Networking is a huge thing for the problogger especially with the web becoming more social. Internet business is now closely mirroring the offline business world. Whoever has the most quality contacts wins. Whoever has the most friends gets the traffic, links, subscribers, and money.
Networking helps in many ways. Whether you need quality links, marketing advice, or someone to keep you accountable, networking can help you reach your goals while also making blogging much more enjoyable. We’re social creatures after all. And blogging for bucks can be a lonely endeavor.
If you’re new blogger, networking is especially crucial because those early days can be discouraging. Maybe you’ve got some experience under your belt. However, your network is not working out as well as you had hoped for. You’re not getting the links. Your current blogger friends are not responding to your emails. It’s time to find better contacts.
Web apps and open source programs are not your biggest asset. Your biggest asset is your IM list, email addresses, and social media friends.
So where can you find quality bloggers to network with? Here are a couple places.
Google Search (google.com)
Search with search terms like [your niche] blog. Also, to network with the big players, try searching with terms like
top [your niche] blogs
top 10 [your niche] blogs
best [your niche] blogs
favorite [your niche] blogs
I especially like the 2nd keyword phrase. Here are some useful searches with this phrase:
top 10 travel blogs
top 10 gardening blogs
top 10 poker blogs
top 10 writing blogs
top 10 business blogs
Google Blog Search (blogsearch.google.com)
In my experience, the best keyword phrase to use for this search engine is [your niche] blog. This search term brings up a list of related blogs.
If you’re in a relatively obscure niche, search with a more general phrase to get more related blogs. For example, instead of searching for hawaii travel blog, search with hawaii blog.
Also, check out the actual search results. You might find some good blogs.
Check out this list of blog directories. Visit the directories. Browse through the relevant category and use the search box to find good bloggers to network with.
You might have some forums in your niche. This depends on the size of your niche and the passion of your niche audience. Google this search term [your niche] forum and see if there are active forums.
Forums are great places to network because you’ll find passionate people that want to talk about and promote your niche. Even if you don’t find many bloggers in forums, you can still connect with active forum posters. These posters are hold a lot of influence in your niche. Don’t underestimate them. Here are some tips for doing forum marketing.
I haven’t had too much success using Technorati. It has a lot of spam. Many bloggers spam their Technorati listing by adding tags that don’t relate with their blog. For example, check out this blog search for travel blog. Most of the results don’t have much to do with travel.
Because bloggers spam their listing with unrelated tags, it’s best to search with more specific search terms. For example, hawaii will get you a couple general blogs while hawaii travel will pull up more blogs that actually have Hawaii as their main topic.
Once you’ve found a few bloggers worth networking with, don’t hesitate to shoot them an email and ask them what their favorite blogs are. Also, check to see if they have blogrolls. If they do, visit the blogs on them.
Where do you find bloggers to network with?
Forums, as I also believe, are great places to network. I’m a bit shy (yeah, right) so I make full use of them. For my most recent project, I’ve collected links to around 50 forums in the niche and am getting ready to network by early next year.
One thing I have found is if you go to forums, newsgroups and email lists people will come to you. Other networkers are always looking for useful people to know, and for the introverted like me, it is far easier to let others make the introductions
Yes, it’s a good idea to read a couple blog posts before contacting the blogger. You want to make a good first impression by knowing a little bit about the blogger. It’s similar to researching a company before going to their job interview.
Nice post, I totally agree. Networking is essential, just like in the normal corporate world. I even think that backlinks isn’t the most important aspect of a network.
One of the biggest advantages of being part of a network is the accountability of your other blog networkers. If you get ill or you have an accident or something like that your fellow bloggers can help out easily by guest blogging, they already know your blog and the internet continues to move.
One other big advantage is that you get easier notified of new trends in the blogosphere.
I think; the best way to look for a network is just to contact the bloggers of the sites you visit and ask for the advantages of being part of their network (you do need to benefit). Most bloggers who are part of a network have a picture of their network group on their homepage. I would make sure you know the blog instead of picking one randomly from a directory.