No man is an island. If you want your blog to be successful, you can’t do it alone.
Building a large audience involves much more than just reaching out to your readers. You have to engage with your fellow bloggers, too.
Many people dislike the idea of “networking,” which is understandable. But building your network doesn’t need to be a phony, self-serving attempt. Here are 5 authentic techniques you can use to connect with blogging contacts.
There are a lot of organizations designed to help bloggers network with one another and learn vital industry information. The International Bloggers Association is one of the most popular, and it caters to a range of bloggers.
Of course, blogging is as diverse an industry as they come, so a one-size-fits-all organization may not suit your needs. If you’re looking for something more specialized, consider joining an association that’s more focused on the particular topic that you blog about (such as travel or food).
Meetups are an excellent opportunity to engage with bloggers face-to-face. Sites like Meetup are a great place to start, but if you can’t find any suitable events going on in your area, you may want to create one of your own.
Planning an event requires a fair amount of preparation, but it doesn’t need to be an elaborate affair. A weekend lunch at a nearby restaurant can be very productive, allowing your new contacts to chat and exchange ideas. Be sure to select a venue that isn’t too noisy, and call to confirm your appointment the day of the meetup.
Being a guest speaker at a blogging conference or convention allows you to achieve multiple goals at once. Not only is it a valuable networking opportunity, it also allows you to show your authority to an entire room full of potential readers.
Before putting on your presentation, arm yourself with plenty of networking collateral. Business cards are essential; you may want to hire a professional business card designer to ensure that yours will stand out. Also, consider handing out informative materials that supplement what you have to say. If you include your contact information, recipients will have an easy way to get in touch with you later.
If you can’t arrange a face-to-face meeting with other bloggers, reaching out on social media networks such as Twitter or Facebook is a great way to get in touch. As with any other networking method, it’s important to focus more on helping your contact than how the can help you.
Instead of begging other bloggers to share your posts, try sharing some of theirs. This doesn’t need to be a sycophantic endeavor; you should only share posts from bloggers whose work you truly respect. When a creator sees that you’ve shared your work, they’ll be more responsive to you in the future—and they may even return the favor.
One of the best ways to make a new connection is to simply ask your contact what they need instead of trying to guess. Some bloggers are just looking for others to share their posts, while others are more interested in guest blogging opportunities or new information related to your niche.
After you’ve made the first contact, check in every now and then to see if there’s anything you can do to help them. Don’t be a pest; if it’s clear they don’t want any help from you, don’t persist or you might jeopardize the relationship. Just make it known that you’re there to offer assistance if you can.
Building your blogging network is about more than just adding names to a list. It’s about making friends and building relationships that will ultimately enrich your life, both professionally and personally.
Do you have more useful tips for building your blog network? Share them in the comments below!