~ By Jennifer Chait
Ok, so maybe I was kidding about the “insanely popular” line. This isn’t high school. But I wanted your attention because as noted in my post last week, it’s a stellar deal to have good blogging pals.
Where to find blogging pals:
Absolute Write is a very busy writer’s forum with an entire section devoted to bloggers. You can even add your blog to the Absolute Write blogroll list. It’s my favorite place to be as a writer. As a blogger it’s semi-useful, although more so for newer bloggers than advanced. One thing’s for sure, at AW, you will make great long-term friends – and many of them are bloggers or blog readers.
Perfomancing Hive, this is a good forum, although sometimes the focus is a little too how-to-make-money for me, but there’s other cool stuff going on too. It does cost new members $10 to join, but that’s worth it for the sake of learning if you’re newer to blogging; mainly probloggers, and folks who know what they’re doing are members and are offering great advice. Plus there’s a job listing area.
The Performancing Blog Forums is an excellent community to visit. Especially useful if you need legal advice, for example, if someone steals your posts.
Digital Point Blogging Forum covers it all; from themes, to money making, to basic blogger chatter.
Bloggeries, funny name, good forum. All sorts of blog topic covered with a large new blogger section.
The Blog Experiment is a busy forum with helpful bloggers.
The Authority Blogger Forum is not very busy, although there are a fair amount of bloggers hanging out there. The perk is that the forum is Chris Garrett’s forum. He’s a great blogger, with smart readers; you don’t see dull topics at this forum.
By the way, I don’t visit all of these forums all the time. I usually stick to Absolute Write and The Hive. Although, I do make sure to show up from time to time at some of the other forums, just to see what’s up.
It stands to reason that as a blogger, you can make blog friends by visiting blogs, and it’s true. Leave comments, hang out, read posts, link to them, add them to your blogroll, email, and so fourth; basic blogger interaction 101. Some of my very oldest blog pals were originally just folks who read my blogs, or I was a constant reader of their blog.
Social Networking Sites:
I like Twitter because I can keep up with friend’s posts and it’s nice chit chat to break up my working day. There are other social networking places as well; I don’t use them as much. Some do though, and make lots of cool friends. You can try places like MySpace, Stumble Upon, Technorati, Digg, or any of the other many social pages for bloggers. I’m members of all of the above but I’m at Twitter the most now.
If you can, it’s cool to attend blogging events. Then you get to meet friends in person (imagine that). Some random events include: Blog Expo, SXSW, BlogHer, and more. I’m 90% sure that I’ll be at Blog Expo this year by the way.
Here are some overall general tips for making blog pals:
Do leave useful, nice, debate style, personal, comments. I want to be friends with people like that. Don’t you? In fact I recently took on a co-blogger at a blog of mine. She had all the knowledge qualities I was looking for, but then, so do a ton of folks. The main reason I asked her to join the blog (after her knowledge base) was based on the fact that she’s cool. She leaves nice comments, I see her playing nice at other places in the blogosphere, and she’s easy to deal with.
Don’t be “That blog reader” – you know, that reader who ALWAYS has to be right, who always has to have the last word, who challenges ideas and posts on a multi-daily basis, who overpowers the comments for no good reason, or who just acts obnoxious. Do that and we won’t ever be friends. It’s not only that I find this behavior incredibly annoying, but also I don’t want to be associated with “that person.” The blogosphere is small. Choose your pals wisely or you’re looking at guilt by association.
Do apologize. You know, in the blog world, we all sometimes leave a comment we shouldn’t, use a mean tone, or act bad on an off day. A big person, a good friend is someone who says, “Sorry my bad” – I’ve done it, my pals have, and it makes the blog world a little nicer.
Don’t be nervous. If someone is an established blogger you might think it’s risky to reach out and try and connect. It’s not that risky. When I was a new blogger I made some cool established blog friends who have really helped me out through the years. Now I have newer bloggers that I consider pals. Some bloggers won’t make good friends, even if you try and reach out, but that’s not dependent on experience, more who they are.
Do give and share. I’m not opposed to offering or taking blog advice. In fact some of my very best blog pals are either bloggers who emailed me asking for help, or bloggers I emailed to ask for help. Being useful is a good friend quality. I also tend to share lots of job ideas. Even if I’m applying for a gig, I’ll often send it to my fave bloggers as well. The market is big, it’s ok to share. Share guest posts, share tips for stories, share, share, and share some more.
Don’t be likable at a cost to your own views. Case in point, I know some people are annoyed about my view that writers should not work for low wages. I know, because like Deb, I get mail. However, no argument on earth is going to make me believe that we as writers aren’t somehow dictating our own wages by not asking for decent rates. You can hate my view if you like, but you’ll never, ever, see me at some other blog saying, “Sure, why not work for pennies! Yahoo!” in order to please people and make friends. That looks lame. People do get around the web, and if you act like a pleaser, saying something on one forum, and then something else on another blog, we all know it. You know it’s true.
What’s worked for you? How are you making your best blog friends?