Today i came across a great post written by Rocai from Blogging Mix – Why it is Better to Network with Non ProBloggers.
One might think that from a title like that I’d avoid it (and to be honest it’s a difficult post to read on some levels as it brings up something that I grapple with daily) but I think it contains some bitter sweet wisdom.
The argument is that rather than targeting the biggest bloggers to network with it can be more effective and helpful to interact with newer and smaller bloggers.
As I’ve said in a comment on the post (in moderation as I write this) this is something that I think there’s real wisdom in on a number of levels.
For starters it’s hard to break through the noise that is often around big blogs and bloggers. I experienced this myself today when emailing another well known blogger and getting an auto-responder message. Yesterday I emailed another big blogger and got an email back from his personal assistant instead of him directly.
These are just two ways that some well known bloggers deal with the thousands of emails that fill their inbox on a daily basis. I’m not at this stage yet but know the pressure of having to trawl through an inbox full of genuine and wonderful bloggers wanting to connect. The sad reality is that there are only so many that I’m able to do it with – it’s me as much as anyone who misses out by not being able to connect with everyone.
The other thing that I like about Rocai’s post is that the advice to interact with newer/smaller/less prominent bloggers is actually a real opportunity. While they might not have the reach or influence of big blogs – there are thousands of them, they’re often more open to interacting and the amount of time that they have available to put into your interactions can be greater (and lead to some great partnerships).
In my own early days of blogging I tried to get on the radar of a few bigger bloggers – but the interactions I had with them were fleeting. They were definitely worthwhile (I remember a couple of big links that drove a lot of traffic) – but they were not ‘relationships‘ in any shape or form.
What I found was that it was my interactions with smaller to medium sized blogs in my own niche that benefited me (and them) the most. These interactions became ‘relationships‘ that lasted. Some of them became very fruitful ‘partnerships‘ in time.
I’m not arguing that you should ignore bigger bloggers in your niche – many of them are very open and willing to interact and they can actually be very worthwhile to know and interact with – however I would encourage all bloggers to look around them in their own niche and interact with other bloggers who are on a similar sort of level. These networking opportunities could be the ones that take your blog to the next level over the long run.