I’ve got a great debate for you today centered around the value of participating in a blog commenting tribe. And since I’ve taken over the EIF Tribe and moved it to my blog, creating the Clever Marketer Mastermind Community, I can’t think of a topic more worth discussion!
First I’ll fill you in on a little background and then I’d love to have a naked discussion with you all, out in the open for everyone to see. I want to know what you think, the good, bad, and ugly around how you feel about commenting tribes, and specifically our CMMC tribe.
My goal for this commenting tribe debate:
It’s my goal to make the Clever Marketer Mastermind Community an awesome place for bloggers to connect, support each other, share ideas, and help create a buzz around each other in social media so that ultimately we can all get more traffic and achieve success.
There is no way to grow without doing something new, and this blog marketing forum has been one of those experiences for me.
My first experience with a commenting tribe:
A bit-o-history for you…I joined the EIF Tribe as a brand new blogger last August (2010) because I’d heard that tribes were the way to go, and that a commenting tribe would be one of the best ways to get traffic to my blog. I instantly saw results, yes in terrific spikes leading to steady traffic, but the biggest benefit that gave me results came from the feedback I received from the other tribe members who offered suggestions to me on how to approve my writing and marketing.
I honestly can say that it was one of the best experiences I could have ever had as a new blogger. Being a part of the tribe kept me accountable to writing frequently. It helped me to push my comfort zone and grow as both a writer and a marketer. It gave me connections with others I couldn’t have had before. And it helped me to establish myself as a credible authority within my niche.
Was I a great blogger when I started? No. Am I better blogger for having been a part of a tribe? Absolutely! I believe that we all matured and grew as bloggers because of our masterminding and commenting.
Commenting Tribe Challenges:
Sporadic Participation & People Being Left Out:
Here’s the dilemma, commenting tribes aren’t perfect and our little EIF Tribe was no exception. I took over moderating the tribe a few months after I joined it, and began to see the challenges of moderating such a group. There were a few of us bloggers who networked together and stuck it out, but many people came and went and there was always a waiting list of people who wanted to get into the tribe. There were some campaigns that would be so packed I didn’t think I’d ever get around to all the blogs, and others that were sparse with only a few core members participating.
Shortly after I took over the EIF Commenting Tribe, I launched the Prove It Blog Challenge, and it grew WAY bigger than I ever expected it to. My original hope was that we’d be able to comment on the blogs of the other challengers and help each other get results like the EIF Tribe had done for me and our core members. But with the Prove It Challenge growing by leaps and bounds, it was impossible to keep up and most people fell through the cracks.
So I decided to combine the two communities into the Clever Marketer Mastermind Community which would contain a blog commenting tribe as well as resources and training to help beginner bloggers grow their skills while they grew their audience. My “in a perfect world” vision was that all of us veteran commentators from the EIF Tribe would be able to pay it forward to the next generation of up and coming bloggers, creating a win/win situation of broadening our own reach as well as helping others achieve success. Yes, I thought we would all live happily ever after.
But shortly after opening the doors I was surprised by another big challenge. Most of the bloggers who are part of the CMMC are home based business owners and network marketers, but a few are not. Our niche specific commenting tribe started to get diluted and a few of us EIF Tribers felt a little frustrated. (Yes, I’m part of the frustrated bunch.)
You see, commenting on blogs that are in the home based business industry and are centered around marketing, including the topics of blogging, lead generation, leadership, personal development, traffic generation, network marketing, internet marketing, attraction marketing, video, and working from home, etc. made sense. I always felt like I learned something and that my time was well spent reading and commenting on these other blogs.
Nothing against bloggers in different niches, but for the sake of example, commenting on a blog centered around “automotive repair” wouldn’t fit. To be honest, on a couple of the blogs within the CMMC tribe, although I wanted to be encouraging and supportive, I have struggled to come up with what to say in the comments.
I have also received a message from a very good friend and one of the original EIF Commenting Tribe members that the comments on their blog were lacking in value and if it wasn’t from a tribe member they would have deleted it. To me, this is evidence that others feel the same way.
I have spoken with many of the EIF Tribers over the last couple of months, sharing that my intention was to wait until we had enough CMMC members that we could break down into blog commenting tribe niches and only comment on tribes within our specific focus. I think that time is here.
I received a very thoughtful and thought provoking email from Danny Iny from Firepole Marketing giving me a head’s up about a guest post he was writing. You see, after a round in the CMMC commenting tribe, Danny felt the same way many of us EIF Tribers have felt about commenting on blogs that aren’t specific to his niche.
Various Skill Levels:
Danny also felt that some of the blogs “stunk” after his round in the blog commenting tribe. I’m curious, are you talking about beginner bloggers or bad bloggers Danny? I know we’ve some beginner bloggers in our group and I don’t know who starts off as an A-list blogger.
I’m absolutely blown away by the progress some of the newer bloggers are making as a result of being a part of the CMMC blog commenting tribe. They are action takers, and solution seekers! I see them posting questions in the forum on how to do things, writing posts that ask for blog critiques and feedback on how to improve from their peers. And they are implementing the suggestions given to them.
I’m loving it because it’s exactly where I was less than 9 months ago! I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for a couple of hard critiques. (MLM Blog Code bonus webinar with Ty Tribble & Ann Sieg, Blog Audit Friday with Ana Hoffman, and asking for feedback from my readers)
The benefit I see from this aspect of the blog commenting tribe is that experienced bloggers get an opportunity to display their leadership, and new bloggers get the help they need.
The disadvantage is that experienced bloggers end up commenting on a few blogs that hardly get any traffic and aren’t going to teach them something.
How to Improve the Clever Marketer Mastermind Community & Blog Commenting Tribe:
1. Break Down into Niche Specific Tribes for Blog Commenting.
So far I believe we’ve got active commentators with blogs focused in:
- The majority of us are in: Home Based Businesses/Network Marketing/Direct Sales/MLM
- Our blogs are focused on: Marketing, Blogging, Social Media, Video, Lead Generation, Personal Development, Leadership
- We also have members who are in:
- Real Estate Marketing
- Health & Wellness
- Beauty & Fashion
I believe that if we break the commenting tribes down into a few smaller niches we will see better results and we’ll all be happier!
If you’re part of a smaller niche, then you are welcome to invite other bloggers in your niche to the CMMC so that they can participate in a blog commenting tribe with you. I’d start by focusing on finding 2 or 3 other people to start with and then growing your tribe from there, leverage your efforts. Another suggestion would be to open up a forum for your own niche…which I can help you do if you wish.
2. Neighborhood Watch, Blog Tribe Style
As with any community, we need to take personal responsibility for our asset. If you feel that a blog is not high enough quality to participate in the community you need to speak up. You are welcome to bring it to my attention if you’re not comfortable addressing the blog owner yourself, but I suggest that you speak with the blog owner, let them know why you feel their blog isn’t worthy of your comment. Many times we don’t know what we don’t know and we should be grateful for information that helps us improve. (Just like I’m so very grateful to Danny for bringing this topic up for discussion!)
If you’re going to play in the CMMC commenting tribe you have to understand that you’re going to be under the watchful eye of the community. If you’re not comfortable receiving honest feedback and valuable suggestions that can help you improve your business, then this isn’t the right place for you. I don’t want to play with whiners and no one else does either. If you’re not taking actions to improve, then your account will be deleted.
Now it’s your turn to weigh in on the commenting tribe debate!
So I’d love to know what you all think. (Danny you too!)
I did not create the Clever Marketer Mastermind Community for me. The community and blog commenting tribe is for the benefit of everyone involved and I feel that we’re growing a fantastic group of bloggers in our forum who have the best of intentions. I want to know your thoughts, feelings and suggestions.
Please let me know what you think and then head over to read Danny’s post! Building an Audience with Commenting Communities Smart or Sleazy? I’d love our blog commenting tribe to shower him with value adding comments as a thank you for asking the tough questions that will help us to grow and improve!