This is another post that was orginally published on corinaramos.net by my good friend Dana of I Am My Imagination.
When I talk about the importance of connecting with fellow bloggers, it’s because of what I’m about to share. Not only are fellow bloggers there to share ideas and network but they also become dear friends who will be there for you when things get hectic.
Dana is a fellow blogger and has become one of my dearest friends. We are part of a mastermind group and we check in with each other to offer support, help, encouragement or just a pair of eyes to read what we’re venting about lately. When I mentioned how things have been crazy on my end, she didn’t hesitate to offer to put this blog post together.
Dana shares tips for new and not-so-new bloggers who want people to read their posts and talks about her personal experience as well – one we can all relate to. Take it away Dana!
We share our work with our friends, loved ones, and frenemies.
We also assume they’ll not only jump at the opportunity to read all about our morning workout routine and post exercise green juice concoction, but that they’ll leave us a comment telling us how wonderful we are because we voluntarily eat kale.
But for some reason, this doesn’t happen.
Our posts just sit there.
Benefiting no one.
We write to improve the lives of others. How can we help people if they don’t know we exist?
This is where being part of a blogging community comes in. There are a few things you can do that’ll not only increase traffic to your posts, but will attract some really cool people who actually care about what you have to say.
You’ll build some fantastic relationships with them as well.
Want to know how to do this?
You CAN Get People to Read Your Posts (Even if You’re New to This Whole Blogging Thing)
Here’s the thing…”
You need to reach out and connect with people.
I know this isn’t easy to hear, but the truth is – they don’t care about you…
…until they care about you.
People have to know you exist. But it needs to be done in a way that’s natural, authentic and especially, graceful.
To bring visitors to your blog to not just read your content, but to engage with you – you may need to make the first move.
So how do you find these people?
This is what you need to do.
Step 1 – Find Other Bloggers and Pay Them a Visit
Look for blogs within your niche or in niches you are naturally interested in. This is what you’ll be attracted to, so it won’t feel so much like “work.”
You can do this by looking through search engines. Type in what you’re looking for along with the word “blog.”
You’ll find several to choose from. But you’ll want to be a little choosy about which ones you invest your time in.
But more on that later.
Another way to go about this is to find blogging groups through social networks.There are many fantastic group on Facebook. Just do a search with your niche and keywords and you’ll get a list of groups you can join.
Start interacting with people and find out what they blog about. Join in on the conversation, but be cool about it. Don’t start marketing yourself right away. Just make some contacts and be genuine.
You’ll find yourself well acquainted with some wonderful bloggers – and you’ll have no shortage of people to visit. This will get the ball rolling.
Step 2 – Check Out The Commenting System and Behavior
This is where you’ll learn how to craft up some high-quality feedback of your own because you’ll discover others who do this regularly.
Remember when I mentioned that you’ll want to be choosy about which blogs you visit?
The reason for that is because you’ll want to see whether or not the people you visit reply to comments.
If you discover that people leave thoughtful and engaging comments, but no one replies, you may want to refocus your efforts on those who do engage with their audience.
See, commenting is an art form. It’s the same process as meeting someone at a networking event – except this is online.
If you were to walk up to someone, introduce yourself and begin a dialogue – but the person you do this with walks away uninterested, you may decide to talk to someone else.
And personally, I wouldn’t blame you.
Now sometimes, bloggers get too busy to respond right away, and that’s ok. But you’ll see from their other posts whether or not they respond on a regular basis.
These are the people you want to connect with because they take your visit seriously.
They know what it’s like to build relationships, and they’re taking action to make sure you feel welcome and appreciated.
These are also the ones who are most likely to return the visit sometime. It may not happen immediately, but if they get to know you, eventually you’ll see them stop by.
Step 3 – Set Up a Proper Commenting System On Your Blog
When people come to visit, they want to be able to leave feedback regarding what they thought of your post.
Go through your blog’s commenting system and make sure you have things set up correctly. If you have questions about that, I know Cori can help you.
Set up an anti-spam plugin (I use Askimet), but go into your spam comments once in a while and make sure it didn’t catch a genuine comment by mistake. It’s happened on my blog a few times, so I’m glad I check.
Occasionally you’ll find a comment you’re unsure of. It may appear genuine (ex – “Hey, great post!”), but all other signs point toward it being spam.
See if the person has a Gravatar, a valid website and if they leave specific and personalized feedback. If so, you’re good to go. If not, you may want to consider leaving it as spam. Inauthentic comments don’t contribute value to the discussion.
They make things look cheap – and that isn’t you.
By taking deliberate steps to ensure your commenting system is functioning properly, you’ll feel like a blogger.
Why does that matter?
Because what you feel, you believe. And what you believe, you create.
Step 4 – Practice, Practice, Practice
Look, you may or may not be great at this right away.
Just keep doing what you’re doing and make sure you love it.
That’s the key.
You can’t force yourself to do anything you hate, so if this is what you want (a blog filled with visitors who engage with you, grow to care about you and share your stuff because they believe in your message), then you need to feel that way about yourself – and others.
And if you do, then don’t worry about results.
Just fall in love with the process. This is where the gifts are hidden – and they’re available to those who have the eyes to see…
Practice the art of leaving genuine comments and replies. Be yourself. Care about people. Trust me; they’ll know (eventually) if you’re faking it.
The world has plenty of people who are only in it for themselves.
It’s good to have your best interests at heart. You can’t give away what you don’t have.
But care about others as well. That’s the win-win of it all – and if you practice this long enough, you’ll see the truth in what I’m saying.Help others achieve their dream and you will achieve yours. Les Brown #quoteClick To Tweet
So How Do I Know This Works?
I started off just like you.
I was the newbie too.
And in a sense, I still am.
See, I had a blog several years ago. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I didn’t know anyone in the blogging community. Heck, I didn’t even know why I started a blog in the first place.
I just knew I wanted to write about what mattered to me. I wanted to share my thoughts with others and engage in thought-provoking conversations.
I wanted to relate to others. To get to know them. To talk about things that mattered.
To somehow, shine a light in the world.
I remembered this lovely lady who had a blog. She was cool enough to come by and leave a comment on a post I had written for a health and fitness website.
It left an impression on me. I tracked her down, started visiting her blog regularly and built a friendship with her.
A real one.
I can say this because I care about her. On top of that, she’s a kick-ass blogger who made a name for herself through her own commenting behavior.
I followed her example, but I was still me. I made it a point to share my thoughts with those who produced valuable content.
I let them know I appreciated their message.
I spoke my truth.
And I did the same when they came to visit my blog through my replies.
This whole thing, in a short amount of time, resulted in my being invited to write guest posts for these people.
The cool lady I mentioned earlier is Adrienne Smith – and I was lucky enough to write a guest post on her blog. The comments that followed were excellent. People shared personal stories with us – all because of this system was used for all of us to connect with one another.
I did the same for Sylviane Nuccio on her fantastic blog. That was such a pleasure too because she and I connect with how we see things, so it was an honor to be invited to contribute.
Then I took a hiatus and refocused my efforts on my new blog – which is only seven months old.
Yet here I am, talking to you on Cori’s awesome website – which is designed to help and inspire you to make your blog shine.
Through her Facebook group, I was able to meet Brenda from BrendaPace.net and contribute to her fabulous blog. These women have become my friends.Friends are the best to turn to when you're having a rough day. Justin Bieber #quoteClick To Tweet
I interact with the coolest people – all because of using the commenting system I’ve shared with you today in a way that was truthful, genuine and real.
I encourage you to stick with this – but be real.
Allow some time for these relationships to unfold and develop naturally.
Implementing a commenting system wisely is the way to go about it. I’m living proof of this.
Just be you.
And don’t give up. Especially if you love this. It’ll challenge you – but when it does, your new friends will be around to help you remember “your why” when it seems elusive to you.
And just so you know – blogging tips aren’t my niche. I’m a wellness coach, and I specialize in personal development and healthy living.
But thanks to meeting others through the steps I’ve shared with you here, I’m able to express something a little different – which to me is the ultimate act of creativity.
So do you think you’ll implement these tips? If you already do, how have they worked for you?
Creator of iammyimagination.com and author of the book “A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You,” Dana Gore completed the curriculum at Fitness Institute International, Inc. as an outstanding graduate in 2009.
Dana brings guidance to the public about how to achieve optimal health in a safe and structured manner. She believes the body follows the instruction of the mind and spirit – and inspires her readers to seek self-awareness and inner peace as a means to well-being in all areas of life.
If you’re ready to take control of your wellness and would like some help from someone who has been there and done that, contact Dana for one on one wellness coaching. Follow Dana on Twitter and Facebook for all things wellness.