When I started blogging a few years ago the single most repeated piece of advice I got was this: “You’ll never get an audience unless you network.” I was so sure that my writing would speak for itself and that I would draw the attention of a loyal readership through my hard work. I was wrong. Networking proved to be the fastest way to grow my audience and also to create a tribe of bloggers from which I can seek advice, have my work shared, and make friends.
After months of tenacious outreach I realized – through trial and error – how networking in the blogging world is important and the way to do it is unique. This week I am going to walk you through a bulleted list of things TO DO and things NOT TO DO when you want to network with other bloggers at the Bangor Daily News, on Facebook and on Twitter. While there are lots of social media platforms, I am focusing on Facebook and Twitter specifically because Bangor Daily News bloggers tend to use those with enough frequency to address them in this post.
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NETWORKING ON Bangor Daily News (BDN) BLOGS
The absolute best start to networking is by applying to the Bangor Daily News Blog Network and having your idea accepted. Once you start a blog on the BDN it is easy to meet other bloggers! Here are some tips to consider before you contact another BDN blogger.
DO find a BDN blog that you truly enjoy reading. Maybe even find a few! Get a sense of the style and tone of the blog(s).
DO subscribe to your favorite BDN blogs via email.
DO visit other BDN blog posts and give them a “like” and leave a comment that is positive and friendly.
DO make an introduction by reaching out via that blogger’s contact page. Send a brief and friendly email telling the blogger why you like his or her work, mention your blog with a clickable link, and invite a response back with a question or compliment.
DO invite a fellow BDN blogger to guest post for your BDN blog!
DO NOT leave argumentative comments under other bloggers posts in hopes of picking a fight.
DO NOT leave comments under other blog posts pointing out writing mistakes, broken links, or other problems. Use the contact page and keep it discreet!
DO NOT blast their comment section with links to your blog or social media platforms.
DO NOT inundate the other blogger with messages one will suffice.
DO NOT “reblog”, that is to say, copy and paste another BDN blogger’s work into your own blog posts without permission.
NETWORKING ON FACEBOOK
Often times a blogger will have a Facebook page as a way to promote posts from a BDN blog. This is an excellent idea to increase readership because bloggers can tap into larger potential readership pools through the specific way that Facebook shares links. If you have a Facebook page for your BDN blog and you want to use it to network then here are some etiquette tips to keep in mind.
DO follow your colleagues on Facebook!
DO make sure to like, share, and comment with some regularity to let the page owner know you are a loyal reader.
DO tag that page in the comments section and NOT in the status update when you are sharing a post. This is polite form because tagging in the status update box can ding the page owner as per Facebook algorithm rules.
DO make your page known by leaving friendly comments on posts while you are logged into Facebook under the profile of your page. This is an acceptable way to draw attention to your page.
DO invite other BDN blogger page owners to like your page AFTER you’ve established a friendly rapport, and do so in private message or email and not publically on their page.
DO NOT blast the page owner with obnoxious requests to like your page.
DO NOT tag the page owner in posts on your page or profile that are degrading, rude, or otherwise unprofessional.
DO NOT send chain letter style private messages or posts on their public wall.
DO NOT post a link to your blog posts with notes that say, “check me out!” this is spamming. Spamming is rude.
DO NOT leave trolling comments or engage in arguments on a Facebook page. If you don’t like a post then click past it.
NETWORKING ON TWITTER
Twitter is a fascinating social media concept. Each communication is limited to 144 characters – not words. That limitation has created a lot of funny ways for bloggers to communicate their ideas through memes, humorous one-liners, hook style comments, or simply tweeting the title of a recent BDN blog post along with a link. If you use Twitter then here are a few things to consider when networking with other BDN Bloggers and the Twitter community.
DO follow your BDN blogging colleagues.
DO RT (retweet), favorite, and comments on other BDN tweets.
DO tag other bloggers by using their Twitter handle when promoting their work.
DO tag the Bangor Daily News Twitter feeds when promoting your work.
DO tag other bloggers when you see fun memes or links to other sites that you think the blogger will appreciate.
DO utilize the Twitter List function to keep up with other BDN bloggers on Twitter.
DO NOT blast Twitter multiples times with your recent blog post plus a dozen @thisperson @thatperson tags. This is super obnoxious. It is also called spamming.
DO NOT DM (direct message) a blogger and ask them to follow you back.
DO NOT troll or argue with other Twitter users, no matter how upsetting a post is.
DO NOT follow people in order to get them to follow you back and then unfollow them. This is a childish strategy that some bloggers use to create the impression that their Twitter page is important because a higher ratio of people are follow that person than that person is following others.
DO NOT be afraid to use Crowdfire or other apps to figure out how to clean out your news feed, keep track of your followers, and to schedule future Tweets.
Networking does not have to be an intimidating process. Once you reach out and connect with a couple of bloggers you will begin to create a group of friends who can help share your work, watch your back for trolls, give you tips on great writing opportunities, and build great and lasting personal friendships with!