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We’re so excited to be kicking off February’s edition of New Year, New Blog. Since it’s February, the month of loooovvveeee, we’re focusing on making love (that’s bloglove) and mastering the art of connection-making with others across Blogland. It can be hard sometimes to turn a Disqus convo on a post or a brief email chat into a full-blown friendship when really, in our opinions, turning blog friends into real friends is one of the absolute best perks of blogging! (Wouldn’t you agree?) Today we’re here to simplify things and give you the Do’s and Don’ts.
- Do…Leave lengthy, relevant comments. Making genuine friends in Blogland means more than just commenting “Love it!” with your blog URL at the bottom. Leaving lengthy comments that are relevant to the post show the other blogger that you’re interested, excited, and engaged with their work. If you do it right, they’ll return the favor and visit you!
- Do…Give your blogger friends opportunities to do awesome blog things with you. Once you’ve turned acquaintances into blossoming friendships, maintain them by giving your blogging besties the first chance at sponsoring giveaways, discount codes for sponsoring your blog, or opps for collaborating with you on a new series. The Golden Rule applies – if you show other bloggers some love, they might return the favor later down the line.
- Do…Meet up with bloggers IRL and focus on taking some virtual relationships off the screen and into the real world. I’ve gone on a few “blates” (that’s blogger date) for coffee and photo sessions, Skyped across the Atlantic, and sent snail mail packages back and forth with pick-me-ups up and down the East Coast. Take it from me…it’s so FUN, and rewarding like no other.
- Do…Join blogging groups! Blogging groups are an awesome way to meet other bloggers and learn from each other. Just be careful about which you join – some can be really spammy or require you to retweet fifty other bloggers totally outside your niche. One of our favorites is The Blogging Elite, which was started by our NYNB VIP Tiffany!
- Don’t…Do that “Like for Like,” “Follow for Follow” Bologna. That’s exactly what it is – bologna. Not really effective or filling, moreso just mysterious and lurky and no one’s cup of tea. Think about it. If your goal is to actually grow and build a community of truly dedicated readers and followers, this “like for like” BS does essentially nothing to help you reach that goal. It just comes across as kinda desperate, as if you just bought someone their Starbucks and now you’re kindly asking for them to return the favor then and there in the coffeeshop.
- Don’t…Leave self-promoting comments on other blogs. If you have a blog post that you’ve written that genuinely relates to the post you’re reading, there’s nothing wrong with sharing the link as part of a comment. Make sure, though, that the rest of the comment is focused on the other blogger’s work. There’s nothing worse than realizing someone has just hijacked your blog comments section to promote their own blog – rude!
- Don’t…Sell yourself – and your brand – out for the sake of networking. As you start to make blogfriends, it might seem like a good idea to start trading guest posts on each other’s blogs or do ad swaps to keep the friendship going. While that’s super nice and might be an awesome way to network, take a minute before you agree to think about your brand. Is the guest post in line with your own blog’s brand? Does this blogger produce awesome content that you would feel proud to feature on your blog? At the end of the day, you put a TON of work into maintaining your brand, and preserving that might be worth saying no.
- Don’t…“Network” with an agenda. Part of the fun of blogging is making new friends across the world, but it stops being fun when the other person clearly feels like you have a secret reason for being so nice. Network because you hope to make genuine friends and you’ll have a lot more fun – and success!
What are your best tips for networking with other bloggers? What’s the best (or worst) way that someone has networked with you?
Have you become a VIP yet? You ARE a very important person after all, so if you’re looking to keep your blog growing on the up and up for allllll of 2015, put ~4 Starbucks on hold and make an $18 investment that will go oh so much farther. Your time is now.
And now, one of you can win $100 via PayPal. Just because it’s the weekend, so HOLLAH.