A few years ago, when I first heard the term “tribes” used to describe online publishers, I was repulsed by the idea for a couple of different reasons. One, just because someone has a brand, it does not mean they warrant a tribe. Secondly, I value community and input of several different perspectives, which you don’t necessarily always see in blogging tribes. However, after I read Seth Godin’s Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us and have indirectly started to cultivate my tribe, blogging tribes can be beneficial to your brand, but it is not something that will happen overnight.
What is a blogging niche?
A blogging tribe is a loyal audience that turns to you as a resource or inspiration; they read your content regularly, purchase your services and products, and promote your brand on their own social media channels. They turn to you for leadership. A blogging tribe is a third-party that legitimizes your brand amongst new visitors and spreads your content to others. Thus, growing your brand and business.
A quick Pinterest search of “blogging tribes” will give you tons of blog posts back on this topic. I’ve found that these resources are more in line with how to increase engagement rather than building a tribe. To create a community for your blog, you need to have two essential components – provide value and support to your readers and be a legitimate authority on the content you create.
How do you provide value?
I work under the assumption that people do not have a lot of time in their day-to-day. If they are making time to read my blog, it needs to be helpful and valuable. Otherwise, I’m wasting their time. I’ve come to this conclusion because this is how I also read blogs. I don’t follow blogs that do not provide me with any value. In order to determine what is valuable to your audience, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is your blog’s audience?
- Why do they care about this topic?
- How does this topic benefit my readers?
- Gut Check: Would I read about this if I was not writing about it?
It is imperative that you answer these questions with detail and thoroughly. I’ve found that the bloggers who struggle to grow their blog have not put enough thought into the core questions about their brand, its purpose, and its audience. Once you know your audience, it will be easier for you to provide support and value. You understand the needs of your audience, and brainstorming what tools or inspiration they could benefit from comes like second nature.
Teach to Empower
For most people, learning to do something is empowering. If your blog can teach someone something, not only do they associate your blog as being helpful but also with positive and rewarding sentiments. Your blog becomes something more than just a tool; it is about that person’s growth and development.
Value has many shapes and forms, and it is essential to diversify how you generate value for your tribe. Consider both free and premium resources. You want to offer opportunities to be personal with individual members of your tribe, whether this is answering questions in blog post comments or offering people email you with more specific issues, there are tons of ways you can foster engagement. At the core is valuable content.
Be an Honest Authority
If you know what you are writing about and provide value, people are going to comment that the content you create is honest. Why? Well, unfortunately, the Internet is filled with lots of fake, illegitmate content. With specific topics, it takes the time to realize that the person was wrong if you are a novice. I run into this issue a lot. It’s why I try to keep this blog content straightforward, and also point out some past problems I’ve run into with previous clients and customers.
I don’t like to sugarcoat anything. I don’t want someone to have unrealistic expectations. I can only provide so much help, guidance, and support. I firmly believe that success requires skill and hard work. From my experience, people value honesty. I’m not pessimistic, but I set realistic expectations for specific situations and timeframes. While it is probably the least popular marketing tool, it is beneficial in building trust amongst my tribe.
How are you an authority on a particular topic? Pretend that a potential reader is asking you this question. How would you answer it? How does your website convey your level of expertise? Do you include examples of your experience within different blog posts?
Blog Better Audit!
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Like this post? You might also find these two posts helpful: I Want You to Want Me and How to Create Better Blog Posts. Looking for more blogging tips? Check out these posts! If you have any questions about my premade themes or custom work, send me an email. This post was originally published on October 29, 2015, but it was updated in March 2018.
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