Last month, my lovely friend Sue did a guest post (here) about crafting a blog comment that will generate you more traffic and get you noticed – so many people loved it!
100+ folks took the time to leave thoughtful comments, plus 2000+ people shared her content.
Well, I wasn't surprised at all, because I knew that her post would receive that much engagement.
Not only because the post was epic, but also because she got a killer tribe!
Most of the people who commented on her post were her blogging friends, which proves that she knows how to actually build genuine relationships online.
And that inspired me to create this post.
I've also been getting a lot of questions like "How do I form a bond with other bloggers? Where do I find them?!"If you're someone who have no idea how and where to start building online friends, read on.
Why make friends with other bloggers?
Here are some awesome reasons why you should create solid blogging friendships:
- You can't do blogging alone. You wouldn’t want to build a ghost town blog. You want to feel that your blog matters. You want people to actually interact with you. RIGHT?!
- You want to stay inspired. Draw inspiration and energy from your blogging buddies to stay consistent in what you do. Plus, it's a good tactic to stay motivated to keep writing thoughtful posts (because you know they will read your content). Isn't it always better to do things with friends?!
- You've got each other's back. Connecting with other bloggers in your niche is definitely one of the most effective ways to amp up your marketing. It’s like you scratch their back, and they scratch yours. You want to build that solid tribe where you will do whatever it takes to support each other.
See? It’s a win-win for everyone. You get to have fun with your blogging buddies while you grow your traffic and build connections together.
In this post, let's take a look at how my 17 friendly blogging friends build lasting online friendships, and where they find people in their niche.
How To Make Blogging Friends
1. Know when to join the conversation
So you want to connect to other bloggers in your niche?
Online is no different than offline (except we get to hide behind our computers).
To form relationships with bloggers you need to inject yourself into their universe.
It’s easier than you think. Just start a conversation with them.
Don’t over think it. Pay attention to the conversations they are having online and find ways to join in on the conversation in a natural way.
Get familiar with their brand and content and understand their target audience. Do your due diligence.
Go through their social media profiles. Read their bio and blog posts and when commenting on one of their articles make it count. Put thought into each comment. Don't forget to share their article with your network and tag the author so they know that you're sharing their content.
Want to impress them? Write a blog post with genuinely good content about them. This is your chance to shine the light on their work. It's an effective way to build relationships with key players you want to connect with.
How to find bloggers in your niche? Find an authority site in your niche. Find out what other blogs this authority sites links to. Take for example, Social Media Examiner. They have a great deal of guest bloggers that you can start to follow and try to get in front of.
2. Shadow the popular bloggers in your niche
Remember that it is who you know and not so much what you know that counts in the blogosphere. The first way to get started on building relationships is to shadow the popular bloggers in your niche.
Create a list of 10 – 20 popular bloggers in your niche. Start shadowing them by reading their blog posts, following them on social media and commenting on each one of their blog posts for at least 3 weeks.
This way you can start to show up on their radar. After doing that, you are finally able to email them to ask a question for a roundup post or to pitch them for a guest blog post.
Where do you find bloggers in your niche? I like to use NinjaOutreach, a blogger outreach tool that also has a Chrome Extension.
While you are reading blogs in your niche, you just click on the Ninja extension and NinjaOutreach gives you the Page Rank and Alexa Ranking of that blog as well as the contact information of the blogger (among other data).
Then I put that blogger on my ‘popular blogger” list and start the “shadowing” process!
3. Show Bloggers Love
What's your #1 tip for building relationships with other bloggers? Love. Love makes the world go round and that's true if you're an introvert, extrovert or ambivert (like me) at heart. Blogging is a creative endeavor. Creativity begs to be enjoyed, shared and fostered. That said, show bloggers love. Comment, share and be helpful, if you think you can add value to them. That mindset has given me better friendships than I have in real life!
Where do you find bloggers in your niche? Search. You can find people in your niche easily by searching Facebook and Google+ groups. I've even found community on Instagram. You have to own your uniqueness and your niche will follow. I'm a Latina + working mom + opera singer + blogger from Brooklyn with a side hustle. I've found bloggers from all over who share one thing in common with me: a passion for connection and this crazy thing we call blogging!
4. Give traffic, comments, and social shares by promoting other bloggers
Give what you want. RT, FB Share and G Plus Share bloggers aggressively. Comment on their blogs. If you want blogging buddies, be a blogging buddy by giving whatever you want. Give traffic, comments, and social shares by promoting other bloggers. This one has worked like magic for me because I have a nice, thriving, inspired community of friends over at Blogging from Paradise.
I find niche bloggers through comments, through Triberr and through hashtag searches on twitter. Each area is a goldmine for IDing some super influential, helpful bloggers from my niche.
5. Invest in yourself so that you can find other bloggers who have the same interests as you
My best advice is to invest in yourself so that you can find other bloggers who have the same interests as you. Whether it's a class or a blogger network (like Bloggers Get Social), investing in your blog skills and essentially your business is never a bad idea. When you meet other "students" in the course or other bloggers who are also on their own journey, you can really connect and grow with one another!
I look for bloggers in my niche on Facebook and Instagram. Instagram is an even playing field for all bloggers since we don't have to worry about any silly algorithm. I use hashtags like #BloggersGetSocial, #SitsBlogging, and #BlogLife to find bloggers who are sharing their photos to their profile. I can get a peek at their blog visually through Instagram and get to know them personally. It's a great way to connect and find new blogs to read!
6. Getting in touch directly and letting them know you appreciate their work is crucial for getting on their radar and developing trust
My top tip for building relationships with bloggers and influencers is to direct message them. Whether this is on Twitter, Pinterest, or shooting them an email, getting in touch directly and letting them know you appreciate their work is crucial for getting on their radar and developing trust.
I write for creative, holistic women who want to savour life while simplifying it. My Ideal Reader is very specific and so I try to find Facebook groups that have women who share my interests, goals, and work ( writing + coaching). Some of the main groups I'm in include Blog Society and the group associated with the Bright-Eyed and Blog-hearted course. Blog Society is an open group for subscribers to Jaclyn's newsletter.
Apart from Facebook groups, I find bloggers on Pinterest. That is my main Social Media platform so I've invested a lot of time in optimizing my boards for those who share similar interests and may enjoy my blog.
7. Share their blog posts
My #1 tip is to share their blog posts. I love finding and sharing great blog posts that I know my audience will love via Facebook and Twitter. It is way more engaging and shows that you don't just care about yourself.
I find a lot of bloggers in the business world via their pinned blog posts on Pinterest. I also find fellow bloggers on Instagram. If I like their photos, I usually love their blog posts.
8. It’s about how you can help your readers with whatever issue they may have
No matter how much we would like to think that we can have success online or with our blogs, we can’t do this alone. Because of that you need people. You can’t approach this though with the mentality that it’s all about you because it’s not. It’s about how you can help your readers with whatever issue they may have.
Be open to responding to them if they have a question or elaborate more in your comment replies to them. If you help them enough, they’ll become your raving fans.
Reach out to them and start a conversation even if it’s a short hello. Think of it more like I enjoy what this person shares and I’d like to know more about them.
It doesn’t take much to open that door so you can have a genuine conversation.
I find them everywhere actually.
When people comment on my blog who are in my niche I’ll visit their blogs. If they have CommentLuv Premium installed then I can easily follow the links from the people who commented back to their blog.
Triberr is a huge resource for me; there are some amazing people in this community and a lot in my niche.
I also find them also on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook as well.
9. The longer more consistent approach works best
What is your number one tip for building relationships with other bloggers? This is a tough one! Building relationships online is challenging and not as easy as people make it seem.
It’s even tougher when it comes to building relationships with bloggers who already have heavy influence. They already have tons of people trying to “build relationships” with them from every possible angle!
It is hard to choose one because there are so many variables to consider when approaching someone.
Before I give my favorite tip, I have to go more into the process I take because jumping right into this one could end up not giving you the best results. Each stage gets more personal and takes more time to pass to the next stage. This is normally the stages I use to feel out the potential of a relationship.
Stage 1: In stage one you want to start with social media. Find the one or two platforms that they are most active on and start to simply Retweet and Like some of their shares.
From there pay attention to their engagement. If you get Favorites or Likes in return for your efforts, you are in a good place because you know this person is noticing you.
After a while go above the norm and try to do something that really gets you noticed like creating a custom graphic with a quote from the blogger. For example, take a look at the one I created for Pauline.
Simple but effective at getting you noticed! Then move to leaving genuine responses to questions, articles and so on.
Stage 2: This is where commenting on blogs becomes more valuable because for the most part bloggers respond to comments they receive.
Leave valuable comments and try to get conversations started with the blogger. These first 2 stages are all about being visible to the person you are trying to build a relationship with until the communication begins to go both ways.
Stage 3: Here is my number one tip. Start reaching out through their email. At this stage things get even more personal.
Commenting on blogs is great but it is still like a group discussion because it’s there for everyone to read and even join in.
The convo can be deep or light but either way, it is between you and the blogger only. That’s where the relationship begins to really develop!
It’s ok to use the steps in Stage 1 more often. You only want to use the tips in Step 2 where it makes sense. For step 3 you want to use this method the least. After you begin to build that bond, it will make more sense on which methods to use and how often to use them.
Some people are more receptive than others and building relationships will be quicker and easier with them.
On the other hand no matter what you do or try, you just will not click with some and that’s OK.
As a general rule, I say the longer more consistent approach works best.
Where do you find bloggers in your niche? The comment section is one of the most underutilized resources we can tap into. For the many post I read, the comment section is not mentioned nearly enough. It is a great place to find multiple people in your niche in one place.
Go to your favorite experts in your niche and read through the comments. Find people who leave a valuable comment and seem to be knowledgeable on the topic.
Now take a look at their website and social pages and go from there. You will notice that bloggers run in packs for sure. You find one good blogger in you niche, there will be others in that space that are following him or her too.
10. Put Yourself Out There
As a blogger it is so easy to get stuck in a funk, put yourself in a corner and pretend we are the only one doing what we are doing. Bloggers, you are not alone! Even if you niche is super specific, wacky, or down right bizarre, I am certain you can someone with similar interests talking about similar things.
To start building those relationships, you have to put yourself out there. Don’t sit behind your computer, type a post and hope that someone comes to find you.
You need to tell people you blog – your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. If people don’t know you are doing it, why would they bother looking for it? Post about it on social media, ask other people to share your content, and get people to participate.
Done all that and still feel alone? Here are some foolproof ways to connect with other bloggers in your niche:
- Find a local blogger meet up group – generally there is one in every large city or region
- Attend a local blogger conference – my personal favorite: Go Blog Social (Want to know what attending is like? Here is a little recent recap I did!)
- Join some blogging specific Facebook groups – a couple I am in are: DYOBlog, Blogging Boost, Ladypreneur Community, and Blog Society
- Ask to participate in group Pinterest Boards – here is an amazing resource to find some specific to your topic
- Use hashtags on Instagram and Twitter to find bloggers by region or by topic – I use #KCBlogger and #MidwestBlogger almost every time I post
- Participate in Twitter Chats – check out #Ellechat, #Blisschat, #CreateLounge and #FireworkPeople
- And last but not least the most foolproof way to get (and stay) connected is following up. Once you have found and met some of these awesome people by using the methods above, follow up with them ASAP! Email them and set up a coffee date, lunch or Google Hangout. Reiterate how much you enjoyed meeting them and that you would like to learn more. People love someone who will listen and share ideas. Even people you think are way out of your “blogging league” might very well be interested in joining your “tribe”!
11. Actually actively engage with them
Get social! And I don't mean just get online and like other bloggers profiles and share their content, but actually actively engage with them. Comment on their posts, ask them direct questions, take advantage of their social media accounts, email them directly introducing yourself and let them know what it is you love about their content.
If you are apart of an online community on Facebook, or Google+ or you participate in Twitter Chats, don't just join and stay silent. Take advantage of your communities and ask questions, answer other's questions, and share your work.
Let other bloggers know you not only exist but are active in engaging with the members of your creative community. Positive energy is contagious and you'll be surprised by how many people will reach out to you just by being a real friend online.
When I first started blogging, I was so scared to reach out to the "blogging royalty" that I so admired. I didn't feel like I was "good enough" or ready to reach out to them. It took me a while, but once I did, the rewards were so worth it. So many of the bloggers I idolized from afar are now some of my closest friends, business mentors, and blogging collaborators.
Where do you find bloggers in your niche? I use Pinterest. It is by far my top social platform and such a great resource for finding and discovering new bloggers and businesses. By searching for keywords and specific elements within my niche, I find blog posts and articles from new bloggers and businesses that I've never heard of before until Pinterest.
Pinterest's social applications are often greatly underutilized. Take advantage of the commenting section of Pinterest as well as the new direct messaging option and leave direct comments on the Pins you love and refer to most.
Unlike other platforms where commenting and sharing are huge, it's rare to get a lot of comments on your Pins so you comment is likely to stand out and get a faster response from the blogger or business who originally shared it.
12. Give more than you take and be authentic
My #1 tip for building relationships is to give more than you take and be authentic. You want to add value to other people and show them that you actually care about their success and that you're not just out to get them to come back to your site. Be authentic in your comments and online interactions and people will be attracted to your genuineness.
I find bloggers in my niche both online and offline. I participate in groups on Facebook. I search for my topic on Pinterest and go to the sites the results return. Then I follow those people and work to build a relationship over time. I take blogging and social media classes and interact with and support the others in the group. I try to go to local meetups and conferences to make connections with bloggers in my area. It's a lot of work, but I think it's worth it to find other people that really get what you're doing.
13. Introduce Yourself and Interact
My number one tip for building relationships with other bloggers is to make the first move and connect! You can’t build a relationship with anyone without first making a connection. Whether that connection be in person or on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus or any other social platform
When I say connect, I mean to interact with their content, show them you want to be part of a support network of sharing content, get to know them, compare interests. Bloggers, by our very nature, want to interact with not just our readers, but our peers, on a personal level! Let me begin by talking about where you can find other bloggers in your niche.
- Groups and Communities – Google Plus and Facebook are prime landing zones for other bloggers. Perform a search for groups in your niche, sift through the results, and ask to join ones where you see activity on the posts. Once you’ve joined a group or community, INTRODUCE yourself! How are the members of the community going to know you are there without a proper hello?
- Comments on Blogs – Visit your favorite bloggers content and scroll down to the comment section. While there will be comments from general readers, you may also find other bloggers who are interested in the same as you…connecting with other bloggers! Read what the others have to say and provide a comment of your own. This is a great way to start a dialogue and to further connect with peers.
- Ask Bloggers You’re Already Connected To – Just like a call to action leads to better results, so does asking for what you want. Even if you are only connected to one other blogger (hey, everyone has to start somewhere), ask them who they are connected to. Ask them who their favorites are. What’s better than a recommendation from someone you trust?
Once you’ve found the spots where other bloggers are in your niche, the next step is to put yourself out there and interact! You know the phrase, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” Well, you’ve got to interact with other bloggers the way you want them to interact with you! It has to be a give a take relationship.
Further build on these new relationships by connecting with them on their other social networks. Like and engage on their Facebook Page, circle them on G+ and interact with their posts, follow them on Twitter, even connect on LinkedIn to be able to endorse them for their skills.
In short, reach out, say hi, and get to know them by interacting, be supportive and full of positivity!
14. Visit their blogs frequently
My #1 tip for building relationships with other bloggers is to visit their blogs frequently.
Always read a blog post before commenting on it! Leave an intelligent, thoughtful comment, and share the post on social media. When sharing, make sure you are connected to the blogger’s social sites. This is especially important if it’s a new contact, and you haven’t been on their blog before.
Also when sharing on social media, I like to put in a bit of a personalized introduction so that when someone that sees it, they know that I’ve read it, thought about it, and found it valuable. As time goes on, some bloggers become real friends of mine. We sometimes chat on the phone or even do a Google+ Hangout.
When it comes down to it all, I find that giving first always does the trick.
15. Think outside the box, dare to be different and be unique
I’m sure that there are a lot of other places, but in my biz journey, these are the places that I have found worth checking into and getting great results:
Twitter. Conduct a search on twitter for #Bloggers, #BusinessBloggers #BloggingForBusiness or you can be even more specific and use #SocialBlogger or whatever niche you are looking for. You will find many bloggers in the WAHMS niche. (WorkAtHomeMomS) Facebook. Of course, this one goes without saying, right?
You can easily find bloggers in various facebook groups, doing a search in pages, joining facebook days (you don’t have to like pages that you’re not looking for). Use the mentioned #’s for Twitter.
Google+ actually has many groups of bloggers you can tap into. Lots of them. Just like the other social platforms, conduct a search for the #niche you are looking into.
Begin by commenting on certain blogs of interest to you. After you’ve done it for a few times, that blogger should begin to notice you (if she checks her comments).
You can do the same for connecting with an expert in your field. Make yourself stand out from the rest of the commentors. You don’t want to blend in, be different.
You can also go follow these bloggers on social platforms and connect that way. Now, your name is beginning to come up in different places and if this blogger is paying attention she will notice that. Again, leave STAND OUT comments. Eventually, this should all lead to maybe a chat, you blogging something for them or them for you.
I keep repeating the words, STAND OUT because it’s very important to do so. In a field filled with yellow flowers, no one gets noticed. BUT if one red rose stands up, she certainly gets some attention! YOU be that red rose. Think outside the box, dare to be different and be unique. Voila! Go out there and shine
16. Provide as much feedback and information as you can
The #1 tip I have has to do mainly from a business perspective as that is the reason I connect with bloggers. I tend to go into groups (Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+) and answer questions. I don't answer them in what I refer to as a "slimeball" way...hoping to get business. I really hate that. I never give anyone information about my business unless they specifically ask for it. So if I read a question that I can answer, I answer it and provide as much feedback and information as I can.
I come from an education / training background so its in my nature to want to share and provide help in this way.
Interestingly, I have found that the connections I have made were in one of two ways: due to personal information I've provided that someone else connected with. Or someone who never even "spoke" to me online but gives my name to someone else they know who might benefit from working with me.
This may or may not make sense to you. But if you have ever heard of Human Design, you'll get it. I have an undefined or open throat center. This is problematic for a business owner but I have found if I can just be patient, it usually works out.
An "open" or undefined throat center isn't common (only 1/8 of the population has it). Basically the energy around this means its difficult to be heard. And people with it tend to have issues of feeling invisible. You can see how this will cause problems for a solopreneur.
Ironically, when I was in high school I lived closer to my authentic self than I did as I got older. I remember parents of some of my crazy friends always commenting on how quiet I was. They'd say something like, "Kary...you don't say much. But when you do...WOW. You say a lot."
And that is the essence of the energy of an undefined throat. The good news...we have the ability to modulate the way we communicate with others. Anyone we "speak" to can feel as though we are speaking just to them. (I have found this to be quite true in some of my more personal online writings). But the bad news...particularly if you're a business owner? You have to WAIT to be invited to speak. URGH.
That's tough! You have to wait to be recognized or wait to be invited. Someone asks you a question. Someone invites you to speak. I am still trying to figure out the energy of this but it is SO true. If I push (SELL SELL SELL) I am met with silence, awkwardness, or nothing. If I wait, my words are usually heard. So, for example, in the case of this email...I might have not even responded to you before I understood all this because I don't see myself as "a blogger." But you invited...so here I am...responding. LOL And probably offering way more information than you bargained for. So I apologize in advance if that's the case.
Right now, I ironically am finding most of the bloggers in my niche on Facebook. I say "ironically" because I don't really like Facebook. But I guess it likes me so, I'm there.
17. Find out what you can do to help THEM
When it comes to building relationships with other bloggers, my advice probably isn't original - but it works. Find out what you can do to help THEM.
The best way to nurture a relationship is by being helpful to the other person. It can be something as simple as sharing their posts on social media, or recommending a new tool they may not have heard of. Just don't go into a relationship thinking "what can this person do for me?"
One of the easiest ways I've found of connecting with new bloggers in my niche has been through Pinterest.
I look for the people who are repinning my pins and see what they're doing on their own blog. Give them a repin, and comment on their blog post, letting them know that you've pinned it. It's a great way to connect!
How do you build friendships online? Share in the comments below!