Since I announced ProBlogger.com mid last week the ProBlogger Community Forum has grown to well over 1300 paid members (note the member numbers are reported as higher but also include people who have yet to confirm their membership with a payment).
Because it’s a private, walled community it can be a little difficult for those not on the inside to assess whether it’s something for them – so I thought today I’d highlight some of what’s going on inside:
1. Community Challenges
Something that we’re going to run this week is a ProBlogger Community Challenge. In the challenge I nominate a type of post for our members to go away and write up and then everyone shares their links to those posts over the coming days. Then members are encouraged to surf through the list, comment, give feedback and then share those links that they resonated most with their own network.
The idea is that we all do something together, there’s opportunity to learn from how others approach the task and of course there’s opportunity for extra traffic both from other members and from where they share the links that they like.
Update: I’ve just launched the first community challenge – it’s now live.
2. Blog Critiques
We’ve set up a specific area of the forum where any member can share a link to their blog and ask others to give feedback on it.
Members putting their heads together on this means that people asking for critiques are getting a variety of responses on their blogs from a community with diverse experiences, skills and ideas. There’s also the opportunity to learn by watching critiques of other blogs.
3. Opportunities for Collaboration
The collaboration area of the community is one of the most active. This is one of the key reasons I wanted to start the forum – putting bloggers together to work together for mutual benefit can lead to wonderful outcomes.
We’re still only seeing the beginnings of where these collaborations will lead but to this point we’re already seeing some creative ideas. Bloggers are hooking up with other bloggers in their niches to work together, we’re seeing bloggers working together on social media campaigns in groups, bloggers are helping one another with content creation and more.
The effectiveness of this area will only grow as more bloggers join which will open up possibilities to work together with other bloggers in similar niches and locations.
4. Secondary Connections
One of the cool things that I’ve already seen start to happen is people making connections with other bloggers outside of the community. For example in a thread where I invited members to share their Twitter ID’s we’ve had hundreds of people share them and people reporting seeing marked increases in their follower numbers.
While having more followers is nice – the real benefit of this is that these connections have the potential to build the depth of interaction between bloggers, strengthening networks and opening opportunities for fruitful interactions.
Another example of this is groups of bloggers already planning to meet in person at different blogging events. For example there’s a group going to get together at Blog World Expo and a few people asking if there are bloggers in their local areas who might like to have a meet up.
Yesterday I added a new area to ProBlogger.com – one for ‘Tutorials’.
There are two main reasons I wanted this area – firstly I’ve already seen a couple of really excellent posts by members exploring different topics. I want to highlight this type of content as I think there’s a lot we can learn from it. Secondly I’d like to give community members the opportunity to have some of their ideas featured here on ProBlogger.net occasionally as guest posts. I won’t use all tutorials submitted here on ProBlogger – but from time to time will use the best and most interesting submissions with the permission and credit to the author.
6. Our Members
1300+ members in less than a week isn’t a bad result if you’re thinking purely about numbers, but what I’m thankful for and excited about is the quality of those who’ve joined.
Members come from all parts of the world, all levels and with an amazing variety of experiences. Already there have been numerous threads where bloggers have shared different opinions on topics in a way that doesn’t tear anyone down but instead where the diversity of opinion and experiences help facilitate learning.
What our 6 of our Members Say about ProBlogger.com
On that note – let me share 6 testimonials from these very same members to finish off this post:
“After recently rebranding my blog and website, I’ve felt as if my blogging attempts have been floundering, and with no support and no one to lean on, I’ve had difficulty finding the inspiration and focus to write. Since joining the ProBlogger Community just a few days ago, I now feel like I’m part of a family who has already supported, encouraged, and helped me to get my focus and determination back! Thanks for creating this community, Darren – I’m truly excited to see it evolve in the coming months!” – Ursula Comeau from UCWebCreations.com
“Without doubt, the new home of bloggers. In less than a week it has established a community spirit that most forums can only dream of.” – Kevin Muldoon from Blogging Tips
“The thing that I’ve really gained from the forums is motivation! Most forums tend to suck up my time, I think I’m barely on ProBlogger.com for more than ten minute before I have to go and write a post, go searching for inspiration or look into a new form of monetisation. Within the first week it’s impressive to see that there’s already a strong sense of community among the members and it’s great to see everyone so willing to help other bloggers reach their goal.” – fern from Craft Blog
“After signing up for Problogger.Community I submitted Summer Tomato to the critique section. I’d never had anyone but friends and family give me their thoughts on my design, and I’ve always been curious what “real” bloggers might think. Within a couple hours of signing up I had wonderful positive and constructive advice on my blog from experienced bloggers, and even a few new readers! As far as I’m concerned this subscription has paid for itself already.” – darya from Summer Tomato
“If you want to grow your blog, you need to work with other like minded bloggers…plain and simple. Problogger.com has been an incredible avenue for blogging collaboration and it is just getting started. It is really a no-brain’er.” – Robb Sutton
“Not being much of a forum user I was a little hesitant at first to sign up at problogger.com, especially since it was going to cost a whopping $1.95 (gasp!), but I’m glad I did. Already I’ve connected with some great people and just having a more personal interaction with Darren makes the cost worth it.” – David Turnbull from Adventures of a Barefoot Geek
“I’m not the best networker in the world but problogger.com has made a massive difference. Without even asking for it, members have gone out of their way to help promote my blog further and being a member has given me so much extra motivation for blogging that my traffic has doubled in the week that I’ve been there! It’s paid for itself many times over already.” – Lee from Smash and Pees
Join us Today
If ProBlogger.com sounds like a community that you’d benefit from we’d love you to join us today. The cost is $1.95 a month (you can unsubscribe at any time) – we plan to increase this price but if you sign up at $1.95 you’ll be locked in at that price and never pay more to get access to the forum.
UPDATE: the introductory price of $1.95 is over. The monthly price is now $5.95.
The process for joining is simple:
- just head to the registration page – this registers you as a forum member (but doesn’t give you access to threads until you’ve done the next step and paid.
- once you’ve registered and logged in head to the payment page where you select the $1.95 option and will be then taken to PayPal.
Once you’re paid – you’re in! If you have any problems along the way let us know via the contact form on the forum.
PS: I’ve set up a ProBlogger.com Twitter Account to keep people up to date on problogger.com specific news.
PS2: One thing that has naturally started happening is that groups of bloggers have been joining up together. A few bloggers told me that they felt a little overwhelmed by joining and participating in this community as they felt a little out of their league – so they convinced a friend or two to join with them.
A couple have even bought memberships for friends so that they’re entering in with someone familiar that they can buddy up with from the start.