I’ve mentioned it several times before, but networking is a huge, huge part of successful blogging. It took me a while to figure that one out – as I’m sure it does for many newbie bloggers – because when we first start blogging we don’t think that there is anything more to it than writing. We imagine that we’ll write these amazing, thought-provoking posts, and people will just appear out of the woodwork to read and comment and praise how wonderful we are. But it doesn’t happen like that because, honestly, how do we expect people to find us? Michelle W. knows this as well, and that’s why day eleven’s assignment is to leave comments on at least four blogs that you’ve never commented on before.
Don’t quote me on this, but I’d be willing to bet that the majority of people who read blogs are people who have their own blogs. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Think about it: Facebook users are much more likely to come across your Facebook Fan Page than people who don’t use Facebook. Similarly, people who are already hanging out on WordPress/Blogger/etc because that’s where their blog is are more likely to read your blog. That’s why you want to engage. Make friends with bloggers who have similar interests as you have. Participate in blog hops, contests, challenges, and prompts. Become a part of the community. And be sure to comment on blog posts that you enjoy, because how can you expect people to do the same for you if you’re not willing to put in at least that much effort?
When I first started this blog I was the typical newbie. I was just writing posts and wondering why no one was reading them. The better part of the first year of my blog’s life was pretty much a waste, as far as building a readership because I was doing nothing to entice people to my blog. It wasn’t until I started interacting with the blogging community that things began to take off for me. Bloggers whose posts I commented on dropped by to see if they were interested in what I had to say. I took part in challenges and prompts and people found me through those. A few bloggers who liked me a lot shared my stuff on their websites and/or linked to me so that their readers might find their way to my blog. My blog is not an enormous success by any stretch of the imagination, but my readership has quadrupled since this time last year, and I’ve got a hell of a lot more followers than I once had. And it’s all because of networking, or in other words, “being a good neighbor”.
I’m writing this post and scheduling it in advance, but rest assured that I have commented on many new blogs this day and will comment on many more in the future. After all, we want to keep the neighborhood friendly, am I right?