Here’s some questions for you:

Are you holding back from networking with other bloggers because you feel like your blog just isn’t ‘good enough’?

Have you joined a few Facebook groups (like I told you about in this post), but been too shy to speak up because you’re afraid you’ll get laughed at for not knowing the secret blogger handshake?

Do you read blogging tips about how to get more traffic and think YEAH I need to do that, but secretly you’re terrified to have people actually read your blog?

Let me let you in on a little secret:

I’ve SO been there.

There was a long time when I was first blogging (less than 6 months ago!) when I’d finish a post and, rather than feeling excited and getting pumped about promoting it, I’d rather hide it under my bed.

Yep. That’s where I’ve come from.

BUT.

When it comes to blogging success, you need to get out there.

How many times have you heard the phrase, ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’?

Maybe you’re like me and find that a little offensive (I’m a firm believer in the aristocracy of talent here!)

But, you can’t build a blog in isolation, and why would you want to?

Making friends and networking is one of the best and fastest ways to grow your blog and get to where you want to be.

Making blogger friends is one of the best and fastest ways to grow your blog.Click To Tweet

Why it pays to have friends.

beginners guide to networking

Is it just me, or is that sub-heading kind of funny? Is anyone going to argue with me that having friends is a bad thing?

Didn’t think so.

There’s a lot you can do with blogger friends.

You can:

  • Share each other’s content
  • Co-host a webinar
  • Feature each other in your blog posts
  • Exchange guest posts
  • Interview each other
  • Run a challenge together
  • Share a giveaway
  • Create a product together
  • Use each other as motivation to keep going (trust me – there will be days when this helps so much)

Let me tell you a story:

I’m an introvert (I have an untested theory that the majority of bloggers are).

Posting comments, promoting my blog, getting involved on Facebook… none of it comes naturally to me.

(Though it gets easier as you get used to it.)

A few weeks ago, I decided I needed to get serious about commenting on blogs in my niche. And I decided to make a comment over at Twins Mommy.

Elna responded, as she always does (Take note – always respond to your comments.) We got into a bit of dialogue and a couple of weeks later, when Elna was looking for a copyeditor, guess who she asked?

That’s right. Me.

So, out of genuine comments and shares I scored a fun freelance gig.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I didn’t comment or share or do any of this with the expectation that I was going to get something. Most bloggers can pick this from a mile away, and it smells like old cheese.

PS. I still regularly comment on and share Elna’s posts, as she does on mine.

 

Hello, will you be my friend?

Before you rush off to start making new friends, you might want to think about who to be target.

That sounds a bit cold and slimy but honestly it’s not!

Let me explain:

If you’re pretty new, you might know the names of some big bloggers in your niche – maybe they’re the ones that inspired you to start blogging yourself.

But, these guys are probably not the best to start trying to make friends with right away.

They’re just too big (and busy).

Your best bet is to find bloggers who are around the same level as you or a just a bit further along. You can help each other out, egg each other on and grow together.

But, don’t ignore the new kids on the block – you never know which newbie blogger today turns into tomorrow’s rising star.

Don’t ignore new bloggers – you never know who'll be tomorrow’s rising star.Click To Tweet

Here are 4 super simple things even newbies can do. The key here is generosity. Make it about the other blogger, and what you can do for them.

1. Start commenting on blogs

Choose a handful of blogs to leave comments on and get started. Here’s some tips to leaving a good comment that gets you noticed:

  • Acknowledge the writer – start with a simple Hey, first name.
  • Engage with the content of the post – be complimentary, ask intelligent questions.
  • Finish with a promise to share – then actually do.

How to work this into your schedule:

  • Bookmark the blogs you intend to comment on regularly.
  • Save them into a folder called ‘Comments’ with subfolders for each day of the week.
  • Put approximately equal number of blogs into each day of the week.
  • Set aside 30mins each day to check and comment on those blogs.

 

2. Whenever you read an article or blog post – use those click-to-tweets!

This is probably the easiest way ever.

If you’re enjoying an article or a blog post and the blogger has taken the time to put click-to-tweet boxes in it… Click them and Tweet them!

It doesn’t cost you anything, and it gives them a boost (and they’ll notice that you did.)

How to work this into your schedule:

  • I feel like I should be telling you how to STOP reading too many blog posts and article online… amirite?
  • Just go about biz as usual, but click-to-tweet and share wherever appropriate.

 

3. Likewise, whenever you read a blog post, share it on Pinterest or Twitter or Facebook.

If you read it and liked it, why aren’t you sharing it? Don’t you think your followers will like it too?

Consistently sharing a blogger’s content will get you noticed. And if it’s good content, why not?

Besides, you should be sharing lots of other people’s content on your social media channels anyway. So, it helps you to fill your queue and gets the blogger air time, plus gets you noticed. I see lots of win here.

How to work this into your schedule:

  • As above.
  • Remember to share the posts you commented on in step 1.

 

4. Reply back to those auto-responder emails you get

This one is a lot of fun and a little bit cheeky! You’re probably on a lot of email lists, right? And lots of bloggers specifically ask their readers to reply to them with their biggest struggle etc…

Chances are you haven’t done it.

But, why not? I dare you to.

The couple of times I’ve tried this, I’ve had a great response.

I know for a fact from sending out broadcast emails that it sometimes feels like shooting in the dark or trying to shout through sound-proof glass. You’ve got no idea whether people loved your message, hated your message or anywhere in between.

Bloggers love to hear from their subscribers so, don’t hold back. Pretend they’re your best friend and engage with what they said. Respond to questions, give your point of view, tell them they did a great job on that latest post and you really liked what they said about Facebook (or whatever.)

You kinda have to do this with NEW emails – replying to that one from two weeks ago probably won’t get you a response.

How to work this into your schedule:

  • For the emails you actually read… if there’s something interesting in it, hit reply and send your thoughts. (Doesn’t have to take long.)

 

5. Facebook Groups

You might have noticed I have a mad love for Facebook Groups.

I belong to approximately 100.

Yes, it’s too many.

Yes, I will eventually cut back to a shortlist of around 20.

Yes, I will let you know when I do, because the groups I keep will be the best of the best.

But for the moment, how do you get noticed in Facebook Groups?

There’s actually a lot of ways!

  • You can post questions to the group wall. When people give you answers, take action and report back with your results. People love to follow success stories, even more when they’ve invested in replying to you, so become a crowd sourced success!
  • Join collaboration threads where people look for guest posting opportunities, joint webinar ventures and all kinds of things. This is a great way to find new friends to do amazing things with.
  • Just get involved! Most Facebook groups have prompts by the group owner for various things – shares, goals, collaborations…

PS. Don’t discount smaller groups. These are some of my favorites for networking in and developing stronger relations than the big groups with 1,000+ members.

How to work this into your schedule:

  • Facebook can be a danger zone – how many times do you go to check just one thing and resurface half an hour later? My advice – set a timer. Audible is good. And stick with it.

Phew! That’s a lot of networking! If you’re wondering how on earth you’re supposed to fit all of that into your schedule here’s how I do it:

Schedule

 

Does this look like your schedule? How do you plan and prioritize your time?

Hi, I'm Cath

Hi, I'm Cath

Blogger. Freelance Writer & Pinterest Manager. Mom of one. Keeps me busy! I’m also a corporate escapee, determined to help moms create options so they can stay home with the little ones and contribute to the family finances.

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