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The blogging space is much more crowded than it was eight years ago when Bluehost customer Joshua Becker started But some principles for success haven’t changed. Most importantly, publishing quality content isn’t good enough — you also need to build a thriving community. Here, Becker shares five insights on community-building:

1. Spread your message.

“If you want to support yourself by blogging or writing, you need to have a community of people who are willing to support you and buy your stuff,” Becker says. “You can only talk to so many people on any given day, but if there are 1,000 people who are also telling their friends about you, then you grow much more rapidly.”

2. Make a real impact.

“I think the best opportunity for impact or life change happens in community, where someone trusts you, and they’re open to your thoughts on an issue,” Becker says.

3. Go beyond blogging.

Blogging helped Becker refine his ideas and his writing voice as he worked on several books, and created an audience eager to learn more. It also led directly to the publication of his latest best-seller, The More of Less. He was able to connect with an agent and land nine offers for the book, all because of his blog community.  

4. Serve readers.

“The most successful bloggers are those who are very reader-focused, who are trying to help people with what they’re writing,” Becker says. Though a community contributes to your own success, Becker emphasizes the importance of a service-oriented mindset: “When you’re just trying to use people to make money, people pick up on that and won’t trust you and won’t want to be a part of what you’re building. But if you consistently prove that you care more about the other people than you care about yourself, people are drawn to that.”

5. Just do it.

If you’re not sure whether you should blog or not, Becker suggests simply giving it a try. “I’m glad that I just started,” he says. “I didn’t feel like I had to have all of my questions answered, but I found answers along the way.”
Read more about Becker’s journey from suburban dad to expert on all things minimalist here.
Holly Munson is a freelance writer, editor, and content strategist based in Philadelphia. She has been reporting on business trends for seven years and has also worked in marketing, magazines, and museums.

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