How to get your blog involved with your local community

How to get your blog involved with your local community

At the BDN Maine blog network, we have a huge number of blogs that are about so much more than the person writing each post. This week on Maine on the Blogs, we are covering a few ways that you can get your blog involved with your local community and make your blog more dynamic and locally involved.

Any blogger can engage with his or her local community on any topic. Blogging artists can get involved with galleries and studios, hikers can get involved with parks and recreation programs, and stay at home moms can get involved with anything from farmer’s markets to children’s play groups. Although the possibilities for community involvement are endless, we’ve got five strategies in mind that you can start using today.

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Seek out other people in your community who share your passion

Getting out and about in your local community and meeting folks who enjoy the same kinds of activities that you enjoy – and blog about – is a great way to learn more about your passion. It is also a fantastic opportunity to introduce your blog to new potential readers.

Ways to get started:

  1. Do you know anyone who is an expert at one specific thing that you could write about?
  2. Are there any groups of people making great things happen in your community?
  3. Who is the great unsung hero of your neighborhood or town or county?

Volunteer your time and blog

Once you meet some folks in your community, you could offer up your time to volunteer your skills as a blogger to cover events, news, and other things that can help your community spread a message. It is also a smart way to practice your blogging skills, meet new people, and potentially increase your readership.

Ways to get started:

  1. Volunteer to publish information on local community events that are related to the theme of your blog. Do you run a arts and culture blog? Maybe list upcoming plays or music events, for example.
  2. Does your community have meetings on unofficial town interests? Maybe offer to publish meeting minutes.
  3. What kinds of unmet needs does your community have that a blogger could draw attention to?

Support a local sports team, organization, or event

Supporting a local sports team, organization, or event are great ways for anyone – blogger or non-blogger – to get immediately involved with a local community. But as a blogger you will discover a constant stream of material to write about by becoming a member to a valued community group, big or small!

Ways to get started:

  1. Sign up to join a team or group and blog about your experience.
  2. Volunteer – at least once – for a community organization and use your blog to bring awareness to that group.
  3. Don’t have time to volunteer but still want to help? Maybe use your blog to list resources in your community that are related to the theme of your blog. If you are a parenting blogger, maybe list organizations that are geared toward kids and families, for example.
  4. Not sure where to start looking? Contact your local town hall or visitors bureau for a complete list of community organizations and schedules.

Seek out interviews from community members

Interviews are a fun way to get yourself out into your community and talking to people with interesting stories to share. Most people get excited by the idea of being interviewed for a publication that the can proudly share with friends and family. This is also a great opportunity for you to practice new style of writing if you have not conducted an interview before. 

Ways to get started:

  1. Check out this blog post on how to conduct interviews.
  2. Reach out to community leaders, members, friends, and family to try your hand at interviews.

Attend public talks, demonstrations, and other events

By attending public talks, demonstrations, and other similar kinds of events you can develop your voice as a trusted ‘reviewer’ for happenings in your local community. This is a wonderful way to sharpen people skills, writing skills, and grow your reputation as a local blog voice in your community.

 Ways to get started:

  1. Check out your local library for a list community talks and meetings.
  2. Don’t see anything you would want to attend? Why not pitch a talk!
  3. Document the talk by taking notes and pictures (if permitted) then writing a blog post about your experience and what you earned. Try talking to the guest speaker to get more insight on the topics covered.

One of Henry David Thoreau’s most famous lines begins, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately…” as Maine bloggers, we have the unique opportunity to create a massive web of storytellers, each with a distinct voice, that can shape the way the world sees the place we call home. By taking the time to invest in your local community, your community will invest in you and your stories.

 

Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Scary Mommy, Disney’s Babble, and Momtastic. Sarah runs a popular Facebook page, @Housewifeplus where readers laugh and share stories from the parenting trenches. She is a co-author in several books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine and National Public Radio.