Contrary to what you might be inclined to believe, the web is not a safe haven for socially awkward individuals.
The fact that many bloggers struggle to get even one person to read their content means that they do not invest the time and energy into building relationships with other bloggers.
Because they don’t know how or because they think it does not matter.
Let me say this: talent alone is not enough. Lots of talented people died poor, sick, and alone precisely because they never thought of making friends with others doing what they were doing.
That being said, here are some things to keep in mind when interacting with fellow bloggers.
1. Be a giver, not a taker
In a world where most operate out of scarcity and are all “me, me, me” you stand out if you help other bloggers.
Yes, you do need to know when to say no, because some people will try to abuse your generosity, but never, ever, ever start your interaction with another blogger asking them to link to you, add you to their blogroll, etc – start by offering them something first.
P.S. This is the main reason folks who comment, “Please, can you take a look at my blog?” will be stuck at 57 followers for the rest of their lives.
2. Don’t expect too much too quick
Building rapport takes time. Building trust takes time.
Just as it happens in real life, if you rush, you’re going to alienate the other person.
3. Be direct, honest about what you want
If you want something out of the relationship – be honest about it.
After all, if you feel a bit sleazy, it’s not because it’s not nice to ask for favors, but probably because you can’t repay them, which means you shouldn’t be asking anything of them in the first place.
4. Slowly, very slowly work your way up
Try to interact with bloggers on your level, or who maybe have 50% more readers than you do.
If you try to approach folks who have 20-50 times your numbers, while you might get lucky, chances are they won’t be as responsive as those who are on the same level as you are.
5. Prove yourself first
If you’ve only been at it for a few weeks, you need to show others that you are in it for the long haul.
This is why they always say that patience is a virtue.
6. Be perseverant, but don’t become a mosquito
Some bloggers will take a few emails or conversations before they’ll warm up to you.
There’s a lot of noise around the blogosphere so don’t be offended if people don’t respond – try again in a little while – but try not to send them tons of e-mails and messages.
The art of being social is quite subtle, so I think it’s best to comment on their content, get them to reply, then try again, and all this makes it far more likely they will reply to your e-mail.
7. Get to (genuinely) know the other person
Most bloggers approach networking with obvious agendas and goals but fail to listen to the other party.
When you ask others about their goals and objectives, not only do you make a good impression, but you’ll be in a great position to know where your situation aligns with another person’s – this is where networking becomes most effective to both parties.
8. Know who you are and what you want
I get many emails every single day from folks who want me to promote their blogs, but they’re not sure why, what their blogs are even about, or if it is all worth it.
Besides the fact that they are just into taking, they also explicitly tell me that even if I were to offer them my help, it still might not be worth it.
So… why even e-mail me?
9. Focus on building real relationships, not numbers
Make friends, not followers. Comment, don’t just like posts.
Some of the rules of the art of being social on the web.
Human interaction is where it’s all at, and a like from some unknown username is not going to elicit much of a response, but a comment? A genuine one? That’s going to make a much, much better impression.
10. Work on building a community.
What’s better than interacting one-on-one with other bloggers in your niche?
When you interact with more of them at the same time.
Of course, you could build a community, or you could join the conversation on Twitter/Facebook groups, but the principle remains the same: get social with more than one blogger at a time.
Friendly, free, and competent.
These are three words you should always keep in mind when interacting with folks online.
Try to be friendly and nice, do not impose, beg, threaten, or some other crazy stuff, and always show them that you are competent enough to be worth their time.
Now do you get it why begging others in the comments section to visit your blog is the worthless networking trick ever?
What part does networking with other bloggers play in your blogging? How do you go about it?