There is a saying in the online world that you should “build your network or audience before you need it”.
It’s a true statement that I believe in. If you’re looking to increase your online lead generation and sales generation, the time to start building your network is now.
To clarify, for this post I’m referring to your network as the collection of contacts and friends you have in the blogging industry. These are folks that will help you as your grow your company blog. Just as in real life, it’s important to have friends that will help you with your blogging goals.
If you’re starting at Day 1 with your blogging efforts, here are some tips for building your blogging network.
How to Build a Blogging Network
I’m a country music fan. The Zac Brown Band released their second major label album a couple years ago and I thought the title was great. You Get What You Give is a great country record. I took the title as meaning that ZBB feels they need to really give their fans something special in order for them to expect anything in return. The guys put in the work up front and delivered something great. There was no guarantee of anything being returned, but that’s how you have to roll in business and in life.
You get what you give and the same is true when building your blogging network.
The basic idea with building your blogging network is to focus on what is advantageous for your blogging friends first. It’s easy to think about yourself when reaching out to bloggers. I’m not sure why, but we all struggle with this concept when it comes to building a business or a network. We focus on why someone should do something for us. It’s crazy. I’m guilty of doing it and I’ve seen others do the same. We ask someone to do something for us out of the blue. It’s all about us.
Commenting is one way to open up the conversation with other bloggers, but you have to focus on what the other blogger wants. In the case of commenting, bloggers want comments that build on their posts. They don’t want simply “nice post” comments that include links back to your blog. I delete all of these comments on my own blogs if the commenting person is lucky. Sometimes I’ll mark them as spam because that’s really what they are at best.
It’s ok to link with your actual full name back to your blog, but make sure you offer something substantial in the comments you leave. Add your thoughts to the article. Add your own stories. Really provide something valuable. This usually requires some thought and effort.
But the more great comments you leave the more likely the blogger is going to take notice, respond, and even comment on your blog in return.
Staying on the idea of helping your fellow bloggers out – social sharing is something bloggers love. This means promoting the posts of other bloggers. Share their posts on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites. Add your own thoughts when you share them. Recommend the post and give a reason why people should follow through and read.
Bloggers notice when their posts are shared. They pay attention to the people that share their posts as well. It’s a good way to get noticed.
Don’t go overboard with this. You want to make sure the streams on your social sites are full of quality content and not just junk. Focus on sharing only the best of the best content, but do it on a regular basis.
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Etc.
Social sites are great for following people you admire and want to connect with. I’d recommend the other ideas mentioned in this post above this one, but I’ve connected with quite a few bloggers on Twitter and even Facebook. At the very least it’s a great way to stay up to date with what your favorite bloggers are doing. They may not follow you in return, but it’s at least worth a shot. I’ve seen a few great examples of people building their blogging networks via social media channels.
This is my personal favorite method of building your blogging network.
Linking means including links to other sites and blogs in your blog posts. It takes some effort. You have to actually read content on other sites and work it into your posts somewhere.
Bloggers love getting links. It’s good to get traffic from other sites and bloggers love traffic. If they are reviewing their analytics and notice a site sending traffic their way they will often check out the site for more information. Linking has also had great SEO benefit, but I feel this is lessening in importance. It’s still important, but not as much as it used to be.
It’s just a good show of respect to link to great content in your posts. Most posts offer the opportunity and it’s really a great way to give before you get.
Those are a few ways to build your blogging network.
If you have more please share in the comments.