NOTE: Even though I wrote this post, as well as used the commenting tribe strategy, quite a while ago (when I first started Traffic Generation Café), I still think this strategy is every bit as effective today as it was back then.
Looking back at the start of my blog this past July, I am completely blown away with how fast it's grown.
Apparently, you are too since the questions of how I did it keep pouring in.
I am always happy to oblige, so in this post I'll talk about how I created a commenting tribe to give my blog social proof as well as a significant increase in my website traffic.
I mentioned this strategy briefly in my Traffic Generation Step by Step post, but just saying that I post all my new articles to various tribes didn't provide much of the insider information on what I actually do.
I am sure you've heard of different internet “tribes” popping up as mushrooms after a summer rain.
What is a tribe?
Very simply, it's a group of people who get together to promote each others' content online.
I've seen 3 different tribe structures:
1. Traffic Exchange Type Tribes
Some of the tribes I know of are huge and can cost you up to $70 per month.
They use a very intricate point keeping system and remind me of traffic exchanges: the more points you accumulate by commenting on and sharing other tribe members' blogs, the more people will do the same for you.
My thought on this?
Keep your money.
2. Smaller Facebook Tribes
Here's how this type of tribe works: someone decides to create a fan page and call it a “tribe”.
Every new fan of the page can post links to promote their blogs – very simple concept.
It's based on “give a little, take a little” kind of mentality; the hope is that the fans will not only post their own links, but also visit other fans' blogs.
Problem with that: everyone focuses on self-promotion and the fan page creator is the only one who tries to visit other blogs – in the beginning anyway, until he/she figures out how futile it is and just lets the page go.
I wouldn't hope to get much traffic from those types of tribes, but there are still good reasons to use them.
1. For social proof.
When a reader sees that your post has already been shared by someone on Facebook, they are more likely to share it as well. Nobody wants to be the first one!
It's also a good way to get more Facebook fans.
2. For backlinks.
UPDATE: this might've been a decent strategy to build links back in the day, but the day had come and gone. Don't do it with link building in mind.
How do you find such tribes on Facebook?
Just type your main keyword and the word “tribe” in a search box.
3. Private Commenting Tribe
This is exactly the type of tribe I created on Facebook that helped Traffic Generation Café to become a success just about overnight – THANKS to my incredible tribe members.
How to Create a Tribe
Here is exactly what I did to create my commenting tribe:
1. Create a private Facebook group.
2. Find peer blogs in your niche
I wouldn't recommend going for entirely new blogs, since commenting on a blog no one else knows about won't bring you much traffic.
3. Contact the blog owner
Let them know about your group; see if they are interested in joining.
4. Set the rules
You have to have a idea of how you want to run your tribe: how many people you need (20 was a good number for me), how many times per week each tribe member will visit other tribers' blogs (in my group, we do 3 campaigns per week), what the rules are, etc.
5. And you are all set to go!
How I Run My Tribe
As I mentioned before, I decided to go for 3 “campaigns” per week.
I use “discussions” section to post a new campaign.
A campaign lasts 2 days.
Each tribe member who chooses to post a request for comments during a specific campaign has to also comment on all other requests.
Since the group is relatively small, it's easy to keep members accountable.
How My Tribe Helped Me
1. It gave my blog social proof.
There's nothing worse than visiting a blog with no action going on. Makes me want to leave right away. After all, if there are no signs of other people reading the blog, the content must be pretty bad!
That's, unfortunately, how most people think.
Now imagine each of your posts has 5-10 comments as soon as it's published! Quite a difference.
2. I got noticed by others
As I commented on my members' blogs, I got noticed by their readers. I started getting traffic from their blogs.
3. Social media sharing increased
My tribers also started sharing my content on their social networks. I started getting even more social media traffic from that.
It made a HUGE difference to my blog and all other blogs in the tribe.
We learned from each other, we pointed out the things that could be better on our blogs, we developed true friendships.
Where Is My Tribe Now?
We had a great run, but as of right now, my tribe's time is over.
Unfortunately, I don't have any good recommendations for existing tribes either.
If you know of one, let me know in the comments or, even better, on my Facebook fan page.
Otherwise, start your own – trust me, it's easier than it sounds.