When I reflect back on my blogging career – from my first post in June 2011, to turning Your Marketing BFF into a business in August 2013, to my first speaking gig, first conference, from a one-woman show to a team of 6 today – I can pinpoint a few people who played a critical role in helping me get to this amazing point in my blog.
Honestly, I don’t think I’d be where I am today if it weren’t for those people I had built relationship with!
There is no better way to grow your blog (and business) than to actively build real relationships and community with other bloggers and entrepreneurs… online and offline.
My first big breakthrough was when I did an interview with Sarah Macklem of The Yellow Cape Cod (you can read my interview with Sarah here). Sarah also shared me with her readers.
I didn’t ask Sarah to share me, she just did and I saw a huge jump in traffic and new readers. THIS was when I discovered how important it was to connect with other bloggers.
Fast forward to today (actually two weeks ago):
I met face-to-face, for the first time, four bloggers in Naples, Florida at the beautifully renovated Beach Cottage of Shauna (you can check out where we stayed here) for a “blogger girl’s trip”. This mini vacation was with:
I had first met these lovely ladies online (via Instagram), then through their blogs and on the phone. Some became clients, but all became friends – real friends! We just “get” each other and because of this fact, we have community and will continue to go through life personally and professionally together!
We’ve also been officially tagged “The Squad” thanks to Brittany arriving with those great Squad T-shirts (main post photo) – why didn’t I think of that!
Building these types of relationships and community with other bloggers is key to your blogs growth. And why I’m sharing my 6 tips on how to grow your blog by building relationships and community:
- Help others first. I like to write blog posts that help others, but also answering emails and responding to comments on your blog and social media platforms are great ways to help others first.
- Create a map. Sit down and create a list of 10+ bloggers you want to connect with in the next 6 months. This would be a list of people you want to have an ongoing conversation with over time. Perhaps its people you like/admire or would love to work or collaborate with. I like to connect with other bloggers who are go-getters… it’s not all about people who are bigger or more successful than you are!
- Engage. Use social media platforms to show your face around, have a few short conversations, and no longer be an anonymous stranger. Note: I’ve gained several clients who saw me (and read my “conversations”) with others on Instagram. Another good idea is to respond to comments AND comment on other blogs.
- Be Yourself. Don’t try to pretend to be someone else. If another blogger doesn’t like you as you are, your long-term relationship is doomed, so move on and find someone who does like you and what you have to offer.
- Connect Online. Once you create an authentic connection and find that ‘you’re birds of a feather’ (meaning you have similar things in common), you tend to enjoy and hang out together – this could be in direct messaging, emails, phone calls, in private Facebook groups, etc. Blogs and social media platforms make it easier to share and authentically connect on an on-going basis.
- Get offline and start hooking up and/or attending conferences and events that the people you like are attending. Get out of your “office” and start meeting bloggers face-to-face. Maybe you won’t do a vacation together (like #thesquad), but maybe a local blogger lunch social or a conference might be the way to meet up.
If you live in a small town, this is even more important. Start traveling to conferences to make great friends and meet possible partnerships you can work with as your blog and business grows.
As I stated earlier…
There is no better way to grow your blog than to build relationships and community with other bloggers!
I hope these tips gave you some solid ideas on how to grow your blog AND form genuine connections that are meaningful to you personally and professionally!