Birds of a Feather: Finding Your Online Community


It wasn't too long ago that I started blogging.

It's getting close to three years,
but really- that isn't much in "blog years."

When I jumped into blogging,
I thought I was late to the game...
but it seems that every day, 
 new bloggers are creating accounts,
picking out their blog titles, 
and trying to find their place in this (amazing) community.

And then after a few months 
they realize-
blogging is a bit harder than it looks.




At that point, people either quit
or email bloggers who are a bit more established 
asking how they grew their blog
and what advice they can pass on to a new blogger.

How do I know this?

Because not only does this happen to me now,
but it happened BY me when I was a new blogger... a lot.

I would email some HUGE bloggers,
chat to them like we were old chums (because I thought we should be),
and asking them how to make my blog bigger...
which now kinda makes me feel embarrassed.

(Sidenote: Though their kind correspondence taught me an invaluable lesson
in never being too cool for anyone... 
I mean, I was writing the BIG bloggers
and they were taking their precious time to write me back.)

Asking someone how to grow your blog
is a bit a loaded question
because it's a really simple answer
that is actually pretty complex to carry through.





All you need is, in theory, a unique voice & consistent posting...
but then after that, you need a community
and that's when I started to think about my blogging friends.

Most of the "friends" that I have in blogging 
are bloggers that I connected with early on in my blogging days.

As we all started to grow our own little sites,
we would read/comment/support each other
and they would do the same back for us.

Now after we have all grown
(in various directions and topics),
there remains a bond of loyalty
because we started together.

It feels like your friends from high school,
no matter how much you might have changed-
you know who they were "before" all of that
and you know that they like you for who you really are.

So, new bloggers, if you feel like you aren't connecting-
here is my advice for you:

Get to know people who have blogs that are in similar stages of your own.

Support them, cheer them on, make them a part of your daily routine...
and over time, you'll find that you will have a support network that does the same for you.

Who are some of the bloggers that you still have from your "early" days?

Some of my "oldest" friends are: 




Photography by the ridiculously talented, Aaron Snow.

44 comments:

  1. Lovely post, I too have my own mini support community, it's a strange new world indeed.

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  2. Great advice! I have just recently started thinking about "growing our blog" from the initial dream of just being an online journal of our expat adventures. I will take this to heart and start looking for some new, travel bloggers.
    Thanks! (also, I am so excited about your iceland blog! I am bookmarking it cause we are going there this coming June!)

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  3. Before BHW told me about your blog during our year in Oxford, I'm pretty sure I had never seen or read one before or even knew what a blog entailed...so you were my inspiration! x

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  4. disappointed i wasnt the first name on your list..but im going to let it slide because i like you.

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  5. It's sooo true. My bff bloggers are those who knew me from the beginning, who saw every awkward post (I call them puberty posts) but love me because of them. They are my real life friends also. I was once labeled on Twitter as "inner circle" and I laughed so hard. Me? Inner circle? But I do have a close knit of people who were there from the beginning. But I love that the circle is getting bigger with new and old bloggers.

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  6. Oh, this is so good and so true!! I can't tell you how many people I emailed and asked directions from! And yes, they are still my friends today even though my blog took a different turn of sorts…actually, I started a second one and that sort of took over…anyway, I can't believe I never asked you for advice! I always wanted to! Loved everything you said in this post and if you do have tips on how to grow your blog bigger…sure would love to hear them! Have a great Monday!

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  7. Another thing I think you have, and share in your posts, is positive, optimistic, happy energy! Also, congratulations on expecting twins! I'm so very happy for you and your husband. You will be wonderfully happy, loving parents.

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  8. Indeed, I think birds of a feather do flock together.
    Love knowing that I was one of the first bloggers to comment - feels like we are on the same branch.....miles apart.
    pve

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  9. Definitely all about the community - it makes bloggin worth it when you have people you can rely on the support your efforts and know that someone is reading!

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  10. Thanks for the great advice! i just started a blog a few months ago to document my journeys with my husband as an expat. right now its more of a way for family and friends to keep up with us, but i would love to meet others who are going through the same thing!

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  11. I had my blog for a good two years before I discovered "Blogland". It was more of a way for family and friends to follow our lives/travels while we lived in England. Before I fully discovered all that was out there in blogging, though, I was googling tips for something- Venice, perhaps? and I found a pleasant, well-written little site called "Aspiring Kennedy", which became the first blog in my Blogger feed that I didn't personally know the blogger...!
    Great post, also!

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  12. It all makes sense to me, thanks for sharing those tips!
    I'm new at blogging but have been a blog reader for a while now and can totally see what a great community it's out there.
    I wanted to be part of that and then reading other's blogs wasn't enough anymore. So I created my own, where I share my life in Brazil.
    xo
    Camila.
    www.camilagcarneiro.blogspot.com.br

    p.s.: New bloggers out there do come and visit! I'll follow back ;)

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  13. This is such a sweet little piece of blogging advice. I do, indeed, love the little blogging community at I feel a part of. The girls I chat with consistently are so very amazing, I would love love love to know who e "big bloggers" are you emailed. I can hardly imagine the early aspiring Kennedy. ; )

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  14. Lovely post, and cute pictures! So true too!

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  15. You always give the best advice, which is why I always email you :) Happy to call you a blogging friend!

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  16. I have been blogging for about 2 years now, and I love watching my blog grow. And, I also emailed some of those big bloggers not knowing just what I was getting into ;) I am looking forward to checking out your old blogging friends!

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  17. Blogging is kind of like online dating...except it's online friend making. I think people who have really fabulous blogs are those who don't try so hard. I think the age old saying of "write what you know" is always great advice! And YOURS, my favorite expat, will always be one of my favorites. (And P.S.-your my old "chum" as well...at least I think you should be...in that non creepy, weirdo kind of way!! Hahaha. I'm still depending on you for my Kate Middleton sitings...no pressure) :)

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  18. This is the sweetest thing ever. I can't wait to see who some of your oldest bloggy friends are. I love seeing how different people have grown and see who was there for them when they started!

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  19. Wonderful advice, from a wonderful blogger. FACT!

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  20. Thanks for this post, Lauren. Certainly a whole different kind of community. Any suggestion on narrowing down "similar" blogs (like a forum of some sort)?

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  21. Wonderful post! This is what I am currently doing to try to grow my own blog. Finding people in the same stage as me, has been incredibly helpful!

    Xo-L
    simplylowcountry.blogspot.com

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  23. Great timing for this post, this is something I'm definitely working on so thank you :)

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  24. great advice! you are definitely one of those "big" bloggers to me :) keep the great work going!!

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  25. Fabulous advice, I completely agree. So glad that you're one of my old blog friends. I believe Megan calls it a BLFF : )

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  26. Awwww Ash and Anna are two of my fave oklahoma started ones. :)

    xx
    Carissa

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  27. Wonderful post Lauren! Thank you so much for the great advice. I am still Trying to find my little community on this here blog world. Love your blog and your heart and I appreciate your sweet encouragement to all us new bloggers :) xox

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  28. Such great advice! Thank you :-)

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  29. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!This is a great advice!!!
    ;)

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  30. when i first started over four years ago i had no idea there was such a community of blogger support! only in the last two years have i really reached out and formed some amazing friendships! (truth: blogging turned real life friends are insane. it feels like you've known them forever!) so glad to include you in my list of best blogging pals. :)

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  31. Loved reading your perspective on the topic. Thanks for that!

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  32. I think this is spot on advice. :)

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  33. Oh yummy, now I must know who these HUGE bloggers were that you were emailing! I totally did the same thing, and get the same emails from others now. Such great advice, and I'm so thrilled to be on your short list...I totally feel the same way. Sometimes it makes me feel a little cliquey to reference the same bloggers time and again, but really, they are the ones I connected with early on, and who I've 'grown' with. It's not that there isn't room for more, there's just less time and life space! xoxo

    ps -- just think, this time next year you'll have two little goblins to take house to house (in stroller, but still!)

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  34. Thank you for this post & advice!! I'm a newcomer too! I think your advice will help me! :)

    Caroline

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  35. Love this and it couldn't be more true! Great reminders! :)

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  36. Thank you so much for this advice! I have been a blog reader for a couple years now and just started my very own travel blog, which I must say is a lot of work! I love your advice!

    And if anyone is interested in reading more of my blog come visit at: www.pinmytravels.com/blog

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  37. Great advice, Lauren! I still remember emailing my first blogger- Emily of Emily A Clark. I got the sweetest reply! After being at this for 2 years, I've loved to reply to others who email me about the same thing. Blogging is so, so fun and rewarding (and hard work-- you're right!) The best part are all the friendships. I love my blog girlfriends so much- in fact, I just had dinner and drinks with Courtney of A Thoughtful Place and chatted with Michelle of Ten June tonight as well! Thank God for blogging :)

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  38. This makes me laugh because I did exactly the same thing in regards to shooting off emails to really established bloggers. I always thought it was my own embarrassing little secret - I'm encouraged to know I'm not the only one. Just discovered your blog! Love it!

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  39. This has to be the biggest gap between a post and a comment ever, but I've only just discovered your blog and just wanted to day great advice!! I've only just started out and it's so hard knowing where to start when trying to build a community. I feel like I'm talking to myself most of the time :)

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