This month’s guest blogger for The Blogging Life went missing on me. Since I intended that this be a monthly feature, I needed to step in and write the November post. Perhaps, when I figure out how to effectively utilize guest bloggers, I will write a post on the ins and outs of guest blogging. In the meantime, if you are interested in writing a guest post or have a topic you want to suggest for The Blogging Life please fill out the contact form at the end of this post.
This month’s topic is community events also known as blogging events – the who, what, when, why and how of participating in these events. Or as I call it, The Five W’s of Community Blogging Events.
“Who has time for an event?”
“I barely have time to breathe. After I publish one post, I’m struggling to come up with an idea for my next post.”
“And then I need to figure out how to gain followers. I only have twelve followers and ten of them are friends or family.”
I had a litany of reasons I couldn’t take the time to participate in community blogging events until I realized that by participating I could actual alleviate some of the obstacles and issues I was facing.
Who participates in community blogging events?
Bloggers, the blogging community, blogging platforms like WordPress.
What is a community blogging event?
Challenges, theme based writing and blogging (photos, quotes) events hosted by other bloggers or blogging platforms like WordPress.
Some examples of community blogging events:
A weekly prompt posted by Ronovan Writes on a Monday and closed on a Sunday with a follow-up post on the week’s contributions.
Ronovan hosts several blogging events, check the others out while you are visiting his blog.
A weekly blogging event that encourages bloggers to share quotes by writers. Some use the quote they’ve shared as a writing prompt, others provide information about the person quoted and others simply share the quote. All are acceptable. The link-up post is published on Wednesdays and a weekly roundup of the quotes is published the following Tuesday.
A weekly photo challenge run by Trablogger that challenges bloggers to find the beauty in the ordinary and post a photo that captures it.
A weekly themed challenge of miniature proportions run by An Artist at Heart. Writers are asked to submit entries in one of three categories: Mini Short Story (50 – 150 words); Tiny Poem; or Haiku (3 lines, 17 syllables).
A weekly link-up for coffee share posts facilitated by Part-Time Monster. I have only recently started writing coffee share posts and am finding them to be an effective way to communicate within my WordPress community.
When are the events held?
The schedule for community blogging events is as varied as the events themselves. There are daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and even one time events. The details on the schedules will be found on the site for the blogger hosting the event. Another resource is the WordPress Community Events page.
How do I participate – are there rules? How often do I have to participate in an event if I decide to join in on an event?
Each event has different rules/guidelines. I find most to be very flexible. You can find details on the event’s guidelines on the site for the blogger hosting the event. Also refer to the WordPress Community Events page.
How often you participate is entirely up to you – if an event is hosted weekly and you only want to participate every other week go for it. Your blog, your rules.
Why should I participate in community blogging events? What are the benefits to participating in these events?
I have found that the same reasons I was hesitant to participate in community blogging events are the reasons I should actually make the time to participate in the events and challenges.
Struggling to come up with an idea for a post? There are hundreds of events listed on the WordPress Community Events page. One of the prompts or challenges is bound to get your creative juices flowing.
I have started saving prompts and challenges that I wasn’t able to participate in when they were running as a well of ideas for when I don’t know what I am going to write next.
Worried about your stats, increasing your views and followers? Automatically by participating in some challenges or events you get traffic to your blog from people who might not have stumbled upon your blog otherwise.
The more you participate and reciprocate the visits to your blog, the bigger group of followers you develop.
There are bloggers who participate in multiple community blogging events in a week some even multiple per day. By visiting the blogs of other bloggers participating in events that you are, you will find a resource about other events you may want to join.
Did I mention that participating in community blogging events drives traffic to your blog? I thought I did. It really does. I am a sporadic event participant. I jump in and out of events, participating once or twice. This mostly works for me and connects me to bloggers I would not have found or been found by otherwise. That in itself is a plus.
I would recommend more active participation in at least one event. There is one event, Silver Threading’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday, that I have been fairly consistent with participating in sometimes weekly, sometimes every other week. Participating in that event has resulted in a definite increase in traffic to my blog, followers and a community of bloggers I would not have connected to otherwise. How do I know this is true? Whenever I look at my WordPress stats page Silver Threading is in the top five referrers to my blog – Silver’s blog is right up there with WordPress Reader, Facebook, Twitter and Google searches in driving traffic to my blog. Thanks, Colleen!
Images courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.