Blogging can seem like a lonely endeavor when you’re just starting out.
It often feels like you’re putting your important words, thoughts, feelings, and knowledge out into a void for no one to see. Building an audience and ranking highly in the search engines takes time, and you may wonder if you’ll ever gain traction.
One strategy that can not only help you to gain readers but also gives you a host of other benefits, is getting to know other bloggers. I call it Blogger Outreach and is something I teach each one of my clients. Here are the 3 things you want to know:
- Why should you start networking with other bloggers
- Where to find your networking tribe
- Best practices of blogger outreach
Keep reading to discover just some of the reasons why outreach to fellow bloggers makes sense and can help you to grow both as a blogger.
Why You Should Start Networking With Other Bloggers
Making friends with other bloggers can provide the support system you need to keep going on the days when you feel like giving up. Who else will understand your frustration when a nearly completed post mysteriously disappears because you forgot to save and refresh your work?
Your blogging pals also feel your pain through personal setbacks, and they can be some of your greatest cheerleaders when you accomplish something significant.
Referrals and Problem Solving
Even long-time bloggers run into technical glitches or other issues they simply don’t know how to fix on their own. That’s where having a trusted network can really count in a pinch.
When you take the time to get to know other bloggers, it’s much easier to reach out with questions or to ask for some help. These folks will know you and be happy to provide assistance to a blog pal in need.
Likewise, should you need the professional service of a graphic designer or webmaster; it’s probably a safe bet that someone in your network can provide a competent referral.
One thing bloggers may love more than an addition to their comment sections or praise for a post through social media is when folks share their blog posts.
Social sharing is a catalyst that can gain you tons of readers if something resonates with a lot of people.
By building a network of other bloggers, you’ll be more likely to have people willing to share your content because they know how beneficial this step can be.
Advanced Tip: You can even set up a formal sharing group among friends or join one already set up in a larger blog community. When everyone does their part by sharing a post or two, all members benefit.
As with making friends in other capacities, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll make a new blog buddy or two that you really seem to get along with.
When you just seem to click, you may find it natural to want to share ideas. These ideas can sometimes grow into a full-fledged project or business opportunity that might just change your blogging life.
There are plenty of stories of bloggers creating business ventures together, becoming co-authors on a book, developing a new blog entirely or working together on a fun blog series. Such projects can be professionally fulfilling, taking you further than you might have ever considered. Plus, things are usually just more fun when done with friends.
There are tons of reasons why it makes sense to network with fellow bloggers. Now you have enough ideas to begin moving toward taking steps to find your very own blogging tribe.
Where Bloggers Can Find Their Networking Tribe
Starting out as a new blogger is exciting. It’s a chance to share your knowledge, learn new skills and express your creativity.
It can also be a little lonely. If you’re just starting out online, chances are you haven’t gotten to know other bloggers yet and probably haven’t acquired many readers.
Even the most popular or well-known blogger was once in your shoes.
As with any endeavor, making connections is key to finding your footing and gaining momentum. You need readers, but you also need a tribe of friends who are going through similar experiences and can be a support system as you learn and grow.
These friends are also essential to growing your blog through promotion. You’ll be amazed at the opportunities that exist for sharing each other’s content or collaborating on projects as your network increases.
To get started, follow these suggestions to discover where bloggers can find their networking tribe.
There are online communities dedicated to bloggers of various niches.
A Google search should help you on your way toward finding a group that fits your personality and interests. Blogging communities exist in the form of websites that provide informative articles, special interest groups, educational opportunities, calls for sponsored posts and more.
Some sites offer forums where participants can ask questions and interact. You’ll also find communities that encourage members to submit articles and highlight members regularly.
Social media sites offer wonderful platforms for promoting your posts, and they’re also great for networking.
Do some research to determine where other bloggers in your niche and related topics hang out, along with their readers.
You’ll burn out quickly if you try to be everywhere, so choose a couple where it seems to be where you’ll find your people.
Twitter is perfect for sharing information and having short conversations in real-time. It can also work well if you plan to host parties with sponsors and prizes or if you’d like to engage your audience in a themed chat.
Pinterest is ideal for image sharing. It’s great for crafters, DIY enthusiasts, educational niches and lifestyle blogs, among others.
Facebook is a good place to set up a page or a group for your blog, as well as to engage individuals from your personal profile.
Join a Group
Facebook groups can be a gold mine for meeting like-minded blog buddies. Some of the blogs you read regularly may offer a closed Facebook group.
Check them out to see if they seem to offer the kinds of opportunities you seek. You can also enter a query into the Facebook search bar for the particular type of group you want to join.
The beauty of such places is that you can always try another one if it turns out the first doesn’t meet your needs.
Another place to find groups is on Pinterest. Group boards allow bloggers to band together in order to promote each other. It can be a far more effective method for getting re-pins than going it alone. You can search Google for group Pinterest boards in your interest area. My Pinterest group board is Bloggers Pro Group Board and drop me an email to join us.
No matter which route you take, be sure to get involved. You can’t grow your network if you don’t participate in conversations and opportunities. Have fun finding your networking tribe.
Best Practices in Outreach for Bloggers
Getting to know other bloggers is essential if you want to increase your readership. While that may seem pretty straightforward, you probably still have some questions about the best ways to go about reaching out to others within your niche or the community at large.
It’s not as intimidating as it may seem, but there are some strategies that are more effective and appreciated than others. Continue reading for some tips on best practices in networking for bloggers.
Be Specific With Requests
It’s absolutely okay to reach out personally to folks within the blogging world with whom you would like to connect, though it is a good idea to connect on social media channels first in trying to make yourself known.
Sometimes just leaving a comment on their blog or following them on social media isn’t enough to achieve your goal.
However, do take time to prepare prior to reaching out to a blogger with your request. If you want to provide a guest post on a popular blog, be sure to provide the recipient with information on how you can provide value for their readers.
And never, ever contact a big name blogger just to ask for general blogging advice. People take offense at being asked to give information they had to learn themselves and that you could Google on your own.
Instead, ask a question about a recent post or something specific about that blogger’s journey. (Remember, do your research.)
Avoid Asking for Too Much
We’re all busy with various obligations in our lives. Keep that in mind when getting in touch with fellow bloggers.
Reaching out is fine. It can often show initiative and genuine interest. But you don’t want to ask anyone for too much.
Remember that your goal is to make a good impression. It’s similar to making friends in real life. People aren’t willing to commit an extensive amount of their precious time to someone they don’t know.
Ease into things with a friendly introduction and the reason for your contact or a short summary of your proposal. Then leave the ball in their court to decide what and how much they’d like to provide in return.
Your method of contact, whether it’s face-to-face, by phone or through written correspondence, should be professional. Your blog and your brand are an extension of you.
Even if you’re not making money or don’t wish to, you should still treat blogging as your business. A put-together question or email speaks volumes and can increase the odds that folks will want to work with you or help you out.
These tips are the foundation of the best practices for outreach as a blogger. Following them will help you to put your best foot forward when cultivating your blogging tribe.