Three Ways to Grow Your Blog Community in an Economic Crisis

Three Ways to Grow Your Blog Community in an Economic Crisis

Reader Comments (47)

  1. good point, Brian. In the recent past I’ve done posts on how to get free or discounted items and how to help stretch pennies in the neighborhood by volunteering. One thing I meant to do is highlight available jobs. I did one post on it but you remind me I should make it a regular feature.

    Brian, you are like Warren Buffet, you make good common sense.

  2. Good ideas and nice to see this topic brought up. Locally my community saw changes in November 2007 but many brick and mortar businesses are doing great and are up from 15% to 30%.

    Online I see growth and buying.

    I think picking your path and finding ways to look at the situation differently while focusing on new and innovative ways to help existing customers and attract new ones is critical at this point.

    Those businesses that are thriving are keeping their customer base happy and keeping in contact with them along with asking for the sale AND finding new products to offer their existing customer base.

  3. I think it’s key that everyone has a calm demeanor so they can act appropriately for their situations and make the best decisions possible. Being rational to your users will only benefit you after the mess is over. Good karma comes back.


  4. I like your suggestion to coach optimism. It’s way too easy to focus on the negative and not do anything about it.

    A better approach is to acknowledge what’s happening, and keep pressing forward.

    Just this week I followed your suggestion to “Point out options” by writing a post about how to grow a business in bad times.

    This is the type of information people respond well to: information that offers hope in the midst of despair.


  5. Sonia,

    Great job. You had me at number one. Coach optimism. Nobody wants to play ball with the doggie downers.

    Take the Warren Buffet comment and run with it.

  6. Your third point is completely dead on. During times of panic and/or desperate emotion, people are looking for some sort of way to cure their chaos.

    With the media pumping community members full of hype and fear, going the exact opposite route and giving them a sense of “peace in the storm” is remarkable and helpful. Everyone wins.

    In a sense, during extreme times it is useful to be extremely, well, normal. The most powerful marketing strategy is pure, unending value. During a “crisis” the need for the value reaches even new levels, meaning you should publish the same content as usual … only more so. 😉

    In the end it goes back to the basic idea of building a relationship through published value: If you aren’t changing lives then you’re doing something wrong.

  7. The best way from all of 3 is to point out options. This is what people need right now, they need solutions.

    The tools we have are a major impact on people who are looking for answers in this moment of crisis. We need to be as positive and innovative as possible in these days, doesn’t matter what kind of blog we have.

    Great article Sonia

  8. The whole Chinese crisis thing could easily be a full post by itself.

    The version I heard was the same as what Alison heard, that there is one Chinese word meaning both crisis and opportunity. If the story was supposed to be that crisis = danger + opportunity, that’s a lot less interesting. And if people have to debate whether it contains an element of truth, it’s not true enough.

    It’s similar to the Chevy Nova deal. In Spanish, “no va” means “it doesn’t go,” so supposedly it bombed in Spanish-speaking countries. But in reality, no Spanish speaker would actually interpret it that way. The English equivalent is said to be that if a dinette set had the brand name “Notable,” no one would refuse to buy it, thinking that it didn’t have a table.

    However, this is true: in Japanese, entrance = in + mouth, and exit = out + mouth.

  9. Sonia, you’re absolutely right in saying that panic does make things worse. You have to remain positive that, despite the economic circumstances, you’re going to pull through. There’s fear everywhere you look online. Practice positive thinking! Great advice!

  10. We had a fire drill today, which made me think of this very principle. When the alarms are sounding and no one is quite sure what’s going on, be the guy with the red hat who reminds everyone what the safe exit is.

  11. Wonderful article, especially reinforcing how important optimism can be. The only thing worse than a depressed date is a depressed blogger, focusing on the positive and helping people grow their community is what the web is all about.

  12. Oh yes…I am including more stories & jokes on my post to help entertain my readers. It’s nothing like keeping our vibes up through laughter!

  13. Always good to zig when others zag. In optimistic times, a little surliness, doom and gloom, and snark can be refreshing. Right now it’s just a downer.

  14. I’m excited about what’s happening in the economy right now. Yes, some of my stocks have fallen in value (but not much)… and yes, the value of my home has a dropped a bit (also, not very much), but I really do see this moment in time as an opportunity to make myself and my business stand out from the crowd.

    There are somethings/businesses/people that are going to be negatively affected by the economy right now, but I think we entrepreneurs are the ones who will always find a way out of our current situation. We are the ones who make lemonade out of lemons. That’s what I think we are going to do right now… and that’s why I’m excited about what’s happening right now in the world.

  15. I think people are getting a little too anxious. There are ways to thrive in this environment…you just need to find them. That is what I am going to show my readers in the coming months

  16. “Panic makes things worse. It makes things worse for your readers, and their panic can make things worse for the larger society. Fear is the enemy of good decisions, and panic simply makes them impossible.”

    Well put. And it applies not only to economic downturns but to a lot of aspects in our everyday life.

  17. Hi Simone,
    An excellent article! You are right. In depths of depression, one must always stay optimistic and believe that the worse will pass soon. People sometimes panic not knowing why they are panicking. It could be a general sense of fear of something bad happening. But collectively, this instils greater panic. The vibes are just wrong. I believe that what is going to happen will happen anyway. The only way to weather this is how one reacts to it. Reaction is something all of us can control.

  18. @Darren, that’s awesome, I feel the same way. I do respect and feel compassionate about the many folks who are losing houses, etc. But I’m excited for myself too, for this chance to help solve a lot of problems.

    @Krista, good point, “social proof” works in the negative too. Helping people stay out of the stampede is a great thing.

  19. Global economic recession is one of the hot topic being discussed in the blogger’s world. With regard to this economic scenario economists are expecting more down fall and adverse situations in the global economy. Thanks for providing information on how to grow blog community during this period.

  20. Sonia!

    Thanks for your cool article, everyone really need this right now.

    I’m wondering: how was your very first day at school? I’d love to discover your wonderful little story : )

    For my part: I was extremely happy, and I was really constantly asking myself why the hell some little guys were crying like a waterfall, and catching their parents like a little cat affraid from water!

    How was your day, that day?

    Have very cool times!


  21. Sonia, as usual excellent, articulate, actionable advice. I laughed when I read “virtual smacking machine.” It is true however that when you meet freak out mode with level-headed calm it eases the anxiety of the other person. Kind of like telling a kid, it doesn’t hurt when they take a little spill. When you’re calm in spite of blood, & make soothing noises they just believe you. Crying turns to a whimper and the situation becomes manageable.

  22. I think my role is the same as it was after 9-11–keep living. I don’t believe all the hype I hear as far as panic and I look at things objectively, not just what the news tells me.

    Really, I’m okay. But I never dig myself deep with a fancy house or things I can’t afford or risky stocks. THAT’s why I’m okay. I’m also smart and have faith in myself to pull through.

    GREAT post!

  23. There is an ebb and flow to everything and life is no exception, but we must always be on the lookout for other ways to tap into that inner creativity and stay positive no matter what comes our way.

  24. The panic button caught my attention and I imagine that most people caight up in the media frenzy will push it. Interesting though how the Warren Buffetts of the world (both left and right politically) will pounce on these opportunities with great vigor. My take-away from all this is that one can adopt an enlightened self-interest in the markets and participate thusly in the next Bull run — Or, they’ll buy into the “sell sell sell” mantra being peddled in the media and get eaten by the Bear.

  25. There are always opportunities in any given situation – maybe different than before, but still opportunities. The best way perhaps is to keep on trying and always be patient.

  26. @Chuck, good point. Warren Buffett didn’t get to be Warren Buffett by doing what “normal” people do. The key to thriving in mass hysteria situations is to clarify your thinking, sort out what’s really happening from all the hand-wringing and panic, then take action accordingly. It’s certainly not easy to do, but well worth the effort.

  27. “The economic news has most people pretty freaked out.” was your first sentence. News is the key word here. It is as much the way the media is reporting things as the “crisis” we’re in that is causing all the panic. Yes, things aren’t great, but the media sure makes it look worse.

    This is like living in a drought. You conserve, you ration, you don’t make hasty decisions and one day the rain will come.

  28. I have some bad experience with no #2 because i just have some bad reader coming to my blog and they keep submitting the same comment constantly, hoping to see their comment in the screen, lol. Lucky i got my patience otherwise i may ended up at closing the comment form

  29. @Takumi, what a drag. Most blogging platforms have a way to ban an individual. There’s always that one delightful person (or bot) to make things difficult.

    @Sam, it’s surely true that the media spreads the gloom, and I’m a big fan of setting limits on that. “If it bleeds, it leads”–that’s what sells ad space, so it’s always going to be what news orgs go for. Toxic & unhelpful, IMO.

  30. I scan the CNN web site for “real news,” not the kind the local TV stations lead with (“Department stores are starting to offer customer layaways again, just like in the 1960s.”

    As a part-time journalist, I say, what a piece of crap to lead your 30-minute news with. They are just fueling the hysteria!

    We just started an Internet-based information and we are seeing all kinds of interest in our marketing membership subscription programs.

    In 16 years with various businesses, I have never considered NOT starting a new business during a recession.

    Way to go, Sonia. Shine the light for us and show us the way.

  31. Hi there,

    In a funny kind of way, this post kind of does the opposite of what it preaches. In other words, keeps saying, “Don’t panic!” at the same time as telling us how anxious everyone is and how they’re going to be misbehaving because of it.

    Personally, I don’t know anyone who’s anxious about the current situation really. The only person I know who might actually be effected by it is looking forward to his big, fat redundancy payout!


  32. “The economic news has most people pretty freaked out.” was your first sentence. News is the key word here. It is as much the way the media is reporting things as the “crisis” we’re in that is causing all the panic. Yes, things aren’t great, but the media sure makes it look worse.

    This is like living in a drought. You conserve, you ration, you don’t make hasty decisions and one day the rain will come.

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