Two heads (or three, or four, or a dozen) are better than one! Find friendship and feedback in a blogging community.
Did you know? Bloggers who participate in group blogs and blogging communities blog for longer periods of time than those who go it completely alone. After analyzing the history of thousands of blogs, our data wizards concluded: “People who write in groups are more likely to keep writing.”
While it’s easy to focus only on our own blogs and what we want to create, paying attention to the social aspects of blogging has myriad benefits — it’s an excellent way to get constructive feedback on your work, technical help, and stretch yourself as a writer (or photographer, or sketcher, or poet, or…). And being social generates friendships and views, which don’t hurt either!
Here are a few of our favorite ways to get involved with a supportive blogging community.
Home-grown help: The Blogging Meetup
Folks who participate in Blogging U. often find themselves eager to keep in touch with other bloggers taking the same course. A group of Blogging 101 alums took matters into their own hands and created The Blogging Meetup: a group site for anyone who thinks blogging is more fun when done with friends.
A community chat area gives members a place to ask one another for support, whether creative or technical, and share new posts. Weekly blogging events make it easy for participants to get involved and find new reads and new fans. The community also highlights different members’ blogs each week, which brings a nice readership boost to each blogger.
You can browse the site, follow along on their Facebook page and Twitter feed, or head to their registration page to let them know you’re interested in joining the fun — previous Blogging U. participation isn’t required.
Special interests (the good kind)
If you’re interested in connecting with people around specific topics, there’s no shortage of special interest blogging groups, on WordPress.com and beyond. Some googling will turn up countless groups, and here are a few of our favorites:
If you’d like some peer support but don’t want to join these (or any other) group, the Community Pool — a place to give and get feedback on any aspect of blogging — is here for you! A new thread opens every Monday.
- Canvas of the Minds: a group of folks blogging about all aspects of mental illness, supporting one another both in blogging and health.
- Cee’s Photo Challenges: a variety of themed weekly photo challenges, giving an easy in to photographers of all levels.
- Friday Fictioneers: this micro-fiction challenge — 100 words or less! — has been going strong for four years, and has a dedicated group of supportive participants.
- Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: hundreds of writers converge on Chuck’s site for semi-regular writing challenges. Here’s the latest installment.
- #weekendcoffeeshare: we recently highlighted this fluid community of bloggers who post weekly “coffee dates” — a lovely way to publish more intimate posts and get to know other bloggers more deeply.
And of course, you can take a look at our Community Event Listings to look for groups that are up your alley. We just cleaned ’em up to purge defunct events, so you’re more likely to find active events.
Create your own group
If there’s no existing group that floats your boat, or you already have a group of regular readers and commenters that you’d like to work with, make your own group! Create a new blog, invite your co-bloggers as users, et voilà, you’ve got your own little network.
For group collaboration, we love the P2 theme and its ability to let site members post directly from the home page; it’s what the The Blogging Meetup uses, and what we use to collaborate internally at WordPress.com. But you can create a group blog with any theme you love.
Part of a great group? Please share! Or connect with others in the comments, and create something new.