Wednesday, September 14, 2011
[Book Blogger Appreciation Week or BBAW is the brainchild of My Friend Amy. This year marks the fourth year of the event and it continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This week is all about showering book bloggers with appreciation--it's a blogging event I always look forward to each year.]
Today's topic is all about Finding and Keeping Community
I'll be the first to admit that book blogging and its evergrowing community has become quite overwhelming and intimidating over the past year or two. I'm constantly amazed at the emergence of new bloggers and their ability to gain a massive following seemingly overnight. Once upon a time I felt like my original book blog, Trish's Reading Nook, was a fairly well-known place in the community, but these days I'm more like a little bitty fish in a big giant ocean.
And you know what? I'm OK with that. I'm afraid I can't offer much in the way of becoming the most popular blogger in the blogosphere, and it's hard not to see blogging as a kind of popularity contest. It's easy to get caught up in statistics and follower numbers and I sometimes have to remind myself that these things don't really matter in the larger picture. Some people are naturally better at branding themselves or even marketing themselves. I've never been successful at either.
But, the community of bloggers that I have found since I started blogging is tremendous. They are supportive and caring, many of the blogging relationships have moved beyond that into friendships that would last even if the blogs did not. Seriously, guys, I feel like a broken record sometimes, but I'm honored and blessed to be in such wonderful company!
During Armchair BEA I wrote a post about fostering and nurturing relationships and so I don't want to completely repeat myself here. In short I talked about the importance of commenting, listening to your audience, getting involved in community events, and being yourself. There are many ways of keeping community, but those four points have really worked for me.
On Finding Community...
Finding a community is a little more difficult and I can't imagine being a new blogger these days. And honestly, my suggestions are ones that I'm really bad at these days. Who are we kidding--blogging takes a ton of time! And with a little baby, I'm short on time these days.
But, some ways to find community:
Interact on Twitter. There's always something going on on Twitter and it's a great way to connect with other bloggers.
Comment hop. See who's commenting on your favorite blogs and hop on over to their blogs. I've found some great like-minded bloggers this way.
Take an interest in the blogs you read. Don't just leave comments to leave comments--really listen to others and get to know people through their written word. It's amazing what you can learn about a person through what they write!
And now, maybe YOU can help ME with some advice! We're all busy, but tell me your secrets on how you keep up with the blogs that you love as well as new discoveries. Given my limited time I feel like I do a good job of keeping up (somewhat) with blogs that I've been reading for years, but I really struggle with new visitors and commenters. How to you find the time to give back and get to know new visitors and bloggers? In a way I'm asking you guys for the answer to today's question! But I'm curious on your input on how you manage with the wealth of blogs out there!
If only there was more time to go around, huh?