You know what they say about all good things… Today’s post wraps up “The Must List” series, and I couldn’t be happier that Traci is posting today. To say she’s a social butterfly is an understatement. I literally want to shadow her throughout a room and watch how she floats around effortlessly from person to person. It’s a skill, really. She’s such a fantastic person that it was an easy decision to ask her to talk about relationships in blogging. Have fun!
Hey there! I am so happy to be hanging out with JAG readers today! And I am so glad I get to talk about connecting with others in your blogging community. Heck! I’m just glad I get to talk. Talking is one of my favorite things to do. If you have ever met me in real life, you know that I can talk the paint off a wall! Blogging over the past three years has provided a great way for me to talk to even more people, more of the time. Woo to the hoo! I can honestly say that the best thing that has come out of blogging has been the amazing friendships that I have made with other bloggers and my readers. Some of those friendships are just online, and some of those online friendships have become real life friendships.
Just look at these beautiful ladies! I know you recognize most of them. They started out my online friends, and then I had the pleasure of meeting them in real life…some of them many times! What a blessing! So how can you build friendships in the blogging community? Here are my three favorite ways:
1. Create a Facebook fan page for your blog. I have had my Beneath My Heart fan page for a couple of years, but I have to be honest that I have only been using it as a tool for connecting more with my readers since January. It has been so much fun to use my facebook fan pageto answer readers’ questions, share my posts, highlight other blogger’s work, and allow other bloggers to link their projects up to my page.
Here are some other reasons to create a facebook fan page for your blog… *Basically, everyone’s on Facebook. It’s just a fact. *Facebook is the largest social network, with over 800 million users, making it the most effective platform to promote your blog. *Facebook is growing faster than Twitter. *I find a lot of my readers are more likely to comment on my facebook page than on my blog posts. So this makes Facebook a great place for me to form friendships with my readers. I know there are many more ways that I can utilize my facebook fan page to connect with my readers, and I am continuing to work on it.
2. Join Twitter. I think Twitter scares some people. If you were like me, I thought you could only use twitter on your phone. Then you would receive a “tweet” every time someone you followed on twitter posted an update. I thought it was the craziest thing I had ever heard of, and I thought only celebrities used Twitter. Honestly, I didn’t really care what Ashton Kutcher had for lunch and didn’t really want to know when Taylor Lautner was working out. (Okay, maybe I did.) Let me think about that….
Oops! I digress. But anyway, I just didn’t see the use of Twitter in my life. Until I was introduced to Tweetdeck at Blissdom a few years ago.
“The primary benefits of TweetDeck are its ability to show you everything you want to see at once, in an organized column format. It defaults with columns of @Replies, DM’s, and AllFriends. You can keep or delete those columns (and bring them back again if you choose).” source I do not spend a ton of time of Tweetdeck, but I usually have it open in a window on my computer while I am blogging. I like to check my Tweetdeck every once in a while to see what other bloggers are posting or talking about. If I see that one of my blog friends wrote a great post, I can retweet that post to all of my twitter followers. And some of my blog friends will do the same for me. I view more blog posts via Tweetdeck than I do any other blog “reader.” I can also send Direct Messages, which are private messages that only the sender and receiver can view. I DM my sister a lot. I may also DM a blog friend if I needed to ask them a question that I didn’t want the whole world to see. Twitter and Tweetdeck are great places for my readers to reach me as well. I have many readers who will ask me a blog question, and it shows up in my “mention” column on Tweetdeck. Then I am able to quickly answer them back. Many of my closest blog friendships began on Twitter.
3. Leave comments on other blogs.I can honestly say that some of my greatest friendships in the blogging community began from a single comment on my blog. Now I am not talking about just any comment, like “Great Project! Way to go!” Although I love those kind of comments, it is the readers that leave genuine, meaningful comments that I feel the greatest desire to respond to.
Genuine comments ignite a response. Those are the bloggers that I want to go visit or develop a relationship with. But don’t try to “fake” genuine comments. They are super easy to spot. Just sayin’… If you truly like a project or post that a blogger wrote, leave a meaningful comment to let them know it. It will be received well and be greatly appreciated. Case in point: One of the best commenters in blogland is Richella from Imparting Grace. How do I know? Because she has left a ton of precious comments on my blog, especially when my mom was diagnosed with cancer and passed away 2 1/2 years ago. Richella’s comments touched my heart deeply because they were always so warm and heartfelt. She and I became great blog friends, which lead to us being roommates at Blissdom last year! How cool is that?!
Another great commenter… Marty from A Stroll Thru Life. Isn’t she precious?!
Marty was one of my very first commenters on my blog over three years ago. She is faithful, consistent, and kind in all of her comments. Though I have never met Marty in person, I adore her and consider her my dear friend. Comments make connections. It is my readers who consistently leave comments on my blog that I begin to feel connected to and friendships begin to form. It’s an awesome thing! I know there are many other ways to form friendships in blog world, but these are three that have worked for me. Building friendships and community through your blog is probably the very best part of blogging.
What have you done to develop friendships through your blog? I would love to know! Oh! and by the way! I would love to connect with YOU too! Please come by and see me at Beneath My Heart.