Thank you, Danny Iny (@DannyIny on Twitter), for linking to my blog so I would see your guest post on Danny Brown’s excellent Social Marketing blog about Commenting Communities. (Follow @DannyBrown on Twitter.) Danny Iny offers a Marketing Training program on his Firepole Marketing Blog.
I look at every incoming link and when they are of high quality – and especially when they are on a blog I read regularly – I will usually want to contribute to the discussion and share that post across social networks.
What those of us who love CommentLuv and regularly comment on each others’ blogs (at least when we can make the time) do and what this post suggests are vastly different. We do not “require” anyone to comment anywhere. We simply have blogs we regularly read and share and when we have something to contribute we comment.
What we have are informal COLLABORATING communities.
When I talk of collaborating what I mean is that bloggers should be aware of other quality bloggers in their own niche, join in discussions that are pertinent to their experience, and then share those posts and discussions with those they interact with on social media.
I do NOT recommend any contrived systems
that mandate who has to comment where and how often.
When we comment or link it should be because
we have something relevant to contribute.
I do not believe we need to create fire-walled communities. I DO believe niche blogging communities are growing in importance. I encourage bloggers to read what people such as Heather Stephens (@StephensHeather on Twitter) who has extensive experience to share regarding commenting tribes.
The primary difference between what we do and what most tribes and groups require is the REQUIRING part. We do what we can do as much as we can when we can and we don’t worry about whether others are or are not “doing their fair share”. I understand the desire to make sure others are contributing; I just do not feel a need to control what others are doing.
Do you REALLY want to kick out your best collaborators because they are too busy to ALWAYS do x, y or z but when the are more available they are wonderful? Life gets in the way. Many are dealing with health issues and emergencies – their own and others – and the frequency of those is going to continue to escalate.
All we need is for bloggers to do is this:
Identify the blogs that are most related to your own
Focus most of your time reading, commenting
and sharing those specific blogs.
Up until now, most bloggers’ audiences have been other bloggers and they have written about how to blog, how to use social media, how to monetize your blog, affiliate marketing strategies and so on.
Now what bloggers need to do is take the skills they have collectively learned and apply those to creating a better world. IMHO, the best way to do that is to create a group blog for a specific geographic area that targets a specific very large niche but does not exclude other topics.
I particularly like the home improvement or home and garden niche
because it is so large, is a regular part of most people’s lives
and encompasses so many small businesses.
- Dallas Fort Worth Home Improvement (one I am creating here on GrowMap – and if anyone else is doing the same please connect with me)
- Los Angeles Home and Garden
- Chicago Home Improvement – a Chicago paper had a great blog on this but today even after multiple searches I can not find it. I’ll add it when I do.
Note that bloggers can select the geographic area that best fits their local area. Texas is a good example, because we have different areas based on how far it is to a major city:
- Austin, Texas Metro
- Waco / Temple / Killeen (and surrounding rural areas)
- DFW (Dallas Fort Worth and surrounding counties)
- Florida – you pick the area that fits
- New York State or New York City or New York Metro – only someone in New York will know what you call the greater New York area
Bloggers need to be aware of how people find what they need to buy.
Those who live in small towns buy some things local and generally travel to the closest large city to buy other things. The target audience of small businesses around you is NOT just the people in that large city – it is all the people for whom that is the closest place to physically shop.
I am also encouraging bloggers to create blogs for their communities.
I chose that specific city because they are one of the few
still thriving small towns.
We need to find and promote the survival of small communities
and create new ones wherever we are.
They will be key to improving the quality of life and ensuring adequate healthy food is available for those who live in each area. I want to leave you with this infographic that clearly illustrates a point I’ve been trying to get across to everyone I interact with: When you buy local you keep money and prosperity circulating for everyone versus having that money hoarded by the few offshore.
As you can see from the infographic:
Buying locally keeps $73 of every $100 in circulation
versus only $43 of dollars spent in non-locally owned stores
which includes corporate big box stores.
As we strengthen our local communities and encourage small businesses to source more of what they sell closer to home even more prosperity will stay and support local giving and public services – making your city and county one of the few not having a fiscal meltdown.
Bloggers are called to make a difference by taking their knowledge, internalizing it as wisdom, and then facilitating the spread of what needs to be done across large areas. I am here to assist any blogger, business, organization or community who asks regardless of ability to pay. (In other words, do not allow not having money to spend or a current budget to keep you from contacting me.)
Read more about how creating Group Geo-Targeted Niche Blogs positions your blog where the money is so that by supporting your local businesses and communities you can also make an income you can live on.
Are you a local business? Find out how GrowMap can assist you.