3 Epic Revelations about Online Community

Image of Oia BellsTonight is going to be a great night.

Last Monday night was great and it looks like the Mondays over the next six weeks are going to be fantastic.

Why? Aren’t Mondays supposed to stink?

Monday is webinar night for the 2011 Community Marketing Challenge currently underway. It’s for the exclusive community that Sarah (at Common Sense Marketing) and I have built.

We meet live on Monday evenings with our community members to discuss the minisites we’re all building. There are six weeks of webinars remaining.

This challenge is complete with a private forum at Sarah’s site. It’s shaping up to offer solid ongoing help and encouragement. Our community is becoming more interactive and we’re being sensitive to the requests and needs coming from our participants.

We aren’t accepting more participants nor is this article leading up to a pitch. What I’m getting at is the value this experience is delivering. It’s the type of value that I get excited about and hope other people are finding along their own journey.

Building a business online these days requires you to join a community, build a paid community or encourage one to develop as you publish content. If you aren’t blogging you can still build a community using social media.

Community forums are useful for market research, sharing business ideas, and just general Q&A activity.

Here are the 3 epic areas of value that I’d like to share with you about our project.

Community resources

As this community matures, it’s going to become rich with actionable ideas and time-saving tools and tips. We’ll also be a test bed of ideas and strategy. We’ve been sharing valuable resources that we find elsewhere on the web. Our group is disclosing our strategies, sites and tools of the trade.

None of us have all the answers. But as a collective we can find the answers faster and benefit from our shared knowledge.

We, the founders, are striving to make it as useful as possible. We’re encouraging interaction and initiating it at every turn. Sarah and I don’t believe in capping our free contributions or holding back. Over delivery is the foundation.

This is the type of trust bank we all will continue to deposit into but we will share the great benefit of drawing from it for a time yet.

Personal development

Being a part of this project is teaching us about ourselves. How well are we, as the founders, listening or responding to feedback? Are we delivering the message(s) clearly and can we present it so that people can take action today?

We all agree communication in our personal and business relationships is important. The nature of this type of community causes us to tap into and hone our communication skills. We invite constructive criticism and we’ll continue to improve.

All this made me remember a thought-provoking passage:

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” ~Proverbs 27:17

That’s from the Bible but you don’t have to be religious to appreciate its meaning. We do sharpen each other; we challenge each other to communicate, learn and grow.

Product generation

Our project gives all participants their own story to share. It gives everyone ideas to build upon and a support environment to sharpen our skills. From this experience we can build a new business or advise others. We will have spin off ideas, stand alone products and perhaps write white papers and ebooks.

The are many possibilities and it’s too early to forecast the type or scope of projects this community will spawn. All I know is it’s a certainty.

It will happen.

What matters to me is that this project, even after the initial concept begins to fade one day, will give birth to new ideas. The community will be immortalized through future products created by all of us.

Now You

It’s your turn. Do you see the value in growing your own community? Even if it’s free do you see how much value and benefit it yields for those who are involved?

There’s no better time than right now to start planning your next community project. It’s challenging, exciting, and rewarding. You can thank us later for giving you this sneak peek ;)

Please leave your thoughts and answers to these questions in the comments.

Are you going to build your own community this year?

Are you already part of a community that nourishes you and others?

Photo: wolfgangstaudt

65 Responses to 3 Epic Revelations about Online Community
  1. Frank
    March 14, 2011 | 1:31 pm


    I just recently learned of the benefits of creating a community. For so long I went along in my life trying to do everything for myself by myself and unfortunately I spent a lot of time not going anywhere. There I was stuck in the mud just spinning my wheels.

    As I have worked to create relationships I have learned more about myself and my purpose than I ever did when I selfishly focused on my own needs.

    So these tips are head on. Community is no longer optional in the business arena it is a requirement.

    Great Post.

    • Jon
      March 14, 2011 | 3:22 pm


      It can be so frustrating to put in so much effort and feel like you’re getting so little in return. “Spinning your wheels in the mud,” that’s a helpless feeling. It’s great to hear that your purpose is coming into focus by community and helping others. Whether you’re just starting out in business or you’re an established veteran you can’t ignore this piece of the puzzle these days. People want to feel that sense of belonging. As customers, they want to be romanced and cared after.

      Thank you for sharing.

  2. Adrienne
    March 14, 2011 | 1:51 pm

    Hey Jon,

    I was so naive at the beginning of my online journey thinking I could do this all by myself. WRONG!!! I stumbled over and over again until I joined a training community. I’m learning so much but am now sharing my journey with others that are in this with me and we are all very supportive of one another. It’s awesome and I recommend that everyone join some type of community. It will benefit you in more ways that just one.

    As I visit other blogs and comment, I’m building yet another community of supportive bloggers who I am learning so much from, you included. This is such a great place to be and there are so many people who are more than willing to share advice or just an ear at times.

    Thanks for this reminder and I know your Monday’s will rock! Have a great time on the webinar tonight! I have no doubt it will be a huge success.


    • Jon
      March 14, 2011 | 3:18 pm


      Thank you for the encouragement. Reaching out in a community setting can be such a great resource for information and motivation. To anyone that isn’t yet doing so, I’d advise they try it. Join a community or start one. It doesn’t have to be for a fee; just start networking with like-minded people. Get out there and ask questions or offer answers. It helps everyone, plain and simple.

      See you around!

  3. Marlee
    March 14, 2011 | 3:38 pm

    Hey Jon!

    I had no idea you guys were doing this! I can’t imagine all the value you are getting from it.

    You know the Internet is funny because even though our community online is virtual it’s still incredibly necessary. You simply can’t thrive without being part of one.

    What a neat idea! You and Sarah rock. Hope your Monday night is suuuuper sweet!

    • Jon
      March 14, 2011 | 7:00 pm

      Hey thanks, Marlee! Yes we intentionally kept it small and manageable to iron out the wrinkles in our own game. It’s encouraging and a great value-add for all of us involved. OK, time for the meeting in just a minute. I JUST left you a comment…

    • Sarah Russell
      March 17, 2011 | 8:43 am

      Thanks Marlee! Come check out the results each Saturday – so far, it’s been pretty interesting :)

  4. Mandy Allen
    March 14, 2011 | 4:44 pm

    Hi Jon, I moderate a forum that is a great online community. We all share ideas, help each other out, and generally give masses of support to those who need it. I love the camaraderie of these online forums that gel so well.

    Enjoy the journey.


    • Jon
      March 14, 2011 | 6:59 pm


      Ah, then you know precisely how valuable it all is. I like the word, “gel,” good use here :) Keep on moderating!

  5. Janet @ The Natural Networker
    March 14, 2011 | 7:56 pm

    Jon, aloha. Very interesting article. Look forward to following the progress of your community.

    It is so much better to be a part of a community so we can learn from each other.

    I am fortunate to be part of two other communities and it is absolutely amazing the wealth of knowledge that exists within the membership.

    Thx for sharing your community and your insights. Aloha. Janet

    • Jon
      March 14, 2011 | 8:03 pm


      We appreciate you visiting, welcome! It seems you are well on your way and making the right moves. Also, congrats gaining some “share” traction on your recent Picasso| The Art of the Question article. Our community webinar went well tonight; a great session and even more interaction than last week.

  6. Jeanine Byers Hoag
    March 14, 2011 | 9:52 pm

    Great post about the power of community! Sounds like you have put together a great group of people, too.

    Your post reminds me of Seth Godin’s “Tribes”, which was really inspiring to me. I don’t have a solid community like you do yet, but would like to and am working toward that as a goal.


    • Jon
      March 15, 2011 | 8:09 pm

      You bet we have, Jeanine. Thank you so much for the encouraging words and you’ll build a solid community soon enough. Planning and persistence. I know where you’re hanging out now and you’re among helpful people ;) See you around.

  7. Jk Allen
    March 14, 2011 | 11:20 pm

    Hey Jon – I’ve been coaching my son’s basketball team, and tonight the season ended. We went undefeated. He has had his best game tonight…I wonder if he’ll remember this experience…he’s 5.

    Anyway, now, I have Monday nights back…I mention this in hopes hat I can get a spoke if one ever opens up. I would love to check out the webinar, if there should ever be an opening.

    I know the value of community and relationships. I would like to say that I’m in the midst of developing somewhat of a community at The Notebook. It’s been a terrific learning experience.
    For instance, this morning your comment on “What is a Hustler” made me think harder and better define what a hustler is. That’s what community is about…it’s a place to embrace, learn, lean on, and have fun with others.

    You obviously have a great community here!

    • Jon
      March 15, 2011 | 6:39 am


      Congrats to you both! How exciting an undefeated season is. Man I don’t know how you do it with the coaching, staying up until 2:30am and then starting your day just 3 hours later. You are definitely a hustler. I like how you stated communities are “a place to embrace, learn, lean on, and have fun with other.” Amen.

      I’m glad my comment added value. Your posts always get the blood pumping and encourage us to look within. We made the commitment to our group that it would be just us (those who signed up) for these 8 weeks of webinars. However, Sarah has been recording them and we haven’t yet decided what we’ll do with that archive. It won’t be the last time either of us do this and I do hope to continue working with her. I’ll keep you posted, Jk, for sure.

      You have a fantastic and interactive community at The Hustlers Notebook; keep it up and I’ll see you there soon.

  8. Dahlia Valentine
    March 15, 2011 | 12:40 am

    Hi Jon… I’m a firm believer in the power of community. Look at the whole affiliate marketing concept. By yourself you may sell 50 books. But with a community behind you, you could sell thousands.

    I’m currently in a couple of communities, and within a very short period of time, I’m already seeing the power of group think.

    Livin’ it and lovin’ it!

    • Jon
      March 15, 2011 | 6:29 am

      Livin’ it and lovin’ it – very nice, Dahlia. Thank you for sharing your experience. You know a thing or two about affiliate marketing being the Amazon aff master and all! I’ll be visiting again to check out your strategies and insights.

  9. Oliver Tausend
    March 15, 2011 | 6:14 am

    Hi Jon,

    thanks for an inspiring post. It makes perfect sense to build a community. I am building mine through my blog and engaging my readership. Of course, I am also part of many communities that were founded by others.

    The beauty of a blog and its platform is that it can grow in any type of community we want.

    Take care


    • Jon
      March 15, 2011 | 6:27 am

      Welcome, Oliver!

      So true that a blog is versatile that way. We’ll enjoy more personal challenges and growth by interacting with others in communities; I’m sure you’ve experienced it already. Best wishes to you building yours. Thank you for your input.

  10. Emmanuel
    March 15, 2011 | 9:10 am

    Hi Jon,

    I believe mightily in building a strong network and that I have begun to enjoy benefits from. This is a great post. A lot of you guys are really inspiring me to do more.

    Goodluck to you and Sarah

    • Jon
      March 15, 2011 | 8:11 pm


      That’s fantastic to hear, my friend. If we can inspire others to do great things I think that’s one of the most valuable things we may achieve in life. Keep at it and I hope you continue to find my content useful.

  11. Eddie Gear - The Guy With An Attitude
    March 15, 2011 | 10:32 am

    Hey Jon,

    Do you think that its really necessary for a blogger to build a community as a blogger?

    • Jon
      March 15, 2011 | 1:04 pm

      Hi Eddie,

      Good question. I think that many folks blog because they want people to interact with them. They want questions, they want to spark conversation and they enjoy seeding their ideas. Building a community or joining one is a great way to grow personally, and professionally (if it applies), and help spread your content. Now, it doesn’t have to be a forum you’re building. Community can be the same group of friendly and familiar faces commenting every day.

      But if you blog simply for the joy of typing your thoughts as your form of self-expression; that’s absolutely fine too. Some people enjoy blogging as a creative or emotional outlet. They may not need anything more than to type their words. Everyone is different. Perhaps you don’t need a community to discuss ideas and so forth if you blog just to blog. If this is the case, I imagine you’d avoid community building?

  12. Heather C Stephens
    March 15, 2011 | 10:53 am

    Hi Jon,

    Online communities are probably one of the greatest discoveries I’ve made in the last 12 months. The connections I’ve made online have helped me more than I ever could have thought possible and I’m so grateful for the friendships, ideas, encouragement, inspiration and guidance I’ve received from them.

    My blog is a community, my facebook group is a community, and I’m excited about my new blog marketing forum community! It’s so fun to meet others who are on a similar path and connect with them, share resources, and build relationships!

    Great post! Looking forward to learning more about you and your online community!


    • Jon
      March 15, 2011 | 8:14 pm

      Ah, there she is. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to share, Heather. I appreciate the valuable community you’re building at CleverMarketer and I’m happy to now be a part of it. If there’s one thing you clearly know a thing or two about it’s community building. Stay helpful..and again, thank you.

  13. Mavis Nong
    March 15, 2011 | 12:27 pm

    Hi Jon,

    I couldn’t agree with you more – It can feel lonely at times when running your own home business. You may feel isolated with no one to share your challenges and triumphs with.

    When you are a member of a community, you have a golden opportunity to mingle with like-minded individuals who have one big fat common goal, namely, to help each other succeed in any possible way.

    I belong to a couple of fantastic communities which have helped me to transform my blog and business within a very short period of time.

    Thanks for sharing, Jon.

    All the best,

    • Jon
      March 15, 2011 | 8:19 pm


      You shared something there that definitely struck a chord with me. It certainly can be lonely because not many people I speak to in the physical world have any clue about “this world.” Life can become too busy to give them any kind of elevator pitch about it; and most times their eyes glaze over when you do share.

      Best wishes on your journey, Mavis. It sounds like you know where you’re headed. Thank you for visiting.

  14. Leanne Chesser
    March 15, 2011 | 2:35 pm

    Jon, I absolutely agree about the importance and benefits of community. I’ve created several free ones, I’m creating a paid one and I’m part of many different groups. My theme for 2011 is “success together” and I believe strongly in working together with others, learning and sharing, and helping one another to move forward.

    • Jon
      March 15, 2011 | 8:22 pm


      It’s great to have you here and to see that you’re no stranger to this concept! “Success together,” that sounds epic right there and you know what? I’ve seen a lot of little tribes cropping up here and there. Success together is something that people are embracing. Onward and upward, Leanne – thank you.

  15. Fred H Schlegel
    March 15, 2011 | 3:22 pm

    I like your idea of a trust bank. To often I run into businesses that feel all they need to do is deploy technology and the community will take care of itself. The need for active participation and sharing is as true online (maybe more so) as it is in your local neighborhood.

    • Jon
      March 15, 2011 | 8:25 pm


      Very good point and thank you for the insight. Right, it isn’t all about deploying some widget and watching the world come running. It isn’t hard work but it’s work; it takes patience and genuine care for your fellow man (or woman). Thanks for your trust bank deposit, Fred ;)

  16. Devesh @ How To Blog
    March 15, 2011 | 6:42 pm

    Great Post Jon. You’ve made awesome points.

    Blogging communities is one of the best place to find new people, connect with them and get some traffic.

    Anyways, Thanks for sharing this great Post.

    Keep up the good work.


    • Jon
      March 15, 2011 | 8:27 pm


      We’re pleased to have you here and thank you for the comment. Can’t beat the instant feedback of a blog community to let you know where you stand and where to go next. See you again soon!

  17. Hector Avellaneda
    March 15, 2011 | 8:14 pm


    I’ve always been a huge fan of being in a mastermind group and surrounding yourself with like-minded people.

    I don’t think I need to go into the WHY’s of joining a mastermind group. Heck, you did a great job at breaking down the advantages for us.

    What I have found however, is that you are always going to come into contact with people, whether friends or family, that will add to your mission or goals and other that will try to reduce your mission or goals to levels that make THEM feel comfortable with themselves.

    I think you’ve heard me say this before but I’ll share this with your community. I believe that in life there are 5 type of people

    The Refreshers – Those that strengthen your faith and energize you.
    The Refiners – Those who sharpen you and clarify your vision.
    The Reflectors – Those who mirror your energy, neither adding nor subtracting from it.
    The Reducers – Those that try to diminish your goals and efforts to their own comfort level.
    The Rejecters – Those who do not believe, understand or purposely try to look for a flaw in you plan; the one’s I like to call the “cynics”.

    The goal being that you add more Refreshers and Refiners to your life, like a community of like-minded people or a mastermind group and not subject yourself to any Reducers or Rejectors.

    I hope this helps!

    • Jon
      March 15, 2011 | 8:34 pm


      I do remember your “5 R’s” and that was a great post. Cheers to adding more Refreshers and Refiners to our lives! As always, thank you for your input.

      • Hector Avellaneda
        March 17, 2011 | 9:46 am

        Awesome! My pleasure my friend!

    • Jason from Skyward
      March 19, 2011 | 12:27 am

      Strong comment Hector…I’m sticking those 5 “R’s” in my back pocket. I won’t soon forget that!

  18. Rowena Bolo
    March 16, 2011 | 3:22 am

    Hi Jon,

    I am glad to have met you through Heather’s mastermind community. I love your writing style and I’ll definitely be checking out most of your previous posts. I also admire what you and Sarah is building – “A test bed of ideas and strategies”, wow!

    Well, my husband and I have been ‘thinking’ of setting-up a community for couples. After seeing Heather’s as well as reading this post about the components of building a community, I know it’s going to be a feat (hubbie is currently employed now). But I believe that with proper planning and the right strategies, we’ll be able to realize this goal. This is why I am excited to learn from both Heather’s and your blog. Definitely a credible resource for setting-up our future community.

    Looking forward to learning much from you.


    • Jon
      March 16, 2011 | 6:02 pm

      Hi Rowena,

      Thank you kindly for your empowering words here. It’s great to be in contact with you over there in Singapore. Goodness, this world is made smaller with the internet. I wish you well and hope you’ll find the will to keep pushing forward to achieve your goals. It’s great to see you’ve touched upon some important competencies there: planning and implementing the right strategies.

  19. April Williams
    March 16, 2011 | 11:53 am

    Hey Jon!
    So great to connect with you through Heather’s Mastermind Community. There really are strength in numbers and being part of a great community is essential for blog success and the best part is that it is a win/win for everyone in so many aspects. Sounds like you guys have some exciting things going!!

    • Jon
      March 16, 2011 | 5:58 pm

      Hi April,

      Welcome and thank you. I trust that all is well in the Mompreneur world today? Thank you for the encouragement and I’ll be seeing you again soon.

  20. Jane | Find All Answers
    March 16, 2011 | 12:02 pm

    Hi Jon,

    I have always believed strongly in communities. But now I laugh at myself when I was first confused by the word “tribes” that denote communities. I would relate the word to something else, I thought “what a ‘tribe’ would do with blogging?”

    Jokes apart, I enjoy being part of every community I am in. And I look forward to connect to more people.


    • Jon
      March 16, 2011 | 6:06 pm

      Hi Jane,

      I saw you over at YoungPrePro when you guest posted. Good job! Keep making those valuable connections and thank you for sharing your time with us here.

  21. Tim
    March 16, 2011 | 2:41 pm

    Hi Jon,
    I’ve seen community power in action in both my life and my business and I understand first hand how it can shape anyone’s work ethics and life in general. Good to know you’re also having very good experiences with it.


    • Jon
      March 16, 2011 | 6:04 pm

      Thank you for visiting, Tim. I’m happy you’re experiencing the benefits of community not only in business but, most importantly, your life. I hope to see you here more!

  22. Bryan McHeyzer
    March 17, 2011 | 6:40 am

    Hi Jon,
    A very good point… we are social animals so a community of like minded people can only contribute to the strength of that group.

    Recently joined a blogging community and have gained heaps of knowledge… the only drawback is the amount of time one tends to spend.

    Great post.


    • Jon
      March 17, 2011 | 8:50 pm

      Welcome back, Bryan!

      Social animals is right. We are wired for networking and community. Hmm, you bring up an excellent point and even possibly fuel for my next post. There may be drawbacks to every community initiative; effective time management has to be at play.

      Thanks for your insight and I’m glad you’re learning through your community.

  23. Sarah Russell
    March 17, 2011 | 8:51 am

    Hahaha – Now I feel like an ass for not getting to this post until today… :)

    First of all, thanks so much (if I haven’t already told you that a thousand times) for all the work you’ve done on the challenge and for convincing me to actually do it. It’s been reassuring to know that I’m not totally crazy for investing so much time into community building.

    I have to say, 2011 has been a surprising year. I’ve been working as an affiliate marketer for almost 5 years now, and it’s always been a very closed off community. No one shares their techniques, their sites, their keywords and so on.

    So to have a site that’s only a few months old building a community that openly shares that exact info with the explicit goal of helping each other out is pretty much mind-blowing. I had been thinking about this challenge as a short-term thing that we’d do for 2 months, but now I’m almost feeling overwhelmed by the number of opportunities that could come from it.

    So great post, and thanks for highlighting the value of building a community that’s based on openness and trust. I know it’s been well worth it for me, and I’m glad to hear that you feel the same :)

    • Jon
      March 17, 2011 | 6:31 pm


      Ha! No worries. I’m so glad we linked up months back and held each other accountable to the project. It really is an eye-opener and great fuel for things to come. I thank you for doing such a great job leading the community.

      The longer I know you the more I’m impressed. You’re doing great things over there and it caught me off guard to see you win Glen’s headline contest. I was reading and then saw your name pop up and I went, “rock on!” Congrats and awesome revealing post today about managing finances.

  24. Theresa Bradley-Banta
    March 17, 2011 | 4:33 pm

    I sometimes like to say, “There is no such thing as competition.” I know there are people who will adamantly disagree with this statement. But I say it so that others will stop and think, long and hard, about having a highly competitive mindset — to the exclusion of other possibilities.

    I’d much rather promote the philosophy that everyone is a potential joint partner or team member. And that to collaborate is divine.

    Your post illustrates this way of thinking beautifully Jon! I love how you said,

    “Our project gives all participants their own story to share. It gives everyone ideas to build upon and a support environment to sharpen our skills. From this experience we can build a new business or advise others. We will have spin off ideas, stand alone products and perhaps write white papers and ebooks.”

    Amen. This is collaboration at its finest. Well done! What a wonderful project!


    • Jon
      March 17, 2011 | 8:46 pm


      I like the conviction in, “there is no such thing as competition.” It all starts with your mindset and your commitment to claw your way through until you achieve your goals and beyond. Competition, pfft. Alone it may take some time but together we can revolutionize an industry. It is nice to see you here again!

  25. Melanie Kissell @SoloMompreneur
    March 18, 2011 | 12:50 am

    Theresa Bradley-Banta gave me a little ‘nudge’ to head over here and read this post, Jon. Good advice!

    “United we stand — divided, we fall.”

    Every time the word ‘community’ is mentioned online, that quote and philosophy comes to the forefront of my mind. It’s the same principle in support groups, too.

    At the hospital where I work, we have a breastfeeding support group every week that’s open to the public. The facilitator is a medical professional who does a great job of leading the group. But it’s the new moms who support one another that really make the difference. Collectively, they are able to lend a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on if needed, and solutions to all kinds of problems the moms are experiencing.

    I believe we were put on this earth to build community. I’ve taught my children that the meaning of life is simple — it’s “people connection”. That’s why we’re here.

    Good luck and continued success with the community you’re building, Jon!

    • Jon
      March 18, 2011 | 1:23 am

      Welcome, Melanie!

      Thank you for this great share and I will have to thank Theresa for the nudge.

      It’s probably no coincidence then, just good sense, that I was thinking about “united we stand…” while I was writing the post. It’s a great philosophy to have and I’m glad you are “+1″ to the group!

      You get to see firsthand how the community spirit is shared and lifts everyone up, how powerful! It sounds like you’re setting your children on a great path of healthy communication and interaction. I couldn’t agree more; we’re here for each other.

      Thanks so much for the encouragement, we’ll keep at it and I’ll swing over to see what you’re up to at Solo Mompreneur.

  26. [...] Monday, we discussed epic revelations that I’ve had concerning community [...]

  27. Ian Belanger
    March 18, 2011 | 4:18 pm

    Hi Jon,

    I am in the process of building an online community training site. You are so right about going it alone. There is just so much to learn, Information Overload has happened to me, too many times to count.

    I wish you luck with you’re project and would like to pick your brain a little in the future, maybe.

    Thanks for sharing Jon and have a great day!

    • Jon
      March 18, 2011 | 8:05 pm


      Hey man I’m always here. Send me a message through my contact form if you’d like and we’ll take it “offline” to chat more. It’s inspiring to know that you’re in the process of building your own community training system. The learning curve is steep and you’ll likely have some sleepless nights but big rewards await. Keep in touch, Ian.

  28. Jason from Skyward
    March 19, 2011 | 12:33 am


    Before I begin….great title man! Gotta love the word “epic”.

    Anyway, If I’m being honest I’d have to admit that you’re about 10 steps ahead of me regarding online community.

    Yes, I’m engaged.
    Yes, I read, comment, tweet, direct message, etc.
    But I don’t really try to synergize enough….that’s a problem.

    Thanks for bringing it to light, that’s what great posts (and writers) do. Much appreciated!

    • Jon
      March 19, 2011 | 2:34 pm

      Hi Jason,

      We’re all in this together and I still have a long way to go. You’re laying a solid foundation at Skyward with consistent comment/traffic and insightful writing. I like reading your work because you weave so much personal experience and storytelling into it that I get drawn in.

      I’ve grown a lot over the past several months tapping into different networks and learning from others. It’s amazing how much talent you see out there when you do some blog and community hopping.

      Thank you very much for your encouraging words.

  29. Sunday Link Love #21
    March 20, 2011 | 2:33 pm

    [...] 3 Epic Revelations About Online Community – Jon Alford [...]

  30. Allie
    March 21, 2011 | 6:02 pm

    Hey Jon,

    I gotta be honest, I am a little jealous. I want to be part of a community like that. I just haven’t found one. And I am not ready to start one. How do you find them? Or the people that yo get involved with?

    I know how important and rewarding it is to help and be helped by fellow bloggers. I have participated in a few challenges. But to be part of a mastermind group would be great also.

    I wish you the most luck with your online endeavors.

    • Jon
      March 21, 2011 | 6:33 pm

      Hi Allie,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Allie. I tried running searches through Google for forums and massive directories for all these groups but it’s hard to know what you’re really getting into that way. Mine wasn’t the most glamorous approach, but I hand-picked each person in the beginning that I started chatting with and commenting on. It really all started with blog commenting.

      Since I was commenting on sites with communities and topics that interested me, I just started clicking through other people in the comment thread and checked them out. Then I introduced myself there too and from doing that you will wind up hearing about different partner projects and home grown communities sprouting up.

      With the community Sarah and I started, that happened because I commented on Sarah’s site and appreciated her ethical marketing platform. I emailed her and soon we decided to open up a community challenge. Recently, I joined another community run by Heather Stephens at CleverMarketer.com, it’s free and I wrote about it here:


      It’s focused on blog commenting only. But there are some really helpful people from all stages of their blogging journey helping each other in there. Think about it!

  31. Jerome Ratliff
    March 23, 2011 | 9:30 am

    Hey Jon,

    Great way to start off this post. BTW – it pulled me in right away. Communities are essential if you want to build your online (esp. blog) presence. It WILL make a world of difference.

    Highly recommend it.

    Jerome Ratliff

    • Jon
      March 24, 2011 | 7:04 pm

      Thanks Jerome!

      I’m glad it pulled you in and kept you til the end with a comment. “It WILL…” I like your conviction there! It’s true. If you plug into the right community you stand to gain knowledge and gather ideas; even if that community isn’t one you sell to the rewards are great.

      Please stop by any time.

  32. [...] like Bob Saget are active in the Scleroderma awareness community working hard to raise funds for Scleroderma Research. There is no known cure so it’s a [...]

  33. [...] I wanted was a way to provide meaningful feedback about things that were still current, so that real-time course corrections would be possible, and [...]

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