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Community VS Taking Advantage

embracing and expdancing the blogging community

The blogging community is full of such wonderful people and opportunities, but there are always the things that will attempt to bring you down. It could be missed opportunities, slower traffic, other bloggers, and anything in-between. The key is recognizing those problems, finding a solution and becoming the best you can be in the blogging community. The first step to that is to realize that you in-fact want to be involved in the community. That is one of my favorite things about blogging, there is a strong sense of community wherever you turn, but there are also some things out there to make you feel alone in a wide open space like this.

If someone asks you if you want the good news or the bad news first, what do you say? I typically go for the bad news because I like to end with the good news, so that is what’s happening today. Let’s get into the nitty gritty of realizing that you are being taken advantage of in a space like the blog world, and then I will talk about to to realize this community is like no other.

There are a few cases of taking advantage that I have recently noticed. Sometimes, they just need to be brought up because it may not happen on purpose, but it also shouldn’t become a habit. An example of this I have personally experienced is when a large company recently reached out to me about a post. They had a lot of things they wanted me to share on my blog about them, yet when I responded with pricing (after a few email correspondents) they replied with

“I didn’t realize you required compensation for your work”

…literally they said that. I was shocked!

I talked to Dave about this and he said it is a very common thing in the graphic design world as well. Large companies will reach out to designers and hold a “competition” for a new logo, then once they have 500 logos to choose from, the winner doesn’t even get credit or payment. For example, if a big company needs a new logo, they receive hundreds, maybe thousands of designs, then chose one and change their branding, where do you get credit? Your name isn’t going under their logo, so you only have that for your portfolio. I think this is majorly taking advantage. A blogger or designer shouldn’t be requested to give away their hard work for free, especially for larger companies that only want work done for the heck of it. Our work should be valued and those large companies can help to set the standard.

Another thing brands tend to offer is social media exposure. If there is a large brand asking you for the post and all they are offering is exposure, I suggest you decline. Think about it, if this is a large company, they have social media policies. There are likely a few people that need to see the post and agree on it in order for it to be shared. Most of the time, you won’t get the promotion you were expecting. For example, I once did a post for a smaller brand and they even needed to run it by three, yes THREE different people. It took 2 days for that post to be shared.

This post on Dianne J is a great example of this in the food blogging niche. Large websites are taking photos, ingredients and recipes straight from other bloggers and calling it fair. They gain thousands of followers, views and comments from only pulling in other peoples work. Another post by Will Wheaton about turning down Huffington Post when they asked to reproduce a blog post of his for guess what…FREE…is also a good read. We are all worth something, and when we are offered nothing, it hurts the rest of us.

Courtney recently posted her thoughts on why bloggers should always ask for compensation for their blog, and if you can’t tell I am FULLY on board with what she is saying! It’s a great read, and I highly recommend going through her list if you are struggling with asking for compensation because you DESERVE it.

Another example of taking advantage is by not linking to someone you were inspired by. This is limiting the amount of community in the blog-world. No two people will have the same exact thoughts on a subject, so linking to the person that inspired you will not take away your audience, the reader is already on your page, if they are reading your post. As long as you aren’t directly copying them (which you should never ever do anyways) it should help to create a sense of community and friendship.

Now lets get to the good stuff-

blogging community

There are many ways to spread community in the blogging and creative world, and it is so nice to be part of it in a positive way.

My favorite way I have found to get to know others and spread community is through Facebook groups like Blog + Biz BFFs. These groups are full of great people that only want to help you. Blog + Biz, founded by Melyssa from Nectar Collective,  is my go-to for any blog education or questions. There are so many people with so much knowledge and they are beyond happy to share it! I highly recommend checking out blog communities out, there are several on Facebook. Sarah has a list of more here.

My other favorite ways to grow the blogging community :

  1. Take part in and host link-ups. I have met SO many amazing ladies through the Wedding Wednesday link-up that I cohost, and I had met so many prior to co-hosting it. I love reading about my blog-friends weddings, and also following along with their day-to-day after meeting in the link-up.
    1. If you add your link to a link-up make sure you jump around to a few blogs and comment, comment, comment!
    2. If you take part in a link-up, link back to the host(s)/ current link-up post from their blog. This will introduce others to the link-up as well as grow the community with other bloggers that may not know the host(s) and other bloggers that have linked-up.
    3. Read more about hosting and taking part in link-ups here on House of Rose.
  2. Take part in giveaways! I love meeting other bloggers through giveaways, it also helps that most giveaways you take part in, you are allowed to enter as well! So following the other bloggers get you entries, and also new friends in the blogging community.
  3. Offer small businesses and/or Etsy shops a discounted option of sponsorship. Other small business’ pull on my heart strings. If I can relate to the owner, they are friendly, and have great items, I have no problem reviewing in exchange for a discounted post. This is one of the only times I will suggest this being okay.
  4. Do your research and include your findings, but never directly copy someone else. If you find a post by another blogger that inspires you to write a post, first, link back to them, and second make sure you are creating original content and not copying theirs! I know I already mentioned this above, but it is so important. I love knowing that I helped to inspire someones ideas, it shows that being a creative is paying off. I also love contributing to help other bloggers when needed. For some advice on how to find if people are copying you, and how being copied can mess up your SEO and your personal blog, check out this article.

Working to grow the blogging community is incredibly important and if every blogger just tried one of these, it would be amazing. What is blogging without a strong community of followers, commenters, and other things to read? While I could go on and on, this is already a very long post and I have part 2 coming next week on this same topic. I hope you enjoyed it! Now lets get to spreading community!

How do you take part and share community within the blogging world?

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