On a simple level, you can identify the community of a successful blog by looking at the sites that are listed in the blogroll - usually provided in the right hand panel of the homepage. However, the community is more than that - it's about an interaction in the content between different sites.
Take this example from Tory blogger Iain Dale. He has written about a story he discovered on Biased BBC. They may share a similar political belief (Tories traditionally dislike the Beeb) but they have a different focus in their writing.
Alternatively, Labour blogger Luke Akehurst republishes content from (unbiased) Guardian journalist Dave Hill but they share another similarity: they are both residents of Hackney.
It doesn't always work favourably though as I pointed out here, even a negative review can help your website's search engine profile!
So when you've setup your blog and you want to get readers, how do you start to build a community? Here are some starting points:
- your content - find out which other sites report your content
- your beliefs - which blogs share your beliefs or directly oppose them?
- your interests - which blogs are in your local community, get on the same train as you, read the same local newspaper as you, both hate/love marmite?
- degrees of separation - which other sites might interest your readers or who can you do a favour to by reviewing and linking to their site?
- things you support - use social networking sites or Twitter to find out where you share an interest with people. Do you like a band that shares a bill with another band? Think laterally.