As a blogger and freelancer, I kind of rely on other people to support me. I’m pretty happy to say that, from day one, I feel like I’ve been pretty supportive of other bloggers.
Recently, I’ve really felt the need to pay it forward even more. I’ve been thinking of different ways that others’ might appreciate my support.
Vix Meldrew tweeted a little thread the other day about the lack of real engagement and community going on with bloggers at the moment and I completely agreed.
Think about what bloggers and freelancers, in general, are looking for. Views and followers, yes. Sponsorship and exposure, maybe. Genuine interaction, engagement, interest in their content, definitely.
So, with that in mind, here are some ways in which I think we could all support each other more.
You would really love it if people took the time to read your carefully constructed blog post, right? It’s disheartening when you feel you’re onto a winner, you’re in love with a post you’ve written and, sometimes, you’ve poured your heart out. And nobody comments. Your bounce rate rockets, and it can feel like you’re talking to yourself.
If you want people to read and take the time to comment meaningfully and insightfully on your posts, the least you can do is take the time to do the same for them.
I’ve started scheduling time every day to check out new posts on Bloglovin and my Twitter lists. Most of the time I get the odd comment back but, more than that, I’ve seen people come back to read my newer posts, too. This is one of the ways you can build community as a blogger.
Bit of shameless self-promotion here. I started this hashtag on Twitter as a way to reflect on what I was reading that week. I choose a post each week that has had the most impact on me. Whether that’s because I really related to it, I appreciate the sentiment behind it, or I just found it really useful.
I share it on Twitter every Sunday, tag the author, and explain why I loved it. It’d be fab if others would join in on this, so we can all follow the hashtag and find some like-minded bloggers.
I also think I’m more likely to click through to content if I already know something about why I might like it. So, rather than “read this, it’s great and she’s lovely”, try “you’ll really love this new style post from @PERSON if you’re petite & looking for flattering & affordable spring dresses”. Ya know?
Everyone loves an Insta story shout out, or an RT. It’s a good way to give a little nod to another blogger or freelancer and say “hey, I appreciate the work you’ve done here”.
I think this works particularly well with Instagram, because people can actually see a quick representation of that person’s content and decide if they’d also like to follow.
Twitter RTs are really helpful especially when sharing someone else’s content in response to a query. Say you have someone on your feed looking for places to eat in Manchester, and you know of someone who has written such a post, you link them up and be a matchmaker.
Buy their stuff
Freelancers and small business owners work super hard to create value for their clients and customers. Simple things like buying a birthday card from someone’s Etsy could make their day.
I’m in the process of taking some clients online and, oh my gosh I would love it if people would support me if they feel they could use my services. So, you better believe I do the same.
If I need a blog audit, you’re damn right I’m gonna go to Jasmin Charlotte because she’s provided me a ton of value previously through her SEO and Pinterest courses. For free, I might add. There are people in my social networks like Cat, Holly and Julia, who all offer incredibly useful services in areas where I don’t necessarily excel.
There are so many freelancers offering their skills and expertise. We should really take advantage of that if and when we can. In some cases, you’re literally keeping their dream alive by helping them do what they love. I’m making a real conscious effort to use small businesses rather than big brands.
This is something I’m so keen on. If you are buying something, or planning to, send a quick tweet or request on Insta for someone’s affiliate link.
Many bloggers do product reviews, gift guides, edits, round-ups, place banner ads, and have shop sections. You may feel inspired to buy a specific product they’ve mentioned. In which case, you should definitely use their link. Even if you’re just shopping with a particular retailer anyway, all it takes is a click through the link on a blogger’s site and you can go about your business buying whatever you like.
It is no extra effort or cost to you, you still get your stuff, and they will earn some pennies. Literally pennies. It’s not like they’re going to profit so much from your mascara purchase that they can trot off to the Maldives. Most bloggers would barely be able to purchase a flat white with the money they make through affiliate marketing, but every little helps. I just don’t understand any objections to using affiliate links, so if anyone can enlighten me on that one, please do!
I’m making a real effort to remember to ask or search every time I buy online, now. I have blogs with affiliate links to my regular retailers saved in my bookmarks, instead of the retailer’s site, which makes it easier to remember.
Give up your email address
OK, I’m not suggesting you go and sign up for loads of newsletters and free downloads just to be supportive. But, if you like a blogger and regularly read their stuff, why not? Email is often the way bloggers engage most with their readers and you definitely want to be a part of that. Of course, don’t just sign up for stuff if you aren’t going to open it. Nobody wants a clogged inbox or crappy open rates.
Ask for their help
If you’re travelling to a new place, ask for tips. If you need a wedding guest outfit, find your fashion bloggers. I can’t count the times I’ve needed help with techy stuff and had a small influx of messages from lovely people bailing me out.
I don’t know a single blogger who wouldn’t be thrilled at the chance to have a chat to someone new and help them out.
When you’re scrolling through Twitter, and see a relatable tweet, don’t just think “me too”, say so!
Same on Instagram. Likes are wonderful, but I love it when someone comments because they related to the caption, or they have their own thoughts to share. I’m making a much bigger effort to do the same every day. If I can’t find anything to relate to after a while scrolling, I search hashtags or topics and find new people to follow.
If you make the effort to do even just one of these on a regular basis, you’ll make such a difference to someone. Chances are, you’ll see the benefits yourself, too. It’s really tough to run a blog or freelance venture sometimes, and why would we not want to make that easier for someone if we could?
I’m just going for less competitiveness, less bitterness, and more support and willingness to help people succeed if I can.