Networking isn’t just for business after hours. It’s gone virtual, bringing websites, tweets, and blogs together. Learning how to network will not only drive up traffic to your blog, it will also guide you to like-minded bloggers who can inspire, encourage, and support your efforts.
There are dozens of different ways to network your blog. I’ll just touch on a few here. These are the simplest, most basic ways to make online connections (this is about blogging basics).
1. Follow other blogs. When you find a blog that you like, make sure you commit to it. Most people give you options: subscribe to an RSS feed or email notice, or follow the blog. When you select these options it will let the author know you’re there. This can often lead to the author (or other followers) finding your blog through association. It’s not a guarantee, but it gets your name out there.
2. #blogit. Regardless of whether or not you like Twitter (I’m not entirely convinced yet), it’s a great way to get connected. Do you blog about classic Chevys? Search for it in the Twitter bar. You’ll quickly find other people tweeting about the same things. When you tweet (and you should be tweeting your blog posts), make sure you #hashtag your topics. You’ll soon find friends of friends of friends you can relate to. Retweet their tweets. Check out their blogs. Make some connections.
3. Facebook. Perhaps the greatest time-suck in the world, Facebook is also an amazing networking opportunity. Simply search for your blog topic. ‘Craft Blog’ immediately pulls up four Facebook pages on craft blogs as well as four groups of craft bloggers – you can find more by expanding the results screen. Start searching and see who you find. (There’s even an app for Networked Blogs).
Get started with these networking tools. After you’ve made some good connections you can go back and filter your network, making it as personal and specific as you’d like.
A word of caution: if this looks like a lot of work, it is. Networking isn’t just about getting your name out there – you need to make relevant connections and the only way to do that is to know who your connecting with. That requires some time and devotion, but the sacrifice pays off. Get to know the people swimming in the lake with you. Then, when the water gets rough, you’ve got friends nearby. Not only can you help them, but they might just throw you a line, too.
QUESTION: How have you networked your blog?