I am so glad you guys are liking this little series! Honestly it’s a massive blessing to me to not only explore this career at a deeper level, but to answer the questions y’all have. Keep the emails and comments coming – I hope I can encourage and answer any questions you have! Here are the first two installments in the This IS My Real Job series:
Today I want to explore a severely overlooked aspect of blogging for a living: creating relationships with other bloggers. Here’s the thing you guys: I look at this as my job, and the Internet is my office. When I worked in office environments it obviously was a good thing to create good working relationships with my co-workers, so it only makes sense to create relationships with other people in my industry now. The amazing thing is that it’s not just about making a work relationship. At times these relationships turn into lifelong friendships with women that I would never have met otherwise.
I had several of you ask how you grow a following for a blog, and while there are a lot of ways to gain lots of views I am of the mindset that connecting with others is the best way to grow. Start by commenting on blogs – not all of the blogs, not all of the time. But take the time to actually READ what someone is saying and make a meaningful comment. I will go ahead and say this: I love when someone takes the time to comment, I really really do, but it’s a lot harder for me to feel a connection with a standard, “Wow this looks really good!” versus someone who actually took the time to read all of the words I wrote down. Please understand, I’m not knocking any comments, but I know what speaks to me and I can bet that it’s a lot more flattering to most everyone that their posts are actually being read.
Commenting in and of itself can become a full-time job because there are so many incredible blogs out there. I subscribe to about 75 different blogs, but limit myself to commenting on 10 per day. It just gets to be so much, and as you guys probably guessed from last week’s post, there’s not a lot of wiggle room time-wise. BUT I noticed a big jump in the number of dedicated readers when I stopped trying to win the contest for most comments on blogs and started trying to get to know the women behind them.
Now this is a great big all-encompassing header, but for all intents and purposes we’ll just say that this is specifically for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I love me some Pinterest, but I don’t find that it’s all that conducive to relationships. Each of the other three all play a hand in creating those relationships that have become so meaningful.
It’s funny, I never thought that I would have friends in this world that I’ve never actually met in person. I never thought that I would be able to communicate with them with just the click of a button. And I had no idea how motivating and encouraging they could be. But I’m finding out more and more that these relationships are just as real as any other one in “real” life!
I try to limit my time on all social media channels, but I will say these few last words about each one:
TWITTER: I typically use this for communicating with brands or sharing random funny stories.
FACEBOOK: I love the groups that I’m part of on here and use this to connect on a little deeper level than Twitter.
INSTAGRAM: This one is by far my favorite because it gives much more in depth looks at my blogging friends’ day-to-day things. Things I can pray for, things I can rejoice in, things we can all laugh with together. These are the things that bring us all together!
THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY
Nate was talking to me about a man that he works with and said something at some point that really struck a chord: he said that this gentleman will send thoughtful notes to people he has just met and that he does it all the time. That sounds so simple but really, who takes the time to hand write notes anymore?
I’ll tell you who: people who care.
I have since started taking 10 minutes to write a note to one blogging friend a week and mailing it to them. It’s nothing big. I use Target stationary and a Bic pen. I slap a stamp on it and take it by the post office. While I don’t really consider this work (because I’ve found I love doing it), it’s and intentional pursuit of those women I’m friends with. While it’s not really work, it does help cement those working relationships with other women in my industry. And while it’s not work, it can certainly help you IN your work!
The whole point of this post is to say this: reach out. Be real. Love others well. Be vulnerable and invite people in, some way or another. Blogging is only a competition if you make it one (and if you make it one I think you should be prepared to be miserable in it – been there done that). Create a team with other bloggers you admire and it can only take you to really great places!
As always, please comment or email me if you have any questions or want any clarification! I love you guys 😉