Gratitude List

#Gratitude – Communing with the blogging community


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Cut to 2016, when I first heard about AtoZ challenge.. I was so intrigued by the concept but I had missed the bus as the joining date was past. So I just silently observed the blogs and read as many as I could. Thats the year I found out about a blogging community called Blogchatter. As I hopped on board, loads of other bloggers started to interact with me and boy it felt good to come home.

I learnt about #MyFriendAlexa campaign to “help” SEO of the blog, “importance” of self hosting and other such stuff which was alien to my blogging ears so far. Impressed and feeling out of depth, I did try to match the pace. I ended up moving out from free WordPress onto a self-hosted version for my blog. The hosting company was selling a very cheap deal and was being recommended by several of my fellow bloggers.

Β«I will talk about Alexa in another blog postΒ»

Initially things were great and I was loving the commune with fellow bloggers, learning about SEO tricks and participating in blog challenges. I ended up winning a few and even wrote some great gushing posts about it. You can catch one right here.

But all was not wonderful and found out within 3-4 months of joining this community that there was something seriously amiss here. Too much pandering, sucking up and pulling down went all around in the group. Bloggers picked on each other, ganged up to bully some and worst of all pretended to be “friends” when in reality they were just gauging their competition.

Moreover there was a huge commercial angle involved here for the BC management. I fear because of it, BC indulged in a lot of politics and brain washing of the bloggers about numbers and statistics. Each to their own, and this was just not for me.

I found this particular blogging community immature and high-handed and soon there were loads of peeps exiting it in a huff. I too ended up leaving it by end of December that year. And by mid next year, I was practically at blows with the hosting company too. Apparently their loyalties lay elsewhere and so………………………………..

When I was blogging with BC, I realised I had made my writing very limited and was following the “diktats” of the number game very seriously. But that was hampering my writing style – of course at that time I didn’t follow my instinct at all and got caught in the mindless brouhaha. I am grateful to the Universe for leading me to BC, for its here that I learnt how nasty and mean bloggers can be. Also, made some very good blogging friends here even as I met some fiends πŸ˜‰

Early 2017 I came upon Write Tribe – a blogging community run by Corinne. While BC was more on Twitter, Write Tribe was a Facebook one. Then I stumbled upon BAR – Blog a Rhythm which is run by an amazingly wonderful group of bloggers – again a Facebook group.

These two blogging communities have been the saviours to my blogging and I can’t express enough gratitude to them. Both these communities believe in helping out other bloggers to sort out blogging issues, writers block, SEO, social media management and what not. There is no commercial angle and the key thing is to write and write well.

Most surprising thing about both these communities was that lots of the BC peeps were here too but were so well-behaved and toned down. Over time I realised how tight a ship the administrators run here for anyone to even dream of any mischief. Thank heavens for that!!

These two communities run a Facebook thread for sharing of one’s recent blog posts, run blog hops, promote content, writing workshops, etc for bloggers to grow from. There is no talk about numbers unless someone seeks guidance on it. But not a single person here talks about plugging numbers to manipulate the algorithm.

In addition, Shailaja runs an amazing group of social media and blogging tipsΒ which has been a boon to me and many others. I wish this group had been there when I was starting my self hosted journey. Oh well better late than never.

I would heartily recommend joining these two blogging communities and profiting from their selfless approach to help fellow bloggers. I give immense gratitude to them both for my blogging growthΒ ♥


Are you part of a blogging community? Share your experiences with me please.

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22 thoughts on “#Gratitude – Communing with the blogging community

  1. I appreciate your thoughts on blogging communities Shalz.. I would just say that its finally a combination of maintaining your own writing interests and style, your blogging goals, a close bond with people who encourage you and accept your warm support. you have this in place, and your blogging journey rocks πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Ramya – totally agree on the points you mentioned!! I am grateful to some of the blogger friends I have who have held my hand more times than I can remember!! πŸ™‚

  2. I haven’t ever participated in Blog Chatter blogging challenges, but I used to participate in their twitter chats once in a while (a year back or so).

    However in the past few months (especially after the Alexa campaign) I have seen a lot of disgruntled bloggers upset over how things are managed and run. It’s unfortunate when people choose any platform to stoke their egos and indulge in mean politics. And I agree, the leadership of any community is critical to how it runs. I am glad you found Write Tribe and BAR, and that they’ve helped you.

    You do you, girl, and rock on!

    1. Hey Shantala- so good to hear from you!! Hugs Girl!!

      Thanks for joining in my “diatribe” πŸ˜‰

      But seriously, I am furious when peeps take loyalty and devotion of a few to elevate themselves without any returns to the ones working for their cause! I have heard so many stories in person/over Dm about BC that its not funny! That is seriously one group that brainwashes peeps about numbers and all; leading to a lot of self doubt! I mentally curse them a lot when I see something surface up – happening so often now!!

      Thank heaven you are sensible enough to stay away from the number game – I was a newbie and initially plodded along as everyone was; same everyone was telling me how important this is!! It was a sheer torture and I am so so grateful for joining BAR and WT – my blogging sanity is thanks to them!

  3. Arey how come no one tells me any stories about anything? Sometimes I feel I exist at the very periphery of the blogging world, doing my own thing. Jokes apart I really am sorry to hear about your experience with Blog Chatter. I’ve been a member for over a year now but I’m kind of a sleeping member :-). I participated in a campaign too and it worked fine for me. Oh I also did the Alexa once and that worked okay too because all I wanted to do was bring discipline to my writing which it did. BC opened my mind to the concept of branding and pushing oneself which was valuable because I’ve always been so completely closed to those ideas.

    In any case, no matter what group you join, in the end you need to understand your goals clearly and then decide if it’s a good match.

    That said, I have to admit the BAR is obviously the perfect fit for me – I love the relaxed pace, the personal connect (with most members) and the no-rules concept. Happy I stumbled upon you and your blog. At the end of the day whatever suits whomever. Glad you found your pace and your place :-).

    1. Sleeping member is the best there Tules- you are so God damned sensible! Stupid me and my even stupider enthusiasm that I got hooked with their blah blah blah!!!! I am thankful for landing with them first as it taught me a few very valuable lessons. And yes I went self hosted after being with them but that was a scam from their end to push a blogging company which was just the pits! Thats another tale but not going to go there as I think Universe has started to catch up with them now!

      I am so so glad I found BAR and WT – what lovely groups with so much bonding and genuine helping hands all around!

  4. I do prefer non-commercial blogging communities. I have observed BC from a distance but haven’t joined them. BAR and WT have been really good communities for me too and there are some smaller Aussie blogging and writing communities I’m part of that are super supportive. I don’t monetize my blog and love the personal/writing element of it and therefore, communities that promote that are my tribe πŸ™‚

    1. Well thanks heavens for that – thats what I will tell all those who havent hopped onboard their train! They make my blood boil, the way they take the enthusisasm of new bloggers for a ride. I am waiting for the Universe to catch up with them.

      You do so well with your writings Sanch- I am waiting for your master piece!! All the best with that and looking forward to November!

  5. I have not been a part of BlogChetter or taken up any of their blogging challenges, hence it is quite tough for me to imagine that there is politics in blogging as well. I don’t understand numbers or the number game. I just know that I started my blogs one, for the sake of writing and another for the sake of love for books and that’s it. I cannot burn my energies for anything else. I am also deeply grateful for WT and BAR for letting bloggers feel completely at home and be themselves. Both the groups and especially WT have done more good for me as an individual than just blogging.
    I have pulled up my socks to read your gratitude posts today πŸ™‚

    1. You know after writing this post, reading the comment has made me realise that most of the nicest bloggers have never been on BC – hmmmmm!!! SOmething to ponder there πŸ˜‰

      I am so glad you have not encountered the nastiness – it can be quite disheartening and lame!

      Thank you for showing so much love to my posts- I am overwhelmed by the attention. Hope you are settling well in the new place and D is enjoying the changes! πŸ™‚

    1. You blog about some amazing stuff Doc and hats off to you for running such a successful blog despite your time demanding profession. Love your WATB series and I try to read them all.

  6. I love BAR and WT. I have never participated in BC’s campaign more due to paucity of time but yes, I have loved the earlier twitter chats. Those used to be fun. I do not monetize my blog so I want to write in my style and continue with that. Sorry about your experiences. I feel lucky to have been approached by Shailaja in 2014 and since then, I have been a regular at BAR. I love it for the community there.

    1. BC chats is how I got hooked onto that community but then………………….

      I am also not very keen to monetize my blogs though the Book review work keeps coming in. So in two minds about what to do about it- rather how much to do! You are certainly lucky to have interacted with Shy so early in your blogging days- I met her online last year and since then no looking back. She is a huge influence on my blog – lucky to have her spend some time with other blogger to help them grow.

      Yup BAR is my fav community outta them all as there is a genuine bonding and feeling here! Glad to have connected with you here too πŸ™‚

  7. Write Tribe and BAR are my favorite blogging communities too. I have never participated in Blogchatter chats due to time conflict or their campaigns because I never wanted to improve my numbers. I like challenges focussed on writing. WT and BAR do just that. And I love smaller groups where I can be just me. I’m glad to have met you in this vast online space, Shalz. Love reairea your honest posts.

    1. Thanks so much Vinitha – I am glad to have met you too. I agree about the focus on writing thing- thats what I am here for and not numbers only. I love it when my blog gets good traffic; but that for me should be because of my writing and not that I visited x number of blogs πŸ™‚

  8. I joined BC in March this year. I really enjoyed doing A2Z because it showed me a purpose of writing. Also, I met some amazing bloggers here.i became an author because of their e-book carnival. So I’m grateful to them for bringing a direction to my aim. Having said that, the campaign that really didn’t sit well with my way of writing was Alexa. It was mismanaged and they refused to own up. So I’ve decided to go a little easy with whatever they come up with next. I joined WT this May and started participating actively only during the festival of words. This seven days challenge made me realize that I loved fiction writing the most. BAR hostel Blog-A-Rhythm next and I moved on to write flash fiction for two weeks. I started participating and responding to weekly threads only after July and I must say that I have read so many bloggers because of these two groups. I love Shailaja for the sorted out and helpful individual she is just like I have tremendous respect for Corinne and her work. I think these three communities have helped me improve my craft and I’m eternally grateful to them for that.

    1. Your sense of fiction writing is phenomenal – I am really enjoying your posts and hope to keep reading them. The weekly threads are a great way to read tonnes of really good writing – thats how I found you too πŸ™‚

      More power to our pens and may we stay focused on our writing more and numbers less.

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