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12 Tools and Techniques for Building Relationships with Other Bloggers

building-relationships-bloggers.jpgImage by Michael Sarver

A recent question asked in the Q&A widget was from a reader asking me to write about:

“How to go about building relationships with other bloggers?”

Building relationships with other bloggers is an important aspect of blogging. I see it as crucial for a number of reasons:

  • Finding Readers – one of the best ways to grow your readership is to have another blogger recommend that their readers check out something that you’ve written.
  • Learning Your Craft - as I look back on what I’ve learned about blogging over the last five years I would credit other bloggers as teaching me a good proportion of it. The more you interact with bloggers the more you’ll learn about building a better blog.
  • Accountability and Advice – at times blogging can be a fairly isolating task and it’s easy to get off track or become deluded (either by your ego getting out of control or by becoming depressed about some aspect of what you do). Having other bloggers around you that you give permission to keep you grounded and to lift you up when you’re despondent is important at keeping yourself balanced.
  • Friendship – blogging can be a lonely business. Having other bloggers around you who know the ins and outs, the pressures and the quirks and the highs and the lows makes the whole thing a lot more enjoyable.
  • Sharing of Skills – I’ve never met a blogger who knows everything about their niche or about how to blog (I’ve met a couple who think they do) – the reality is that we all have gaps in our knowledge and skills so to have others around us that might complement what we have can add a new dimension to a blog. As I remember the early years of my own blogging I’m struck by how much ‘trading’ of skills we all did for one another. One blogger would do a design for another one, in return they’d get some guest posts or advice on ad optimization etc.

So HOW should a blogger approach this important task of building relationships with other bloggers?

There are a large number of tasks that networking and building relationships with other bloggers can involve. I’ll list some of them below but before I do I think it’s worth saying that some will fit with some bloggers more than others.

We all make friends differently in ‘real life’ and I suspect will do best when we approach blogger networking in our own way and bringing our own personality to the task.

12 Blogger Networking Techniques and Tools:

  1. Commenting on Other’s Blogs – basic but effective, but only when you add value with your comments.
  2. Emailing Other Bloggers – once again, this works best if you add value in some way. Don’t just email to say hi, email to contribute something, give some advice, offer to help etc
  3. Guest Posts – one way that can make an impression on another blogger is to offer to make a post. This particularly makes an impression when they need it most (when they are sick, have a vacation coming up, have some crisis). Keep an eye out for these times and be prepared to do what you can to assist.
  4. Story Tips – if a story breaks in your niche – email other bloggers to let them know.
  5. Link Out - linking to a competitors blog could seem like a crazy thing to do but it can make a real impression and show other bloggers your willingness to interact.
  6. Instant Messaging - interaction via IM can really take a relationship to a new level as it’s real time and personal.
  7. Social Networking – this should be a no brainer – social networking tools are exist with the purpose of connecting people. The key is to pick social networking tools that fit for you and your niche and focus on those. For example if other bloggers in your niche are interacting on Twitter – join it, if there’s a lot of activity on Facebook, go there – if LinkedIn is more relevant to your niche interact there!
  8. Social Bookmarking – one of the best ways to get on the radar of another blogger is to be responsible for sending them a huge wave of traffic. While most of us can’t do this from our small blogs – we can submit other bloggers sites to social media sites like Digg and StumbleUpon. Instead of spending your day working on campaigns to build your own votes on these sites why not do it for another blogger?
  9. Interviews – there’s nothing more flattering than having someone email you with a request to interview you and then to have them go to the trouble of thinking up interesting questions that show they’ve taken time to research the interview. Interviews can be good content for your blog but I think the real benefit of them is that they put you into a conversation with the person you’re interviewing and can be a springboard into relationship!
  10. Forums and Discussion Groups – forums are one place that a lot of niche bloggers lurk. Engage genuinely in these spaces and you never know who you’ll end up connecting with. The building of relationships is one thing that I see emerging in the ProBlogger Room on FriendFeed.
  11. Pick up the Phone/Skype it – while IM can be good at making your interactions more conversation like – voice to voice interactions take it a step further. Of course be a little careful with a cold-call – I’d recommend working up to a voice call with some emails etc as some are better on the phone than others with strangers.
  12. Real Life Networking Events – one of the best ways of building relationships with bloggers is to meet face to face. A lot can be achieved without actually meeting (at b5media none of the founders had met until a year into our business and after we’d secured VC funding) but meeting another blogger has a way of cementing a relationship that is quite special.

WARNING!

Knowing about and using the above tools and techniques are not enough on their own. Each of them can be used both to build fruitful relationships with other bloggers and to hurt your relationships. Many of the above techniques when used in an overbearing way can come across as spam – proceed with caution!

Tomorrow I want to expand upon this topic and share with you 17 principles of building relationships with bloggers that I think will put these tools and techniques into a context where they can be used well.

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. MoneyLizard says:

    Very useful tips. I think the most underutilized one is networking IN PERSON. Even though this is an online business, for the most part, networking in person can bring you some big contacts and excellent publicity.

    Keep up the good posts!

    -Moneylizard
    http://www.blog-class-room.com

  2. blogOOPS says:

    That is definitely some great advice. In every business, I think it is important to reach out and network in order to provide the best possible information or product for the reader or consumer. The more bloggers unite within their own niches the more traffic everyone drives and it seems the better the information for the readers.

  3. Robert Woods says:

    Great post. As someone very new to blogging I appreciate the information you guys/gals bring to the table. Thanks again.

  4. Billy says:

    I have been amazed by the response from other bloggers and their willingness to help a new blogger. When I started stardelicious.com a month ago, I knew nothing. I’m still learning, but I can’t think of a business where other business owners are so open to help. It makes me proud to be a blogger.

  5. If anybody would like to guest post on my blog, just leave a comment. Thanks.

    As for the blog roll, I have a hard time finding space on my blog because the layout is full of this AdSense garbage. I would like to add people though.

  6. i will try to use atleast 5 of them to get a good blog traffic.

  7. What I have done is have one blog about me and my little rants but I was wise to make milliondollablog where I just highlight other bloggers who are struggling to get some visability.Which one do you think is doing better:) I love giving the love and it can get a little lonesome sometimes but it’s a long road to the TOP right Bro
    Hey and another thing if someone take the time to email you a compliment or whatever answer.I have seen to many people get all high and mighty.When that happens I don’t go back usually.In fact one of the reasons I respect you so much is I know you answer your emails:)
    Have a great Summer everyone
    Follow me if you can keep UP;)
    http://twitter.com/jsinkeywest

  8. Common bt nice tips to share…

  9. These are all very easy and good ways to network and get more readers for your blog and once you look into each way and pick a few social networking sites and build your contacts you can also ask other bloggers with related content to yours if they want to exchange links. One good way I’ve found to network and build relationships with other bloggers is to exchange blog reviews. I’ve done quite a few and it’s easy to find bloggers who want a simple review of their blogs on your pages. It also gives you a quality backlink to your site and helps to get you listed more in search engine results in your niche

  10. I’ve found that you can share tips outside of breaking stories; you can take something they wrote about, expand the idea and email them with it. YOu can also do it as a guest post…

  11. Reginald says:

    Let’s get straight to the heart of the matter…I found the entries in this post worthy of actually making a note of.

    In fact, I would like to admit for the record that I look forward to the proannounced related article that distinguishes 17 principles to building relationship with bloggers.

    I appreciate your contribution to the self education of those readers who took the time necessary to read your article and invest in themselves.

  12. Chris says:

    Hey everyone. I usually come to problogger to find work at the job board but today it’s different.

    I just wrote a post about VIC FRANQUI and GARY CONN that you have to read. It’s very short but I have a strong feeling that all the readers here would be VERY interested in it!!

    Darren, you too. I need everyone to comment on my post.

    Here’s the deal:

    My blog is do follow. It is a PR4. I will approve all comments. There is nothing for sale or to download free from my blog.

    I need the comments though to get this whole thing working. You’ll see what I mean when you read my 1 minute post.

    You wont be sorry especially if I can orchestrate this whole “thing” “m tring to do. I don’t want to give it away here as I need the comments on my post.

    Again you’ll see why. Let me put it this way. If VIC has irritated you in any way then you will like my post!!

    I’m excited this and I think it COULD be big.

    Folks come get your sweet links on me. Use any keyword you want to anchor. All comments will be approved.

    The link is of course in my name above.

    See you there….leave a comment!

  13. Sylvano says:

    The subtlety of networking – online or off line – is developing and nurturing a genuine curiousity in other people. Only then can you naturally identify people you actually *want* to contact for a *real* reason.

    Thanks for the article. And I agree with TheMaskedMillionaire – list titles are quite irresistible.

  14. rushit shah says:

    well said, but what about competition every 1 is facing now a days. as finally we are going to interact with our competitor.

  15. Rita says:

    Great tips. I will bookmark this list and come back to it. It’s a good reminder all these things take time to develop, just like any relationship. I have been trying to leave comments on ten blogs a day, first thing in the morning. However, I’m finding it difficult to find ten blogs to comment on. The google searches and mybloglog searches give me the same list of blogs everyday, and often these blogs aren’t updated consistently. Any tips?

  16. I am a new blogger. Your article is very useful

  17. Husnul says:

    These are worthy tips. I enjoy reading your articles. If I like to translate and adapt them, would you mind?

  18. Goran Giertz says:

    I do not have my blog but I can say that a blog that cares will always get me returning under the condition that the content is good.

  19. Spuds says:

    For me it is leaving comments, social networking, twitter and FriendFeed.

    http://friendfeed.com/spuds

  20. Right now I’m only posting on one forum… DP Forum. I’ve been lazy; I need to join more forums to get more hits

  21. Faruqi says:

    Well, it is over delivered. But, mostly people still want to know deeper how they use Social Networking to expand their blogs and sort of.

    >>http://ShockingHomeBusiness.com

  22. Hi Darren, I have read many of your posts, and would like to thank your for your sharing. I have learned a lot from you! This post has shown me yet another few most important details. Thanks.

  23. Daniel says:

    I do not find this useful. Let put by example Problogger, I tried to establish some kind of communication but the cold answer of Darren “I do not have time for this”. So I do not know why are you giving this advice.

  24. Brian says:

    I’ve found using Adoptic is a good way to show off your posts. http://www.brian1127.blogspot.com

  25. I like the way you put a warning at the end of your post. it is true, there is a lot more involved. Like hard work, devotion, focus and so on.

  26. Great post and great tips. Thanks for sharing. I already bookmarked this list and will come back to it.