Networking: Leveraging Good Relationships
Think of this as the online version of a network event that you would attend in your local community. Instead of having a pocket full of business cards and a cocktail while working the room, you’re sitting in your comfy chair in front of your computer while reaching out to other bloggers and people in your industry on social media platforms, email, and forums. Building relationships online and connecting with other bloggers will help your blog a lot.
Although this all sounds great in theory, it can certainly sound a bit intimidating and confusing, even if most of it is done online.
Major Benefits Of Networking
The benefits of networking go well beyond the blogging world. Not only will you be able to increase your readership and traffic to your website, you will also be able to build real relationships with people. Some of these people you may even meet one day.
Biggest Mistakes Of Online Networking
There are a few mistakes that I see from people entering into an industry and connecting with people in their space:
1. Thinking it is a lot different than real networking. It's not that different. Just like normal relationships, online relationship building doesn't happen overnight. It takes time with multiple interactions in order to build the context and trust necessary to recommend and share someone's content.
2. Being too selfish. Networking online is not just about getting as much out of the interaction or relationships as possible. Make sure that you promote others just as much as you want to be promoted. Don’t be greedy. Share other people's content and join the discussions on other people's blogs. You will only get as much out of online networking as you put in.
A Few Tips To Networking Online
1. Start out by connecting with others just starting out. Whenever I join a social network and start interacting with others - I like to start with people that are fairly new to it themselves. This way it is much easier to build relationships quicker and gain traction in the industry before trying to connect with the heavy hitters and the big influencers.
2. Use Twitter search and other tools to find people in your industry. I keep mentioning Twitter because I find that it's one of the best tools to use to network. Here is a quick tutorial on how to use Twitter Search to find people in your industry.
Something else to mention is that if you're really interested in connecting with people and building relationships you should find a conference to attend where you can actually meet some of the bloggers that you've been interacting with online.