For anyone who has blogged for three months or more should know that as time moves on and you continue to blog, natural relationships are formed. These can be formed from comments/replies, linking to others, email contacts with similar niche blog authors, etc. I was thinking the other day how many people I wouldn’t know anything about and vice versa had I not started publishing content on my own blog. The past year and a half of serious blogging has giving me the opportunity to build relationships with people all across the world. In fact, one of the readers who regularly interacted with me on my blog sent me a Christmas card. All the way from Australia none the less! It is events like these that give me that warm fuzzy feeling inside.
Sometimes, the relationships you build during your time of blogging can become more important than the income a blog may make. Here are seven tips based on experience that will help you build relationships with other bloggers.
Stop Being Competitive – Although being competitive can serve as the driving force to make someone a better blogger or to have the better blog, competitiveness can and usually does promote self interests and in turn, breaks relationships. Learn as soon as possible that the realm of blogging is a huge pool of knowledge sharing. Learn to link out to ideas and highlight things you come across rather than keeping yourself and your audience in a silo.
Give More Than Take – Everybody that is alive on this planet today has a specialty whether it be fishing, cooking or blogging. Learn to give as much information as possible to your audience rather than sitting back and taking everything in. A great example of someone who does this on a regular basis is Chris Brogan who is always giving more than he takes.
Link Out On A Regular Basis – In my own experience, each time someone has linked to a specific post on my blog, I always visit that post in return and give them a thank you. Sometimes, that blog author replies to my comment and before you know it, we regularly exchange emails. Through the use of pingbacks/trackbacks, linking out is like sending out a beacon. Not only are you letting that person know that you have linked to them but you also let them know that your blog exists. Sometimes, thats all it takes is to let someone know you’re out there.
Start Small – The A-list bloggers are the ones pulling in massive traffic and because their time is taken up between all of the aspects of blogging, it is very hard to get in touch with them, unless you’re a big wig yourself. Start out small and network with blog authors who write about the same subject within your niche that are not breakout hits. Starting small and continuing to build on that foundation will slowly build your list of contacts where eventually, in the right conversation at the right time, someone may bring your name to the attention of someone else that could change your career for the better.
Persistence Pays Off – Just like everything else in life, persistence can play a critical role when it comes to creating a relationship with another blogger. Generally, things are not set in stone with one email or one instant messaging conversation. In fact, many times it takes numerous conversations between both parties before a relationship can be established. It is important that you do not confuse persistence with being annoying. Sending one possibly two emails in one weeks time is good. Instant messaging while sending a private message over a forum and then sending emails on top of that is just down right annoying.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask – Asking questions to your blogging neighbors is an excellent way to build relationships as these questions and answers can sometimes turn into debates or great conversations. Great conversations tend to make an impact on someones mind. Asking and in turn answering questions is a win-win situation as each person gets to know the other in terms of each others agendas. Also, answering questions pertaining to a specific subject may give others the opinion that you are an authority on that subject. This means that because of your knowledge on the subject, people may refer their friends or associates to you.
Look For That Wow Factor – Ever have a conversation with someone that made you go “wow, that was an awesome discussion“? Be on the lookout for these types of synergies where your thoughts and opinions flow well with someone else’s. These types of interactions usually form into strong bonds.
How many times have you heard the saying, “It’s not what you know but who you know”? Although not directly applicable to blogging since authoritative bloggers are successful anyways, having a big or at least concise network of people around is a good thing to have. These people can help you get a job, land an advertising deal, pass client work your way, make your blog not so lonely, and last but not least, these people can become great friends and a source of inspiration. Just a word of warning though. Try not to burn any bridges you make because at some point down the road, you may need to cross them.
Have you made any new friends in the blogosphere or in the real-world based on your blogging or social networking activities? How valuable do feel your relationships are? If you have any tips on building relationships, share them with me in the comments.