Helping fellow Travel Bloggers
How we can build community
The internet started not too long ago as a unilateral system of static webpages and read-only content. There was no such thing as interactions, especially not through comments nor social media. The best that you could do was to email someone and hope for a reply. Blogging has revolutionized the internet into this new wave involving interaction on unprecedented levels. It has given people, such as myself, a platform for expressing their views and opinions.
Blogging gives us all an opportunity to connect with one another. To share our experiences and viewpoints and even help out one another. Each blogging niche offers its own unique specialty. Our network of travel blogging is a wide-open industry. Although it is flooded with thousands of writers, the industry is home both to casual, professionals, semi-nomads, full-nomads, students, vagabonds, and the like. We all have a story of our own, and may even seek different goals. I wrote this post because I believe as we run our blogs and sites, we can also work together. Competition is part of any endeavor, but we also benefit as a group by helping each other out. Effectively, helping the industry to stay healthy. Blogging is a community. I came up with this list of ways we can help out one another as bloggers. What are your thoughts?
In the interest of keeping the community theme alive. I asked for The Guy, blogger @ flightsandfrustration.com, for some extra thoughts. Below you will find some ways which bloggers can help each other with special guest commentary by @The Guy.
1.) Sharing – Sharing is caring. If you ever find an article that you find interesting on someone’s blog let others know about it. Often, blogs do not have good SEO or ability to reach a larger audience. Therefore, some of their best writings fall upon deaf ears. I do this regularly when I find an article that I like using Twitter.
The Guy says: Of course social media is now a competitive market too. There are a range of other sites to promote on such as Facebook, Pinterest, Stumble Upon, Reddit and so on. It only takes seconds to click but it can really help your fellow bloggers.
2.) Commenting – Commenting is a great way to help out fellow bloggers, while helping yourself out simultaneously. If you comment on another person’s blog, then you will likely get a link back, which will help your site ranking to an extent. It also helps aid in the interactive process of blogging. Blogging is in many ways, a conversation. People, converse through comments.
The Guy says: A number of blogs use the fabulous CommentLuv plugin. This identifies you and your blog so that you can often select from an automatic list of your most recent blog posts (up to 10). This can also help extend your conversation with the fellow blogger as you can automatically refer to one of your articles which is relevant to the blog post you are commenting upon.
3.) Sponsors – Let’s say that you read over someone’s blog on South America, then find out that they are sponsored. Do them a favor and check out their sponsors. It will help them out and you may even learn more about how sponsors-blogger relationships work.
The Guy says: After all, these bloggers have spent a lot of time putting effort into their posts. They also have costs of web hosting and domain names. Give something back by supporting a sponsor. You are getting great content for free on the internet and your fellow blogger will really appreciate the support.
4.) Connecting – Connecting through social media is crucial in the blogosphere. If you come across a site you enjoy reading, then a great way to stay connected with them is by following them on all social medias that they offer (or at least the ones you use). Adding them on social media, be it Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or even G+ will help the network grow as a whole.
The Guy says: If they follow you back give them a big shout out with a “thanks for following me” tweet. They’ll really appreciate it and it will help promote their name to your existing followers. You are helping them build their audience whilst connecting with them. Don’t forget #FF (Follow Fridays!).
5.) Guest posting – Guest posting is a great way to help out someone else’s blog, while helping out your own. You will get to help build the content of another’s site. In return, you will receive credit, link backs, and an opportunity to write for a new audience.
The Guy says: There is further benefit as the both of you can do the social media promotion to 2 audiences rather than 1. When I promoted the first guest post on my site, the guest poster also promoted and I received my best ever visitor numbers to date.
6.) Region networking – If you are blogging for a particular region, then you can help out other bloggers in your area. For example, I blog some things for my home state of Louisiana. I do my best to help out local businesses and bloggers that I support. I connect with other bloggers in my area to network.
The Guy says: There is a saying of “Think Global, start Local”. Many of your first followers and people you connect with will be in your local area. It will be much easier to connect with them and talk about things they can relate to. You can work on joint projects together which will interest you both and you’ll be some of the most knowledgeable people about it too, so speak with authority.
7.) Projects – Projects are a great way to build a stronger community. You get to know other bloggers on a more personal level and create new ideas together. You also benefit from having two brains and perspectives making for a more holistic work. Meet up with other bloggers to tackle new things.
8.) Checking out products – Many bloggers out there have written books, guides, or sell travel gear of some sort. If you connect with a blogger on a personal level and follow them, then consider checking out their work. You can do significant help to people by writing candid reviews, or suggesting products to others, et cetera.
The Guy says: You can give reviews in numerous ways. Firstly you can write a review in a blog post, you can also use respected third party websites such as Amazon or industry specific sites. This will reach a much wider audience and will also have a niche element to it. By using your own name or website link within your review the fellow blogger will know it has come from you.
9.) Reviewing products – In line with number 8, reviewing products. If you take number 8 to heart and give their things a try, consider leaving them a review. Bloggers, people in general, need feedback. Constructive criticism is the best way to improve. Point out weakness in a helpful way, or leave praise when necessary. This can go a long way for the right blogger. The same goes for reviewing services, or the site in general. People can review sites through Alexa or other third-party services. Even if you seek advice from a blogger, then get some good feedback, you can show them your appreciation by leaving a testimonial or letting others know how their service helped you.
The Guy says: This is a great way to interact and you should tell the person that you’ve reviewed their product. Not only will they appreciate the feedback but also the publicity.
10.) Entering into contests – Lastly, this is a bit different than the others, but still a good way to build community. If there is ever a time when you find another blogger’s work to be worthy, consider throwing their name into a contest. Nominating them can be a really nice and rewarding way to show them that you support their cause. What about that really amazing photographer’s portfolio you saw, or that article that you haven’t forgotten?
The Guy says: Share the love and they’ll remember you for it. Mutual appreciation helps build up the trust and they will remember the good deed you did for them. Who knows they might really appreciate one of your postings in the future and return the honour.
Some additional thoughts by The Guy:
- Connecting on blogger forums such as the Travel Blog Exchange or Bloggers. On here you’ll find various discussion threads on common topics or issues that people have. Sharing your experiences can help others to learn from you. You’ll be respected for volunteering your advice and can quickly build up a network of people to run ideas by.
- If you have become relatively successful at blogging you may not be able to handle all the request you receive due to time constraints. You may offer to introduce advertisers or guest posters to your network of fellow bloggers. Sometimes people suffer from writer’s block so they could well appreciate some fresh material to tie them over.
- Website admin can be a pain particularly for newbie bloggers. Many blogs now operate on the Word Press format. There is a whole host of plugins which can provide all sorts of extra benefits to a website. Maybe you could share your experiences of what worked for you. Maybe you notice the particular “Facebook Like” plugin on a site isn’t working so well, so you could suggest one which you’ve found to be more reliable.
*Special thanks to The Guy for the added commentary.
How do you help out fellow bloggers?
Do you have anything to add?