Five Steps to Becoming a Vital Member of Blog-Based Communities

I recently changed one of my 13 writing goals for 2009. “Build an online community around this blog” became “Become a vital member of a selection of online communities.”

I want to take the focus off myself and my blog and place it on my fellow bloggers and their projects. I want to be an encouragement. I’m sure my blog will benefit in increased traffic and more contributing readers, but my aim will be to benefit others.

I have considered whether or not I should list the blogging communities I have chosen to target. Some of my choices are apparent based on my post Eight Bloggers I Want to Know Better, but there are others. It seems a little odd to point them out in this post.

Here are five steps to becoming a vital member of a blog-based community:

  1. Choose wisely. There are so many wonderful blogs out there that it’s impossible to follow them all. Being selective creates an opportunity to get more value out of each blog followed.
  2. Visit often. Some blog posts are time sensitive. A three or four day gap in checking posts can result in missed opportunities to contribute to the blog or join in related projects. I’ve found the best way to keep up with blogs is to subscribe to their RSS feeds.
  3. Comment. Reading a blog’s posts is only half the experience. Good blogs deserve participation and feedback. It’s important when commenting to leave useful posts, and not just the ‘nice blog’ type.
  4. Contribute. Many bloggers use their blogs to promote larger projects or develop side applications, like message boards. These are wonderful places to offer your assistance / expertise.
  5. Share. Social bookmarks, your blog posts, Twitter and personal e-mail are excellent ways to share finds with friends and associates. If a blog is worth the time and effort it takes to read and contribute, then others will find it useful too.

Any comments / feedback will be a huge benefit to the project. What have I missed? How do you contribute to your favorite blogs?

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About James A Woods
Freelance Writer, Constant Learner, Family Man

2 Responses to Five Steps to Becoming a Vital Member of Blog-Based Communities

  1. TexasRed says:

    I think the commenting is important. I have also tried to identify different weekly activities that I can participate in and link to others’ posts (for instance, Teaser Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday and Fiber Arts Friday). I’ve especially tried to find these link-ups that focus on different online circles: book bloggers on Tuesdays, variety of bloggers on Wednesdays, artists on Fridays. These are topics I discuss on the blog, but “playing” in the different circles will draw in new readers who I otherwise wouldn’t have met.

  2. Pingback: Connecting with Lists | Connect Simply

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