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The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

May 1, 2024

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Summer Hammons from the crafting blog, Hammons Nest. In our conversation, we delve into the heart of building a successful online community and the nuances of running a paid membership.

Building a Thriving Crafting Community

Summer’s journey from a brick-and-mortar store owner to an online community leader is nothing short of inspiring. She launched “The Creative Nest,” her crafting membership that quickly gained traction with its initial 170 members (and has now grown to 300). This remarkable start was a testament to the demand for a space where crafters could connect, learn, and grow together.

Show Notes:

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The Sisterhood of Crafters

One of the most striking aspects of Summer community is the warm vibe it exudes. Members refer to each other as “sisters” and “besties,” creating a warm and supportive environment. This sense of camaraderie has even extended beyond the digital realm, with members exchanging Christmas cards and engaging in other heartfelt activities. It’s a clear indication of the profound connections that can be fostered online.

Content Delivery and Member Engagement

Summer’s approach to content is both structured and engaging. She provides weekly live sessions, guest master classes, and themed craft tutorials that keep her members excited and involved. By offering a calendar of upcoming events and themes, she ensures that her members always have something to look forward to, which is crucial in maintaining engagement and preventing burnout.

The Luxury of Membership and the Value of Community

During our conversation, Summer shares her initial concerns about providing enough value and the feedback from those who left the group. She’s come to realize that her membership is considered a luxury, making the creation of a strong community even more important. The return of former members highlights the lasting impact of the connections made within her group.

Understanding Member Needs

Summer reflects on the revelation that some members feel overwhelmed by the content. It underscores the importance of recognizing the unique needs and expectations of her audience. Tailoring the experience to the members’ pace is a delicate balance that Summer navigates with care.

Fostering a Family-Like Atmosphere

Creating a community that genuinely cares about each other involves more than just shared interests; it requires a family-like atmosphere. Summer and I discuss the power of conversational interactions and the significance of making personal connections. From video calls to Christmas cards, these personal touches make members feel seen and heard, which is the cornerstone of a strong community.

Creating Urgency and Excitement

To keep the membership vibrant, Summer employs strategies like offering special bonuses and hosting virtual workshops. These tactics create a sense of urgency and excitement, drawing in new members and keeping the existing ones engaged. The role of VIP members as advocates for the community is also crucial, as they receive exclusive perks and help spread the word about the value of the membership.

Embracing Technology and Authenticity

A common misconception is that expensive online tools are necessary for success. Summer emphasizes the need to start simple and be adaptable. Our discussion highlights the value of authenticity and genuine connections over polished content. Embracing imperfection and being relatable resonates more with audiences and fosters a more authentic community.


My conversation with Summer Hammons was a deep dive into the essence of community building and content delivery in the online space. Her successful crafting membership serves as a shining example of how passion, creativity, and a structured approach can lead to a thriving community.

Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, remember that connection, authenticity, and adaptability are your greatest assets. Join me on the Blogger Genius podcast for more insights and stories from the front lines of blogging and community creation.

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MiloTreeCart, the Best Tool for Non-Techies to Sell Digital Products

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