A blogging group is simply a place where bloggers can reap the benefits of a multitude of counselors. Some take the form of support groups, others are focused on mentoring, while some are true mastermind groups.
Whether you meet at your local coffee shop, hang out in a Google+ community, or most of your interaction takes place on Voxer, you’ll find that great minds don’t always think alike. And in the variety of perspective you’ll find that iron sharpens iron. As you share your expertise and feedback with each other you’ll learn and grow together.
But with all sorts of groups for bloggers, how does one know what to join? Maybe you’re a hobby blogger who’s looking for support but not ready to commit to a focused mastermind group. You might be a skilled blogger with a passion for sharing your expertise with others. Or perhaps you are a professional blogger who is looking for others serious about challenging each other towards bigger and better things. Here is a run-down on the six most popular types of groups available to bloggers, with details on who they’re for (and even a few links to groups you can join).
1. Blogging Mastermind Group
With as few as three bloggers, and as many as ten or twenty, a mastermind group is for serious bloggers who are committed to investing in each other. This is the place to go deep, not wide. Members agree to participate in discussion, contribute equally and professionally, and reassess their commitment level regularly. This group will likely share some similarities in niche or be focused on a specific area to grow together. You don’t have to be an expert if you can put your head together with others in a mastermind group.
Who It’s For: Bloggers who are committed to investing in a serious, focused inner circle.
Read: How To Start A Mastermind Group
2. Local Writers/Critique Group
A local writers group is close in locale, though not necessarily in online niche. But their proximity in miles brings advantages of face to face gatherings that far outweigh the differences in blogging style. The group may have an informal monthly gathering to talk about blogging at the local coffee shop. Or it may take the form of a bi-monthly critique group that shares helpful input on each other’s writing. Perhaps they meet once a month and take turns sharing instruction in a specific aspect of blogging. A local writers group can be there for each other in more ways than just online.
Who It’s For: Bloggers who are able to meet together regularly in person.
Read: Finding the Blogger Next Door
3. Blogger Mentoring Group
Whether a perk offered by an eBook author or a group that is moderated by a blogger who is passionate about helping others, this group usually has a specific leader who is providing a place for people to gather. Others in the group may end up answering the questions before the mentor does, which is the advantage of this type of community–immediate group input as well as potential advice from the mentor as needed. The group’s activity and focus will likely ebb and flow as the leader’s commitment or priorities change. Count it a privilege to have a group mentor willing to invest in you whenever they can.
Who It’s For: Anyone willing to learn from a mentor.
Examples: The Bootstrap VA, Better Blogs, God’s Writer-Moms, Indie Christian Authors
Read: 3 Benefits of a Mentor and How to Get One and Do You Have a Blogging Mentor?
4. Professional Peer Group
The discussion in this group is professional in nature and focused around a specific topic in which the members all share a good amount of experience. Whether it’s a gathering food bloggers or a bunch of Genesis coders, this group likely has strict rules. Posts must be on-topic, questions probably shouldn’t be ones that can be answered on Google or have been asked before, and no promotion will be allowed. This type of group presents a unique ability to tap into the wisdom of true experts in your field.
5. Blogger to Blogger Support Group
A networking group where bloggers gather based on niche or focus often numbers several hundred bloggers. A large group of bloggers is a great place for a networking, but it’s not as well suited to focused growth and in depth discussion. The advantage of a large group is there’s always someone online ready to offer feedback, the disadvantage is that the conversation can move quickly and questions may be overlooked. Blogging support groups help newbies feel welcome and let a hobby blogger get their feet wet. A large blogger support group is the perfect place to network and meet the people with whom you will create your own mastermind group.
Who It’s For: Bloggers who are looking for networking and community without commitment.
Examples: Christian Bloggers, West Coast Christian Bloggers, Christian MilSpouse Bloggers
Read: 10 Benefits of Networking with Other Bloggers
6. Promotional Group
These groups are for the purpose of exchanging likes and shares, and are promoted as a great way to get traffic or grow your blog. If they are focused enough in niche, they could be helpful in increasing your social share counts and eventually your overall numbers. The problem is that if you are required to share and share alike, you may weaken your authenticity with your audience by having to share or comment on posts you don’t genuinely like. If you’re looking for exchanged promotion, you might be better off finding a giant blogger to blogger group that offers non-mandatory share threads where you can pick and choose what you promote. Join a promotional group with careful consideration of the impact your shares will have on your audience’s trust.
Who It’s For: Bloggers looking to increase their numbers.
Example: Facebook Daily Boost
“Some of the best examples I’ve seen have been ‘peer’ mentoring experiences, where a group of bloggers band together – often around an email list or a private Facebook group – to share and learn from one another.”
–Darren Rowse in “Have You Ever Had a Blog Mentor or Coach?”
Your blogging group might look different than these. Or you might be involved in a group of each type. The important thing is to find a group where you feel welcome and can be involved, contributing to the group as well as gaining benefit from it.
What does your group look like?
Click the links to find my top resources for mastermind groups, authors, and bloggers. (And don’t miss the awesome How They Blog podcast with the leader of my own mastermind group, Trina Holden!)