One of the things that makes blogging so successful, not to mention fun, is the meaningful blog connections we make along the way—whether it be with someone who shares your love for kitten figurines or enjoys swapping opinions on movies or child-rearing. But blogging goes beyond a simple social connection. It’s about helping and sharing. The number of readers and fans available for blogs and websites is infinite. Why? Because readers and fans are not exclusive. There are no monogamous blogging relationships. We can like, follow, stalk, tweet, digg, shout, and any other number of ways to show bloggers you like the way they think. The more the merrier.
Blogging is not a competition for who can get the most readers. So I don’t want to see anyone end up on an episode of Hoarders because of aggressive blog tactics. The best way to make connections with other bloggers is to follow and read their blogs and then comment on articles and content.
I just love it when readers comment on one of my articles. Not only do they let you know they enjoyed your article, they share little tidbits about themselves. It’s one of the things about blogging that is so fulfilling—that interaction with readers. So spread the love. There’s plenty to go around.
Make a point of responding to your reader comments. Even if all you have time for is a quick “thanks,” it will go a long way toward building those relationships with your audience. And don’t forget to return the favor. Many readers are also bloggers, so take a few moments to check out the blogs of a few of your readers and leave them encouraging comments.
“If you like my blog, you might also like…” is a common element of blogging. When you do get the chance to peruse other blogs, make a note of anything you think your readers will like and share it. You can reblog, repost, pin, post it to your timelines, add it to Google+, or even add it to your list of favorite sites or helpful links on your own blog. The point is, make those connections readily available to your readers.
Repeat as often as necessary. Making those connections is a continuous effort. We don’t declare ourselves to be BFFs forever and then never say hi again. We have to maintain those relationships. And while our time and efforts will fluctuate, make the effort… even if it’s been weeks or months. Rekindle those connections.
Other Ways to Connect
The avenues to connect on the internet are ever expanding, and trying to keep up with the next big thing can be overwhelming. Pick the platforms you frequent often and make those connections. If you are a Facebook maven but can’t seem to make it to Tumblr, don’t beat yourself up over it. Stick to what works. If you want to jump into a new social media platform, ask people you already follow on your other platforms for any pointers from those who have experience.
Answer the call for help with special projects, tours, promos, etc. If a blogger asks for volunteers to help with a social experiment, don’t be shy. Ask a few questions and sign up if you think it will interest you. If someone needs help getting the word out about their promotion, give it willingly.
First and foremost, do not adopt the attitude of “what’s in it for me?” If you ask, “what can I do for you,” those connections will be easier to make and maintain over time. Because when we help others, help always appears when it’s our turn to ask.