Your network of contacts can be a powerful thing in a blogosphere full of ordinary blogs which stand alone waiting for people to read information which is often out-dated and over-reported.
Whilst a picture can say 1000 words, a contact can help spread those 1000’s of words all over the place through free publicity and can often support your blog by buying ads on your site.
But how do you meet these people and find the contacts that will help your blog?
There are a couple of methods I’ve used successfully to build up a base of reliable and friendly people who share similar traits and characteristics but who have like-minded goals.
1) Comment on similar sites: As mentioned, the blogosphere is a big place – we’re approaching 100 million of the things now! So there’s bound to be a few sites sharing the same niche or writing about similar themes. Search on Google or follow Blogroll links and then make useful comments on posts which appeal to you. The owners of the blog will be bound to check your site out to see who you are and what you write about. First impressions are everything, so make sure your site is looking spick and span!
2) Follow up with an email: Once you’ve established contact through a comment, shoot the blog owner an email through the contact page or form (which the site owner should have). Explain who you are briefly and link to your blog. Throw in links to a couple of your best posts and even ask to exchange links to help SEO and traffic.
3) Have a conversation: Talking to other bloggers via Instant Messenger can be a great way to show your enthusiasm for your subject and to connect with another person one-on-one. But be warned – don’t go around willy nilly asking for IM addresses as this will throw up caution flags. In the conversation, be yourself, be humorous and don’t plug your site every other sentence!
4) Social networking: Believe it or not, social networking sites aren’t only about flaming George Bush or loving up the iPhone. Sites like MyBlogLog are particularly useful – try commenting on their wall or adding yourself to their Communities. This will again get your name out.
I’ve only mentioned a few methods here, but the list really is up to you in terms of how much you want to seek out other bloggers and what other sites you can dig up in order to help you find those similar people. Try a few of these out for yourself today – like commenting on a new blog, or emailing someone that you’ve never spoken to before.
You never know, they might end up becoming your best online buddy!