What is a Blogging Tribe? (Plus, How to Find Your Tribe)

Back in the day, when I had my old blog, I made a few blog friends — other bloggers who regularly read and commented on my site. I loved getting to know these women via the Internet, and I continue to follow the ones who are still around. I didn’t call them anything other than “blog friends,” though one of them used the term “blends,” which not surprisingly, didn’t catch on.

How to find your tribe. Tips for new bloggers on how to find a blogging tribe. Get to know other bloggers, promote your work, and share the love.

When I started Mommy Sanest, I researched — and I continue to research — how to be successful in this very crowded mommy blog space. And over and over, I keep seeing that to be successful, you must find your tribe.

Back in the aughts, this wasn’t a thing you set out to do (or at least, I didn’t). You stumbled across a blog, you read it, you liked it, you commented, they checked you out, they liked you, they commented, and ta da! Best Blogging Buddies Forever.

Now, according to every blogging resource everywhere, if you are a new blogger, you must find your tribe… like right this second. And, it makes sense that you can be more successful and feel more confident in your work if you have blog friends who dig your content, comment on a regular basis, and promote your stuff on social media.

I don’t know about you, but this near-hysterical directive to “GO FIND SOME BLOG FRIENDS, LOSER” is daunting. As a new blogger, how do you even start to “find your tribe”?

Well, I don’t have one, so grain of salt and all that, but I’m a little wary of this whole blogging tribe thing. But maybe that’s just because the word “tribe” makes it seem like there’s a group of people out there just waiting to lift me up and make my blog successful. I just have to find them… and make them like me. Easy, right?

The only problem with that plan is that I really believe that relationships with other bloggers need to happen authentically, so when I wander around the Internet attempting to find a tribe, it all feels forced and desperate and kind of like a horrible, virtual high school situation, and please.make.it.stop. For me, it’s more about connecting with individual bloggers in a way that makes sense.

Find Your Tribe: A Relatively Painless Plan for Beginning Bloggers to Make Connections with Other Bloggers

Figure out who you are. Finding your tribe and making blog friends come easier when you have a sense of what you’re trying to do. A lot of us jump into blogs and just start writing. While I know my content strategy on Mommy Sanest will continue to shift, taking a Mediabistro class forced me to write a blog business plan and think about the kind of content I want to share here. While my blog business plan is a working document, I’ve referred back to it several times because it laid the groundwork for answering big questions like, who am I, and why am I here? Answer these questions first, then worry about what the rest of the blogiverse is doing.

Find a blog spirit guide or two. There are a lot of bloggers out there (#understatement). And after rambling around the Internet for several years, I found two blogs/bloggers that really give me a sense of what I want to be when my blog grows up. Now these bloggers have zero idea who I am — I actually rarely comment on their sites. And, I’m not looking for them to be mentors; I’m just using their hard work and success to help me define where I’m (hopefully) going.

Seek out similar blogs. Good lord, I fell down the mommy blog rabbit hole the first few months I was doing this. There are just so many subcategories! It took awhile, but I’ve started to find other bloggers whose content is more similar to my own as well as bloggers who have been blogging about the same amount of time as I have and bloggers who seem to have reached a level of blogging success that is just a smidge ahead of where I am.

Using Feedly (or another RSS service), start a category of feeds called “Bloggers to Follow.” Yep, I literally put blogs into a category called Bloggers to Follow. These blogs have content that interests me, and I regularly feel I can add something to the conversation. I have eight blogs in this category. Keeping up with other people’s stuff can get overwhelming, so do yourself a favor and pick a few that you really, really like. Now granted I have about 50 other blogs in my Feedly, but I pay special attention to these five.

Put yourself out there. Did you find some bloggers and put them in your Feedly? Good! Go comment on their stuff; follow them on social channels; tell them how you came across their site. If they are newer bloggers, they are likely looking for a tribe just like you are and will be happy to return the love.

Follow a blogger who blogs about blogging. I just wanted to see how many times I could use the word “blog” in that sentence. Seriously though, these bloggers know their stuff, and it’s easy to find one whose voice and style appeals to you. Keep an eye out for a site that helps foster a blogging/writing community. Often, they’ll have blogging or social media challenges; opportunities for you to get your stuff out there; classes you can take about a specific topics; sometimes they’ll even have active Facebook groups. I like these four: SITS Girls, Blog Clarity, by Regina, and Beyond Your Blog.

Check out your commenters. You already know that you should respond to your commenters. Take it a step further, and go see who they are. Chances are if someone felt moved to comment on your stuff, their content might be interesting to you. Go find out. Maybe it will be a relationship made in blog heaven.

Be authentic. It’s nice to think that you can go around commenting on every post that comes your way, but if you’re not feeling it, you’re not going to come off as sincere. That doesn’t mean that “How to Sew Your Pet Ferret a Christmas Mumu” isn’t a totally valid and interesting post for the right audience, it just means that you’re not the right audience. If I can’t think of a better comment than, “What an interesting post. Thanks for sharing,” (which basically makes it seem like clicking on my name will send you to a site for knockoff designer bags), I best be moving on.

Go to Facebook and search for blogging groups. They are there. Go find a few, hang back for awhile, then join in. It’s a great way to get your stuff in front of other bloggers, and you will definitely find some blogging soulmates in the mix.

Don’t take any of this too seriously. Remember that blogger you LOVED, and you gushed about her post in the comments section and never heard a peep back? Whatever. Keep following her if you like her stuff, but don’t spend time wondering why she gave you the cold shoulder. If someone seems disinterested in your interest in them, put your energy elsewhere, but don’t over-think it.

That’s pretty much where I’m at in my “find your tribe” journey. Do you find this process as daunting as I do? Or have you figured out an easy way to make blog friends? I’d love to hear other tips that have worked for you.

Already found your tribe (or not)? Then you probably need a content calendar for your blog.

27 thoughts on “What is a Blogging Tribe? (Plus, How to Find Your Tribe)

  1. Am I the first to comment today? That surprises me as this is such a relevant topic in the blogging world. It is difficult to figure out who you are and who your tribe is. I’m kind of just stumbling along here trying to find my voice and generally be friendly and supportive to others. I’m not sure if it’s helping me find my tribe, or helping my tribe find me, but between writing, promoting, reading other people’s work, and actually living my life… it’s about all I have time for. Your tips are solid, though, and I can see places where I can improve. I always like that about your posts — they are thoughtful, clearly organized, and they provide solid resources and actionable ideas. Thank you for that. 🙂

    • Haha. You’re the first! This blogging thing takes a lot of time, and the extra steps to “find your tribe,” is just another item on my very long blogging to-do list. It’s hard to make it a priority and ultimately, I tend to agree with you–finding a tribe will naturally work itself out.

      Also, thanks for the kind words!

  2. Great article! Funnily enough, I stumbled across this post via Twitter while looking for my own blogger posse. I feel like it’s extra challenging to find bloggers who operate in a similar space because most of the women-run blogs I find are either about blogging or are family-related. But I know we’re out there! I just need to look harder for my tribe. 🙂

    • Hi Jen! Thanks for stopping by. I just checked out your site. It looks like it’s a great resource for job-hunters, especially those who are right out of college. But, I can imagine that being so niche probably makes it tough to find similar bloggers. However, I think being niche is exactly what will make you successful–“tribe” or no “tribe” :). Just my two cents! Glad you enjoyed the post!

  3. This is timely for me because I am also looking for a tribe. I know they are important but it is really a shot in the dark, it seems. I have been referred to your blog from Bog Love, so here I am. Guess we can see how we fit together, but this post is what I needed to hear today, for sure.

    • Glad you enjoyed it. I think my issue with this tribe thing (and maybe it’s just the term) is the idea that there’s this group of people out there on the Internet just waiting to lift you up and help you be successful–you just have to find them (good luck!). In reality (I think), it’s all about making one-to-one connections, finding a few places that foster blog community (like Blog Love, which I joined yesterday), and putting in a lot of effort. My two cents 😉

  4. Gosh, I’d been blogging for years and never even heard about Blends and Tribes! But this is such a relevant topic, and your insights and pointers are great! I stumbled into blogging mostly to keep in touch with my Country of Origin (I’m an immigrant), and part of me isn’t sure I want to take it so seriously yet the other part of me yearns for greater traffic. (Which blogger doesn’t!) Will definitely be keeping an eye out for your posts. 🙂

    • Hi Velle! The tribe thing is pretty new to me too. I started blogging for fun, but there’s always that I always had that nagging feeling (even in the mid-2000s) that I wanted more traffic. It can be a tough balance, and clearly, I’ve landed on the side of “try to gain more traffic.” Thanks for stopping by!

  5. While reading this, I kept thinking to myself “That’s ME!!!” Man, nearly all the words you wrote have flashed through my mind at some point in my 9-month journey as a blogger so far. This tribe stuff is so confusing! I keep wondering if I should reach out to people….but I don’t want to look desperate and clingy….but I keep hearing that I “need” a tribe to survive….but I don’t know where/how to join one! Thank you for sharing all this info. It makes me feel a little better about my blogging life so far!

  6. Love this post! I find it extremely daunting. Approaching people (or rather forcing myself on people) to be their friend can be really hard. I think you have some excellent alternative tips and I can wait to try a few. Thank you.

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  8. I so relate to this post. I have been blogging going on 4 years and still do not have a tribe really. I actually had a few girls I really liked and had similar blog posts that were co-hosting with me. Then all of the sudden 3-4 quit with all kinds of excuses.. The next thing I see is the three of them with some huge bloggers all co-hosting a new linky and sharing the heck out of each other posts, which made me feel like total crap, lol! They jumped ship for better opportunity together!! So I am seeing a lot clicky type tribes. Yes they are hard to get into. Maybe we should start our own!
    Kim

    • Kim…that stinks! I am a newish blogger…3 months in….I am just learning about tribes and haven’t tried to find one yet. Your comment is making me think I need to be very selective…that would have really hurt my feelings. 🙁 Hang in there…I am sure you will find a BETTER more LOYAL group!!

  9. I happened to see this post in my Pinterest feed and while I often read posts about “how to blog” I’m not usually drawn into the post enough to comment. Your post has a tone of realism that I enjoyed reading. You’ve included some very good tips.

    This tribe concept is one that I find hard to get on board with., as it does feel forced. While I would love to make more and better connections with bloggers in my niche (diy, crafts, home, etc) I’m not at all comfortable with forcing the issue..

    • Thanks Beverly. I am with you on this, and now, about 9 months into blogging, I find that I still struggle with the networking aspect of blogging, in part because I simply don’t have that much time to devote to making these connections (especially authentic connections). While there are definitely some bloggers out there now that I consider “blends” or perhaps has running in the same “circle,” I am trying to figure out if success is possible without a “tribe.”

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  12. This is the most sane thing I’ve read about this whole “tribe” thing yet. I started blogging a few months ago and am really just trying to figure it out. It all feels like being a new kid in the high school cafeteria… picture me walking around with my lunch tray! I just took a big deep breath. Thank you!

  13. Thanks so much for this very informative post. I’m about 6 months into blogging and am looking for a tribe at this time as well as trying to meet new people. Your post made me feel a little calmer about the process and remember to take it all in stride.
    Thanks again,
    Jenn

  14. This is great info! I joined the blogging world about three weeks ago. I knew from day one I wanted my blog to become a source of income, so I’m researching obsessively and I keep hearing that I need to network. While I’m pretty good at striking up conversations and making new friends in person, somehow online it feels like I’m tugging on these bigger bloggers’ sleeves and begging for attention. I think your tips will help me find bloggy friemds muc more naturally. Thanks 🙂

  15. Thank you! UGH it is hard enough for me to make friends face to face and now I have to find my “tribe”?!? I love the tips and now at least I have some direction which is what I need! Here is my question though, do you find blogs in your niche or blogs that complement your niche or just blogs you personally like…or yes to all of that? Blogging is definitely not for the faint of heart!

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