This is a guest post by Jane from Problogging Success.
Let’s get it straight. Blogging is not a standalone job. You cannot blog in a space that doesn’t exist and to a group of virtual people. You need people—yes, living human beings, not just pairs of eyeballs—to read your
You don’t just need people to read what you write; you need people to:
- agree/disagree with you
- give you different perspectives/thoughts/suggestions
- follow as role models/examples
- endorse/recommend you to the public
- share things with
- buy your stuff and so on.
So you need people in the blogosphere. Period.
Blogging has evolved so far, so strongly, and in an awesome way because of relationships. Just imagine the number of people who hunt blogs for information these days. A big number is just on and around blogs. So you need to make good use of that number.
Let me give you three tips (surely the not-so-trivial kind) to get along with people in the blogging world.
Commenting—not spamming, but giving out your genuine thoughts and views about a particular blog post—will help you to develop an excellent relationship with the author of the article. Everyone knows this. So how can you comment to build relationships (apart from links) effectively?
Reach out to growing bloggers and to those bloggers who are in the same stage as you in their blogging journey. Every comment you make on your favorite A-lister’s blog will indeed help you make friends, attract new visitors, and sometimes even attract subscribers. This is conventional wisdom.
My suggestion is to make a habit of commenting in the not-so-big, yet growing blogs (apart from the A-list blogs that are your favorites and those you comment for link-building purposes). Spend some time to find out a handful of blogs in your niche that are just growing, and comment in them in a consistent and useful way.
Your first friend will be the blogger, of course. And he or she will return the favor. You become blogging buddies and comment on each others’ posts regularly.
Here’s what you can do after that:
- Communicate personally with the blogger. Give suggestions, ask for advice, help each other, and so on.
- Trade off Tweets and Facebook shares. This works great for me. I share their posts, and the favor is returned. So if you have ten blog buddies like this, the exposure you’ll get can be fairly decent. I have also gained new subscribers and friends who are friends of those buddy bloggers.
- Endorse each other’s products/services.
2. Guest post
Guest posting is great for link building and for traffic—quite true. But how about guest posting for developing strong relationships?
Among various other benefits of guest posting, developing relationships with others is one of the main benefits. How can you achieve that? Again, aim not only for the A-list, but go for the growing blogs. This time you need to filter a bit more. Find out blogs that are doing great with readers and comments, and simply forget about the PR for this moment (I say this because I personally know and follow many blogs that have excellent content, and a great number of loyal readers and fans, but the blog’s page rank is 0).
Write a very useful post (you know that!) and close it by opening the topic up for a discussion. Given that the blog has decent number of readers who comment, a call to action should work great. Now it’s your turn to build relationships. Make it a point to respond to every comment in your guest post. But go further. Encourage discussions in the comments. And give out additional tips and secrets in replies to the commenters.
Tip: Look for CommentLuv-enabled blogs. They normally have good number of people who comment.
CommentLuv is a cute little WordPress plugin that fetches the recent post of the commenter (from the website feed) as he/she types the comment, and displays it after the comment. If a blog has the CommentLuv plugin enabled, there should be a little checkbox below the comment Submit button, as shown here.
Checking the box will display the recent post. If you have registered your blog at the ComLuv website, you can choose to display any one of the ten most recent posts.
That ‘s not all. You also have a search option at ComLuv website. You can search for CommentLuv-enabled blogs in your niche by entering appropriate keywords.
Write round-up posts on your blog that link to other posts. Do this periodically: once in a week or two, write a round-up post. This time, you need to aim only for the big players: A-list blogs. Your post can be centered around one post from a particular A-list blog, or a collection of posts from different blogs with either the same or different topics.
You can follow any or all of the following strategies:
- Write one blog post agreeing/disagreeing/appreciating/casting your extra views on one popular blog
post. Caution: Don’t be tempted to get dirty and disagree with popular bloggers just to gain attention.
- Write one blog post on a topic and quote four or five related blog posts to validate your thoughts.
- Pick four or five popular blog posts of A-list bloggers, not necessarily in a very narrow topic, and write a list post that ties them all together.
You have got to try it and see. You will get a lot of exposure, friends—and loyal readers.
The bottom line? You cannot blog alone. You need the support of nice people to blog successfully. Don’t just be obsessed with SEO and link building; rather, seek to develop true and long-lasting relationships.
Just ask this to yourself: “Why do I blog?” There can be many answers, but this will be surely one of your answers: “to create relationships with others.” Unless you’re writing a blog that’s entirely private, you blog for relationships. You write for people—your friends, your students, your clients, your community, your gender, or people with particular interest or issues. So make the most of those relationships.
What methods do you adopt to develop blogging relationships? And what works best for you?
Jane is a blog consultant and the founder of Problogging Success. She has authored two e-books Problogging Action Plan (winner of the Small Business Book Awards, 2012) and Guest Blogging Champion to help bloggers become successful in their blogging business.