This is a guest post by David Hutchison. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
Building a community on your blog can be more satisfying-and successful-than going it alone.
When I began my blog, inGoal Magazine, I had everything in place that the how-to guides suggest, from a topic I am passionate about to a niche market that was underserved. Hockey goaltending also comes with an almost endless stream of publishing opportunities — if nothing else there are games almost every night to report on and countless options for link posts reporting the latest news. I thought I had it made.
While I have a day job I enjoy and was in no hurry to leave, I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t somewhat seduced by the idea of retiring to a beach in Costa Rica with my family to blog and enjoy the sun. Of course, I quickly realized that whether I intended to keep my day job or not, creating a significant blog and building a sizeable audience takes time. Lots of it. That’s not news if you’ve been reading daily blog tips.
Between creating multiple posts per day to promoting my content all after my kids had gone to bed, I was either going to flame out burning the candle at both ends, or I was going to have to give up my newfound passion. There was simply too much to do and too little time to do it in.
Then inspiration hit. It wasn’t quite a light-bulb moment, but it was significant. You can’t go it alone. Being a control freak and doing it yourself just isn’t an option. Whether I was going to continue building my offline career, or I was going to go all-out Tim Ferriss and put my online world on auto-pilot, at the end of the day I was going to have to reach out for help.
Since that day I have posted a few “help wanted” articles, inviting passionate readers to join me. I have reached out directly to professional goalies and coaches as well — they don’t bite and are actually quite friendly when approached! I’m not talking about a call for guest posts, either. I’m talking about inviting people to join me as part of a greater team. After a few submissions I offer login and posting abilities, email addresses and, if they want it, a title that recognizes their contributions. Most importantly, I treat them as part of a team. I keep them up to date on metrics and significant developments and I invite their opinions when I consider making a change. When story opportunities come up relating to their aspect of the site – I pass them on to them even if it means losing an exciting chance for myself. In short, I am building a team and a community so that we can create a better blog.
The site isn’t about me, it’s about our collective interest and building something that serves a greater community. Together we have created a site that is far, far better than anything I could have ever done on my own. From world-class photography to exclusive interviews at the Vancouver Olympics the people who have joined me have made inGoal Magazine something we can be proud of, something that serves the goaltending community in a way I never could have on my own. We have yet to meet face to face, and I have only spoken on the phone with some of them a few times — but I have friends who share a common passion and a common endeavor that mean the world to me.
Best of all, I can follow my passion, I can enjoy the experience of blogging and connecting with others while maintaining a sane life, a rewarding career and most importantly a loving family.
About the Author: David Hutchison is the editor of inGoal Magazine. Together with a team of writers and photographers who share his commitment and passion for goaltending he is building a leading site for the most important players on any ice hockey team. And he does it at night after the kids go to bed.