The Value of a Network
Every successful blogger is part of a network of other bloggers. The community aspect is extremely important for a number of reasons that we’ll look at below. Building a strong network is not difficult, but it does require you to be proactive.
What can a network do for me?
First of all I should clarify that networking means people helping each other. If you are willing to help others you’ll most likely get a lot out of networking. If you’re only interested in what you can get out of it, you’ll have a harder time building real relationships with other bloggers.
1. Links. Most bloggers use a lot of outbound links in their posts. Being part of a network means you’ll be much more likely to be the recipient of those links.
2. Referrals. Taking it one step further than just a link, a referral involves other bloggers actually recommending you to their readers.
3. Help, advice, and encouragement. Most bloggers are happy to help others when they are able to. With a string network you’ll always have people that you can contact when you have a question or if you’re just looking for some advice.
4. Motivation. Many of us are motivated just by seeing others in our network succeed. It’s nice to see your friends do well and it can serve as a driving force to keep you moving forward.
5. Opportunities for guest posts. Writing guest posts for other blogs is an excellent way to quickly reach a new, targeted audience. Those who know you are more likely to publish your guest post than others who may not know you.
Why is networking effective?
A strong network leverages the power of everyone in the network. You may have certain abilities that others do not have, and others may have abilities that you do not have. Successful networks allow people to find ways to work together to put everyone in a better situation.
Not only to people within a network have different abilities, but they also have different opportunities. Your blog may have a totally different audience than the blog of someone else in your network. If you are working together on something you both have the opportunity to reach a much larger audience than you would on your own.
Things we do to build our network
1. Comment on other blogs
2. Thank other bloggers when they link to us
3. Respond to comments on our blog
4. Send a personal email to readers as they leave their first comment
5. Link to others
6. Write guest posts for other blogs
7. Participate in competitions and contests
What methods do you use to build your network, and what have you had success with?