As a blogger you must understand this truth – you cannot do everything by yourself.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a solopreneur or a company with a handful of staff – you still need more hands in the online world to get your work out there to the right eyeballs.
And networking is the only way, and a great way to get help.
In fact that’s the bit I really really enjoy about my business.
This is something that doesn’t feel like “work” and yet, I get to reap both the benefits of “work” and “personal”. Isn’t that cool?
So how do you get started with networking?
It all starts with finding the right people to network.
You need all sorts of connections – but that doesn’t mean you should always be on Skype or chatting in Facebook. You’ve also got to do some real work on your business that’s not networking.
And remember, every other person that you want to connect with will also be quite busy with their own business(es). So you might wanna play it safe.
You should not be annoying. You should not act like a stalker. But you should reach out. You should identify that fine line.
Where to find the right people to connect to?
On social media
This has been my #1 place to find people to connect to. Since I come across a lot of other blog posts by others as shared by my circle, I get exposed to a lot of content.
And if I find something interesting, something I like and something that resonates with me, I immediately hop on to check out that content.
And if I happen to see what I like, I move on to the next step to find that person (who wrote the actual content) and connect with him/her.
On their own blogs
As I just said, when I move on to check interesting and useful content, I usually end up on the blog of the content creator.
I usually check out a few other pieces of content, take a look at the blog design, their call to action – if I like the person, I either hit up the contact button or do things explained in the next section (How to connect with others).
On other blogs in your niche
Usually when you have a list of blogs that you follow (as I do on Feedly) you might end up reading interesting guest posts by other bloggers.
When I like a guest post, I usually check out the guest author’s blog to check if I like or what I see!
And if I like what I see, I always make sure that I connect to them in some way.
How to connect with others?
Now that I’ve listed ways in which you can find the right people to connect with, it is time to share how I connect with those people. Here are the simple ways to do it.
By guest blogging
Guest blogging is a great way to reach out and connect – not only with the blog owner, but also with their audience! It is kind of really cool.
Now, you must keep in mind that it is not about just making a connection or earning a link – with guest blogging you should go way beyond all that and deliver value.
But I see guest blogging as a great way to make lots of connections with one piece of content.
Since I am talking in the context of making connections I am not going into the details of how to do guest blogging right – that is a topic for another day.
By leaving comments
If you don’t want to go all deep and submit a guest post, but want to say a quick “Hi” and connect with the blogger (and also his/her community), blog commenting is a wonderful way to do it.
Of course, with both guest blogging and blog commenting you should put in the time and effort. It is about making genuine connections. So you must take it really serious.
Again, I am not going to go into the details of how to do blog commenting right – that’s a topic for another day!
Reaching out and connecting in blog communities
This is my another favorite way of connecting with influencers and fellow bloggers – by finding their content and reaching out in blogging communities.
I personally use DoSplash (owned by yours truly), Klinkk and BizSugar. Of course there are a few other blogging communities out there which you can always find with a little bit of search.
Once you find a handful of communities, it is time to engage and connect. I highly suggest that you keep the number of communities where you hang out to a maximum of 3.
If you go overboard, you might end up getting a lot distracted and sidetracked – which is unnecessary.
And if you end up using a lot of time in finding the right people and connecting with them, networking will no longer be fun.
Networking: A few points to note before I wind up
As you can see, I’ve not shared a list of 100 ways in which you can reach out to other bloggers and influencers and network with them.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t 100 ways to do it. There are certainly more ways to do this.
But I prefer to keep it simple. Which is why I enjoy networking till today.
I’ve been doing it for a really long time, and I haven’t ended up hating it. I haven’t felt that it is “work”.
I was never burnt out. And that’s the key.
You should enjoy doing this – since you are dealing with people, if you do it for the sake of it, or for the sake of benefits, you might end up ruining the whole thing!
Which is why I tend to keep things simple, in less numbers and manageable.
And, do not ever approach people only for your own benefit.
It is not only a bad thing but will ruin your whole effort.
The benefits you can reap from networking are really countless – but your purpose of networking should not be focused on the benefits.
When you are truly friends with someone, they will help you by all means.
But if they sense your selfish motivation behind your networking move, you will not make true friends.
In the next Chapter, I will be talking about the qualities and mindset you need to become a successful blogger!