Beginner Bloggers Guide to Networking


Beginner bloggers guide to networking

Here’s some questions for you:

Are you holding back from networking with other bloggers because you feel like your blog just isn’t ‘good enough’?

Have you joined a few Facebook groups (like I told you about in this post), but been too shy to speak up because you’re afraid you’ll get laughed at for not knowing the secret blogger handshake?

Do you read blogging tips about how to get more traffic and think YEAH I need to do that, but secretly you’re terrified to have people actually read your blog?

Let me let you in on a little secret:

I’ve SO been there.

There was a long time when I was first blogging (less than 6 months ago!) when I’d finish a post and, rather than feeling excited and getting pumped about promoting it, I’d rather hide it under my bed.

Yep. That’s where I’ve come from.

BUT.

When it comes to blogging success, you need to get out there.

How many times have you heard the phrase, ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’?

Maybe you’re like me and find that a little offensive (I’m a firm believer in the aristocracy of talent here!)

But, you can’t build a blog in isolation, and why would you want to?

Making friends and networking is one of the best and fastest ways to grow your blog and get to where you want to be.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Making blogger friends is one of the best and fastest ways to grow your blog.” quote=”Making blogger friends is one of the best and fastest ways to grow your blog.”]

Why it pays to have friends.

beginner bloggers guide to networking

Is it just me, or is that sub-heading kind of funny? Is anyone going to argue with me that having friends is a bad thing?

Didn’t think so.

There’s a lot you can do with blogger friends.

You can:

  • Share each other’s content
  • Co-host a webinar
  • Feature each other in your blog posts
  • Exchange guest posts
  • Interview each other
  • Run a challenge together
  • Share a giveaway
  • Create a product together
  • Use each other as motivation to keep going (trust me – there will be days when this helps so much)

Let me tell you a story:

I’m an introvert (I have an untested theory that the majority of bloggers are).

Posting comments, promoting my blog, getting involved on Facebook… none of it comes naturally to me.

(Though it gets easier as you get used to it.)

A few weeks ago, I decided I needed to get serious about commenting on blogs in my niche. And I decided to make a comment over at Twins Mommy.

Elna responded, as she always does (Take note – always respond to your comments.) We got into a bit of dialogue and a couple of weeks later, when Elna was looking for a copyeditor, guess who she asked?

That’s right. Me.

So, out of genuine comments and shares I scored a fun freelance gig.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I didn’t comment or share or do any of this with the expectation that I was going to get something. Most bloggers can pick this from a mile away, and it smells like old cheese.

PS. I still regularly comment on and share Elna’s posts, as she does on mine.

 

Hello, will you be my friend?

Before you rush off to start making new friends, you might want to think about who to be target.

That sounds a bit cold and slimy but honestly it’s not!

Let me explain:

If you’re pretty new, you might know the names of some big bloggers in your niche – maybe they’re the ones that inspired you to start blogging yourself.

But, these guys are probably not the best to start trying to make friends with right away.

They’re just too big (and busy).

Your best bet is to find bloggers who are around the same level as you or a just a bit further along. You can help each other out, egg each other on and grow together.

But, don’t ignore the new kids on the block – you never know which newbie blogger today turns into tomorrow’s rising star.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Don’t ignore new bloggers – you never know who’ll be tomorrow’s rising star.” quote=”Don’t ignore new bloggers – you never know who’ll be tomorrow’s rising star.”]

Here are 4 super simple things even newbies can do. The key here is generosity. Make it about the other blogger, and what you can do for them.

1. Start commenting on blogs

Choose a handful of blogs to leave comments on and get started. Here’s some tips to leaving a good comment that gets you noticed:

  • Acknowledge the writer – start with a simple Hey, first name.
  • Engage with the content of the post – be complimentary, ask intelligent questions.
  • Finish with a promise to share – then actually do.

How to work this into your schedule:

  • Bookmark the blogs you intend to comment on regularly.
  • Save them into a folder called ‘Comments’ with subfolders for each day of the week.
  • Put approximately equal number of blogs into each day of the week.
  • Set aside 30mins each day to check and comment on those blogs.

 

2. Whenever you read an article or blog post – use those click-to-tweets!

This is probably the easiest way ever.

If you’re enjoying an article or a blog post and the blogger has taken the time to put click-to-tweet boxes in it… Click them and Tweet them!

It doesn’t cost you anything, and it gives them a boost (and they’ll notice that you did.)

How to work this into your schedule:

  • I feel like I should be telling you how to STOP reading too many blog posts and article online… amirite?
  • Just go about biz as usual, but click-to-tweet and share wherever appropriate.

 

3. Likewise, whenever you read a blog post, share it on Pinterest or Twitter or Facebook.

If you read it and liked it, why aren’t you sharing it? Don’t you think your followers will like it too?

Consistently sharing a blogger’s content will get you noticed. And if it’s good content, why not?

Besides, you should be sharing lots of other people’s content on your social media channels anyway. So, it helps you to fill your queue and gets the blogger air time, plus gets you noticed. I see lots of win here.

How to work this into your schedule:

  • As above.
  • Remember to share the posts you commented on in step 1.

 

4. Reply back to those auto-responder emails you get

This one is a lot of fun and a little bit cheeky! You’re probably on a lot of email lists, right? And lots of bloggers specifically ask their readers to reply to them with their biggest struggle etc…

Chances are you haven’t done it.

But, why not? I dare you to.

The couple of times I’ve tried this, I’ve had a great response.

I know for a fact from sending out broadcast emails that it sometimes feels like shooting in the dark or trying to shout through sound-proof glass. You’ve got no idea whether people loved your message, hated your message or anywhere in between.

Bloggers love to hear from their subscribers so, don’t hold back. Pretend they’re your best friend and engage with what they said. Respond to questions, give your point of view, tell them they did a great job on that latest post and you really liked what they said about Facebook (or whatever.)

You kinda have to do this with NEW emails – replying to that one from two weeks ago probably won’t get you a response.

How to work this into your schedule:

  • For the emails you actually read… if there’s something interesting in it, hit reply and send your thoughts. (Doesn’t have to take long.)

 

5. Facebook Groups

You might have noticed I have a mad love for Facebook Groups.

I belong to approximately 100.

Yes, it’s too many.

Yes, I will eventually cut back to a shortlist of around 20.

Yes, I will let you know when I do, because the groups I keep will be the best of the best.

But for the moment, how do you get noticed in Facebook Groups?

There’s actually a lot of ways!

  • You can post questions to the group wall. When people give you answers, take action and report back with your results. People love to follow success stories, even more when they’ve invested in replying to you, so become a crowd sourced success!
  • Join collaboration threads where people look for guest posting opportunities, joint webinar ventures and all kinds of things. This is a great way to find new friends to do amazing things with.
  • Just get involved! Most Facebook groups have prompts by the group owner for various things – shares, goals, collaborations…

PS. Don’t discount smaller groups. These are some of my favorites for networking in and developing stronger relations than the big groups with 1,000+ members.

How to work this into your schedule:

  • Facebook can be a danger zone – how many times do you go to check just one thing and resurface half an hour later? My advice – set a timer. Audible is good. And stick with it.

Phew! That’s a lot of networking! If you’re wondering how on earth you’re supposed to fit all of that into your schedule here’s how I do it:

beginner bloggers guide to networking Schedule

 

Does this look like your schedule? How do you plan and prioritize your time?

ultimate list of facebook blog and biz groups

95 thoughts on “Beginner Bloggers Guide to Networking”

  1. Hey Catherine!

    I just wanted to leave a quick reply thanking you for creating such a helpful list of Facebook Groups. I am excited to dive into networking, which has been a field I’ve lacked in.

    I think, between this post and your list, this is just what I needed to give myself a kick in the rear and start networking!

    I will put the list to great use. Thank you!

    1. Do it! It’s hard at first to get out of your comfort zone and start conversations with other bloggers… but we’re all nice people, really!

  2. Wow Cath you just get me!You speak my language thats for sure. I’m back here two days in a row. Yesterday I was trying to figure out how to write a killer about page and I bumped into your post and was spying on your awesome about page. Then today I find this amazing advise about networking with fellow bloggers complete with how to do it in an organised way. Thank you

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  5. Hello Cath,

    I have landed here go learn to increase my networking skills and you have truely helped me, your weekly schedule spreadsheet alone the worth of the whole posts.

    Really invaluable.

    Cath, I wonder would you stress over promo threads on Fb??

    Because It is too time consuming.
    Thanks

    1. Hi Faizan, thank you for the compliment, I’m glad you found the post helpful.
      I no longer take part in promo threads on FB. It can give you a bit of a boost when you’re starting out but you really need to guard your audience and avoid sharing posts that don’t suit your brand. If you wouldn’t normally share it, you shouldn’t share it because you ‘have to’ to meet reciprocation requirements.

  6. Hi Cath!
    I really appreciate all of the ideas you’ve provided. They are all great ways to network with other bloggers and obviously important to do. Most other bloggers suggest many of the same things, but you’ve also given an example of how to fit all of these suggestions into your schedule!

    A list is so overwhelming and appears impossible. Thanks for showing us how to accomplish them!

    Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa
      Glad to help! Networking with other bloggers is so important… and something I don’t do anywhere near enough. 🙂 Thank you for commenting 🙂

  7. Hi Catherine, This hit the nail on the head for me. I am one year into blogging this month and still have not joined any Facebook groups because I am afraid I will not have anything to add to the discussion. Maybe I will try to start now. Thanks for the pep talk!

    1. Thanks Anne! Glad you like it. I think the most important thing is that it doesn’t need to be difficult and you can incorporate it into your day to day tasks to build up those relationships over time.

  8. Hi there Cath
    I can see why this is a popular post! What great content, so well laid out and easy to read.
    This is where I confess to being an extrovert… sort of! I am a shy extrovert. So I get the introvert’s need for time and space to themselves but actually do recharge by having people around me. As far as I am concerned, it is the best of both worlds… except when the shyness stops me reaching out which it has done until now! 😉

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  10. Wow Cath. You are the master of all things blogging and digital. I’m starting a blog (just getting it all organised) and your blog looks like it will be my bible on this to refer back to.
    Thanks lovely and can’t wait to get started on the pinterest power up (I like Pinterest heaps more than Insta ) and continue reading your blogs into the night xx

    1. Thanks Mel 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post and I hope you find the others helpful too!!! I have to admit, I can’t stand Insta… well, except for looking up bullet journal inspiration. 😀

  11. Hi Cath,

    Lovely article. I have pinned it to one of my group boards and tweeted it out. I’m sure they’ll love it. I’m curious to know, what channels did you see the most growth on for traffic. I have recently started a little blog and that’s the biggest challenge I feel.

    I’m reading that Pinterest is a great medium to share your content and traffic does come back to you. I don’t have a marketing budget at the moment so just looking for some advice and tips on how to increase the traffic. What worked best for you. Love to hear back from you Cath or some of your great contributors.

      1. Thanks Cath,

        I’ll sign up now. Pinterest is one channel that alwat=ys confused me a little. I was never sure where it fit to be honest. I’ll take a look at your course and I’m sure it will give me the tools to improve my own blog. Thanks a million Cath!

  12. Hey Cath!

    It’s funny because at my “day” job I’m a total extrovert! Probably because I’m in sales…. yet when it comes to blogging in an introvert! Most likely because I’m not fully comfortable yet. Great tips, I’ve been working on commenting more. I love Elnas site also! Both of you are awesome!!

    1. Hey Shauna
      That is funny! I think once you learn your way around your niche your extrovert personality will shine through! When you’re new, it’s like you’re at a huge party and you don’t know anyone at all. You’ll get more comfortable 🙂 Thank you so much for the compliment 🙂

  13. Hi Cath! I don’t have the words to adequately describe how helpful this post really is. I feel like I just had a conversation with my best friend, the great-listener who gets me. Thank you for inspiring me to tackle my fears.

    You’re THE BOMB, baby!
    ~ Kristi Kirk Trent

  14. That was interesting! I’ve recently come up with a similar spreadsheet for my blogger outreach. And great tips on organizing blogs to comment on. I was literally just trying to figure out the best way to do that.
    I have a question though – if you’re networking during naps, when do you get your writing and everything else done?

    1. Hey Ali, thanks for commenting 🙂 Ah, the good old days when my little one took two naps a day… yeah, my schedule has changed a lot since then. If you notice on the schedule here, I did most of my writing at night. I was working with two hour-long naps and two hours(ish) at night.

      My schedule is now completely different, but that’s because of nap changes and way more freelancing work. I’ll have to make another post about it 🙂

  15. I love the schedule at the end! I really need to map out a similar type of thing, I think I’d be more productive if I had a set plan! Great post. Thank you!

    1. I’m glad you liked it Vicky! I was a lot more productive when I had my time blocked like this 🙂 I keep meaning to get back to it, but client work trumps all. I hope it works out for you!

  16. Hi Cath, I love all your blogging tips. Like you, I am an introvert and have now just been starting to comment on blogs again. I have been blogging forever (since 2007) and I am still learning something new everyday. I need to collaborate with other bloggers and I might start with you 😉

    1. Hey Jocelyn!
      I’m so glad you’re loving my blogging tips 🙂 Wow, you’ve been blogging for 10 years! That’s amazing 🙂 And its great you are still learning something new everyday. Let me know what you’d like to collaborate on 🙂

  17. Thank you so much for this read! I am a mom of one, and recently started a blog in hopes of finding my identity, in hopes of helping other moms along the way as well. I had quit my job due to my daughters harsh separation anxiety. I have read through so many pages and blogs, trying to find some sort of help and ideas. I am honestly not the type of person to EVER ask for help, which means I have indeed failed so many times, at so many things. But, your post has made me understand greatly that I do need help from others! Thank you, Michelle.

    1. Hey Michelle
      I’m glad you liked the post, I hope it helped you! Blogging is such a journey. You discover so much about yourself and others along the way and your ideas about what you want to do (and why) evolve.
      Keep in touch and feel free to ask any questions.
      Cheers,
      Cath

  18. Hey Cath,

    I agree with your points. People should try to build the relationships with other bloggers.

    In the blogosphere, there are many places which can provide you the best opportunity to interact with other bloggers.

    Joining the Facebook groups can help you to interact with many bloggers.

    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Have a great day.
    ~Ravi

    1. Hey Ravi, thanks for commenting! Relationships are so important and I know that when I started blogging I had no clue how or where to start. Facebook groups have been great!

  19. Great blog piece!! I love everything you shared. When you are new and not really a writer at heart there is a fear or being the newbie around town. But what you said is so true. Definitely have to find time to really focus on this. Loved your tips on saving some of the blogs and setting time aside. Definitely going to be visiting this one again and implementing a few of these. Thank you for sharing!!!

    1. Thanks Lisa 🙂 Glad you loved the post. I’m not gonna lie, the writing thing is huge. I imagine a lot of bloggers may not have really written much since school or college and then to have to turn out a 1,000 word+ blog post one or more time a week is tough.

      I hope you find my little time savers helpful. I simply don’t have the time to do everything I want to do, so streamlining things wherever possible is my top priority.

  20. Cath!

    What a great post. I totally agree that networking gets you ahead of the game.

    But, yeah it’s hard when you’re a new blogger and don’t know anyone. But, if you take your time and get to know other bloggers that are in your niche, a whole new door opens up like you mentioned.

    I’ve had several bloggers ask me to do webinars with them and I’ve asked others too and I’ve been posting questions in FB as a way to grow engagement.

    It’s hard to learn that 80% of your time should be spent with promoting your content and only 20% to writing. As a freelance writer that’s hard for me since I love writing!

    Thank for the mention!

    1. Hey Elna 🙂 I’m glad you liked it! Yeah, networking is absolutely key and it’s difficult starting from scratch.
      That’s so great that you are getting into webinars and I’ve noticed you posting questions in the FB groups 😉 Good call.

  21. Thank you for the great post. I am a newbie to this game and trying to learn as I go. I will be doing some of these tips you have listed and see where it leads! Again thank you!

    1. It is especially helpful when your niche is narrow – and it’s also more effective to comment on blogs in your niche rather than unrelated blogs.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

  22. Hi Cath, I really loved this. I’ve just started myself over at simmerandsprout and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with ALL that has to be done. Great pointers, and I love that we get a look at how you plan your days. I need to dedicate the time, make a plan, and run! If you had any suggestions for 5 Facebook groups that would be a good place to start for getting traffic moving and networking, what would they be?

    1. Thanks Ashley 🙂 Blogging has it’s days. There’s just so much to do it gets overwhelming. Hence my schedule. I’d definitely stick to one if you can. It makes it so much easier not having to work out what you’re supposed to do each time you get to work on your blog.

      For the five Facebook groups I’d suggest joining to start would be – Naptime Nation, Badass Business Mum’s Club, Entrepreneurs Embracing Temerity, Uncork Your Dork and Blog + Biz BFFS. Most of these groups aren’t really that promotional, it’s more about the networking (though they do have share threads as well). If you’re looking for sheer numerical promotion power try Social Media Network Group, InspiredBN Promos! and Blog Engagement/Promotion Group.

  23. Blog commenting is one of my favorite things to do because I love meeting new friends – LOVE IT!!! Plus, THIS GIRL can never ever shut up, ha! I have found that it helps with blog traffic as well, but honestly, I am much more about making new connections than anything else!

    1. Hahaha! Sounds like blog commenting is right up your alley 🙂 Truly, its the connections that are the most important. You might get a bit more traffic but it’s more about building your network.

  24. Thanks for the post!! I am working on my networking slowly. It does get overwhelming sometimes with being in so many groups, commenting and all. But the best part is I am getting to know many awesome bloggers.

    Happy to know you are from Oz, Me too!!

    1. Oh that’s great! Lovely to meet another!
      Networking can take lots of time, but scheduling really helps make sure its productive time 🙂

    1. I keep a time-turner in my back pocket 😉 Lol. Glad you liked the post.
      I actually don’t get to most of my groups, most of the time. So… yeah. Really need to narrow them down.

  25. Thanks for sharing these great tips Cath!I especially appreciate the schedule you posted, as that is something I struggle with. It takes so much time to promote a blog 🙂

    1. Hey Melissa,
      I’m so glad you found this helpful 🙂 Working around naptime can be so difficult, that’s why I put in the schedule so I’d know exactly what to do when, but wasn’t locked in on what hours to do things.
      It really does take a long time to promote a blog!

  26. Wow, inspired over here. That calendar is sexier than the fireman calendar my cousin keeps posting over on face book.

    Thanks for the pep talk. I keep hearing that I need to get serious about scheduling. It’s obviously time for action.

    1. LOL 😀 Well, now, I never thought about my calendar that way. Now that you mention it, I can see it has a certain appeal. LOL. Nice to know it can compete with the firies!

      Honestly, scheduling makes your life so much easier. You don’t have to decide what you are going to do – you already have. Plus, work tends to fill the amount of time you allot to it, so knowing you only have an hour to spend on Facebook groups helps to minimize the extreme distracting power FB has.

  27. Really good post, Cath! For a long time, I was shy about sharing my blog. I still am shy about it, but a friend convinced me to try a blogger FB group and try to share my blog. So far, it’s been a really good experience. I hope to use the tips you have posted here. I never thought to respond back to the auto-emails! And I like your tip about making friends through blogging. Sharing your blog post on my twitter!

    1. Hey Jennifer 🙂 Glad you liked my post, and that you’re now getting involved with FB groups! That’s great. Honestly, the response from FB groups is better than just waiting for strangers to find your blog 🙂
      Oh, you should definitely try responding to auto-emails 😀 I’d love to hear how it goes for you! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  28. I could not agree more with this post! I think I’m an extrovert, but I have such a hard time in real life when people ask me what I do. I usually say I’m a SAHM and don’t ever mention my blog, so I guess I do have introvert tendencies!
    And…the type A person in me LOVES that little schedule thing that you made for yourself! That is brilliant!!!

    1. Aww Suzanne 🙂 I keep my blogging under wraps too, I only recently told my husband about this blog Lol. Glad you liked my schedule – I found that without it I was just faffing about, not really sure what to focus on. And if you’re still working around naptime, you know that when it happens you need to be ready to take off like an Olympic sprinter!

  29. Thank you for the advice. I am still fairly new to blogging and need to increase blog traffic dramatically. Will definitely use these tips in the near future.

  30. This is such a great post! I have been working on this a lot as well. When I was creating my social media schedule for the month I reached out to a few of my favorite bloggers and asked them if they had any posts in particular that they would like shared. They were all incredibly grateful and kind. Now one of them is doing a guest post for on my blog later this fall!

    1. Thanks McKinzie 🙂 I’d love to hear more about your social media schedule (because I’m nosy I mean, insatiably curious.) What a great idea to reach out and ask what people would like shared! And an excellent result 🙂

  31. Cath,
    This is great information! Our blog is fairly new and I’m just starting to learn “the ropes” about promoting it. I’ll have to try some of your suggestions. Pinning for future reference.

    1. Thanks Annissa 🙂 Blog promoting is like a whole ‘nother world. But it’s so much fun 🙂 I’d love to hear your results! Thanks for sharing.

  32. You have some excellent networking tips here! I love taking the time to comment on other blogs, it helps me learn while I’m also sharing my gratitude for the blogger who wrote the post. And Facebook groups…I’m in WAY too many myself. I need to cull the herd, for sure!

    1. Hey Kecia 🙂 Glad you liked the tips. Blog commenting is a great reason to read blog posts, I agree 🙂 Re Facebook groups… I don’t think I can cull the herd. My Pokemon mentality is too ingrained!!!

  33. So much great information. Sometimes I feel like I can only focus on one aspect of blogging networking at a time. But you offers some great strategies for staying organized and strategic while networking.

    1. Oh Julie, I so hear you on the one thing at a time thing. I like the saying “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” Blogging seems more like a blue whale though!
      My biggest problem with focusing on one thing is that when I turn my attention to something else I kick myself for not at least taking baby steps the whole time…

  34. This is such a great post! I’m still a relatively new blogger and it took me a while to reach out and actively participate in the blog/FB world. And I’m so glad I did because I’ve made some amazing connections!

  35. These are such great tips! I totally am with you on your theory that most bloggers are introverts…I know I am. 100 blogging groups is pretty impressive. I’m only in a handful right now because I just run out of time to complete threads with all my kids home. I’m hoping when they are in school part-time, I’ll have more time to network. ps. sharing this post! 🙂

    1. Hehe, yeah I see so many bloggers posting that they’re total introverts. I’ve never yet seen someone say ‘I’m an Extrovert!!!’ Lol.
      I hear you on the time sink that completing threads can become. 🙂 It’s hard to keep track sometimes! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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