I am thrilled that so many people have signed up for the Project 365 as well as joining in the #ciuan365 on Instagram. Since it can be overwhelming to find your supportive group of photographers to help you through this project.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have made it through my first Project 365 if it weren’t for the supportive group that helped encourage me and keep me from quitting. Because, let’s be honest, you are going to have days where you want to quit. It’s normal. I remember putting someone on my blog around day 200 and something saying I was struggling and my buddies who I had never met came in to keep me going.
How to create your supportive group:
1. Return the love.
Click on the link that the person left to their own site. Head over to their site and comment on their photo.
2. Leave a genuine comment.
When you leave a comment don’t just leave a “adorable” or “cute kid”. Take the time to read what they wrote and comment on it. Point out something you like on the photo. Do not critique their image unless they ask for it.
3. Don’t wait for comments.
We have over 200 people who have linked up their blogs and want to be a part of your supportive community. Don’t wait for them to find you. You find them. Start with 5 blogs before yours or listed after yours. Leave comments on their blogs. Continue to reach out to 5 new blogs each day as you continue to find your group.
4. Link to the blogs you like on your site.
If you have a couple of blogs you like follow, link to these people on your side bar. This helps other people to find them. Plus it’s fun if you come to someone’s blog and see they are following someone you are following as well.
5. Click on people who leave comments on other blogs.
If you leave a comment on someone else’s photo look who else is commenting. Click on the link to their site and comment there. These people like to comment and may be more likely to come to your site and encourage you.
6. Try to comment everyday.
I realize not only are you taking, editing and posting images everyday but I really want to encourage you to spend 15 minutes commenting and creating a community. Keeping up with daily connecting to the bloggers you enjoy will help build that community. Even if you miss a day or two don’t stop commenting. Pick back up and leave some love.
7. Make it easy for others to comment.
If your blog requires someone to sign in to leave a comment, people may not do so. Also, removing words verifications that require an extra step is quite time consuming as well. I have tried to leave comments on several blogs already and for whatever reason my comments are not appearing. They are not waiting moderation they just disappear after I click submit. Have a friend test out your comment and see if they can leave one. I would hate for you to think no one is commenting when people are and you just aren’t getting them.
What is funny is as you build these communities you will feel like you know these people. I remember sitting on my couch and saw of a picture Laurie put up announcing she was pregnant. I squealed and yelled “Laurie’s pregnant”. My husband said “Who’s Laurie?”. Ha I had to inform him she was my internet friend. I talked about these girls I followed to my real life friends as if I knew them.
I have been blessed with continuing my friendships with several of the girls I met in my first year of blogging like Laurie and Jen. Plus, I have been able to meet them both in real life. You never know who will be in your community or how deep of a relationship you will build with them.
I really hope that you will take the time to seek out other photographers doing the same project as you and encourage each other. You never know the friendships you may create.