Building Blogging Relationships – Make Each Connection Count

Blogging is all about having an audience.

While there are similarities between blogging and keeping a diary, the sole difference is that diaries are personal while blogs are public.

Most diaries lead a quiet life – hidden under the bed, in the ceiling, or locked safely away in a safe. We would be embarrassed to find our diaries in the hands of even our most trusted friends.

On the other hand, when no one reads our blogs, we get depressed.

I know of many bloggers who have given up their blogs out of the sheer emotional weariness of seeing their traffic stats line-graph maintain a flat path for months.

It is therefore understandable that all bloggers want to grow their readership. We want to be able to put an RSS counter in our sidebar or even a Twitter follower counter and not be embarrassed by the figures.

We do not just need an audience to thrive; we also need to let others know we are thriving and that we have a voice – one people listen to.

The question to consider, though, is this:

Do you have a relationship with your readers?

Making the time sacrifice it takes to engage with your audience is rewarding, as it can make a big difference in just how successful your blog becomes.

To succeed as a blogger, you are first and foremost in the business of helping people.

Gathering thousands of social followers will not make them really follow you.

Have you noticed how you tune out of the conversations of many of your Twitter connections? Take time out to really think about why you no longer give them your attention, and you would be on your way to a big truth:

It is not all about the numbers

Having big numbers can serve as social proof, but do you have active relationships with your audience? How often do you communicate with those who leave comments on your site? How often do you go out of your way to be nice to your audience and prove to them the web is still a place where real persons dwell?

In other words, just what does your social proof prove?

When building an audience for your blog, it pays to focus on trying to be useful to your audience by being of help.

Your being there for others will brand you as an authentic part of your community. You will be like a goldfish in a sea of sharks who just can’t get enough!

When you do good things to others, they feel indebted to you and go out of their way to look for avenues to be useful to you. They may tweet your posts, like your pages and comment on them.

They become your friends.

When someone leaves an insightful comment on your blog, how do you normally respond?

Most bloggers just leave a reply and they go off feeling accomplished. For you, that should be a luxury you may never be able to afford.

Go over to their blog, and look for a way to compensate them for the time they spent on yours. Leave a comment, or even offer to do a guest post if their blog is good enough. If they read your post and left a thoughtful comment, chances are they respect your voice and would be delighted to have you speak for them to their audiences.

If your guest post pitch accepted, make sure you do not stop there. Return and continue commenting on their posts. If you notice something they are not doing right on their blog, send them a mail and bring it to their notice. Whether they take the advice or not, they will remember the kind gesture.

What do you do, though, when your guest post pitch is politely declined? It would look selfish to just disappear.

Stick around and leave honest comments on their future blog posts. Before long, they will consider you a friend and may even be embarrassed they refused you that guest post slot.

So offer to do a guest post. I have had more than 90% success with than one. Now you have it, go use it.

If you have fifteen decent relationships, that’s fifteen comments, fifteen tweets and Facebook shares for your future posts. Is it worth it?

You bet!

As I said before, this is hard work, but it is also good work. The time and commitment you invest in being useful to your audience will also make you indispensable to them. By building real relationships that is above the common “Hey Jerry, thanks for stopping by”, we show people we care and want to see them succeed. When people know that you have their best interests at heart, it is amazing how loyal they can become.

You make them a fan of everything you put your hands to, for life.

It all starts with comments

The comments section of your blog should become the recruitment ground for new friends.

Respond to every comment and send personal emails to commenters that posted very thoughtful comments. Thank them for being a part of the conversation and tell them you will be pleased to continue having them.

Head over to their blogs and join the conversation and show them by example what you expect from them.

Believe me; if you are sincere, this pays off big time.

What if you are not getting enough comments on your posts?

Make a list of thirty blogs in your industry and leave comments on them. Keep a day aside as your blog commenting day. If you like, you can be more flexible and spread the commenting over the week, but make sure you make a schedule and stick to it.

Address the blog owners by their first name in your comments and make sure you say something that stands out and adds to the conversation.

It is no good to just post another “Great post!” kind of comment when you are trying to attract a following to your blog.

Now the sweetest thing about this is that you will be noticed, not only by the blog owners, but by their audience. That’s what I call killing one stone with two birds.

When people come to your blog from any of your target blogs, make them know you know who they are. Carry the familiarity and friendship over from the target blog to yours.

Before long, you will be part of the community of large friends who know they mean something to each other, and your comments section will know no quiet again.

About Yeremi Akpan

Yeremi Akpan is the founder of Pro Blogger Tips. Connect with him on Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook. You can also hire him to provide content marketing services for your business.

Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Great article Yeremi. Building relationships is totally what it is all about. I like to think of links, likes, tweets and such, to my sites as the bricks to the building. But the relationships behind those SEO and traffic methods is the actual motar which holds those bricks in place.

    Without having actual relationship, I have to wonder what purpose one is really serving online, and suspect that as profitable as it might be at the time, it’s not going to be profitable long term. Online realtionships can go a looooong way, and can not only put more gold coins in your pocket, what you learn from others can enrich your life in many more ways.
    Michael recently posted..What is Computer Programming?My Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hey Michael,
      Well said! I really appreciate your analogy between relationships and mortar! I have personally found this to be true and I am grateful that you shared that with us.

      It takes time to build relationships, but that long-term strategy works so well because people connect to people. And when they are connected, they do things for each other. :)

      We know these things in real life – well, online works the same way.
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..Building Blogging Relationships – Make Each Connection CountMy Profile

  2. Hi Mr Yeremi, you are very right, I found it painful sometimes, when I leave a comment on a blog and the athuor don’t seems to notice the comment, despite the fact that my comment is the only comment on the post, so uncaring.

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      I agree with you Olusegun.

      Unless the comment just happens to be crappy, I make an effort to respond to those who comment on my blogs.

      A lot of persons read great blog posts, take what the want and walk away.

      That is why when someone leaves a comment, I keep in mind that his actions is benefiting others who will see the social prove a post has garnered and make time out to read it.

      So, by leaving a comment, you do not only help the blogger, you also help those who would ordinarily have just given the post a cursory to take their time and and read it.
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..Building Blogging Relationships – Make Each Connection CountMy Profile

  3. Simmeon says:

    Hey Yeremi,

    Being able to give someone that has taken the time to leave a comment is a MUST. We would like them to come back so why not try and give them the best possible experience when they visit our blog. just like in the real world, if we get great service we will come back again.

    Comments used a tool to connect with other bloggers sometimes an be overlooked but, i use this a way of building a relationship with new people. I don’t even think about SEO value of links left, but I do think about how it helps to reach out to people.
    Simmeon recently posted..How To Optimize Your Hard Sales CampaignMy Profile

  4. Shalu Sharma says:

    Very good article about making relationships on the web. Its so important not only to make but also to maintain good relations with other bloggers and also to those who make the effort to come and read your blog posts. On the other side, readers must leave decent and constructive comments and not useless ones.
    Shalu Sharma recently posted..Tourist places in East IndiaMy Profile

  5. Hi Yeremi,

    I love blog commenting! I think all bloggers should give it a try for a solid month and test the results they get as compared to other traffic methods – I would bet the quality of targeted readers would be enormous.

    As you pointed out, following on social media and connecting there too is equally important!

    Great post!

    ~Christine
    Christine Brady recently posted..How to Create a Content Marketing Network to Grow Your ListMy Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hi Christine,
      Thanks so much for joining us!
      As I said in my bio just below this post, all the tips I publish on this blog are tips I have found useful.

      I know I have not done so much SEO and my niche is quite broad, but in my experience the only thing that surpasses blog commenting when it comes to reader acquisition is guest posting.

      So I take my commenting very seriously and make connections while I am at it.
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..Building Blogging Relationships – Make Each Connection CountMy Profile

  6. Chadrack says:

    Hi Yeremi,

    Another great article from your end. When I started out with my blogging adventure I made a point from the beginning that it will be about building a community. I’ve tried over the years to do this. However, I have discovered that most of the bloggers are only there because they want to a quick link to their sites.

    Of course this has not distracted me but I must say that building the right relationships as a blogger is not really easy. It appears that those who are more concerned about themselves are more than those who care about a relationship. So far, I’ve really concentrated my relationship building on my blog. I think I’ll need to also reach out on twitter and facebook. I’m actually re-strategizing to include these media.

    Thanks for sharing this.
    Chadrack recently posted..Guest Blogging Insights from A Content Marketing Ninja – An Interview!My Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Thanks, Chadrack for stopping by!

      Quite true, a lot of bloggers are just out there to use and to dump. But we have to convince ourselves that everyone we meet is different until they prove themselves otherwise.

      That is how we get the best value out of people – by showing them we hold them in high esteem.

      If after treating someone as a friend they choose to grab what they can and bail off, well, that’s just too bad for them.

      Great to know you are stepping up your engagement on the social front. :)

      Just make sure you don’t go overboard. As your buddy Mike points out, while social media is vital, you need to go in feet first or your blog suffers for it…
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..Building Blogging Relationships – Make Each Connection CountMy Profile

  7. Adrienne says:

    Well you know how I feel about this topic Yeremi! Wonderful post and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Our blogs should be used to build relationships because although many believe that content is kind, you have to be a darn good writer in order to keep people coming back from more. But the majority of those readers aren’t going to appreciate it one bit if you don’t let them know how much you appreciate that they enjoy your content. If they leave a comment and you ignore it or just thank them and move on then you’ll end up losing some readers no matter how good your content is. That’s just part of it I’m afraid.

    I’m all about building relationships and helping others get to where they want to be. It’s not just about the numbers, it’s about those people who are eager to share your content and actually feel like they know you. That’s so much better.

    Loved this post so thank you for sharing this.

    Have a fabulous day!

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..What To Do When You Are Not In The MoodMy Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hi Adrienne,
      I do know how you feel about this topic! ;)

      Why, you even taught me how to feel about relationship building!

      Your free ebook on relationship building has been an eye opener to me and I believe it is an invaluable reading for any blogger remotely interested in giving back to his community.

      Thanks so much for your kind words. Coming from you, it really means a lot! :)
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..How to Write Blog Posts That Gets Shared EverywhereMy Profile

  8. Viola Tam says:

    Hi Yeremi,

    I am blessed to be connected through Adrienne Smith’s blog! I have learned a lot from her site. Now I have your blog as extra support too! Thank you!

    You have shared so much here! I could not agree more with you that it is not just the traffic. Number of visitors means nothing if there is no relationships. Our goal is to help WITHOUT expecting anything in return. Although this often means that good things do come back to us in different forms.

    I appreciate you, Yeremi :)

    Viola Tam
    Viola Tam recently posted..MLM Prospecting Tips – Respecting Our ProspectsMy Profile

  9. Samuel says:

    Yeremi, I think i am enjoying your blog. Like i said in your previous Blog. The Problem i am having is the inability to know the right method to get indexed . The relationship between is very Important. Once you treat them kindly, expect More subscribers. I am Dreaming of Becoming a Great Blogging in the nearest Future
    Samuel recently posted..Top WordPress Plugins To Reach The Top!My Profile

  10. Insightful post Yeremi! – Estabilishing relation with fellow bloggers is a key to become successful blogger.

    I’m not sure if that is a mistake but I see a sentence in the post: “That’s what I call killing one stone with two birds.”

    Isn’t it should be “killing two birds with one stone”? :)

    ~ Anup

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