I was talking with a friend a few weeks ago about relationships – particularly about his singleness. He’d been in a relationship for 4 years until six months ago when it unfortunately ended. As we chatted he reflected how that in the 4 years of relationship he’d become quite an insular and ‘coupley’ (his word) person. He didn’t go out to places where single people hung out and he’d spent less time with single friends. The challenge he faces is to ‘get out there and meet someone’ (his words). This means going to places that he’s not gone before, getting out of his comfort zone and meeting new people.
It strikes me that in order to build relationships with other bloggers that you need to put yourself in a position where it’ll be possible to meet them. Many of us as bloggers can become quite comfortable in the blogging cliques that we belong to – we know a handful other bloggers that have a similar interest to us and are quite content to let this be our ‘network’.
Whilst this might be fine – I wonder if we limit our potential by such an insular approach – do we run the risk of becoming a little stale? Perhaps meeting some new bloggers might bring a freshness to our blogging?
When I started ProBlogger.net I decided to get out of the rut I was in as a blogger in only interacting with a select group of other bloggers. Here is two things I did to meet some new people:
– Publish Instant Messaging details – I added my IM details to my contact page and mentioned a few times my details. It was amazing to see how got in touch. Of course now I have so many bloggers sending me Instant Messengers that I have to make myself unavailable from time to time – but the new contacts I’ve made are wonderful.
– Visit Forums in and outside my niche – There are discussion forums for virtually every topic known to humankind. Join a few, add your blog to your signature, actively participate and you might just find yourself making a new friend or two.
Both of these strategies are not about contacting specific bloggers – rather they are about getting yourself ‘out there’ and interacting with a wider community of people.
Update: Just keep in mind – if you make yourself available by publishing your details – make sure you’re willing to talk to people. As I mentioned above – I have a lot of people IM me now. At times it is difficult to respond to all in depth – but I always try. I know a few other bloggers who always brag about being accessible to anyone via IM – however despite making their IM details public they are yet to respond to any of my conversation starters. You can probably do more damage than good by doing this.
Read the full series on Building Blogging Relationships