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Well I’m back for another blogging tips post. Sorry for all the guest posts lately. The backlog of submitted guest posts was just getting too big.
Actually it worked out well since I needed a bit of a break anyway. Just when I thought I was developing a decent routine that gave me a bit of breathing room, things managed to get even busier. It was my own doing, but I’ll tell you more about it soon.
Thanks to everyone who has been providing guest posts. I enjoyed having different points of view on my blog. Besides, it gets some topics covered which I’m not knowledgeable to write about myself.
In case any of you are new to my Wednesday blogging tips series, here are some blogging tips topics covered recently:
This week I’m covering a topic that I didn’t truly appreciate until I started blogging. It just wasn’t something that I had been really utilizing with my previous website marketing work.
Understanding The Importance Of Blog Networking
The great thing about blogging is that it is not a solitary activity. Even if you’re just running a small personal blog, someone is bound to comment eventually, even if it is friends or relatives. It’s that interaction that really separates a blog from just a website filled with articles.
If you want to seriously take a blog to the next level, networking with other bloggers is so crucial. When there is a team willing to help you, I’m not sure why anyone would choose to struggle on their own. Unfortunately many bloggers just don’t understand how to effectively network and use those connections to your advantage.
Early on most bloggers seem to judge the success of their blog by the number of comments each post gets. Many of them will figure out that the more blogs they comment on themselves, the more people will return the favor and comment back.
That is an effective way to get comments and some direct traffic. The problem is that once you stop commenting, the traffic and comments dries up. This becomes an especially big problem when someone gets trying to comment on as many blogs as they can each day. All of that effort is likely just resulting in temporary traffic. I know I wore myself out on that pursuit in my early blogging days.
The important part new bloggers are often missing is how blog commenting is really the ice breaker to getting to know other bloggers. By regularly reading other blogs and leaving comments, you are gradually forming a bond with those bloggers. If you are trying to become friends with 50+ bloggers all at once, chances are you are not giving sufficient effort to each of those relationships. Instead of becoming a close friend with any of them, you end up becoming only a casual acquaintance with the majority of them.
Blog commenting is important, but make a point of focusing on the blogs that you most want to connect with. As superficial as it may sound, you may also want to consider which ones have the potential to help you the most. Think more about long term benefits instead of temporary traffic.
I admit I’m still getting my feet wet with social media. In my case I’ve had specific reasons for quickly building up those stats, but I’m still figuring out what to do next.
One thing is becoming quite obvious though…it is another great medium to further connect with your blogger friends For example, on Twitter I have a separate list for my closest blogger friends. That way I can pay attention to what they’re saying and sharing without too much other noise. Instead of going to their home (blog) to chat, this is essentially the schoolyard or water cooler where you can meet up to chat with a bunch of your friends at once. If you’re seen chatting with the cool kids, more people will want to associate with you.
Rather than just using social media to chat, you can take things further and regularly share your blogger friends’ content. That way you are vouching for your friends and pointing your followers to quality content. If your blogger friends are the generous types, they’ll probably feel compelled to return the favor and share your content too.
The part that I still need to do a lot more work is instigating more conversations with fellow bloggers and other followers. While social media is great for connecting with fellow bloggers, you really should be trying to connect with other people on there too.
E-mail and Instant Messaging
If you really want to connect with your blogger friends, public conversations only may not be sufficient. Eventually you’ll want to connect directly with those bloggers one on one.
A lot of those conversations might just be about what’s going on in each other’s lives and getting to know each other better. Then there is the blogging related topics where you may want to confide private opinions. Maybe there is something they do on their blog that you really think needs changing. Or maybe you want their advice about your blog or anything else.
Once you know each other well you can even find ways to help both of your blogs more. You could request a favor such as sharing a specific post with their readers or followers. In return they might have a similar favor they want too. Some of those favors might just build good karma and possible help later on. Of course these kinds of requests are much better received when the blogger knows you well and the request is fairly reasonable.
Usually when I’ve been commenting on a blog for a little while, I will make a point of reaching to the blogger via e-mail. I might offer some helpful tips or I may just tell them what I think of their blog and ask some questions. Really just start a conversation with them and see where it goes. The conversation may die off, but you can always reach out to them again later.
This is the part where I am jealous of all the bloggers headed to the FinCon conference next week. That is where some of those connections can really blossom. For the more outgoing people, they might even develop all new relationships with bloggers they didn’t even know before.
When you get to meet online friends in person, you get to truly put a face to their name. Sure you might have seen a photo or two, but that doesn’t always represent who they really are. Unless they happen to have posted videos, you probably don’t know their voice either. In those face to face conversations, you can find out so much more about them.
The more you know someone, the more willing you usually are to help them out in any way you can. Unless they end up being total jerks, you sincerely want to help them succeed. It might even be the next step in becoming life long friends.
When I’ve met up with local bloggers, afterwards I could relate to them a lot more. Instead of being some anonymous blogger they were suddenly someone real. Now I try to go out of my way to help those bloggers. With some of them we’ve met up multiple times and are becoming good friends. We’ll probably all keep meeting up regularly, partly due to the convenience of networking with local bloggers and also because they’re genuinely good people.
It is this kind of networking that makes blogging so enjoyable. Comparing this to the marketing I do for e-commerce websites is night and day. One is based on friendly cooperation and one is cut throat competition where competitors are enemies. It’s a big reason why I have barely touched my old websites since starting my blogging journey.
So when you’re doing blogging ‘work’, don’t lose sight of the personal connections behind it all. Those connections might not pan out immediately, but as you build those relationships, you’ll likely end up with so much more than just some temporary traffic.
I can’t guarantee I’ll have the time to comment back on everyone’s blogs, but it would still be great to connect via e-mail or social media. If we haven’t chatted before, give me a shout sometime soon. Or if we have chatted before and haven’t been in touch much lately, it would also be cool to hear from you again.
Does anyone have any blog networking tips to share? I’m sure there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Is it wrong for an animal lover to use that phrase?