A guest post by Tess Marshall of www.TheBoldLife.com
My second blogging birthday is coming up in three months. Over the last 21 months I’ve made both acquaintances and solid friendships.
Blogging can be time consuming and difficult. There’s a big learning curve. Yet when we’re brave enough to connect and generous enough to serve, the rewards are great and the friends…sweet!
The following tips have helped me get where I am today.
“Strangers are simply friends you haven’t met yet.” -unknown
1. Genuine Interest
When I discover a fantastic blog I love it’s like finding a buried treasure. I read the About page, sign up for the RSS and return regularly to read and leave comments. If there’s a synergy, I want to connect and know you better.
Music legend, Robert Owens was once asked: What advice do you have for an aspiring artist?
He stated: “Be yourself and give you to the world.”
2. Be Yourself
Make your comments interesting, meaningful and if appropriate, personal. Show your personality. My comments are rarely long but they’re direct and meaningful. I’ve received personal notes thanking me for my comments.
“Being a good friend and having a good friend can enrich our days and bring lifelong satisfaction.”
3. Make Bold Contact
Say hello on Twitter or Facebook. Ask your new blogging friend if they’ve had a good weekend or how their new e-book is coming. Tweet their posts. Ask if you can serve them in any way. I love the blog Random Meandering. I contacted the creator and asked if we could be friends. We’ve hiked together several times.
Joy from Unfolding Your Path to Joy, invited me to California and I spent the night on her boat. Megan “Joy Girl” has invited me to speak and sell books at a conference in New York in October.
4. Introduce Them to Your Community
Link to your new friend in a post. Add them to your blogroll. Make them look good! We all love links and recognition.
“Be kind, everyone is struggling.”
5. Notice Likes and Dislikes
Be caring and express interest by sending them links to relevant articles, music, websites, videos or blogs. Make the other person feel special and important.
“The best vitamin for making friends: B1” -unknown
Encourage, praise and help your friends reach their goals. If I’m reading a great book I’ll send it to a blogging buddy when I’m finished. I’ve also sent ‘Thinking of You’ cards and other small surprises. I received a Starbuck’s gift card last week in my PO Box from an awesome friend, and I was on top of the world!
7. Join Them in Their Social Networks
Follow them on Twitter, befriend them on Facebook, join their forum, and include them in your LinkedIn network. Take small consistent steps. Make sure to invite your friends to your social media circle too.
“Avoid popularity if you would have peace” -Abraham Lincoln
8. Make Friends with Bloggers on Your Level.
Invite them to guest post on your blog or exchange guest posts. Reach out to beginners. It doesn’t matter how many readers they have. Everyone needs a break. Isn’t that what we all want? Give what you want to receive. Then give some more.
“I’ll lean on you and you lean on me and we’ll be okay.” –Dave Matthews Band
9. Purchase Their Products
Then, tell others about their new e-book. Join a forum, become an affiliate, or offer to put an ad on your blog at no cost. Promote them as much as you can. What better support can you give a friend?
“A true friend stabs you in the front.” -Oscar Wilde
10. Praise Them and Their Work
Tell them how much the friendship means and the impact of their work on your life. Give specific examples.
“The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.”-Hubert H. Humphrey Jr
11. Pay Attention
Notice when your blogging friend is struggling. Our blogs ebb and flow. Our stats go up and down. Product launches fail. Life gets in the way. Encourage, praise and offer support. Be available in any manner you can.
“The best time to make friends is before you need them.”-Ethel Barrymore
12. Joint Ventures
Look for ways where you can partner together on future projects. Make suggestions and help each other grow.
“The road to a friend’s house is never long.” Danish Proverb
13. Connect Socially Offline
Connect at community events. Meet at conferences. I know of speakers who Master Mind and then gather in person at the National Speakers Association annually. This has led to vacationing together.
“Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light.” -Jenny Jerome Churchill
14. Interview Them on Your Site
Share your friends with your readers. What you give is what you’ll get back. It’s the universal law.
“Go out and make the best of each moment. Don’t ever give anyone more power over you than you have over yourself.” -Kathy Lee Gifford.
There will always be people who aren’t interested in your blog and don’t like your style. Let them go. Connect with someone else. There are millions of bloggers out there. Don’t let rejection get in your way or ruin your day!
Blogging is a long-term commitment. Friends look out for each other. Some bloggers will always be acquaintances–others will become friends and even business partners.
If you’re in it for the long run, many of us will know each other for the rest of our lives.
Your blogging life is what you make it.
Be creative. Be bold. Enjoy!
Your Turn:How do you turn bloggers into friends?
Tess Marshall is an author, speaker and the mover and shaker, at www.TheBoldLife.com, where she’ll hold you accountable for being bold. What would your life look like if you were 10 times bolder? Be sure to sign up for her RSS feed.