Last month I gave some tips on how to network. Connecting your blog with others is a great way to gain readership and spread your name. There is, however, a fine line between networking your blog and shameless self-promotion. You need to know where that line is and how to avoid crossing it. I’m going to look at the points I made last month and expand.
1. Follow other blogs – honestly. Don’t just cruise the blogosphere looking for people you think might be interested in your blog. Find blogs that you like, that you’ll read, and join the network to find more. Take some time to scan the posts, comment on some of them. Support other bloggers before you start asking them to join together to support you.
2. #findit. If you’re going to hashtag your posts and tweets, take some time to see what other people are are saying with similar tags. You’ll see how differently people respond to the same topic – maybe that will inspire another post for you, or maybe it’ll just help you see the world through someone else’s eyes. Either way, you’ll gain some insight that will introduce you to new people and blogs.
3. Facebook. See #1 – don’t friend people or like their Facebook pages if you have no genuine interest in them or their businesses. Find people and fan pages that you like and join their networks. Do it to better yourself, not to draw people to you.
I’m also going to add this: Treat others as you wish to be treated. That’s right – Golden Rule time. Networking your blog is about connecting with other people. You can’t connect if you haven’t invested anything in getting to know the other people in your network. If you want others to promote you and support you, you have to be willing to do the same for them. This isn’t just about you – it’s about the network.