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How to Promote Your Blog through Networking

Blog-Promotio - NetworkingThis week I’ve been suggesting five ways that I’d promote a new blog to new readers if i was starting out again.

Today I want to turn our attention to Networking as a great way to promote a blog.

If I were starting out in blogging today knowing what I now know I’d invest significant time each day into connecting with others online. The old adage of ‘it’s not what you know it’s who you know’ rings true in blogging.

By networking I mean doing all of those things that I regularly write about here at ProBlogger. Commenting on others blogs, answering comments that others leave on yours, emailing other bloggers when you write something that you think will interest them, making helpful suggestions to other bloggers, connecting with people via social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, emailing people to introduce yourself, linking up to others in your niche…. the list could go on… and on…. when it comes to ways to network but today I’d like to put forward a few more general suggestions.

A number of suggestions that I’d make in networking with bloggers:

  • Be generous – a lot of the networking that I see going on between bloggers is fairly much about ‘taking’ rather than ‘giving’. One way to make a real impression on another person is to be generous with them. Help them achieve their goals – highlight their best work – encourage them – go out of your way to work on their terms. While you do need to have good boundaries (otherwise people will abuse your generosity) I think a spirit of generosity is the right attitude to go into networking with.
  • Don’t Expect too much too quick – the most fruitful relationships that I’ve been a part of in blogging have emerged over time. Let the relationship grow naturally as you build trust and a mutual understanding of who the other person is and how you can work together.
  • Look for the B-listers – many so called ‘A-lister’ bloggers are approached all day long with requests to connect. While you might get lucky – I’ve found that approaching slightly less know blogs can have more chance of working out (and they can still drive a lot of traffic).
  • Prove Yourself First – if you’re brand new to your niche it could take time to make an impression. This isn’t necessarily because people are being cliquey – it’s often because they’re waiting to see if you’re going to stick with it and if you know what you’re talking about. There’s nothing more frustrating that networking with someone who disappears a couple of weeks later. Show you’re in it for the long haul and that your blog is making a contribution to the niche and you’ll find people more willing to connect.
  • Persist But Don’t Annoy – some bloggers will take a few emails or conversations before they’ll warm up to you. There’s a lot of noise around the blogosphere so don’t be offended if people don’t respond – try again in a little while – but don’t stalk them :-)
  • Look in Neighboring Niches – it is important with blog networking to interact with other bloggers in your own niche – however don’t close yourself to relationships with bloggers outside of your niche – particularly in those that neighbor yours. When you limit yourself just to other bloggers exactly like yours you will end up dealing mainly with people who could see you as a direct competitor. While some will be open to interacting with you I’ve found networking with people outside my niche can be fruitful. Another way to be strategic is to not look for networking opportunities just with other bloggers on your topic – but with bloggers who share a similar demographic of reader.
  • Ask Questions – one key that I’ve found to work in networking is to ask a lot of questions of those around you. Some bloggers go into networking with obvious agendas and goals but fail to listen to the other party. When you become a person who asks others about their goals and objectives, where you know what their strengths and weaknesses are and where you know their dreams you not only create a good impression on them but you’ll be in a great position to know where your situation aligns with another person’s – this is where networking becomes most effective.
  • Become a Go-To Person and a Connector – as you network with others don’t just focus upon you and the other person – but attempt to draw others into the relationships you have. I find that people are particularly grateful to me when I can’t help them but point them to someone else who can. This creates a good impression upon both of the parties that you connect which can lead them to come to you again with opportunities (ie you become the ‘go to’ person because they know you’ll either help them personally or point them to someone who can).
  • Have an Elevator Pitch – a lot has been written about business people being able to articulate what they do in a concise statement (having your elevator pitch). I think being able to do this is important with blog networking too. I get many emails every day from people wanting tow work together in some way and in many cases it’s a few minutes into an email that I even work out who they are and what they are on about. Develop a few key sentences that describe who you are, what you do and what you offer others. Another good elevator pitch is on what your blog is about. Having thought through these things will help others understand what you can bring to a relationship – but they will also help you understand that too.
  • Look for Points of Synergy – perhaps this says more about my personality type, but I’ve found the most profitable relationships to be ones where there was a ‘spark’ or ‘energy’ around our interaction – particularly where there was some sort of synergy around goals and objectives but also some sort of a connection when it comes to personality. My style has always been to look for points of ‘energy’ or ‘synergy’ and going with them. Perhaps someone else has a more technical description of this but it’s worked well for me.

Looking forward to hearing more about your own experience of blog networking and how it’s helped your blogging grow.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Thank you for sharing these tips. Although I wish there were some hard step by step tips telling us what to do… Ah well.

    http://www.rhinothecat.com

  2. Anthony M says:

    Great ways to increase exposure. I have used these along with pinging my blog on BlogBuzzer.com and have had great results.

  3. charisma says:

    thnx for the info!!!

    my blog is: http://underground-charisma.blogspot.com/
    it’s more about the urban music (not the commercial bullish)

    hope someone check it out & leaves a message or a comment.

    take care

    http://underground-charisma.blogspot.com/

  4. R. Craig says:

    Daren,

    This is a good post. It’s well organized, easy to read, makes sense and doesn’t provide much to argue with.

    When we think about blogging it is so focused on people that it makes sense that the lifeblood would also be focused on people who reach out to other people and provide the opportunity to form a community.

    Blogging is not magic, as we know. A blogger cannot just sit in his/her seat and cast a spell through a magic wand to make people come to their site and give them respect and money. That is the attitude I hear many writing against regarding income blogging. Maybe it’s a straw man and maybe not.

    Surely you want to have links to your work and traffic flowing from others’ sites, you want faithful readers who promote your work for you, and you want visitors who click through ads and convert those click to cash through purchases. As my grandpa used to tell us when we wanted something unreasonable, “Wish in one hand, $h!t in the other and see which one fills up faster.” I loved my grandpa! He was such a practical Scandinavian American.

    Thanks Daren for such good work here on a rarely covered topic.

  5. Rana Sinha says:

    Excellent post. I liked the don’t expect too much too quick advice. Networking and commenting to make friends are great tools but nothing takes away the importance of quality content.

    If a person has nothing worthwhile to say, why would people bother to return or read!

  6. Heather B says:

    This was the inspiration I have been looking for to take my blog http://www.disneydreaming.com to the next level. We are getting some good traffic but it would be great to reach out to some new bloggers.

  7. I know this is a relatively old post. But finding it was a real blessing to me.Last year I lost my Job. Decided to go out on my own. Started my own website developing, design and hosting business. My biggest problem was getting noticed. I had read that blogging really helps build your credentials, but never took that seriously.
    But two months ago I really took this seriously. It has made a remarkable improvement in the traffic to my site. It is continuely growing day by day. But not at a rate that I had hoped. There is still that idea of recognition and getting more readership. Coming across this post about networking is a real confidence booster.
    I have always been weary of things like Facebook, though it was for kids, but soon realised that it can be a valuable tool. You offer some good points in networking, I’m sure that I will enjoy the rest of the articles in this series

  8. Seth says:

    I think the most important part of networking is being realistic!

    Remember, you want something out of the relationship and so does the other person, so be straight forward about how you and them can benefit from your networking.

    This always helps me see my potential and theirs far better and makes the opportunities more promising.

  9. Good article, but getting guests posts are not that easy. You want posts to be aligned with the main theme of your blog and provide value to your readers, not just add junk advertising content.

    I was approached multiple times about guest articles for http://www.interviewpattern.com blog and in many cases the article I got was not even close to the content of the site (Interview and job search related topics)

    BTW, if you have something to share in this area, I welcome hight quality interview related posts, just shoot me an email on [email protected]

  10. Cole says:

    This is what I have been looking for. I have been concerned about being too forward with other bloggers, but what’s the worst that can happen? They say no.

    I am going to find the relevant sites, be a contributor in their comments and then move into link swaps.

    Any suggestions on getting good reciprocal links when my site has such few visitors?

  11. Amy says:

    Bloggers looking to network: First Fridays at Scribble Ink Cafe will post a link to your funniest post. Submit by the end of each month. Details here: http://writer4rent.blogspot.com/2009/04/first-fridays.html

  12. Denise says:

    Certainly words for thought. Here I thought that if my thoughts were good and relevant enough, they would mean something to someone out ‘there’ but you’re right – with all the noise – who’s listening if you don’t persuade them to :)

    Thanks again! As we Singaporeans like to say, I’ve “waken up my idea”,

    Cheers!

  13. PATRICK says:

    Thanks for these great ideas. I will try them with my blog about debt and see if I can get more traffic. What do you think about Message boards? Are they a valid place for links to a blog?

    http://debtfreedomclass.wordpress.com

  14. Thanks for some great ideas. I just started my blog to promote my books and ideas regarding holistic weight and life management. This is based on my experience with loosing over 40 pounds using holistic methods and a variety of other methods. I am also writing a diary. I am more than willing to answer questions and give free advice, though I also offer more involved personal consultations/coachings. Though I am realist and do discuss self-discipline, II always give encouragement as i believe in having a positive approach.
    Thank you so much.

  15. Just created a blog and had spend tons of time in it putting in unique content but just no visitor. Thank goodness I did a search on how to promote my blog and the first page is this. Really need to start learning from this post.

  16. Makarand says:

    Pretty useful stuff here. Commenting on other peoples blog is indeed very effective to get yourself noticed and drive traffic to your site.

    Also, recently Google launched Google Profile. Just register your details (including your blog/website link) so that when people search Google with your name as the keyword, your Google profile is displayed on the first page of the result.

    http://jpmak.blogspot.com

  17. I also comment on other blogs and also promote my site on social networkign sites.

  18. Concise, carefully planned, and well-practiced post about blog promotion.

    A tip I’d share for any Blogger is to try and define your market. Talk to your target audience in your own voice if like me you’d like to become a “Go-To Person and a Connector”

  19. Thanks for the tips, I’ll keep these in mind. I just started a new blog for a company that’s about a year old..we’re focusing on promoting at the moment so this is the kind of thing we need to work on.

    pirateninjastudios.wordpress.com

  20. Masug says:

    Good and usable advice (and it is free too, which is a rarity!). Thanks.

    http://masug.blogspot.com

  21. Laura Like says:

    Thankyou for the concise recommendations on blogging for first-timers. I am one of these plus in the dinosaur generation so all of this seems like a different language. The etiquette of blogging and social networking is a mystery until I realize that it’s all about building relationships using an out-dated set of rules called good manners.

  22. nicholas says:

    Can’t agree more on everything you said. Social networks really does a lot of things, more than the publicity it brings to your blogs, it also gives you the sense of being legit and prove that you really do exist. Seem like a small thing, but to us bloggers, those two things mean a lot, especially if the idea is to get broader traffic as much as you can.

  23. thanks a lot mate for your great article. i just started my blog yesterday and well i am so happy to have got such an article. now i can promote mine really well

  24. Great article, this helps as I continue to improve my skill set. Networking should be a sharing a relationship building business.

    Have a great day!
    Dave

  25. This is some great advice.You really hit the nail with the hammer with this one.

    http://www.dahomegrownspot.com