Every Writer Needs a Tribe (Have You Found Yours?)

Today, I’m giving away a free eBook called Every Writer Needs a Tribe. This will help you start building the audience your message deserves. Get it right here.

The other day, a friend on social media told me she was tired of building a platform and just wanted to write. Another told me writers who don’t worry about marketing are doomed from the start. So what’s going on here? Who’s right, and who’s wrong?

Photo of Kids
Photo credit: Joe Crawford (Creative Commons)

Maybe they all are. Chances are, if you’re a writer, you can resonate with one of the above world views. You’re likely frustrated or tired or maybe even hopeful of this idea of building a tribe. And I want to clear something up: You already have a tribe.

Tribes are inevitable. You have one, whether you realize it or not. Tribes are how we live our lives. We are constantly banding together with other people to discuss ideas and share information.

Your church is a tribe.

Your job is another tribe.

Your group of friends is a tribe.

You have a tribe. The question is: Do you know it?

What’s a tribe?

Let’s ditch the jargon and just speak in plain English for a second. A tribe isn’t a fan club. It’s a group of people who care about something. And we all belong to a few of those, don’t we?

The scary part of a tribe isn’t finding one. It’s leading one. When I hear about artists feeling worn out by their tribes, it’s usually due to the pressures of leadership. They’re tired of leading (and rightfully so, because it’s hard work).

So when people tell me they aren’t interested in finding a tribe, I wonder if part of what’s motivating them is the fear of being a leader. Look, your tribe is forming. It’s out there.

Don’t believe me? Google a crazy, random hobby (like ninja monkey training, for example). There’s likely a group talking about it right now.

In a world where connection is now easy and free, it’s not a matter of if the tribe will form, but when. And the real question is this: Will you be brave enough to lead?

It’s not what you think

Maybe you’ve had this idea all wrong. Leading a tribe has nothing to do with being a celebrity or rock star or anything like that. It’s about digging deep into your craft and finding a way to help people.

That’s all it is: you, using your gifts to serve. If leaders are servants (and they are), then finding your tribe is simply answering a calling. It’s taking your vocation to the next level. Because once you step up and decide to lead, you can never go back.

If leaders are servants, then finding your tribe is simply answering a calling.

Jeff Goins

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From that moment on, you will have people listening — paying attention to your every move. And all of a sudden, there is a tremendous weight to your words and actions. Which isn’t always easy, but that’s the price we pay to lead. And frankly, it far outweighs the cost of not doing it.

Start building your tribe now

I hope you’ll take the time to find your tribe and realize that it may not be as much about you as you think. It’s about them, those people who need your words. So go find them.

If you need some help with this, check out my free eBook, Every Writer Needs a Tribe. If you’ve been waiting to be picked or searching for the audience your words deserve, this is for you.

Click here to get the free eBook!

By the way, today I’m putting together a free video series to teach how to build a tribe, and I’d love to hear how I can help. What’s something you want to learn?

Have you found your tribe? What do you need help with? Let me know in the comments.

155 thoughts on “Every Writer Needs a Tribe (Have You Found Yours?)

  1. Great lessons! The hardest part is wondering if your friends will deign to be part of your tribe. 🙂 Is the course ongoing, because I’ve gotten some of the emails so far, or has it not officially begun?

  2. Thanks for this post. Your comments about serving others with writing (in this post and others)  have really resonated with me. Creativity and service have been separate categories in my mind, creativity as something free and almost pointless, service as something harnessed and focused. But your call to bring these together makes total sense, especially as a Christian. Now to figure out how to combine them well…

  3. Hi Jeff,
    Been following you for a while now and receive your newsletters.  I so agree with what you’re saying.  As an older technophobe, I was blown away by the huge (really huge) resources of the web when I finally joined the party. Using this new,freely available knowledge, I learned to set up a website and started sharing all I’d found…But, the cruncher is I’d never taken the time to build my tribe.  Now, after publishing my first (e)book with another series in the works, I’m trying to start from the back.
    BTW – big fan here (just broke)! I do try to keep up with everything you’re doing and thanks for the inspiration.

  4. No doubt everyone has a tribe. Unfortunately, we have come to expect instant gratification and believe we are entitled to have the super-mega-fan base immediately after we start a blog and sign up with Twitter. We no longer grow organically, but settle for allowing “adder” services find our followers for us.
    Maybe I’m way off base. Maybe I’m missing the big picture. But, I believe slow, organic growth is the norm for developing a truly loyal tribe. The explosive, overnight success is not the norm.

  5. You ‘Nailed it’,  Jeff.  If you don’t have a real message that people connect with and are ‘moved’ by, All the fans in the world are meaningless.

  6. Once again, Jeff, your post showed up just when I needed it.  I only started my blog a couple of months ago (thanks to your inspiring work).  After the rush of excitement after finally putting my creative work out there, real life has settled in, requiring a lot of discipline and motivation to keep going.  I have to keep reminding myself that there is no deadline here, I don’t have to be in a hurry to attract more followers.  I am in the early stages of writing a book, using the blog to build up a potential market.  I’m hoping that by the time I have the book finished (who knows when) I will have built up an authentic tribe.  I’ll download your ebook after posting this and will check out the class as well.  Thank you!

  7. Thank you for this post, you are a real blesing to me! By your description, I can now clearly see that my tribe is the Church. I have written quite a couple of books on several topics  that are yet  to be published. And my writings are mainly  targeted at this special group. But I am still struggling in the area of focusing and editing my works. I can’t wait to see my books in prints and yet it seems to be taking ages to get perfected and out there selling hot! Honestly, I don’t know wheter this dilemma or delay is justied. Or if it simply stems from an unhealthy  feeling of inadequacies in the Use of Englisg language or a needless sense of perfection in my own part. I try to remind myself once in a while that God has not richly blessed and called me to write grammer. Still, I do feel that what is worth doing at all, is worth doing well. I know I must get my thoughts/feelings well clarified in time so as to ably wether the storms and make a distinct mark in my chosen proffession. What do you think please?  

  8. timely  post. can’t wait for your Tribes  course to  begin. I check my email box everyday and I’m  keeping an eye  out for when  ya holler about  it.  Thanks for serving other writers like  me!

  9. Wow, this? Knocked the cover off the ball for me today. “finding your tribe is simply answering a call.” That’s the part I’ve been missing. Duh! I mean, I work for The High Calling yet somehow the whole idea of Tribe has sounded so non-Jesus like. (Sorry Seth!)

    Yet at the core, I know it’s the piece I have to really figure out to move forward. 

    Thank you for this, Jeff. You speak words of Truth. 

  10. Jeff, how did you know this is exactly what I needed to explain my confusion?  In creative writing it was called our ‘audience’ and we had no idea who they were either, or where to find them.  I always imagined myself standing at a podium giving a lecture and this terrified me.  Being the ‘star’ did come to mind and that made me extremely uncomfortable, so I have been revising forever to figure out what its all about.  Serving people thru writing what they are already looking for, makes working with a tribe so much more do-able (hate that phrase, but it works here) plus creativity in the Christianity that my work always expresses is now the focus.  Thanks, it might take me a while but eventually I get it. 

  11. Two weeks ago, I released my second book, “Beyond Cancer’s Scars: Laying Claim to a Stronger Spirit.” I’m now working on spreading the word to churches and organizations who offer faith-based support groups to cancer patients. So, to extend my reach along these lines (and because the budget is tight), I googled “church support groups for cancer patients.” Pages and pages of links popped up with e-mails, names, phone numbers, etc. I’m taking time each day (usually at night because I homeschool during the day) to contact a few churches with the information about my book, along with including the book trailer and a free, downloadable leader’s guide. I’m getting some good response, and it hasn’t cost me a dime . . . just some time, some “want to”, and a whole lot of prayer to fuel that “want to.” Your recent posts have been a great source of fuel for me as well. Thank you for all you do.


  12. I’m working on finding mine. I just started my blog a couple weeks ago, so I don’t expect it to happen overnight. I think the key is to have a plan in place, be willing to do the work and be generous, and to be patient.

  13. hmm, what does my tribe look like? I guess it would be people, who are also seeking a closer relationship with God…going deeper beyond the surface acts of obedience…feel like I am still new to blogging, and I have so much to learn…thanks, Jeff, for asking, and sharing your insights 🙂

  14. Thanks for the reminder that leadership is servanthood.  It’s simpler (and more meaningful) to think about how we’re equipped to serve than how we can amass a crowd of followers.

  15. I must be part of your tribe because this post resonated with everything I’ve been wrestling with lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about whether or not to market my writing, how “fake” I feel trying build a platform, and how there isn’t a formula for success even if I do try my hardest. Thanks also for the ebook; just picked up a copy!

  16.  Wow Jeff, I have never linked fear of finding a tribe to fear of leadership. It makes super sense  🙂

    I enjoy leading – so keeping this perspective just makes it easy for me. I have associated tribe-building with permission-marketing more than anything else. And anything with ‘marketing’ doesn’t always make me go ‘yeeah let’s do it!’

    Leadership on the other hand is my kind of thing.

    great thoughts!

  17. This post was so helpful, thanks for sharing it, Jeff!  So much of this resonates with me… “finding a tribe is answering your calling…” wow, love that!  Falling in love with writing was so easy; sometimes it feels like staying in love does not come quite as naturally.  But believing we are answering a calling is something more motivating to me altogether!  Thank you, again, for this, exactly what I needed to read today.  

  18. Jeff, I so appreciate your thoughts on this. However, I am still struggling with this a bit – I am a fiction writer, in the midst of a first draft of a novel. What does my “tribe” look like? I don’t have a web page, blog, etc…and should I? Who would care about nobody me who is writing a first book? I get that a non-fiction writer can view his/her writing as helping others, etc. but how do I fit with that? Anyhow your blog is always helpful to me and I will head over to Amazon for the e-book – thanks again for being generous with your work. 


  19. I do have a challenge. I write for teenagers. YA lit, we could say. I want to help teenagers, and I am writing a novel for them. However, I frequently write on my blog http://www.lulainla.blogspot.com where I share different things: my life in the US as an Argentinean, simple living on a budget (home decor, cooking, fashion) and what I do. I think this might be a complete different tribe, although I am not the best at it (there are other women who are a hundred times better at this whole Home Making – Simple living genre). So… what do I do? I made a facebook page for the blog and get more traffic through it, but still, I don’t feel I have a “tribe” and if I have to form one considering my writing public… how to start?

  20. I’ve never really thought about it as a “tribe” (maybe I should). For me it’s about connecting with others – individuals. I love to write; am passionate about it. But I also love making connections. Thanks for sharing your perspective. Very insightful 🙂

  21. Absolutely love this. For SO many reasons, but leading and serving have been two words that keep being whispered in my ear. If (aka “when”) I struggle as a trible leader it’s because I get down. I forget leading isn’t just for when I feel bright, shiny, and presentable. Sometimes our best leading happens out of the trenches.

  22. I have a question. I know guest posting is a great way to build a tribe. I don’t seem to be getting many people linking back into my site from the guest post. I pick up a few each time, but I wonder if there are some tips for getting traffic back to your page from guest posts.

  23. I wrote for a hobby – God had other ideas like publication. Publication led to interviews on radio, TV and newspapers – scared the snot out of me so I joined Toastmasters to overcome fear of public speaking. Learned leadership along the way. Didn’t wanna lead – God had other ideas like boards to serve on, writing conference to direct and so much more. I love my tribes, the things we learn together and wonder what other great ideas God may have in mind. He is awsome! 

  24. jeff, at just the time god’s pressure on me to write increased to unbearable, i came across your 15 day writers challenge and have been following since.  having grown up in papua new guinea, the idea of a tribe only makes sense to me.  in fact, like you mentioned, i already have one.  the hard part was standing up in front of them and “speaking”.   i check in with your site almost daily but today it was after i wrote a post at plantedoak.wordpress.com.  it was about tribes. 🙂 i would be grateful if you’d check out what god’s been ‘push-pinning’ on my heart these last few months.  you were instrumental in me taking the first steps.  your writing continues to be an encouragement to me.  thank you for pursuing it faithfully. 

  25. I just started all over again, so I am slowly building my tribe.  You have taught me a lot! I am looking forward to reading your ebook from Amazon. Thanks, Jeff!

  26. I’m working on this “tribe” idea; of course, I already had a tribe or two or ten before ever calling them my “tribe.” Lately, my reach has extended to minister to the needs of cancer patients and their families. My second book, “Beyond Cancer’s Scars”, released a couple of weeks ago. Since that time, I’ve had hundreds of friends sharing links, insights, and purchasing the book. I’m doing all of this on my own, and it’s been a daunting task alongside taking care of myself and homeschooling my kids. But it’s doable; I’m just having to find creative ways to get the message out. Recently, when thinking about tribes, I googled “churches cancer support groups”; that yielded pages of links and e-mails to people who are reaching out to minister to the hurting. I’ve sent them info and links and shared with them my free downloadable, facilitator’s guide to be used in conjunction with the book for group study.

    Anyway, it’s been a slow, uphill process; I’m learning so very much. Most importantly, I believe in the message of the book–a clarion call to the suffering to get off the sidelines and enter the fray to lay claim to a stronger spirit in Jesus Christ.

    Thanks for all you do.


  27. Had never seen it this way before Jeff – that tribe is already there, that the call to build a tribe is actually to call a lead. In one sense then, the tribe doesn’t get built by us, but almost gets drawn together by us. We call it into being, but it is already out there, waiting to be called. I have often wondered how my creativity and writing can be allied to my call to lead, and how I can lead through my writing/creativity – you have just shown me. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  28. WOW, Jeff!  I loved what you said, “If leaders are servants (and they are), then finding your tribe is simply answering a calling.”  I just posted that on my FB page.  If that doesn’t light a fire under people I don’t know what will.  You had an excellent point about why people choose not to look for their tribe…  that four letter word that stops so many folks in their tracks – F-E-A-R! (especially of becoming a leader).  What we forget is that we never know who is already watching us.  I am finally getting off my duff and answering God’ call on my life to be “A pen in God’s hand giving Love a voice.” I hope to publish my first book  soon.  It’s about how to talk to God in the secret place through journal writing to experience increased intimacy, blessings, and breakthroughs.  Writing it was the fun and easy part because I just wrote what God puts in my heart so it would bless people!  It’s all the social networking, promotion, platform building, and all “the STUFF” that goes with publishing a book and getting it out there that’s overwhelming and daunting at times.  You really helped me by putting everything into perspective.  I’m simply answering a call and  giving my passion and God-given gifts a voice and feet to get it out there, because in the end it’s not about me!  It’s about Him and blessing people!  Thank you, Jeff!

  29. I like that ‘everyone has a tribe’!  I started with a tribe of 2; my kids.  Becoming the leader of that tribe gave me the confidence to create a new tribe where daily creative Facebook posts are part of the foundation of our marketing (a gourmet food truck). We have over 1000 people loyally keep up with our page (peanuts- I know- in some circles, but in the small business world it’s pretty cool).  And that tribe gave me the confidence to start two more small businesses…which gave me the confidence to put myself even further out there and write a blog.  It has been just like you say, the tribe was already there for me to discover.  In regards to leadership, I would say the hardest thing about being a leader is the realization that every thing you say and do is being watched.  And no where is that more a terrifying realization than in becoming a parent!

  30. First, please learn: Every good writer should eschew jargon and speak plain English. It helps so much.

    To answer your questions, the people group I am called to reach is: hurting women, women who have been treated unfairly, wrongly.

    This group of women is teeming with manipulators and other fearful ones who do not want two things:
    1. They do not want someone near them, who has been unfairly treated or wronged, to succeed. (Me, for instance.)
    2. They do not want to know the answer for their hurting hearts. They prefer pain to proactivity.

    How do I find them? They do not want this truth. They actively make sure someone else speaks to their groups, someone who can cushion instead of cure. (No one wants amputation for gangrene applied to him, but just bandaids, right? Same for my works–the truth is hard and unfun and everyone resents any type of sugar-coating.)

    Also, what do we do with scriptures such as: Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He will exalt you in due time.  Or, May you never boast of anything but . . .

    These Scriptures hold me back. Should I just ditch them along with the jargon?

    1. As one who once fit in your people group, I strongly disagree. There are many who are looking for hope, looking for a way out. Yes, they are afraid of the truth you have to share, but that just means you need to be patient in building their trust level. As to the humility issue, building your tribe is not about proclaiming yourself as a leader, it is about serving people to the extent that they look to you as a leader they can trust. Don’t try to fix them, serve them.

  31. The first three things were frustrating for me to read…how do we know what to do then?  I just write posts that I think I would find helpful myself because I figure there is bound to be someone else that might also find them helpful…as for a tribe, I don’t know that I do have one at this point, or that it’s growing at all if I do, but I will keep writing either way!  Thanks for this post!  Too bad it’s taken me forever to read it so the e-book is no longer free! lol!

    1. Agreed. What’s fascinating about that term is the organization I worked for was using it before that book came out. What Seth does so well is take a term that’s already in use, clarify it, and make it spread. Truly amazing.

  32. Thanks for this. My tribe is parents since I have a parenting blog. But, there’s work to do to continue reaching them. This post is great encouragement!

  33. Jeff, I love reading your posts. They are full of great information. Most of the people here including you are going to disagree with me on this. But this tribe thing? It only works for some people. So far I have not been able to build anything beyond my friends and family. And I’m fed up. I have done all the things that everyone says you should do and so far it has not produced anything. So either my writing sucks, or it only works for some people. Because I can’t think of any other explanation. I’ve even had an agent, (one of the biggest in the industry) contact me and say she liked my work, liked my concept BUT until I build up an online following she’s not interested in taking me on as a client.
    And yes, you are correct I probably don’t write as much as I should. I let other things get in the way. For me I don’t have a choice, other things have to take priority over writing. I don’t have the time it takes to build up this “online following” that everyone says I need in order to get any attention. I just don’t. Wife, mother, job …all have to come first.
    I’m starting to believe that it is never going to happen unless I publish myself and I don’t have the money to do that or the desire. Call me crazy but I want a publisher to publish my book.
    When I write, people like it but since when is that not enough to sell books?
    Sorry, to dump. But I’m just frustrated and tired and ready to give up.

    1. Josey,
      Don’t give up, if it was easy to write, start and run a business or run for government, then everyone would be doing it. You obviously have a talent in your writing, so keep at it. Many successful people in any field will tell you that success can lay just the other side of another failure, and that just as they thought of giving up but didn’t, found massive success, so hang in there and keep going.
      Your day will come.

      1. Thanks. You really are “awesome”. I thought I’d get ripped apart for what I said, instead I got much needed encouragement.

    2. I understand your frustration, Josey, but good writing that is hid behind the cover of a book in bookshelves that hold millions of books need to be brought to our attention. Even the biggest publishers have a hard time making sales of a great book by an unknown author. At the same time, I have seen people get published and build their audience after the fact. Without knowing your genre etc, I couldn’t give you specific direction, but there are ways to get published by smaller publishers, with or without an agent, if publishing is your goal.

    3. Josey, do you have a blog or have you shared your writing somewhere? I’d love to read some of your work and help connect you to some other writers that can keep encouraging you.

      1. I do have a blog, actually two. The one I initially started 5 years ago and the one I started after meeting with the agent year ago. I thought the second one would be a more focused blog because it deals directly with the subject matter of my book proposal. But honestly I haven’t posted on either of them in sometime. In October I did a 31 day blogging challenge and even tried a give away but it didn’t work well. The blogging everyday for a month was good for me, but it didn’t help gain any readers.
        Here’s the link.
        I would appreciate any feedback you can give. I’m not very technical so I wasn’t able to get it linked to a facebook page. But I did start a facebook page for the site.

        1. Looking now. I don’t see a way to contact you, and we should probably not have a long-drawn-out discussion in Jeff’s comments! You can email me at christine at riverofthoughts.com or track me down on Facebook (Christine Royse Niles) if you prefer. Looking forward to helping you NOT give up!!

    4. You’re fed up with helping friends and family? I know a lot of other people have commented here, but I believe that if you want to help, you can’t ever be fed up. You can’t quit or get too tired of giving — those are signs it’s time to check you’r motivation.

      But truth be told, I get it.

      I sometimes get tired, too. The question is: what invigorates? Is it someone connecting with your work? Is it the act of writing it self? What is it? Reconnect with that. Doing so will produce better work and attract more attention.

      When it comes to getting a publisher, why not publish it yourself? If you can get the helping people thing right, who cares if you have a million readers? If you can help a few, that’s enough to self publish, to put your work out there, make a difference in people’s lives, and earn the right to be heard again.

      It sounds easy, but of course, it’s not. But that’s not the point. The point isn’t that it’s easy or that you’ll get reach. We do this, this silly thing called writing, not because of what we get out of the experience, not even because of what we get to give — no, we do it because we must.

      Hang in there.

      1. Ouch
        While I agree with you wholeheartedly.
        How can help anyone if no one is reading?

  34. A very thought worthy post, I am a writer and have written two books so far. I have the third planned and want to get on with it, but I am spending most of my time at present on marketing, trying to get my books noticed. That is all part of writing I guess, but your article has given me an idea, which has been staring me in the face and until now I have somehow ignored it, so thanks Jeff a great article.

  35. I’m being called forward to lead a writing tribe, but that scares the BEJESUS out of me and I’ve been dragging my feet. I printed out what you said, “Leading
    a tribe has nothing to do with being a celebrity or rock star or
    anything like that. It’s about digging deep into your craft and finding a
    way to help people. That’s all it is — you, using your gifts to serve.” Using my gifts? THAT I can do. Thanks, Jeff. I’ll keep you posted.

  36. I hate being that guy, but I follow you through email updates because I really enjoy your insights, but for some odd reason whenever your email uses an apostrophe, it adds in a ton of other random symbols. For example, ‘@&/€~. I figured that you might want to be aware of your email updates!

      1. I’m reading them in the standard ios mail app that comes standard with iphone 5’s. Hope that helps!

  37. Jeff, this definitely speaks to me – thank you! As I wrote recently, “For a time, I couldn’t write anything without wondering: Is it supposed to be this hard to gain momentum [with my blog]? Is there some key piece that I’m missing? But I’ve learned that the best answer to THAT question is … another question. It’s not What am I missing? It’s What do I have to give? … So much changes when you shift from me to you, from get to give.”

    1. Caroline, I like your words “So much changes when you shift from me to you, from get to give.” Wondering now what do I have to give …. and thoughts are beginning to swirl.

  38. I think finding your tribe starts with who you’re most passionate about helping and I think to effectively write or spread a message, you have to be clear about what tribe you’re serving. For me, it’s the family man that has a day job but longs to live life by his own design.

  39. Wow! You have given me much to think about. I am in the “find a publisher” stage for my completed book “For Sanity’s Sake: 365 Days of Devotions for the Temporarily insane. . Otherwise known as the Menopausal Woman.” Sounds crazy I know, but if the shoe fits . . .
    There are millions of us out there, and many, I am sure, are as desperate as I was when I decided to right this book. Now, to find them.

  40. My writing career went like this- I started out blogging about whatever pleased me, usually mundane trivial stuff about my day-to-day life. Once in a while I would blog about things I was bothered about. At one point, one particular topic struck a chord with a particular tribe- and I responded naturally to that feedback by writing more on it. Since then I’ve found that I want to write for a slightly different tribe. It’s a fun journey.

    I got here through a lot of trial and error, and I think I could have saved myself some trouble by being a little more deliberate in figuring out who I wanted to write for. I think that’s a question every writer should ask herself every day.

    Great post!

  41. This is excellent advice, though it’s still hard to figure out how to put it into practice. Since I started my blog I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what I want to blog about, and honestly that might be the hardest part. Once I get there, I’ll automatically belong to a tribe, just like you say: a group of like-minded people who care about the same ideas and pursuits I do. Until then, it will be hard to belong OR lead … so better get crack-a-lackin!

  42. Good post. Although I’m not convinced with the whole “platform and tribe” metaphors, I understand the point.

  43. A refreshing post and one I can relate to. Tribes, communities, are what we all long for. Asking the question of how can we add the most value to them is an essential question.

  44. Excellent post Jeff. I needed to read this. A lot of people give up on their dreams because they don’t believe they have supporters. We all have supporters or people that enjoy our work, we just have to find them. For example, my passion revolves around hip-hop music and I gravitated toward that tribe. I found my tribe by searching for people with similar interests. I found a niche and I plan to lead. Thank you Jeff.

  45. How did you do that? You’re last two posts (this one included) were exactly what I needed to hear.
    Leading–that is what I am afraid of. But I have to remind myself that when I started my blog, I was certain that this was something I needed to do.
    Right now, well, I am not so certain, but that is because of the pressures of leadership.
    I have people who depend on me to create. They are waiting for the next post. They are looking at me. They are watching me.
    Nerve wracking.
    So should I give up because of pressure and responsibility?
    You helped me make up my mind, Jeff.
    No! I won’t.

  46. Jeff, you are awesome! I’m so happy that I read your blog on a regular basis. You have inspired me in so many ways. Thanks for that. Keep up the great work and enjoy the weekend with your loved ones!

  47. Hi Jeff, thanks for the inspiring post.

    You asked, “What does your tribe look like? How do you need help finding it?” To answer, I’ll say: I’m a new dad, still-new husband, church-planting intern in Copenhagen, Denmark, and an aspiring writer. My blog could be described as “reflections on fatherhood, marriage, culture, and faith.” With an intellectual bent.

    My wife is in a community, The Influence Network. She found a good tribe of people there for her own blog. However, I’m not sure what kind of tribe my own writing falls into. It feels kind of hard to place. I have a small readership (9 likes / post), and they’re all my Facebook friends. Any thoughts on who my tribe might be? Tips on finding them?

    Here’s a sample post on the blog: http://michaelberingsmith.org/my-rediscovery/

    Regards from Denmark,

  48. Hi Michael. The best way to find a tribe is to put something out there and see who resonates with it. I recommend writing a manifesto, a short but strong declaration of purpose, and see who connects with it. That’s what I did.

  49. Thank you, Jeff, for the post. Finding a writing “tribe” is difficult. Because of my home life and erratic schedule, it’s difficult to find a community of writers who will offer honest and objective critiques, and will push me to do better. I know they are out there. I just have to step outside of my comfort zone.

  50. Any ideas about how to get a jumpstart on a tribe while still retaining anonymity within a pseudonym would be awesome. I’ve had a very hard time finding suggestions for my situation, bc everyone starts w contacting everyone you know, which would be suspicious in my case! Please help. Thanks!

  51. OK. I’ve been blogging for 10 months. I post three times a week. I’m looking for metrics by which to measure my success/failure. How many email subscribers should I have by now. AND, I’m thinking I may need to hire a blogging coach but after research it seems to be crazy expensive. Any ideas!

    1. Hi Randy: A potential blogging coach is J. Money, owner and operator of BudgetsAreSexy.com. I don’t know how much he charges, but I know he’s built a heckuva tribe of readers in the past few years.

      His e-mail is j@budgetsaresexy.com.

      Good luck!

        1. You’re welcome. J. is a good guy and he knows a lot about increasing traffic, promoting reader participation and the like. I hope the two of you can come to terms.

  52. I’d love to learn if the same process you take as a writer can be applied to other creative works. I’ll be launching my graphic design shop soon and know I need to have a loyal group to make it, but I’m not sure how to do it.

  53. Great blog….would love to hear more words of wisdom about “engaging” a tribe….I have a tribe, they tell me they read my blogs but it stops there…..I need them to engage and turn into raving tribe members. What am I doing wrong or missing????

  54. Balance between answering my calling (sharing the message burning inside me) and serving a group of people. How do I make it about them if I have a message to share?

    1. If you are answering a call then to who and for what? That is your message and how you serve. My call is to women in destructive marriages. My message is God hates abuse more than he hates divorce. My service is how do I help women deal with this problem in a godly wAy. My tribe is women who resonate with this goal.

      1. Great response Leslie! That is exactly how you find your tribe. Writing what’s on your heart and helping others overcome and work through problems just as you possibly have. I just recently figured out my tribe after 20 years of writing (10 professionally). I’m compelled to help other Christian writers learn how to market their work (find their voice) and profit from it via self-publishing at wanda-ball.com. It’s an awesome feeling when God helps you figure out your calling! 🙂

  55. Hi Jeff, I find building a virtual tribe very challenging. I can see my local tribes easily, they ask me questions and seek my support regularly. We talk about the issues which frustrate us and ignite our passions, but I am really struggling to find those people on my blog? So I guess translating my real self into a virtual self is my biggest challenge.

  56. Hi Jeff, you tapped into something I think that’s transcendent, even spiritual. As a Christian, I’m serious about following the call of God on my life. As an artist, I’m always endeavoring to get my artwork with the message of comfort and encouragement in front of as many people as possible. Paul the apostle used the technology of his era to spread the message of the gospel–Roman roads and public forums. Today we have high speed internet connections, computers and cyberspace platforms. But we’re still trying to reach people with a transformative message. I just got my blog up and running a couple months ago, and I’ve been following, you, Michael Hyatt, and a few bloggers, and you’ve all being very helpful. Thank you!

    1. I want to show Jesus Christ in my work and change the world for the better. I want to right the wrongs of today’s worldviews and such….but I don’t know if anyone will want to listen to me. I mean, who listens to a 15 year old? I don’t know how to get my words out there – but I want to find a way.

      1. Don’t let your youth stop you from putting out your work. When I was young I used to be intimidated by people older than me. I realized now that everyone has something unique to offer regardless of their age, background or station in life. What we see as constraints can actually be the things that make us unique, stronger and something the world can learn from.

        You’re age is not an obstacle. You’re in the time of your life where you are free to experiment, experience and learn from life without the obligations of an adult. So do what your heart calls you to do, Don’t worry about what other people think. Focus on the process. Just do. And enjoy the journey.

        God bless! 🙂

  57. I have a similar problem as another question here. I wish to write under a pseudonym. On sites such as this I could mention my blog and perhaps find some who will read it. How can I advertise otherwise. (Only a few select people will know it’s me. Impossible?

    1. Writing under a pseudonym is a cool idea and is shown to actually be more appealing than the author’s real name…which I find both insulting and relieving. How to advertise? Well you should talk about it with real life words with other people – reach out to a stranger and see whether or not they would be interested in what your blog has to say and tell them about it. Use actions, slogans, and maybe a hashtag (#) to make it seem very official. I’m just a teenager, but I think that may be an advantage to help others reach teens. Hope I helped! 🙂

      1. Thank you Pepperpipi for your perspective. Since you could be my grandchild.. Lol. You and technology are intertwined as it isn’t with me. I suppose I will have to get a Twitter account as well as the blog and a separate Facebook page… (Yes I have one of those)

        Jeff Goins blog and current course is very helpful. As are the points of view of other aspiring writers.

  58. Hi Jeff,

    This post resonates with me. A couple years ago I documented a physical, mental, and emotional journey I went through while overcoming a chronic pain injury. I put together a few “from-the-heart” blog posts that told my story, but also served as a resource for others going through similar situations.

    It’s been a good year since I’ve touched the blog, and I have recently received 5 emails over the past week from random people who found my old posts and want to learn more. There’s obviously something here, and I’m not sure what my next step should be.

    Any advice for uncovering the tangible next steps I can take to best serve this audience that has already begun seeking me out?


  59. Hi, Jeff.

    This post is equal parts amazing and frustrating to me, mainly because I don’t quite know how to recognize my tribe just yet. A huge part of that is my incredibly weird ambiversion: I’m extroverted enough to entertain people who approach me, but introverted to a point where even the thought of approaching other people exhausts me. And it doesn’t help that I’m interested in so many things.

    I want to help people, share my stories, entertain. But I’m having trouble figuring out what sort of tribe would NEED OR WANT that (when there are so many others who are already addressing those things for them).

    Is there really no other way but to suck it up and Google potential tribes?

  60. Hello Jeff

    Ok I am brand spanking new to blogging in fact in the process of writing my first blog on my new website, with blue host. I already DECLARED that I AM A WRITER. And I Downloaded your ebook about creating a tribe. I am NEW, where do I start Jeff???

  61. A tribe, eh? Well not sure what that means because the idea that I can even maintain a relationship with one other writer for any amount of time would be miraculous to me. I’ve had snippets of them but something always goes wrong. The last one went horribly haywire. So if I need to know anything, its how to form those initial bonds that make a writing tribe strong and long lasting. Writers are all drama and passion. I’ve never butted heads in the artistic world with anyone quite like other writers and I’ve been an architect for over 20 years.

  62. Jeff,

    I’d like to ask what to write in the very first post on my writer blog: how should I position myself, what should I tell from my bio, about my personal life, etc. I think it’s very important to introduce yourself properly and interestingly to your tribe, even if you haven’t got one yet. 🙂

    Another question is, do you think your tribe concept is international and can be applied widely, in countries that don’t speak English and has somewhat not so Western culture? I’m from Russia, and as I long for being worldwide superstar, I have to earn my reputation and followers here first.


      1. I think you should start with an about page. In that about page, you should introduce yourself, welcoming people to your blog, promising what you’re going to deliver and then calling them to action some how. The first post can build on those promises. I suggest signing up for my free course here: goinswriter.com/blog-challenge

  63. Hi Jeff,
    I’m excited to read the ebook! Here’s my question- what if your friends aren’t your tribe? I blog about simplifying so you can focus on your creativity, but none of my friends are makers/writers/creators, and what I write about is not up their alley. (In fact, they give me a hard time about some of my creative pursuits). So, how do you start building a tribe from zero?

    1. i think that’s totally possible. often, our tribe surprises us. your tribe is made up of the people who respond to your message. so start putting your stuff out there and see who responds. of course, i think that will begin with some people we know, but then it may quickly turn into lots of people we don’t know.

  64. Some months back, I wanted to publish my book but worried about getting an agent. After reading your site and other Authors that I follow, I decided to just register my publishing company and self publish.

    I am now an Author, with a real book, hosting her book launch next month and Ghostwriting for others too.

    Not just that, but I am using my book to build my tribe and I am learning a whole lot as I go.

    Thanks for sharing Jeff.

  65. Whew, a huge weight off my shoulders with a simple reframe – we already have a tribe [or tribes] and that what we really are doing is helping people through following a calling. Yes, I hugely needed to be reminded of that. Too many times I try to fit myself into a box, when really I just need to plant my flag, provide a space, and just be – letting those with the same passions and thoughts be drawn to it. Really we are all in service of a deeper calling that we all share. Thanks Jeff!

  66. Don´t click the link of Ninja Monkey Training. You can end up watching hours of monkey videos.

  67. Just a quick story for those that doubt they worthy of creating a tribe. I wrote an ebook with no list and certainly no tribe. The book started off slow but with basic promotion strategies sales started to increase. In this book I offered a couple of links to my squeeze page. I literally forgot that I put the links in there and after about 4 months or so I decided to check my aweber account. Ended up having over 130 subscribers that enjoyed my content enough to share their email with me.

    This list has changed everything. I created a sub list to 42 active participants. They are amazing. It is my tribe.

    Moral of the story, focus on creating genuinely helpful content and be sure to incorporate at least a few strategic links and watch what happens!

    Great article Jeff.

  68. I recently started my first blog and have done 3 posts so far. I don’t really have a tribe yet but hopefully I will before too long. Do you have to have a separate Facebook page for your blog? I’ve linked my blog to my personal Facebook page. There have been views on my blog but no comments or followers as of yet. I’m not sure I’m doing all of this correctly but I’m working through the challenges. My blog has to do with people in the role as Caregivers particularly to those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Trying to find the most eye-catching keywords has been difficult for me since there are so many articles dealing with this particular subject. Any help is appreciated.

  69. Hi! Mr. Jeff Goins. I think this is my first time leave my comment here. I like to read the articles in your blog and sometimes I really want to ask you something but seems I’m not very good in English, so I’m worried to type a wrong words. Hopefully, I can learn from your blog to be a good writer one day. Keep it up all the good works that have you done, Sir! =)

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