This site comes after many unsuccessful attempts to successfully create a blog that other people might actually want to read.
Great Ideas is (obviously) a project that is in the very early stages of blossoming into the beautiful butterfly that I imagine in my head when I think of where I would like this project to go.
So I’m treating this, among other things, as a very valuable learning experience for not only myself, but any readers who feel like they need some advice about starting their own projects and, of course, blogging.
What I learned today was the value of networking. I saw that a user (lesleycarter) liked my one and only post on this site. I was compelled to see who this user was, what their interests are, etc., so I checked out their site.
Lesley runs a very successful, interesting travel blog with over 13.5 million views.
Then I realized that she was the same person who liked a post on another blog that I had started on WordPress and abandoned long ago.
Does Lesley follow me around and “like” all of the posts that I happen to put up on different blogs?
Does she just really like my content, even though the post about Cesar Kuriyama is markedly different than the other post I had written about Buddhism?
Lesley probably employs the strategy of going to different blogs on WordPress–perhaps they are random, or perhaps they pertain to her interests, makes no difference–and simply “liking” users’ posts. If the blogger is curious like me, they’ll likely check out her site, especially if she’s a lone “liker” on one of their posts, as she currently is in my case.
This is a simple, yet extremely effective way to draw traffic to your site. If she had not liked my post, I might not have ever stumbled across her site, which I also happen to find interesting, and I will likely go back. So it’s pretty much a win-win for Lesley.
So, the “First Noble Tip” I’ve learned about networking through my own experience is:
Socialize with other bloggers, even if in small, seemingly insignificant ways (such as “liking” posts)–it can go far!
Thanks, Lesley, for teaching me that one.
This leads into my “Second Noble Tip” about networking that I’ve learned through my own experience and plan to carry out:
Communicate, through comments, with other bloggers with similar interests.
If you run a blog about gardening, for instance, find others who are running similar blogs and comment on their content.
This is bound not only to draw the bloggers’ attention to your site, since you’re going further than a “like” by actually responding to what they post, but it also fosters interactions with like-minded individuals, which may garnering new followers for your blog in the process.
I recommend posting more than just a “hey, come check out my crazy awesome blog” sort of comment. Generate a meaningful response to what they posted instead. It makes you seem less shallow by showing an interest in the person’s content rather than just trying to rack up your site’s views and readership.
You can also try doing this with blogs that aren’t similar to yours. As long as it’s something you’re interested in and you’re able to create a meaningful response to the post, go for it. It’s always worth a shot.
Utilize social networking sources like it’s your job.
Twitter is one excellent social networking site that can be easily used to gain readership for your blog.
Not only is it free, it’s also very effective when used to its full potential.
After I posted about Cesar Kuriyama, I used our Twitter account to send out a tweet about the post. I used hashtags relevant to the topic in order to attract potential readers in the Twitter world and also tagged Kuriyama’s Twitter account.
To my surprise, Kuriyama actually favorited the tweet! This hasn’t brought us more followers on Twitter, but it was certainly significant because the person I wrote about actually favorited the tweet I wrote about him.
Though it doesn’t do much for the website, it was certainly cool to have that happen, and I like to look at it a tiny step in the right direction.
Twitter is also a great way to increase traffic to your blog by utilizing the hashtags. Following other users is another good way to draw attention to your Twitter page.
Facebook is also a good way to draw attention to your site. Create a page for your blog, project, or whatever it is you want to show the world. It’s a good way, especially once your project gets bigger and has a lot of content and followers, to keep everyone who’s interested updated on what you’re currently working on, and to gain new followers by allowing people to easily share your content with others.
Don’t get me wrong–Facebook has quite a lot of downfalls, namely in terms of privacy, but when it comes to spreading the word out there and getting people interested in what you’re doing, Facebook is a great, free way to do that.
You can start with the friends, family, acquaintances (and others) on your personal Facebook account: ask them to “like” the page you’ve created and share them it with their own Facebook friends.
In the spirit of Buddhism, I will conclude with a final, “Fourth Noble Tip” about networking that I have learned thus far:
Ask for input from your readers.
This is something I learned from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, which is an awesome book I’d like to cover in an article for the site.
There are various places throughout the book where she includes her prompts to her readers and her readers’ responses, which is good because they tend to bring up things she had never thought of, and give her good ideas.
For example, at the end of a blog post of yours, prompt readers for a response. Ask them what they think. Do they agree? Do they have anything to add?
On that note, I’ll end this post with the following questions: Do you have any networking tips to add? How do you choose to network for your blog?
- Navigating the Blogosphere: The art of Networking (greatideasmagazine.org)
- 10 New Websites to Add to Your Social Media Blog List in 2013 (windmillnetworking.com)
- 5 Breakthrough Methods for Attracting Attention to Your Blog (bloggingtips.com)
- Who the Hell Reads Your Blog Anyway? (theminimalists.com)