Blogging, particularly among a group of bloggers on a specific topic, is a community. We all have the same interests and passions and we find great insight in each other’s thoughts. Naturally, we want other bloggers in this community to succeed, but what can we do to help our brother and sister bloggers? Here are seven tips to make the community stronger.
1. Visit their blogs regularly. I keep a list of about twenty blogs I visit each day, and a similar number that I visit on a weekly basis. I also keep more than a hundred blogs in a site reader tool so that I can follow their posts as well, but I view them as more of an “extended family;” I only visit their site (and give them ad views) if their post really interests me.
2. Be aware of new blogs in the community, and give them a shot. I would describe this blog as a personal finance blog, so I keep a vigilant eye on community sites such as pfblogs and Carnival of Personal Finance. I’m regularly introduced to new sites on these and sometimes find neat posts from people I haven’t read in a while.
3. Comment on posts. If you see an interesting post, don’t hesitate to add a comment to that post. Not only are you starting a potentially interesting conversation, you’re saving a good blog from the dreaded “0 comments on every post? No one must read this awful site” syndrome.
4. If you read a post you really like there, take a look at their sponsors. If an article particularly impresses me, I’ll allow myself to be more open to looking at the information on the site from the sponsors. Sometimes you’ll discover something really useful; I discovered ING Direct this way and, after some additional research, wound up moving my savings account there.
5. Link to posts you really like there in your own blog. If you see a writing in a blog that you really like, don’t hesitate to link to it, particularly if you can contribute a good deal of additional thought to it. Not only are you coming up with a solid post for your own blog, you’re driving some attention to a neighbor who will appreciate it. The key, though, is quality – don’t just link to someone because you can, link because what they did was good and you can add something to it.
6. Add a permanent link to their blog on your own blog. If a blog consistently posts things you find valuable, add them to your site as a permanent link. But don’t add too many – a list of twenty links might be investigated, but a list of hundreds might not. Also, don’t sweat it if they don’t reciprocate with a permanent link; although it’s a nice touch, it might be the case that they’re trying to advertise blogs they like and they’re not as familiar with your blog as with others.
7. Be stingy. Don’t link to everything that a single blogger writes, just link to the posts that really make you think or inspire you. This way, your own readers won’t think you’re a sycophant, but that you are simply showing them the good stuff (which you are, of course). I used to read a blog quite regularly that turned into a “suck-up fest” for another blog… eventually, I just started reading the other blog and didn’t bother with the first.
You’ve patiently waited for the big question: how will these tips help you make money? The biggest reason is reciprocality: if people see you interacting with their blog on a regular basis, they will become familiar with you and want to visit your blog on a regular basis. For me, these reciprocal relationships sometimes develop into friendships as well, a second bonus. A third benefit is that you will likely build up a number of mutual links, pushing your rankings in Google higher in a legitimate fashion. A fourth benefit is that random people that you don’t know will have many more opportunities to stumble across your blog.
In other words, build the community in a healthy, organic fashion and your blog will be built up in a healthy, organic fashion. Plus, you might just make some new friends in the process.
Take the initiative and visit some blogs in your community today!