On my recent post How to Become a Popular Blogger - 5 Tips for Growing Your Blog
Tip number 4 was
Visit other blogs, both on RT and elsewhere and join the conversation. People love getting comments (You know that, you love it too!) and being human and curious, they will click over to check out your blog. If they like what they see, they might become part of your readership. To find other blogs, you can check out our blogroll on the right hand panel, read my occasional blog roundups, or search Google Blogs.
I would like to expand on that since it is more important in growing your blog than you might think.
A blog, as apposed to an e-book, newspaper article or private journal is interactive.
It is a platform in which the author can have their say about issues near and dear to them. Readers get to remark, comment and discuss further with the author and other readers.
The way I see it, this is the essence of blogging - the dialog that develops with readers, and the relationships that ensue as a result of these discussion.
These relationships that develop over time open myriads if windows and opportunities, like every other relationship in life, except this time, they can make or break your blog.
“How does leaving comments on other blogs sow the seed of a relationship?” you ask,
Well, here is how it works:
On every blog (just about) you can leave a comment.
Usually, when you leave a comment you will be asked for your name, and your URL. Leaving your blog url is like opening your door and inviting in visitors which is exactly what you want, since visitors might leave you a comments, or start following your blog and leave you comments at a later date.
In case you are wondering, on RT every member has a blog url. Mine is http://www.relationshiptalk.net/ruth/blog/ , Lyssabugg’s is http://www.relationshiptalk.net/lyssabugg/blog/ and so on.
If you leave an interesting comment the author of the blog will most probably click on your link to check you out. If your posts are appealing to them, the will leave you a comment too, and there you have it - a conversation has started and so has a relationship.
“Why would I go looking to comment and get comments from elsewhere when I get such great comments from RT members?” you think.
On RT we are spoiled. RT has a lot of members and guest, the community is warm and blogs rarely go without comment. Friendships and relationships are formed and everything is wonderful, really. Except that it stays within the confines of RT, and other bloggers, the ones out in the big cold world, are never exposed to our content, nor do they get a chance to form relationships with us.
Forming relationship with bloggers from outside of RT has many benefits
- Reading and commenting on blogs outside of RT give you a new perspective and give you new ideas to blog about.
- Finding bloggers that are more specific to your topic - people writing about marriage or divorce, Or young twenties, or single moms, will both give you content that is interesting and close to your heart to read and comment on, and the bloggers receiving your comments will most likely be interested the topics you address.
- Commenting on blogs, both in and out of RT is a way of forming a permanent “posse of commenter’s who not only comment on each others blogs and inspire each other, but often, all sorts of collaborations are formed, be it guest post exchanges, interviews and so on. This kind of opportunity is yet another way to expose your blog to even more readers, and to form an even bigger community around it. Or in other words, this helps you to create an online presence.
- If the comments you leave are meaningful, as they always should be, not only the author of the blog will be curious to learn more about you and your blog, but other readers and commenter’s will click through, to see what you are all about.
- Other than in the obvious way, you can lean from other bloggers too. For example, some posts get more comments than others. Try and figure out what it was about a certain post that made you leave a comment - was it the format, or the title, or the writing style that caught your interest? Whatever it was, see if it is something you can adopt and do more of.
“So is that all it takes? All I need to do is leave great comments and I will be an immediate online hit?” you think to yourself, scratching your head.
No. Not really. All of this is completely pointless if the posts you produce yourself are not fantastic. The number one thing that makes bloggers rock is the fact that they produce high quality blog posts.
(Next time I will talk about how to insure that the blogs you are writing are the very best they can be.)
There are two easy ways to follow blogs - one (my favorite) is by using a reader like blog lines or google reader. Add all blogs that you would like to follow to it, and check out the new posts on a daily basis.
photo credit creative commons license lovelornpoets