We often talk about building a blog community at Wanderful — and for good reason! Our community began as a blog and now we have a global reach with 50 chapters in cities around the world.
To build a community around a blog allows you, as a blogger, to create something so much bigger than yourself.
It means you can expand from “Me to We”, building a team and nurturing a community space.
The opportunities are endless if this is something you want to pursue!
Do you think building a blog community might be right for you?
First, go through our 6 recommendations to build your community through your blog, plus how to really lean into that growth process.
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Why Build a Blog Community?
A blog community centers around the content and topic of your blog, but it expands beyond the words you write on the page.
Building a community around your blog includes conversation, interaction on social media, communicating through email, and so much more.
Blogging is about digital connection. What started as, essentially, live journaling back in the day is now an opportunity to build a business through your own ideas and words.
Sure, bloggers write, but that’s only one part of this role!
From social media to photography skills, from email marketing to SEO, blogging is so much more than it once was.
Building a blog community means you have a devoted audience that not only reads and follows your written work, but also interacts with you.
They ask questions, offer input, and they often guide future content topics!
What might start as a solo blogging adventure could quickly turn into so much more. But you need to treat your readers like the community they truly could be.
6 Ways to Build a Blog Community
Building that sense of community is important if you want to grow your blog beyond yourself.
There are so many ways to create and nurture that community, but these are the tried-and-tested methods you should definitely consider.
Remember: Bloggers are not just writers. Blogging is about interaction and a two-way relationship with your audience.
That’s what makes blogs such natural spaces to build a community! And you can choose to grow that community to be as big or as hyper-niche as you want.
So let’s get into it. Make sure you’re using these six tactics to start really building that blog community and expanding your potential.
1. Show off your amazing personality!
Building a blog starts by using your authentic voice and sharing your words with the world.
Authenticity, transparency, and being open to readers will help grow a blog from simple written content to personal interaction and community-building.
When you blog, show off your personality.
Write how you talk!
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Share your thoughts with the world and make sure your true voice shines through. Whatever content you blog about, your tone should reflect who you are and how you communicate.
The easiest way to stay consistent and passionate about your blogging venture is to make it really you.
And make sure this carries across all of your channels, too. From your blog content to your social media channels, being authentic is what makes you relatable to your audience.
Your true voice is what makes your blog interesting, so don’t hide it!
The interesting thing here is the step you’ll take from a solo blogger to growing an interactive community around your blog. While the blog starts off with your voice, it will gradually grow beyond you alone.
Wherever you are in your blogging to community-building journey, think about the role you play as the blogger and how this blog could grow beyond just you in the future.
2. Ask questions to build community
A great way to build a blog community is to ask your readers questions at the end of every blog you write. Leave it open-ended and ask them to respond in the comments section.
This opens the door to conversation and allows your readers to chime in on the topic at hand.
From these interactions, you can develop that bond between you and your readers. But you can also create a sense of community among your readers.
They can interact with each other in the comments space, asking each other questions and having discussions around your topic.
You should also ask these types of open-ended questions in your email interactions with readers.
Anyone who subscribes to your newsletters has offered you the gift of direct contact through their inbox.
You definitely don’t want to abuse that privilege!
But do take that opportunity to interact with your audience. Finish your emails with a question, asking the recipient to hit reply and interact with you.
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And try to always respond when a reader writes to you. There might be times you get flooded with emails and it’s just overwhelming to get through the responses.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes.
If you value that relationship with your readers and the community you are building with them, then a quick response to show you care will be well-received. Even if it’s a few weeks later!
Allowing a two-way relationship changes the dynamic from writer-reader to fellow community members who all have a voice that matters.
3. Interact on social media
Whatever channels you and your audience use, make sure you interact! Social media isn’t meant to be one-sided.
You shouldn’t just be posting all your own content and never interacting or asking questions or generating conversation among your audience.
Use these social spaces to be social.
Take advantage of the many social platforms out there and go where your community likes to be.
Think of it this way…
The comments section of your blog is sort of like hanging out with your friends at home. But social media is like going out to parties and bars and restaurants to get together and have fun conversations.
You want both of these situations to happen if you want to build a blog community that’s strong and vibrant!
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4. Send regular emails to your blog community
Remember, if readers have gifted you their email addresses and direct access to their inboxes, you don’t want to waste that opportunity.
Get in there and start conversations!
Regular email interaction keeps you top of mind as they see your name pop into their inboxes regularly.
It also continues to offer your audience a specific space where they can directly reply and interact with you!
Send regular emails that are helpful or insightful.
Whatever your blog topic might be, these readers have specifically requested more of it by giving you their email addresses.
So, don’t be shy. Send them more of what they want!
Think of this part as the way you keep in touch with close friends. If you want to build a community around your blog, then you need to treat your readers like you would treat your friends.
Keep in touch, ask how they are, share personal insights, and make sure this is a two-way street. You don’t want to ignore them for months on end and then expect them to be waiting when you finally show up again.
5. Grow the community beyond your blog
Building a community around your blog inevitably means you will also outgrow the blog itself.
If you successfully create and grow this community, then the folks inside that community will want more from you.
This is where your entrepreneurship skills should kick in!
Building your blog into a business gives you the opportunity to get creative and to build your brand.
If you created a strong community, then you should know — or be able to ask — what your community wants to see next.
Is it products? Services? Events? What do they desperately want or need that you can provide? What else — besides written blogs — do they want to consume around your topic?
A strong blog community always leads into other projects. This is your time to grow from Me to We!
Watch Wanderful Founder and CEO Beth Santos talk about growing from Me to We on Facebook
6. Let go of holding all the control
This is a tough one for many bloggers. But, as your blog community grows and demands more from you, you’ll have to let go of all the control.
You’ll need help.
And that’s okay!
Bring people on board to help you grow this community and reach its full potential. That means you’ll need to trust others to get behind-the-scenes of your blog baby, which can be scary! But it’s the only way to grow your community and to build your business.
No one succeeds alone.
It’s okay to let go a little bit and let that growth happen!
This could look like adding admins to your Facebook group to help moderate and continue conversations. It might look like adding writers or editors to your blog to keep content flowing and to regularly update and optimize older content.
You might consider getting a Virtual Assistant (VA) to handle your emails or to help you with Pinterest.
You want to have a good grasp of your own skills at this stage. Whatever you don’t excel at, find someone else who does and outsource the work.
It’s a great idea to take a leadership assessment, if possible. This will highlight how you work and how you communicate so you can better hire help to suit your needs and goals.
It’s ideal to work with people who think differently than you do! This strengthens your business and offers you more opportunities to grow your blog community overall.
Building Your Community Beyond the Blog
So what are some options for building your blog community outside of your blog content? We talked about products or services, maybe events…
The key here is knowing your community. What do they want and need?
If you don’t already know, now is the time to ask.
Find out what they’re eager to learn or do. Get their suggestions, poll their interests, and make sure you listen more than you talk.
If you don’t listen, you might end up creating the thing you want to create, but your community isn’t receiving it well.
Don’t waste your time and energy. But, more importantly, don’t ignore the beautiful community you’ve built!
Consider the type of content you’re already creating and the popular posts your community loves.
- Would these topics suit a course? Would your audience pay for a course on that topic?
- How about coaching or consulting services?
- What about a private membership where paid members get insider access to different content?
- How about events or trips? Would your community gather in person somewhere?
These are all considerations that can help you expand your blog community past the written content and into the next stage of community growth.
Growing Your Team, Going from Me to We
As you consider these options, make sure you remember the opportunity to scale.
Now it’s time to bring more people on board to help grow your blog community and to build a business that’s bigger than you!
This can be a scary part because you need to hire and trust other people to help you.
At this point, it’s important to think of your blog as a business. Like we mentioned earlier, understand your strengths and weaknesses and try to bring people on board who think differently than you do!
Grow your blog team
There’s a saying that you should keep in mind: “A freelancer makes their money while they’re awake; an entrepreneur makes money while they sleep.”
But, the thing is, creators are actually somewhere in the middle of that!
That’s because it’s easier than ever before to outsource small tasks without having to hire a full-time team.
You can hire part-time freelancers or contractors without having to build a full-time staff. Plus, automation and technology make it so easy to do more with less effort!
Throughout this growth stage, you really want to keep in mind the potential to grow this community and to continue to scale it.
Part of that means considering your own life. The topic of your blog might not be able to transition along with you in your life.
And you should also consider the option of this business being able to continue with you entirely. Can it survive you? Do you want it to be able to continue no matter what happens in your life?
If you do, then you need to build your community alongside building your team. That team will be able to keep things running without you.
Building a blog community and building that blog into a business means you can walk away at some point, knowing that the community is strong enough to continue on its own.
Building your team offers you the option to focus your efforts on a new project. You could even sell this business at some point! Or you can stay at the helm because you love it so much.
At least, after you’ve built a blog community this strong, you have the option to choose.
The Wanderful Blog to Community Story
All of this insight comes from Wanderful’s own story.
Did you know this global community with 50 chapters around the world started as a simple blog?
Back in 2009, the precursor to the Wanderful blog was born in the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe.
From that beginning stage of writing about personal experiences in travel as a woman, the Wanderful community grew in strength and numbers.
By 2014 the first WITS conference happened, bringing together 200 women travel creators in Chicago to learn, network, and share in this community growth.
And, by 2020, Wanderful’s paid membership included two types: Travelers and Creators. By serving both audiences and growing both parts of this community, Wanderful has grown beyond the blog, and from Me to We.
Our goal is to help more women travel the world by connecting them with each other. Our dream is to land in any airport, in any city, and have a local contact who can share insights and offer tips.
This global network exists because we built a blog community around a simple idea: Women’s travel is not a niche.
Women who travel need more content for inspiration, we deserve more equitable representation in the travel industry, and we love having a supportive community of sisterhood around the world.
So, how will you build your blog community?
If you’re ready to build your own community and to grow your blog from Me to We, how will you do it? What steps will you take?
Start by asking questions and interacting. Send those emails!
And make sure you connect with like-minded creators and entrepreneurs who can inspire you and encourage you. Accountability is so helpful when you’re building a business on your own.
If you’re in the travel blogging world, you can find that inspiration, education, and support in the Wanderful Creator community.
Come join us! We’d love to help you build your own community.
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