Connect

It’s so easy to blog in a vacuum. You write up your posts, put your posts out there and wait for people to come to you. For most of us, not very many people come (but we’re grateful for you who do!), and even fewer leave comments (and we’re doubly grateful for you who do!).

I’m not going to tell you that if you want comments on your blog, you’re obligated to go out and comment on other people’s blogs. But it’s a good way to get started, to get practice with conversation, to be reminded of who your audience is and even to draw a little bit of traffic to your blog.

One unique aspect of blogging is that you can “run with the big dogs” immediately. If you started a computer software company, you probably couldn’t make IBM notice you if you chained yourself to the CEO’s car. Okay, maybe then. But still, it’s a lot easier to identify the big dogs (see the Popular Parent Bloggers list) and comment on their blogs.

Or, as Darren Rowse of ProBlogger put it last week:

Be a Relational Blogger

While I’ve always talked about being relational in blogging I’m increasingly convinced that its vital not only as a way to promote your blog and improve your content but in terms of your ability to withstand the tough times that might come your way.

The relationships that I’ve built in my own blogging have:

  • helped me with balancing the gaps in my own skill set
  • encouraged me to keep going on those days when I just feel like throwing it in
  • kept me accountable to my own goals
  • been a sounding board for helping me to respond to critique
  • provided me with a few home truths on those days when it was me who was out of line not others.
  • given me perspective when in my mind the world is coming crashing down (when in reality I’m just having a bad hair day)
  • helped me keep balance by injecting humor and friendship into my life

Not only can you connnect with other bloggers, you can need to connect with your audience. Think about who’s going to read this. Have you made it easy for them to understand what you’re saying? Find your post? Understand how you feel? Discuss something?

Here are a few tips on how to build blogging relationships:

  • Subscribe to any blog that you like 3+ posts of (you can unsubscribe later if you want)
  • Comment whenever a blog post elicits a reaction from you, whether that’s “Cool! I wish I had that!” to “Actually, I believe that Pluto isn’t a planet anymore.” (Try to steer clear of things like “Jane, you ignorant . . . ” You get the picture.)
  • Comment a lot.
  • Respond to comments left on your blog, especially questions.
  • Some blogging platforms allow you to automatically e-mail a first-time commenter with a quick thank you note!
  • Participate in memes (blog tags), carnivals (Carnival of Family Life), “simultaneous blogging” (Works-for-me Wednesday), group writing projects (ProBlogger).

So, I’m going to make a few goals for myself to build relationships.

  1. Make 50 comments on parent blogs this week (leave a comment here if you’d like me to visit and comment on your parent blog!)
  2. Think about my audience before I write each post.
  3. Build awareness for our MamaBlogga Group Writing Project to take place next week here on MamaBlogga!

No screenshots, no code, no technical stuff today: just connecting with people. Isn’t that why you started blogging in the first place?

Feel free to share your goals for connecting in the comments!

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19 thoughts on “Connect

  1. This is a very good post…I totally agree with you! I have daily commenting goals that I shoot for and I love finding all these neat blogs in the process. I usually keep a window open with bloglines so I can subscribe quickly!

  2. Excellent advice! I know I am guilty of reading lots and commenting little. (You know how it is – so many feeds, so little time!)

    Thanks for offering such excellent “get your blog off the ground” advice.
    :)

  3. Lately I’ve been trying to comment more on blogs. When I first started blogging I thought people should come to me, but why should they really?

    I’m not normally a go get em type girl so it’s a bit of a challenge.

  4. Great Advice. I have always been a big commenter as I like to do unto others as I would like them to do unto me. :)

  5. Hi! I really liked this post and found it to be a good reminder of things I had been doing but somehow let slip.

    Thanks for visiting The Porch Light and commenting on the name meme.

  6. Great advice – I just need to follow it. I have been trying to read too many blogs via RSS. This takes so much time that I don’t get around to commenting much. I now plan to read fewer blogs and build up some good relationships :)

  7. Thanks for all your advice. I will be referring back to it over and over again, especially in the next few days. I think it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the “to do’s” of the “31 days project,” but you bring it back to the base- connecting with others. Thank you!

  8. Your site is fantastic, lots of great blog stuff for any audience to check into. My blog is not so much about parenting as I originally thought it would be due to some personal privacy issues but I can relate definitely.

  9. I think this is awesome advice. As a new blogger I’ve been all over the place trying to find a way to reach out to other bloggers and this series has really helped me a lot. Thanks!

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