Do you ever feel like a lonely blogger lost in the dark woods of the Internet?
That’s how I felt when I first started out – alone and scared.
Every time I pushed “Publish” on a new post, I hoped that at least one of my Facebook friends (other than my mom) would be interested enough to read it.
I spent all this time pouring my heart out in my blog, only to be met with a few blog comments, mainly from my mom and her friends.
After a few weeks, the pleasure of writing gave way to the pain of not feeling seen or acknowledged.
Since I wasn’t in contact with other bloggers, I didn’t know that it takes time to get loyal readers. I didn’t have anyone to turn to when blogging got hard.
I dropped that first blog after a few months.
Now, I have the support I need to keep blogging every week. I have an accountability partner who really listens to me every week and gives me great ideas for moving forward. I have a mastermind group who share similar struggles and who give me strength. I know how to connect with my readers to better understand which posts help them the most. And I have a blogging mentor who feeds my creative fire and helps me see the path going forward.
I no longer feel alone in the woods. Instead, I feel like I’m at a party surrounded by people I trust. And it’s made all the difference.
1. Get an accountability partner.
I’ve written before about my accountability partner, Josh. We talk on the phone every single week, touch base about what we’re working on in our blogs and our businesses, and keep each other on track.
Having someone to check in with on a regular basis is a great way to motivate yourself to actually do the work. It also transforms the blogging process from a lonely trek up a mountain to a walk on the beach with a friend. It starts to feel enjoyable.
If you want an accountability partner, there are so many places to find them. Facebook groups, Meetup groups, Twitter, and conferences are all great places to find accountability partners.
I think the most important thing is to know you want one, and then he or she will appear.
2. Join a mastermind group.
Every time I talk to my mastermind group, I leave with tons of ideas. I also leave with the knowledge that I’m not alone – that we’re all working on our stuff in different ways, but also having similar experiences.
There are 5 of us in the group, and we meet every 2 months. We each get a turn to share what’s going on with us and to get feedback on our businesses. But I find that I learn just as much from talking about other people’s issues as I do about my own.
You can create your own mastermind group by making a framework for what you want it to look like and then reaching out to business owners or bloggers that you respect and asking them to join your group.
Just last week, someone in one of my Facebook groups put out a group message asking if anyone would be interested in joining her in a mastermind group. Over 10 people responded.
You can also join paid mastermind groups as part of many courses. Both options will give you the insights and the connections to feel energized in your blogging journey.
3. Join a blogging community and participate.
There are SO many blogging communities out there right now, from Facebook groups, to sites like Fizzle.co. You just have to decide you need a community and then go out and see what’s out there.
The key is to participate.
Respond to other people’s questions if you can help. Ask your own questions when you need feedback. Celebrate when people share their blogging wins. Empathize when they share a struggle.
Being part of a blogging community and really CONNECTING with that community gives me so much strength to keep going. Try it. You won’t be sorry.
4. Connect with your blog readers (or potential readers).
A great benefit of blogging communities is that some of your potential readers are probably in there. And they WANT to tell you how you can help them.
Ask them what they’re struggling with most. Give them a survey to fill out so you can get to know them better. Offer to give them free advice over Skype for 15 minutes. These are all amazing ways to find blog topics that people actually care about.
Also, when people reach out and share your stuff, or comment on your blog, be sure to respond every time. Thank them for sharing, ask them a question, and follow them on Twitter or Pinterest. That’s how you start to gather a tribe.
5. Find a blogging mentor.
If you’re impressed with someone’s blog, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask them questions about how they’ve become a successful blogger.
See if they’re willing to chat with you on the phone and answer your questions, or to do an interview that you can publish on your blog.
If you want to mentor with a higher level blogger, you may have to pay. But it may just be worth it. Because learning from someone further on the path than you will help you cut out a lot of mistakes along the way.
Plus you may be able to build relationships with others in their network of bloggers as well.
I’ve recently connected with Sue Anne Dunlevie of Successful Blogging. Talking to her has been so inspiring for me, because she knows shortcuts for getting more blog traffic and building relationships with higher level bloggers. Because she is further down the blogging path, she can show me how to move forward.
Do you feel supported on your blogging journey? If not, reach out. Your blog supporters are just an internet connection away.