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Blogging: Club Member Or Lone Ranger?

Blogging by definition is a display of web log posts, normally in reverse chronological order. It can be a company blog, personal blog or business blog. Blogs can be the work of a single individual, a small group, or (more recently) multiple authors.

Multi-author blogs (MABs) consist of posts written by a number of authors and professionally edited. The majority of high profile collaborative blogs are based around a single uniting theme, such as politics, technology, or business.

The Blogging Mindset

It seems to be a very personal thing, whether someone begins a blog on their own, or they begin within a group. When analyzed further, strategy can play a large role in this decision making process, especially of late.

# 1. The Lone Ranger

When I began blogging four years ago, my strategy was to create content for my clients and potential clients, and to create movement within the website and target key words for SEO. I have read blogs that focus on one or the other, and both scenarios can be quite successful.

Many lifestyle blogs arise from an innate interest by the blogger in the subject they write about.

  • Often times they don’t expect to get a large following, and over time realize the potential of the blog, as well as connecting with others who have similar interests.
  • Some blogs are self-healing (and often anonymous), yet have a huge following because they hit a nerve with the reader, and the reader comes back for more – “I am like you, you can like me!”
  • The other lone ranger starts out a blog specifically to make money, and the strategy is very obvious and clear from the outset.

10 Advantages of blogging alone:

  1. Ability to write exactly what you want, when, and how often you want
  2. Build your own community / trusted following around areas of interest or importance for you
  3. Develop your authority in specific areas (or niche areas)
  4. Raise awareness and attract attention to specific issues
  5. Using guest bloggers to increase topics covered, blog frequency, readership and traffic
  6. Increase exposure and brand awareness
  7. Build your profile in other areas – social media, other media
  8. Utilise different forms of communication to share your message – podcasting, videocasting, images etc
  9. Create a blog income / revenue stream
  10. Help others raise their profile, provide reciprocal content and links

# 2. Club Member

Some bloggers begin within a blogging community (like Tweak Your Biz) to belong, gain support and help the exposure their blog posts get.

Certain MABs have strict criteria and rules to follow to become a member, such as minimum posts per month, exclusive content, subject, specific format and word count etc.

  • These “rules” may feel restrictive, but they tend to respect the group involved and protect the blogger and the site. It’s a win/win.
  • It also follows the paradigm that the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, thereby generating a synergy between the contributors, the readers and commenters.

A community is built and can grow into something quite amazing.

10 Advantages of blogging within a community:

  1. Immediate community, inculding shared resources
  2. More exposure, more quickly (wider audience)
  3. Access to multiple distribution channels across web and mobile environments
  4.  More comments and interaction
  5. Meeting like-minded bloggers and peers, all in one place
  6. Ability to share on more platforms, communities
  7. Exposure to sites such as Huffington Post, Silicon Republic, NYT Online
  8. Discovering, connecting and networking with experts
  9. Collaboration opportunities (co-authoring syndicated and monster blogs, co-hosting webinars, interviews etc)
  10. Opportunity to show off your personality and have your specific voice heard within a community

Which is better?

It depends on your needs, your motivation and your final outcome. Whether you are a Seth Godin or belong to a community like Tweak Your Biz or Problogger, there are pros and cons for each platform.

I am going to share my personal and professional pros and cons of writing for a blogging community, and authoring 2 separate “lone ranger” blogs.

Notwithstanding the fantastic blogs and blogging communities that are available, I specifically enjoy writing and being a part of the Tweak Your Biz community, as it really does provide, among other things, what a community should provide – a sense of belonging, support, and great banter!

What advantages can you share for either cause? Share with us below now in the comments…

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Elaine Rogers is a Business Trainer, Coach and Writer. She takes pain away. She helps soothe the rough and tumble of running a business through education, information and coaching. And a bit of entertainment. Elaine hangs out at The Smart Train She provides online training and coaching solutions in the areas of MS Office Skills, Business Skills, and Soft Skills. She also provides exclusive content for her ever growing email list.

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  • Great article Elaine and speaking myself as someone who enjoys both blogging as an individual and as part of a community I agree that it all depends on what you want to achieve with your blogging.

  • Super overview Elaine! In my opinion, the lone ranger needs to also have a guest posting & commenting strategy – if he or she is serious about growing their blog. Blogging in complete isolation is probably the least effective strategy to start with.

  • That’s an excellent pointer Niall, thanks for sharing. Isolation does not sound very social and collaborative, and a Lone Ranger’s blog will not be compromised using this strategy.

  • Thanks Marie,
    In fact your mix is a perfect example of how a blogger can achieve the best of both worlds. Again, it’s all down to what you want. Thanks for reading and sharing your view.

  • davidquaid

    That’s a great blog title and post. I think very few people well get to Seth Godin status, even locally, so I think the blogger community makes sense for most – possibly 90% – of bloggers, especially new to space.

    The biggest factor: as people gear up their content production, having a network like this might be the only way to maintain an audience.

  • Hi David,
    Thank you for your kind comment and your insights. I know some business owners would never blog for a community like Tweak Your Biz. For them it’s akin to the difference between meeting someone face to face and going to a network meeting full of people – I think it’s a psychological attitude towards crowds in general.
    However, it also means they just sit in the corner or stand at the coffee dock and speak with no-one – non-effective. Then we can wonder why they blog at all.
    Seth is an interesting character – he philosophical emails come into my inbox daily, and yet he is quietly building a tribe of thousands. There are no bells and whistles, and yet it works for him.
    The Zen of tribal noise?

  • davidquaid

    Indeed – but then if you’re going to venture into connecting with people offline from online, then TYB makes a good case for having a friendly group for your first meetup!

    Seth makes some good points about going viral and the value of thousands who enjoy reading soundbites but that is far different from a blogger for say a Health and Safety Business. I think ‘Zen of Tribal’ noise is the best summary I’ve read

    The chap with the 700k+ followers who wrote (humorously) that “Social Media is ******” muses that its best suited to Journalists and Comedians. Indeed, ‘content curation’ on facebook pages (imitating a Mashable or TechCrunch) to me is the worst form of engagement (if you had to introduce a sliding scale of subjective opinion). – but the ultimate is blogging for yourself – with or without others – your content should be king 🙂

  • Hi Tina,
    Great comments thanks – yes sometimes it can be a cat and mouse game, or perhaps chicken and egg – which should we attempt first, when starting off? The lone ranger can be very resourceful on his own, but being part of a posse has its advantages too

  • Well David, I am not sure if you are familiar with the TYB community, but I do believe it’s quite unique and very special as there is a very high level of participation behind the scenes, and we have been know to luncheon together also 🙂

    I think your final words say it all – content is king – still!
    There is no point in being an emperor – you may just end up with no clothes!

  • davidquaid

    Did I say content is King. Context is Emperor. Content is key — but without conduit its lost. Thats why TYB is so important – not because of content but because of conduit.

    Quality of content is determined by the user. Badly written without images is fine in many circumstances – like a forum.Whether content is King or not, its getting the right people to the content is the challenge.

  • and that indeed IS the challenge, I think I need more carrots!

  • Very useful comments, thanks Elli! Best wishes with your new guest blogs

  • k8twopointoh

    Marie, that’s amazing that you blog individually along with a community. Do you have a blog site that you can share?

  • lol, thanks for spotting that. It’s now changed 🙂

  • Think Energy

    Bring your own devise (BYOD) is a trend that is becoming more popular in many small businesses. Check out our list of pros and cons to the new policy –

  • I think it is good that you could bring your own device (and beer! ;)) to the workplace. The question is how you take care of the security issue.

  • What’s your favorite beer? 🙂

  • How about TYB beer? 😉 In Sweden a TV-serie got a beer, The Sunny Side (non-alcoholic or low % alcohol).

  • This was shown in GDay Sri Lanka and the concept and the benefits are awesome. It’s amazing the things Google do to increase the living conditions of others, although few of them get noticed. I guess people just get attracted to bad news 🙂 .

  • Innovation today are as fast as breathing but it’s a great thing that we were moving forward. This Google’s Wifi balloons is a great idea and will also be beneficial if ever it is implemented, just one thing, how much would this cost? If it’s free then this is really a good news. Informative post. 🙂

  • Steven Scheck

    Hi Belinda! Don’t think that the facility will be free of cost, but I think it will be highly beneficial for internet users all over.

  • Steven Scheck

    Indeed it s going to be a revolution in internet use. Hope this time it gets a positive response from critics all over.

  • Steven Scheck

    Thanks for liking the post. Hope Google provides the facility in remote areas as well.

  • Steven Scheck

    Google has always been smart in pricing its products, so that at the end of the day there are happy customers.

  • I can’t agree more @stevenscheck:disqus. 🙂

  • Interesting article. The most critical thing is not to ignore your users and always keep an eye on them. It is important to pay attention to their inquiries and watch their behaviors to act accordingly.

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