Friday, September 16, 2011

Don't be afraid to Network...

Last week Elana Johsnon gave awesome tips on how to keep your life but still be interactive on the web. After all we’re all in this together, looking to network for mulitple reasons. She teaches you that with 15-30 extra minutes you can utilize your time wisely.


Roni Loren taught us last week that there are four types of bloggers. She goes as far to explain the pro’s an cons and I have to say, personally, I think she’s right on.

I’m here to talk about networking as well. It’s been a big topic that’s raided my inbox and not enough people know where to start.

I’m asked – how do you get your followers? How do you make time? I’m so frustated I don’t even know where to start.

I find that there are several who give up before they even start.

DON’T. GIVE. UP.

Isn’t that what we’re always told when it pertains to writing? If you haven’t given up on writing then you shouldn’t give up on blogging. We’re all a team, a happy family, one who supports and carries you when needed.

So you want to create a platform, get your book out there, SELL, SELL, SELL. Well you’re not going to do that with a blog that reaches no one. You have to work towards it.

How did I get followers? I became friends with them. I emailed them, commented, tweeted, etc. We interacted with one another, formed a connection. It’s not solely about selling books, it’s about buliding a relationship.

How do I get blog ideas? The blogging world is a beautiful place. There are so many ideas forming it’s bound to leave you with a fresh bucket of ideas. I have a post-it board at home. Wheneve I’m intrigued by a topic I jot it down. It’s perfect because when I have an off day the post-it board is filled with little seeds to get me going again.

How do I start? Write. Who are you? Why are you blogging? What are you hoping to gain from this journey? The more people know about you, the more they’ll want to learn.

The point is to connect. Make a relationship. Don’t consider this a business venture. Consider this a friendship, a place where we’re all looking to learn about one another and support each other. If you’re wanting to sell books, you need to know who your market is.. the only way to do that is to share things about yourself and learn about your newfound friendships.

How do you blog? What made you start?

37 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

I started to interact with other authors, and it blossomed. I love the community and reaching out on a personal level helps.

salarsenッ said...

Great points, Jen. I have too many storyboards hanging around my office to have one for my blog, but I do have a virtual board on my computer--aka a folder of blogging ideas I dip into.

Have a great weekend. :)

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Jen you are the master of networking. MASTER. I've been aiming for a twitter goal of 1,000 forever it seems and I'm slowly creeping my way there. You somehow do it so effortlessly. Actually, it's your enthusiasm and sparkly-ness. Yes, that's a word:) Good post and great example for all of us!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

LOL A number of bloggers are talking about this theme today.

Having a lot of followers is great, but it doesn't mean so much if they don't actually read your posts. If they only followed you hoping you'll follow back, thus uppering their followership numbers, it doesn't mean so much. But even if they have great intentions to read your posts, it isn't as easy as we would like to think. With only so much time in a day, we can only read so many posts.

Too bad we can't plug ourselves into our USB ports and absorb the awesome info that way. :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Connecting is key! Crap, I never lack for post ideas. Not since I figured out my focus, even if it is a bit odd for a writer.

Sarah Pearson said...

I blog because I love having a space where I can share my hopes and fears, as well as whatever random stuff I'm thinking about.

I read other blogs because I'm nosy, and I like people. I guess that's networking, sort of :-)

mshatch said...

Stina makes a great point. If only I had more time...! But connecting is definitely key. I started blogging for precisely that reason - to connect with other writers.

Lisa Aldin said...

So true! I started blogging because I found it a great way to meet fellow writers. I'm not the best at it, but I keep going, keep trying to find my blogging niche!

Connie Keller said...

I've been a little skittish about this after I had a very bad experience. There are some scary people out there. But I guess it's time to move on from that. Thanks for the encouragement.

Laurel Garver said...

I think finding the online person you want to be just takes time. In the beginning, I blogged very sporadically and didn't know much about the newer etiquette like following, as I kept a personal blog back in the day when it was the new tech (2001-2006). Fortunately one of CPs, Simon, was helpful in getting me up to speed. I've tried to mentor and encourage other newer bloggers as he mentored me.

Becky Mahoney said...

Fantastic post! (I almost typed "fabtastic," but it is that as well.) I still consider myself a beginning in the world of blogging, and I wondered how to get followers, too. But in the end, all I had to do was put myself out there a little, and I found some really great people.

elizabethreinhardt said...

I started blogging and was a little reserved (um, I'm being wordy. I was boring!). I had very few followers, and I was putting something very not-me out there. I hit a moment of hilarious frustration and decided to write about it, but in my own way. And some people laughed. And, since I'm a shameless clown, I wrote another post and people laughed. At first, there were only a few people laughing, but people like to laugh and I'll tell ANY story, no matter how insane. My numbers have been climbing steadily...really, really slowly, but steadily! Woot! Thanks for the post!

Elana Johnson said...

Dude, I so need a post-it board. I just keep everything in my head, and as you can imagine, it's messy in there.

This is such great advice! I think the BIGGEST problem people experience with blogging is they don't think they're funny/smart/wise/good enough. It's like we're in junior high again--and no one wants to feel like that.

So believing in yourself is high on my list of blogging musts.

Cynthia said...

Why do I blog? I think like most to know that your feelings and thoughts are felt by others. Everyone needs support and the blog world has been wonderful for that. I've met so many wonderful people out here I never would have met if I didn't stick my head out and give it a try!

Carrie said...

Awesome advice in this post. I started blogging years ago as a place to write down my thoughts but it became more focused on writing in the couple years. I learn so much from other bloggers and I think my blog is more than just something to help me sell a book or create a platform.

Roni Loren said...

Thanks for linking to me! :)

This is great advice. Building a blog does take time and it's all about relationships. Stina makes a great point above. You don't just want followers, you want people who are actually going to read and engage with you. And in order to do that you need to engage with them.

I always roll my eyes when I see those people on twitter who are following like 50k people. Sure they have a big number of people doing the automatic follow back so their numbers look good, but there's no way they're really connecting with even 10% of those people.

Becky Wallace said...

I started blogging because I needed some sanity! Now sometimes it makes me feel a little insane, bit it's also a great place to put the things I think about but never say!

Carolyn V said...

I started blogging because I was told it would help with my writing career.

When it became too overwhelming I quit.

Then I realized I had formed some friendships that I didn't want to lose and now I visit those people (You're on my list ;D ).

Plus my friends really help me keep motivated to write.

Diane said...

We just have to start and do whatever we can do. I find I have off times when I am just too busy to get out there much, but I do miss all the blog friends I've made. :O)

Maeve Frazier said...

I started blogging because I found it a great way to meet other writers. It is a great place to get information and feedback. I do try to keep my time limited, but sometimes that is hard, too!

Creepy Query Girl said...

I think it's important not to forget that networking requires going out there and clicking on new blogs to find out what they're about. I think it's easy to fall into a 'group' you're comfy with and forget to search elsewhere for friends and followers. I've been trying to rectify this the last few weeks. OH, you got time for bloffee today?:)

Laura Marcella said...

You have to want to meet people and click on new blogs and leave comments. Chances are they're going to want to meet new people too!

Belle said...

I've met so many wonderful friends through blogging. I met most of them by reading their blogs and commenting and they came over to visit me. I started blogging so I could read my sister's blog and found a world filled with great people.

Talli Roland said...

Fantastic tips, Jen! It is all about persistence and keeping it going! I started my blog to meet fellow writers -- and I have to say, I'm so glad I did!

Amy Saia said...

Good advice. I struggle with keeping up, so that was a necessary read!

Stephsco said...

Jen, you joked when we first interacted that you "stalked" my blog. But really what you did was read a comment by me, took a minute to click on my blog link, and leave a comment there. I think this is what all of us want - interaction!

I try to take time every day to comment on blogs. I don't always comment, but I do as much as I can. I also read what other ppl write, and if a response connects with me, I click on their name and see what blog or site it ties to. Maybe this is "stalking" but I've found cool new blogs to follow based on comments in other forums!

Twitter is great for conversations too. I try to respond a few times to ppl on twitter that has nothing to do w/ promoting myself (I have nothing to promote at this time anyway) but to make contacts and have a conversation. It's fun! I wouldn't do any of it if I didn't enjoy it.

Shannon said...

Great post, Jen. You're right, it's about persistence and consistency. :)

Angela Brown said...

I've written stories and gone to a conference or two but I was always shy about blogging. I wasn't sure I could do it. But I'm glad I took the chance.

My blog started as a chance to express myself about writing, words, TV and movies. Once I got started, I just enjoyed talking about these things I also happen to love. The networking that comes with it has been awesome and I know it's necessary for getting my name out there as well. I'm so glad I took this chance. It's been really great. And thanks to my bud Maria Zannini who encouraged me.

Nicole Zoltack said...

The whole writing/blogging community is such a great place!

Rebecca Kiel said...

The connection is fantastic. I love it when I can introduce two people who will benefit from knowing one another.

Bob Sanchez said...

Jen, a post-it board is a great idea. I carry around an iPod Touch and use it to jot down ideas as they pop into my head. Back in the olden days when I still worked, I used to send myself emails from the office.

Why am I blogging? Partly as a promotional tool, partly as a substitute for an online diary, and partly to share information with people.

As you can no doubt tell, a laser focus is not one of my assets. :-)

Shannon Lawrence said...

For me, I got into it because I was told I needed a platform, but that got me nowhere, because I didn't know what to talk about or who to talk to. It wasn't until the A to Z that I discovered what the blogging community was all about and decided to blog to talk to/with people that I started enjoying it and gaining some followers. I like it much better this way. :)

RaShelle Workman said...

Hey Jen. I started blogging to meet other writers. I'm sporadic, which I know isn't optimal. But I love getting out and reading others blogs. It's fun. =D

Donna said...

I feel like I've made a family of sorts. I love reading everyone's blogs and I learn so much.

Ziwei said...

Great post on networking. So I'm taking your advice and commenting! :D

What made me start? I want to get to know other writers and to have an avenue to express my opinions.

Liz said...

I mostly blog about things I find funny because I hope that OTHER people will find them funny! And it can be very cathartic as well. I've found some great people.

E. Elle said...

I'm just starting to find my blogging footing again. I'm expecting it to take some time. I started blogging at a friend's encouragement. I'd been thinking of doing it for a while but I needed that extra push. I like meeting new people and you're so right about our this particular network being a supportive family. We are very lucky.

If you have a chance, visit me at my new blog address: http://inthekeyofeelle.blogspot.com