About a year ago I decided I needed to surround myself with like-minded bloggers. I needed to have others to encourage, inspire, and motivate me. I wanted to return the favor. Give and take.
I wanted to know I wasn’t alone while trying to find my place.
When your readership is low and your comments are somewhere in the basement – you don’t know if you are where you should be. If everyone gave up at this point, well, we wouldn’t be reading blogs and exploring social media.
There would be no blogosphere.
We all start out at zero. How we get to hundreds, thousands, and even millions is because of you. And you. And you.
How do I find you? How do I strive to go for one more day? How do I get promoted? Encouraged? How do I know my ideas aren’t ridiculous? Who do I ask if I think, maybe, my next series is going to be sorely received by my current niche? Who do I show my next eBook cover to – so they can advise me on my color palette?
Who do I bounce ideas off of? My mastermind group. My community.
Once I realized I needed a mastermind group, I figured I
could should wait for someone to invite me to theirs.
Then I realized: that is not my style. And I highly recommend you stop waiting around, too.
Take the reigns. Build your group. Own your community. Here are six ways to do just that.
- Start at the ground and build a strong foundation – one member at a time. Make sure you have enough in common that you accurately encourage one another. Your niche doesn’t have to be exactly the same, but it should be complimentary. I would recommend starting with no more than 7-8 people. You want to develop strong relationships, and a system for operating, before growing.
- Do not be afraid to ask bigger, more experienced bloggers. Chances are, they are looking for community, too. Worst thing that can happen? They say no. Just go with it and move on to the next.
- Let your community start with two and with each new addition, decide together. You avoid other members not liking who you have picked. You keep from ruling the group (you want to be equals!) and you avoid hurt feelings because a person’s suggestion wasn’t even considered. Any of these could keep your group from working as well as it could have. This shared invitation process also slows down the search. You don’t want to build this group overnight. You want to put
thoughtprayer into it. You will be with this group for a while. You are selecting a group that you will potentially be judged by. Who are you keeping company with? You want to make sure you know.
- Find a forum, aside from email, where you can get your ideas, plans, community projects and encouragement all in one area. I recommend a Facebook group (set it to “secret”!) or Skype (for face-to-face time). Avoid email. People get left off (accidentally) and feelings will get hurt. Keep it all out in the open.
- Grow with your group (or let your group grow). It is not static. If you grow out of your group and wander down a different path, you won’t benefit, and it will just suck the life out of your social efforts. You need to maximize your social media and sharing time – not squander it. Feel free to leave (even if you are the one who started it!). Or if someone else leaves, invite a new blogger to step in.
- Set up a sharing plan. You want to have a common goal. It may be as obvious as: “grow your blog.” It may be to expand reach on Facebook. Perhaps it is to write books together. Regardless, you will be pushing each other’s products (give more than you receive). If you always push the same 5 people, people may start to zone out when they see “Check out this awesome post from “oneofmyfavoriteblogs.com.” Instead, come up with ways to promote that keep things fresh! Here are a few ideas:
- Have a rotating ad exchange program. (Swap 125×125 buttons) Speaking of, grab ours to share! It is on the sidebar!
- Plug a specific person in your group on a set day each week.
- Guest post on each others blog. Is one of your friend’s blogs similar to yours, but their audience is geared more to something you love but don’t get to write about often? Write it! When you hand pick your group, you can keep in mind their writing styles and decide if you would be a good fit for guest posts on their blog, and vice versa.
- Share on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest anytime an article really moves you. If it really inspires you, it will likely inspire your readers.
Get connected. Get rooted. Don’t get lost in the crowd. And don’t wait for your group to come knocking on your door!
If you haven’t started a Mastermind group yet, what has been your biggest deterrent?
Shared with Miscellany Monday and The Prairie Homestead, What Joy is Mine, A Holy Experience, Making Your Home Sing, Domestically Divine, On Your Heart Tuesday, Growing Home Blog, Titus 2sdays, New Life Steward, Women Living Well, We are THAT Family