Wednesday, August 16, 2017

::Building Your Blog Tribe:: Do's & Don'ts

{All pictures are from my Momma of Dos, blogging 101 class last week... #BlogVisionTribe}

I've been blogging for nine years, like before it was "in" to blog, I blogged. It's a story I often tell in my Blogging 101 workshop. In 2008, I went from writing blogs on Myspace to Wordpress. Then in 2009, I moved over to the Blogger platform. Momma of Dos has been around for some time. And it always surprises me to think back and look at how far I have come.  Some of the only reasons I have made it this far are due to the guidance and friendships that I made early on in my blogging career.

By 2014, my blogging journey took on a life of its own called the Houston Latina Bloggers {HLB}. It was important to me to start building a tribe and create a space where I could turn around and help new bloggers. My goal was to provide all the resources that weren’t available in the blogging space years ago and pass on the knowledge that I had gained. Co-founding HLB was a labor of love and continues to be. The women who helped me shaped the group into what it is today have played an integral part of the blogging resources HLB is now able to offer its members. HLB could not have grown and succeeded without the women who supported my efforts, offered their guidance, and worked hard alongside me to get the group up and going. In 2015, we kicked off an active group and created our own #LATINATRIBE

The group continues to grow and evolve; and after nearly two years of work, our vision is beginning to take shape. It has taken consistent work, dedication, and time. As the group grows, our process takes on new shapes and dynamics. New bloggers have new and innovative ideas which have brought HLB to the forefront of the blogging community. And through all the sacrifice and difficulties, the rewards have been worth it. 

In return, I have learned a lot. These days I share my experiences with women who attend my Blogging 101 class.

Here are some things I have learned you should and shouldn't do!


1) Provide Support & Guidance.

Sharing contacts, advice and giving likes and comments on social media may all seem like common courtesy for a tribe who is also doing the same for you. Right? Well, even if you don't receive the same amount of support, you show your support anyway. Why? Because at the end of the day you want to do all you can to help and know that you did your best.  It's probably one of our biggest rules in the group. It’s important. VERY.

You cannot be a taker and not give back. Or not give because you fear others will take too much. It's life. Things aren't fair. I tend to overshare but that's just me. You have to when you have years of knowledge. I must. I was once a new blogger and had no clue what to do. If it weren't for ladies like Alba of Independent Mami who ALWAYS offers great resources and is just a giving person, I would not have made it in the blogging world.

Which at the end of the day is just as cut-throat as any other business. **So don't be fooled. It is a serious income-providing business for many. Competition is bound to happen.  You just have to know when to give in.  

2) Build a personal relationship with those in your tribe.

You cannot be in-it to win-it if you don't have close personal friends in your tribe. Just like in life, you need the love and true friendship of like-minded women, mommas, writers, creatives and entrepreneurs who can have your back. The only way to know who does is by truly learning about the women in your tribe-who they are, their families and what drives them. This way you can form a true lasting connection or partnership with them.

3) Trust.

There are some levels of trust that need to be had when dealing with new people. I understand we all have different life experiences and our ability to trust is not as easy to some as it is to others. I trust too much, too fast, sometimes. I trust based on feeling or vibe. With that said, some people just click, or connect instantly and others may not. All is good though, some instant connections might not be long-lasting and some that take longer to connect, sometimes result in some of the best friendships or working relationships. I think it's like this with life in general.

4) Give Credit where credit is due.

You didn't do this on your own; if you did, kudos but, more than likely you didn't do this on your own. Had I not met certain bloggers early on, I probably would not have made it. The set of bloggers that I met in 2012 at my first LATISM conference were pivotal. I will be forever grateful for the role they have played in my journey. It is important to me to credit and give shout-outs especially to those content creators who share this space with me.

5) Be nice.

It's common courtesy, right? Being nice to people, although we won't always agree or connect with everyone but being respectful of others, their ideas and their content is just common sense. You don't want to burn bridges at any point that might be helpful or a resource just because you don't agree with others. I am not saying don't voice your opinion or be yourself.

Simply treat others how you would like to be treated. TRUST me, I know it’s easier said than done. I am not perfect. I've rolled my eyes when people start talking when I have strong conflicting feelings. You don't have to get along with everyone in the blogosphere. That's normal. With that said, just be a nice person and continuously courteous, simple rule.

And, in no way am I saying to be fake. If you do not agree with a group or how they think and you don't think you ever will, well then remove yourself from that situation. It's very easy.  Much like in life, if it doesn’t grow you, let it go.


1) Make Assumptions.

Communicate. Communication is highly important with online relationships. I would say if you don't understand something, or feel like something needs to be cleared up, Speak up. I'm one who can personally say that because I shut down, I have lost friendships over miscommunication. So, if you have to call or meet in person to clear the air and talk things out, do it! Don't assume that a certain tone or emotion is attached to words. Talk it out and know if your feelings are being validated. Again, if the situation at the end of the day is not what you expected, you have every right to walk away. but give it a chance. I would suggest talking, listening, and communicating.

Again, if things are not clear, talk about it, with time and patience.

2) Be overly-guarded of your space.

I get it. We all have insecurities and or a certain space that we like to protect. But in this business, if you don't share and put yourself out there, well then you won't grow. Most bloggers live and dream to have exposure, to be well known, I know I do! That won't happen if you are always in your own guarded and secret space. Some of us are super shy. Again, that's life, you can't grow if you keep to yourself and never share. You must let go of that guarded space and be yourself, people will love your open and honest content.

3) Use People.

Of course, we all know this right. I know a lot of bloggers in different groups complain about people who only come into their lives for a connection or contact. And, I get it, it's not right. I think that as long as you give credit and are respectful toward one another, sharing contacts and connections is acceptable.

In HLB, we want all the bloggers to grow so sharing is encouraged and applauded. I may not know all the ladies personally but we are part of the same community and at the end of the day I want them to grow. Their success is HLB’s success.

You don't want to be known as the person who never shares other bloggers’ posts, or likes, or comments but comes to the party when opportunities are being shared. It looks bad and although HLB doesn’t have a set rule on this, we do encounter these situations sometimes. People get upset and don’t want to share if they feel used. So show your tribe some love.

4) Be jealous- there’s enough to go around for everyone.

It's a natural thing to be jealous or have a feeling of being left out of something if you share too much. Don't be. I know it might not seem like it but trust that there is enough work for everyone. We are all content creators but our styles, perspective and experiences are vastly different. Don't worry about there not being enough opportunities. I've learned that the more you stay in your lane and do your own thing, the more opportunities will come your way.

Just trust me on this one. There is always enough. Don't worry about everyone else and what they are doing. Focus on you and you will not have time to look around and be jealous. No need. No time.

5) Be fake.

That's all. Don't. Be yourself. People can see straight through you if you're fake. Plus, the things that aren't true and perfect about you will come out when people see you in person and realize that your online life is just a front. You don't want to ruin your brand like that. We are human not perfect or picture ready 24/7. So be real guys.



SWEET TREATS: Madre T Sweets by Maria Tolentino 

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