How to make more blogging friends and be insanely popular!

~ 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:

Forums:

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.

Blogs:

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.

Blogger events:

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?

Among other places, you can visit Jennifer Chait at Offbeat Homes, Tree Hugging Family, Declutter It, and at RiverWired – Green Building.

Comments

  1. A very well thought out and helpful post for bloggers. There were a few links that I did not know about.

    Thank you. :-)

  2. Nice tips. My favorite is the one about not being afraid to reach out. I was at first but I got over it and now I’m happy to call some rather “famous” pro bloggers friend. The blogosphere is a warm, wonderful, helpful community.

    Blog World Expo was an amazing experience for me last year and I plan on attending again in September. I may even speak this year.

    Also, I can’t sing Twitters praises enough. I met some great people, found myself turned on to awesome new blogs and even turned a few on to my blogs. Win-Win all around. Except it’s addiciting.

  3. Jennifer:

    I clicked through, expecting to be annoyed by the advice on being “insanely popular,” so your slightly misleading headline worked in my case!

    I agree with a lot of your suggestions. The two most important, I think, are to be helpful and to apologize.

    There are a lot of people with big attitudes. The ones who don’t know how to back down from a stupid, offensive statement are the ones who lose my respect (like they care).

  4. I haven’t made a ton of blog friends yet–the ones who comment are mostly already my real-time friends! That said, I found this article extremely helpful & interesting as I navigate the blogging universe…thanks. Will check out the links I didn’t know about, and also will be passing this article along to some other blogging pals who are new.

  5. @Eric that’s funny, I guess it does sort of look like a spammer-like title, I didn’t really think about it. I agree about the attitude. Blogs sort of ask for attitude and it’s easy to make bold statements, but we aren’t always right. At Offbeat Homes I apologized to all of Pittsburgh in a post (I had called them not so eco-friendly)- that was my biggest apology ever.

    @Deb I think I use Twitter more to follow folks I already know, but I know that people do make new friends there too. And it is addictive.

    @Julie You’re lucky, not even my best friend in real time reads my blogs – or anyone else I know, unless they’re sneak reading. My real world pals liked my job better when I was in magazines. :(

  6. Jennifer, I really enjoyed this. I haven’t heard of many of these forums. I tend to avoid forums (and Twitter), because I have an addictive personality and already spend too much time blogsurfing. And really, having blog pals doesn’t benefit my career or my clients, just my social life and personal blogs. I am very tempted to check out some of your suggestions though. :-)

    Reading your post kinda made me wonder if people think I’m “that blog reader.” I’ve had people tell me they think I’m a pompous jerk, when honestly I’m not. It’s very hard to come across the way you mean to online sometimes. So I kind of empathize with some of the so-called jerks. Sometimes they don’t mean to come across the way they do.

    About reaching out, I’m not very good at that either, but I’m getting better. Many of the blogs I read, I have never commented on. Part of this is lack of time, but mostly I just lack social skills. ;-)

  7. Twitter is SO addicting. I’ve found some great ppl to follow by looking at who my friends follow.

    And just by nicely commenting and sending unobtrusive emails, I’ve made some great blog friends, too. If someone’s immensely popular, I’m a little hesitant to contact them, though. Sometimes I do, and sometimes not. But it’s always cool when I get a response.

  8. @jennifer – my IRL friends don’t read either. they don’t get it. but some of my bloggy friends are now IRL friends, though.

  9. I always learn such cool stuff here and am amazed at the variety of perspectives and personalities. It’s always time well-spent for me.

  10. Jennifer, I think you’re cool too! ; )

  11. @Amy I don’t know if you’re one of “those people” I haven’t noticed, but I don’t notice everything. It can be hard to come across a specific way online. Sarcasm is taken as rude, funny, as not so much. You have to be careful. I think though, we all make errors, that’s where the apology tip comes in :) Also having blogging pals has truly affected my blogging career in a positive way. I’ve gotten so many jobs, or job leads through friends that I really barely have to look if I decide I want a new job.

    @Becky I’m glad you’re reaching out, even if it is a little nerve wracking – it’s good training for contacting well-known people for blog interviews too. Also, glad to hear I’m not the only unread blogger by IRLs – that’s annoying.

    @L.L, thanks :) and thanks for stopping by.

  12. Hey, we were posting at the same time Peggy! (Peggy is my co-blogger – for anyone who does not know).

    That said, thank goodness she thinks I’m cool, or else. Just kidding :)

  13. @Jennifer – I do tend toward sarcasm. ;-)

    Cool that you have a coblogger. That would be fun.

  14. @amy – I tend toward sarcasm, too. I just have to be careful who I aim at. My best friend doesn’t like it, thinks it’s mean. My husband & I both grew up with a lot of sarcasm, so we trade barbs a lot. But you do have to make sure the person understands you’re trying to be tongue-in-cheek.

    @jennifer – I need more friends like that (the job referral thing). LOL!

  15. I already figured out some of that stuff on my own–would’ve been much more helpful if someone had told me all that when I started. But I’ll check out some of the links too. Problem is, if I join more forums I’ll waste more time on them… I need better time management first.

  16. Certainly, one of the BEST blog posts I have read about expanding your network. In fact, you summarized almost everything I have been researching for the past few weeks. Well done and thanks for sharing.

  17. Hmmm….Nice one..The use of “insanely” popular,is what proves, You are a champ in inviting people to your blogs! ;-)

    Useful.

    Thanks

  18. i think that this post is very very helpful. thanks for posting. new bloggers should read this

  19. Hey there,

    The article is kind of old, but many things are useful.

    I have found a great website with step-by-step how to-s about establishing friendship – http://howdoimakefriends.com

    Really worth reading

  20. Thank you very much for the post. I am new blogger and want to be insanely popular. Please visit my blog and advice if time permits.

    Thanks.
    Soham´s last blog post ..Your Free Guide To Cut Down Smoking

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