that she was so "big" and amazing and ALL the facets to what she does! She wrote back and was so nice and professional in her response! It was later I was like, "I can't believe I had NO idea!" Lol - but, in my defense, I was so new. At least I can laugh at myself now! Thanks for this post today!!!

Kassi Mortensen said...

OH whew!! So glad you were able to get it worked out!! I had something happen to my blog a few weeks ago and was SO grateful for my bloggie buddies that, as you say, talked me off the ledge while I worked to get it fixed... TRUTH. You need blog friends!!! :)

Richella said...

YOU, my friend are the epitome of all that's good about blogging community. And Gina is another example of goodness and generosity. There really are so many good and kind people who blog; what a privilege it is to be in community with them!

And you are most definitely a wonderful, wonderful example of HOW to be in community. I appreciate the example you set. I need to be more like you!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

I'm so happy you were able to get it figured out! In my current state of exhaustion, I probably would have just started crying and stopped blogging. ;) Can I blame the hormones? Your way was much better.

I've been so pleasantly surprised by the community I've become a part of through blogging. Not only have I "met" wonderful people online, I've really been able to make some of them my dear friends. I love that! Thanks for reminding me of the importance of community.

Rebekah said...

I'm working on "belonging" but it does take time...Thank you for writing about this -- it helps me understand a little clearer!

Elizabeth Ann Wright-Clark said...

Interesting and helpful information. You describe the experience very well! Thanks for letting us know. I isolate in life and I do so in blog land too. I guess I had best woman-up and make some friends.

Thanks!

Betsy

Paula said...

I'm so glad that Gina was able to help you fix your problem. I remember when she had the same problem not so long ago. I know that had to have scared you.

Erin @ Two Story Cottage said...

Great post, Amanda! I think of you as a community leader. So, I'll be contacting you if I ever have issues. :) Now that I've been blogging for almost 2 years I have some great blog friends. It took a while to make them but I'm so glad I did!

Colleen Jorgensen said...

Great post, Amanda! I've been meaning to tell you, one of my bloggie resolutions is to be more like you. yes, YOU! And comment more often!!! I lurk. I read. I surf. I read some more. But I don't comment. (other than CM ;)

btw, I'm SO happy to be a part of your FB community ♥

{Hi Sugarplum!} said...

So true amanda! Now I'm worried about this hack problem!!! I can imagine the sick feeling you must have had!! Glad you got it sorted out!

Rachael Honner said...

Lovely post, glad you were able to get help! Bloggers do need community so very important. Popped over via Shabby Creek Cottage... Rachael x

SueAnn said...

Oh my! I am so glad you got help,
Thank God for the blogging community
Hugs
SueAnn

Carolyn said...

What great information! I've been doing crafts and DIY projects for a long time, but I am a NEWBIE when it comes to blogging. I just started my blog (mysimplemessterpiece.blogspot.com) a couple of months ago and was wondering how to get engaged in all the wonderful networking I see out there. Thank you for this ... it was very helpful:)

Julie from Ten51 said...

Hi Amanda! Thanks for this great post. I'm new to the blogosphere and found this and your comment etiquette post very informative! Makes so much sense... I love comments, why wouldn't others? I'm looking forward to making some blog buds in the near future! Thanks again for sharing. - Julie @ http://ten51design.com/

Samantha said...

So scary! Glad everything turned out okay. I can totally imagine how you felt. Bloggy friends are a must!
:) Samantha

Gail @ Sophisticated Steps said...

Oh my! I'm ashamed to admit I didn't notice b/c I haven't been great at keeping up with your blog. [hangs head] But, I wholeheartedly agree! My hub works in network security. The 'net can be a scary place (and he wasn't exactly overly thrilled at me starting a blog - but can we really expect men to truly understand a woman's need to gab and share and record and...you know...haha!)
So glad you got it fixed. Awful feeling. AND even more glad that commented on a bunch of your posts BEFORE this one...heehee...so you can see I'm genuinely interested in your blog and not just b/c of this post. ;)

Have a great day! I really need to dig into more of your blog. I like it here! :)

Beth @ UnskinnyBoppy said...

Oh YIKES. I would have freaked out too! Glad you got that fixed.

I have to admit that I don't have a community of bloggers, and I wish that I did. I have a close community of online friends, but a lot of them aren't bloggers so chances are slim they would know how to help me in this situation. I definitely want to make more connections in the blogging world. Hoping the Haven conference will help out with that!

Renee Living Laughing Loving said...

Wow, glad you got it fixed! I know how you felt since out of the blue google totally disabled my blog in January. It came back later that night, but I still don't know why! I was almost locked out of gmail too but thankfully I was able to text a confirmation when I tried logging in with my alternate yahoo email.

I ended up switching to WP so I'm in a totally foreign land now trying to get used to everything. :)

I am thankful for blogging community too! It's nice to have someone to share with that actually has the frame of reference to understand what you're talking about. The non bloggy people just think you're crazy!

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