If you are a blogger (doesn’t matter whether you’re a newbie or an established one) there are certain tasks that you’re not comfortable with.
I mean, your blogging expertise won’t cut it. There are always certain tasks that you don’t like doing.
One of this is SEO. The other is networking.
Personally I still don’t like doing the former.
But networking is something I love to do, since I get to connect with people when I network. That’s cool, really.
The problem with SEO
With SEO, I hear most bloggers HATE doing it. Mainly because, the rules are always changing.
You never know whether you’re doing something right or wrong.
Even worse, what was right yesterday might be wrong tomorrow and you might be penalized by Google simply because you didn’t know you were doing the wrong thing (well, wrong in Google’s book).
A great example is this: You were told that you need to build ample links in order to boost your visibility in search engines. And you did so. You did not worry about anything but you targeted certain number of links for that money making page of yours.
And then one day your money making page was washed out from Google’s results because you were building links in an unnatural/spammy way (definition provided by Google!).
The objective is not to “make your links appear natural”, the objective is that your links are natural.
– Quoting Matt Cutts when talking about off-page SEO (link building).
There is indeed a thick line between natural/organic link building and spammy link building but most internet marketers think that the line is fine and hence stay confused!
Now what about networking?
This is the second most daunting task for most bloggers.
First – there are a lots of places to find like-minded people and network with them. The number of places is simply overwhelming.
Think about social media sites! They are also one of the most dangerous places to get lost in distraction.
But social media sites are the places where you can find like minded people to network with.
OK before we talk about where you can find people to network with, lets see “why”? Like, “why should you network in the first place?”
Coz networking is fun – don’t punch me on my face. That’s my personal opinion and it is the very first reason as to why “I” network with like-minded bloggers and with my readers.
Now, let’s be honest – the (second) most obvious reason as to why we all network is to get our stuff across to as many people as we can.
By now, you should be knowing that “build it and they will come” won’t work anymore. It worked a decade ago when content was rare to find. Not anymore.
So you need to connect with as many people as possible. Why? Because you need more hands to spread your content. You yourself can’t do it alone as a one man (woman) army.
The more people know about you and your content, its good for your business! Now if your connections (pals) find that your content is good enough to be shared, they won’t hesitate to share it with their friends – and this will go on!
So how do you network with people (without getting burned out)?
First, you need to get hold of social media by all means.
You cannot survive in the blogosphere without social media – I know that’s a BIG statement and many bloggers are against that thought.
My reasoning is this: Your target audience hang out in LARGE groups in social media sites. So you gotta be there too, to grab their attention.
Networking just is making connections – simple. Hang out on social media sites, find like minded people, follow/friend them, help your friends/followers when they’re in trouble (when a question is asked, for instance).
Promote other people’s stuff (not ALL stuff, but the stuff you think that will benefit your readers and stuff that’s REALLY good).
A very important thing to note is that you need not (and should not) be networking all the time. You cannot just jump into social media sites at any time of the day when you “feel” like doing it.
After all, if you are tired and burned out with your blogging and need a break, sure you can go ahead and login to Facebook and watch cute puppy videos in order to chill out.
But networking is different. You cannot be doing it all day, whenever you feel like doing it.
There are two reasons for this
1. You need to know “when” your target audience are in a particular social media site. When you also login at the same time to participate in the conversations, chats, etc. you can interact with more people, naturally.
2. If you don’t allocate a specific time for your social media connection strategy you could be (and yes most probably) be dragged into various distractions that are abundant in social networks. This could hardly hit your productivity!
I actually login to social media sites and network with people at times when I’m tired and not very productive.
Why? Because when I am tired and dull, interacting with people refreshes me. That’s two birds in one stone – (i) I chill out and (ii) interact and build relationship with people (at the same time promoting my blog posts).
As I said already I don’t do it all day; I don’t do it whenever I fee like doing it.
I usually feel sleepy and dull after lunch. I can’t write content at that time; neither can I deal with client gigs.
So I jump in to connect with people in social media. A little bit of distraction is also fine for me at that time since it helps me get recharged from my dull/sleepy mood.
And, as I said earlier, I get more likes and more views at that time when I am on social media after my lunch time!
Take networking easy. Make it fun. Make it useful for the others.
The more you help people out (in social media, comments etc.) the easier it is to gain genuine connections.
Stay tuned for my next post where I talk about search engine optimization (yes of course, without scaring you out!).