If you have a blog, you likely spend a significant amount of time trying to grow your blog's traffic. Managing Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, and more can be hugely time-consuming and frankly very overwhelming. Reading articles online from "successful" bloggers (I put that in quotes because I feel the notion of success is highly relative) can make you feel like you're in way over your head and won't ever have the time or money to invest in courses, schedulers, and other tools to drive traffic to your site. I'm here to tell you that there's something else you can do, something that is far simpler. You can do it today, and you can do it for free.
Join a community of bloggers.
Believe it or not, there are thousands of groups on every social media platform out there devoted solely to helping blogs grow. Most blog groups have a moderator or two, and you may need to provide a link to your blog and answer a few questions in order to join. As someone who runs a group like this, I can tell you that the questions are really just to separate serious bloggers from people who want to promote ad-heavy sites. They rarely contribute, and there's no place for them in a community of bloggers who want to learn and grow.
Blogging communities are great because everyone present has the same goal: to grow their blog and be successful. Each person's view of what that success entails is, of course, rather different. For some, success means monetizing their blog. For others, it means turning a dream of becoming a writer into a reality. Still other times, success means documenting a personal journey that one is taking. No matter how you define your success, you can bet that you'll be able to find other bloggers with the same goals in a community. And if the community is a good one, you will find support, advice, and opportunities for collaboration and growth.
As I mentioned, I run a blogging group. Our group, called Blogging Success, is on Facebook. Each day, we focus on a particular topic and invite comments or posts related to that topic. For instance, today is Collab Day. Anyone who would like to collaborate with other bloggers in any way is invited to post with their ideas. It's a great way to get interaction going between serious bloggers. I personally have met some great friends via collaboration opportunities like this. That's part of what makes being a blogger so great--there are so many of us out there, and the internet can connect us in ways that simply wouldn't be possible otherwise.
Many blogging groups have a promo day, when you are able to share a link to anything you wish to draw attention to. This could be a recent blog post, your blog's Facebook page, or a course you are offering to other bloggers. The sky's the limit! This is a great way to work towards your desired blog numbers, whether they are likes or dollars.
I'm personally a member of about ten blogging groups. Depending on how busy I am with work or other projects, I try to post in most of them a few times a week. At one time, I belonged to even MORE blogging communities, but I found that I was unable to devote the time to the groups that they deserved, so I picked the ones I felt were best suited to my goals and stuck with those.
Here's a list of some of my favorite blogging groups. These communities are largely female, goal-driven groups filled with friendly, energetic bloggers. I've made some great connections and am able to get answers to questions others are also wondering about. My blog traffic also SKYROCKETS every time I really get going with regular sharing of my content in post or social media threads. We are talking gains of 500% from when I first started blogging! It's worth your time, trust me!
1. Creative Ninjas
I love this group, run by Latasha Peterson. It's a very fresh, fun community, and Latasha has a lot of energy! It keeps things moving and there's always something to learn.
2. Blogger Insights
Hosted by Eden Fried, this group is big for blogger-posed questions and answers. If you're looking for a place to get help with a blogging issue, try here first!
3. Mom to Mompreneur
This is one of my favorite blogging communities. Targeted at mothers who are trying to succeed as entrepreneurs, the group, hosted by Elna Cain, really has it all. Members are encouraged to share their content and get help with blogging questions. It's a great group!
4. The Rising Tide Society
While not strictly tied to blogging, I love this group for creatives, founded on the idea that a rising tide lifts all boats. This group honors the notion of community over competition and encourages members to help each other out.
5. Blogging Success
I can't help but add the community I moderate to this list--I love it so much! We have so many amazing members, and I am constantly in awe of how helpful and generous everyone is. Last week, we even had a blogger share another blogger's content in a promo thread, just to be nice. We'd love to have you!
Joining a blogging community is a great idea--blogging can be challenging, but you are definitely NOT in it alone! Get support, make friends, and skyrocket your traffic in a blog group. You'll be so glad you did!