Blogging was once about throwing your words out there and hoping for the best. “If you build it, they will come,” you know, that type of thing. Hell, when I started blogging it was on LiveJournal and pretty much exclusively for my friends – I did not want other people reading my online journal, and I certainly did not know that this was a way to make money.
Today it’s a whole other game. If you write and nothing else, there’s a very, very, very slim chance that anyone will find your site or become a fan. Networking is crucial whether you’re blogging about growing your own tomatoes or posting funny picture of your cat. We network in person and online, both to find readers and to find JV partners. Without networking, it’s easy to become lost in the drivel of everything else on the Internet.
Networking is something that a lot of us still get wrong. Luckily there are no hard and fast rules about it! Unarguably, though, there are some ways to increase the effectiveness of your networking, so I’ve collected some of the best networkers out there to share their advice!
1. The Unmissable Secret of Long Term Blogging Success by Jade Craven – guest post for Problogger
Jade Craven is the queeen of networking. The queen. Seriously, someone get that girl a tiara. She always knows what’s going on at other people’s blogs, who should be on our radars as far as up-and-comers, and what posts we should be reading from others. Beyond that, she makes awesome things happen. She’s like a virtual match-maker for bloggers.
Jade is someone who challenges me in her awesomeness to be better. And I think that’s pretty much the best type of blogger out there.
But enough of my gushing. In this post, Jade dishes on all her networking secrets. Seriously, if you take no other networking advice, listen to Jade. From the post:
Imagine. You are craving an ice cream. You don’t have the time to go and buy the ice cream but then someone offers one because they instinctively know that it could help you right then. Now, imagine that you could help people find solutions that could save or earn them thousands of dollars. They’d be pretty darn grateful, right?
That’s what I do and it’s how you can get a lot of the big guns to view you as a peer in a short period of time.
To succeed at this you have to be good at reading between the lines.
While this post is a one of her many guest posts on Problogger, Jade has an equally awesome post about networking on her own blog called “Networking Secrets that A-Listers won’t Tell You About” and she also offers How To Network Fast, a course that covers the most important networking techniques. Make sure you check out Jade’s blog and follow her on Twitter @jadecraven.
2. Everybody Is Your Peer (or How To Connect With People) by Karol Gajda at Remarkably Extraordinary
What I like about Karol’s post is that he touches on a topic a lot of us forget – networking with people we consider to be our heroes doesn’t have to be hard or intimidating. From the post:
There are times in life when you may want to connect with somebody more “famous” than you. I mean famous relatively speaking. It could be a blogger, business person, government official, or even maybe just the hot girl/guy you see regularly at your local coffee shop.
The first thing you have to remember when you want to connect with anybody you admire is that we’re all human. You, me, and that person you want to connect with. Huge revelation, huh? 😉 Lesson #1: treat people like people, not like gods.
3. Do You Need New Friends? by Amy Parmenter at The ParmFarm
Amy was one of the people I was sad to miss while at BlogWorld this year (though I have listened to her presentation via virtual ticket since then and it was fabulous). In this post on The ParmFarm, she opens up a rather interesting discussion – do we really need more friends, when most of us aren’t even actively growing relationships with the ones we have already? From her post:
I’m not suggesting quantity over quality. When the world runs out of interesting compassionate people from whom I could learn a thing or two, I’ll be long gone.
But it occurs to me that I don’t even have the time I’d like to devote to my old friends, so why the need to make new ones??
4. The Importance of Face-to-Face Conversations by Jill Felska at Pursuing Our Passion
We get so caught up in new media that we sometimes forget that its better to have coffee with your neighbor than DM him or her on Twitter. This post by Jill at Pursuing Our Passion is a great reminder to disconnect occasionally and do some face-to-face networking. Events like BlogWorld don’t happen every day, but I bet there are a number of people in your city who would love to meet with you in person. From the post:
This weekend my grandparents came to town and I did something I rarely do – disconnect. I wasn’t networking on Twitter, didn’t check up on friends via Facebook and ignored (for the most part) my cell phone and email. Except for the occasional FourSquare check-in, I was completely unplugged from the social space and plugged-in to real conversation. It was one of the best, most enlightening weekends I’ve had in a long time – and I have some wonderful grandparents and conversation to thank for that!
Thanks, Jill, for the reminder to get offline sometimes! You can read more from Jill and her fellow Passionista, Jenn, at Pursuing Our Passion, and don’t forget to follow the blog on Twitter @ChiPassionistas, @felska (Jill), and @jennkrenn (Jenn).
5. Communicate with Humans not Statistics by Raam Dev
More subscribers. More comments. More pageviews. Have you ever noticed that most bloggers (myself included) are seemingly obsessed with numbers? Heck, many of us even celebrate things like getting 300 “likes” on Facebook or reaching 1000 Twitter followers. And it’s not that stats aren’t important, but this post by Raam Dev is something we all need to here now and again – write for the person, not for the masses. Writes Raam:
If we have a thought provoking conversation with a friend, our messages and thoughts are freely passed between one another, right? Now lets say we want to have that same thought provoking conversation with ten million people. Do we change the message? Do we generalize and try to simplify it a little so everyone can understand? We have to, right?
By paying attention to those numbers and modifying the message (and this subconsciously happens more often than you may think!), you’re essentially removing the human aspect of communication. You’re no longer speaking to a human.
Networking allows us to connect with thousands of people on a daily basis, but let’s not forget to acknowledge the individual. This is one of the smartest posts I’ve read in a long time; head over to Raam’s blog to read more and follow him on Twitter @raamdev.
Before closing out this post, there’s one more awesome blogger I want to mention: Judy Helfand, who blogs for Webconsuls and at Judy’s Op-Ed (her personal blog). If you want a lesson on how to network with grace, just follow Judy around for a few days. She supports bloggers without asking anything in return. She always has a kind word on Twitter, regardless of the situation. At BlogWorld, she was one of the few people who took the time to hunt me down just to say hello, even for a few minutes, not because she wanted something from me. Judy is a one of the classiest people I’ve met through social media – if you aren’t already, follow her on Twitter @JudyHelfand.
This post is part of the 12 Days of Blogging Series. The 5 Golden Rules are:
You can also check out all of the posts in this series here: 12 Days of Blogging 2010