You’ve heard the saying: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”, right? I don’t entirely agree with this. I think it should be both. In the battle for you and your blog to get ahead, you must have something of value to offer as well as people who will acknowledge this in supportive and meaningful ways. In the world of work, especially big business, people in the know are constantly networking with contacts who will broaden their opportunities for advancement and success. This concept also applies to blogging you must network with other bloggers if you want to succeed.
In my last post, Is Your Blog A Thriving Community?, I discussed the value of building a community out of your blog readers. Today I want to stress the importance of also building a community outside of your audience, one that is based on relationships with other bloggers in a more professional way. One way to accomplish this is to join and participate in networking communities dedicated to bloggers. These sites offer you the opportunity to interact with other bloggrs by participating in forums, messaging, forming and joining groups, contributing articles, exchanging links and advertising, to name but a few.
These networks will afford you the chance to make beneficial connections that can offer you and your blog a number of unique opportunies as outlined below:
The chance to find other bloggers to exchnage guest posts with.
Guest posting allows you the opportunity to reach a wider audience and bring new traffic to your blog. Blogging communities are a great place to find other bloggers in your niche with which to establish a guest posting relationship.
Get fresh ideas and themes for future blog posts of your own.
No I’m not advocating plagarism. But blogging oriented communities give you opportunity to check out the posts of others in your blogging niche and these can be great sources of inspiration. Ask yourself some questions about the content: “What points did the article not spend enough time on? Could the topic have been covered in more detail? Would the article benefit from a list of related resources? Is the article in error or missing some key information?”. Now ask yourself: “How would I approach and improve this topic in my own blog post?” You won’t be stealing the article, only building on and expanding it. This is a way to inspire your own blogging creativity and produce great blog content.
Find other blogs to exchange advertising and links with.
Don’t think about other bloggers as competition. This attitude will short-circuit your ability to connect with and benefit from what others are doing. What is the point of joining a community of like-minded bloggers if you maintain an attitude that is hostile? Think about how you can help others and be helped by them, practice reciprocity. These kinds of exchanges will be of mutual benefit, but only if your choose relevant blogs to exchange advertising and links with. Be descriminating, don’t go for quantity, aim for quality. Exchange links and advertising with blogs that have good contnet that is updated regularly and have a steady readership and be prepared to respond in kind.
Learn tips, tricks and secrets from other more experienced community members.
Other successful bloggers are not your enemy. In fact, you are your own worst enemy if you refuse to learn from the success of others. Pay attention to what successful bloggers in your niche are doing and try implementing some of these techniques on your own blog. Don’t be afraid to approach a more experienced blogger for help and advice. The worst thing they can do is say no, but on the upside, you may gain an invaluable resource in the person of a mentor.
Connect with and leverage your other social networking communities.
Many of these blogging communities offer you the ability to incorporate feeds from your other social networks and in some cases your blog feed as well. This gives you the opportunity to grow your other followings on social sites such as Twitter and Facebook. It also exposes your blog to potential new readers.
Get free tools and applications to enhance your blog’s functionality.
Take advantage of free widgets and applications that help you connect to your new community and make your blog more appealing and interactive. Just be careful to install things that are truly helpful and not just useless toys for your sidebar.
Below I have listed a few sites that you might want to consider joining and participating in.
- Blog Catalog
In addition, you might want to check out the two blog promotion communities below listed below. Between them, they offer you the ability to promote your blog in several ways. Including, but not limited to: link building, article directory publishing, article exchanges, advertising opportunities, forums and more.
Remember that these communities will only benefit you to a level corresponding to the time and energy you invest in them. You will get as good as you give in a blogging network community. If you are willing to invest a little of yourself, they can be great sources of information and support for you as a blogger. Blogging communities can definately contribute to the overall success of your blog.