I hate networking. Let’s get that out in the open now. I’m rather introverted to begin with (I’m a writer– go figure!) and I’m not that great thinking on my feet. More often than not, I shoot myself in the foot in professional conversations. Really, networking can seem so… disingenuous sometimes. However, I like community. I love getting to know other bloggers.

A few months ago, I created a Pinterest board and group called the Blogging Collective. The group was an outgrowth of my need to be more connected to other people like me– people who enjoy making connections organically and who want to increase their blog’s success holistically. Our goal is to be a positive blogging community that encourages and supports each other– and grows our influence. It’s nothing fancy– just a place for everyone to share their triumphs, questions, and ideas with each other. Even in the few months the Collective has been functioning, so many collaborative projects have taken off.
As the creator and moderator, I’ve noticed quite a few trends in the way that bloggers interact with each other– and the results of those actions.

The most successful bloggers I know do these four things to grow relationships:

They’re not needy. We all have goals– more page views, more unique views, more shares, more followers. Forget about them for a bit. There is nothing more off-putting (and tiring) than someone who doesn’t engage but continually blasts their calls to action at people. It’s easy to ignore people who only engage when they want you to do something– their continuous calls to action for shares, likes, and comments just become noise.

They’re generous of spirit. Relationships are built on generosity. You’re kind to someone because you want to be kind to them, not because you want something from them. The same goes for relationships built online. Get to know people. Get to know their blog. Retweet their work, plug their newest product– do it as a show of support and generosity, not because it will pay a dividend for you.

They’re personable. Don’t forget that there really are people who are reading your emails, posts, and comments. One of the easiest ways to be personable is to know someone’s name… and use it! I’ve received many emails from bloggers who want to be added to the Pinterest board.

So often, the email begins with just a “Hey.” Sometimes it doesn’t begin with a greeting at all– just a demand to be added. While I’ll still respond, I’m less likely to have a good opinion of the writer and less likely to reach out to them or include them in other projects.

They follow through. Be that guy (or gal)– the person that everyone knows will do what they say they will. Answer emails, participate in the activities that you signed up for, be the go-to person that people enjoy working with.
 But don’t take my word for it! I asked a bunch of bloggers for their best tips on growing authentic, online relationships with bloggers. Here’s what they said:
  • “Reaching out is key. Someone has to say hi first.” – Julie of Natural and Free
  • “Honestly, I contacted a group of bloggers to partner up with me just to start commenting oneach other’s stuff and sharing to help each other out. I feel like now I have some great relationshipswith some of these gals and have even met two of them in real life!” -Cassie of True Agape 
  • “It starts with being authentic in my own writing, and then being genuine andactive when connecting with others… My goal is to treat other bloggers as if I’m meeting them face-
    to-face, shaking their hands, and seeing their smiles, rather than typing at them blindly from behindmy screen. And I’ve made some of the best friendships this way!” -Vanessa of Bible, Beer and Babies
  • “Have blog friends that you are truly interested in.” -Holley of Chasing Destino
  • “Reach out for guest blogs– that’s how friendships start!Keep trading content back and forth. Whenever I know of another blogger’s material that’s relevantto a post I’m writing, I link to that too.” -Ashley of Love From Home

Creating meaningful relationships takes time. But it’s completely worth it. Give yourself the opportunity to meet really awesome people by engaging for real– you won’t regret it!

wedding headshotJoanna is the author of Jo, My Gosh! a blog about her journey as a newlywed military wife. When she’s not working from home, she’s writing, reading, trying new recipes, watching sports or cross stitching. Catch her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook and say hi!

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{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Julie Moore May 27, 2014, 9:08 am

    First, great post, Jo! I couldn’t agree more! Striving to build friendships and relationships, not numbers is so important in the blogging world!

    Second, thanks for the mention! :) Makes me feel all kinds of special and important to be quoted! :D Thanks for making my day!

    I’m glad to be a part of the Blogging Collective, and I am glad to be able to call you friend, Jo!
    Julie Moore recently posted…Double Chocolate Flourless Brownie Cookies (Soy, Nut, Fish, Milk and Wheat-Free, Can Be Egg-Free)My Profile

  • Cassie May 27, 2014, 9:37 am

    When I started blogging I never really understood how many relationships that would be cultivated. Now I feel that I have a handful of blogger friends that are very influential just as friends we have in our day to day physical life. I love having the community and support that we have for each other!
    Cassie recently posted…Memorial DayMy Profile

  • Enzie Shahmiri May 27, 2014, 12:39 pm

    I have been looking for exactly such a group. A lot of people say they are interested in creating a blogger support system, and I go through all the trouble of following and commenting just to find out that they are not following through at their end. As you said we are all super busy, but every blogger should have a set time where they can engage with fellow bloggers to show their support. I am off to join the group :)

  • Dima Al Mahsiri May 28, 2014, 5:58 am

    Building good relationships with other bloggers is a surefire way to help grow in the blogging world, no one could live alone in this world, right?!
    I would love to join a community of beauty bloggers, any suggestions, please!
    Dima Al Mahsiri recently posted…How to Choose the Right Hairbrush for Your Hair?My Profile

  • Angelina June 2, 2014, 12:55 am

    Great post. You’re absolutely right. Successful bloggers are very giving and have strong relationships with other bloggers. Keep up the amazing work!
    Angelina recently posted…I Dare You to MoveMy Profile


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