Increase Engagement With Sticky Friends
But not too “sticky,” right, Peter?
Casual, chatty sticky, Amy
Friends that stick closer than a brother?
Are you looking for sticky or clingy, Amy?
Sticky/clingy – hmm – maybe not…
What do YOU want from a blogger friend?
- DON’T BE SHY! Grandma Golda always told me, “Reach out to OTHERS first.” If you’ve blogged for more than a few days, you’ve started reading some blogs. Now, take the next step. Paul Taubman II tells us in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to “Write a blog post titled, “Top 5 blogs you should be reading” and share your list. Let folks know which ones you read and why you choose to read them – it could be just a sentence or two about each site.” If you are keeping a blogging journal this will be as easy as cut and paste.
- Comment from your heart and personal experience on one or more of their posts. Tell them who introduced you. Begin building a relationship with the blogger the same way you start face to face friendships. Your words become the virtual handshake and casual conversation as you meet and greet during a party. According to Janice Wald, “This is important because they may keep YOUR writing in mind when looking for a post to reblog. This would lead to more eyes on your blog … Other readers will see your comments. If they find your comments insightful, they will have the motivation to come to your blog to see what else you’ve written that intrigues them.”
- Visit the readers who visit your blog and leave a comment. They have found something they like about you and you need to find out what it is and thank them for the visit. My new friend Yvette Prior suggests and practices reading several posts and leaving engaging comments. “I have started visiting less and then reading more posts in one sitting. But it depends on the blog!” Russel Ray calls this “camping out” on your blog.
- Janice Wald started a blogger collaboration group for St. Patrick’s Day. Bloggers wished for someone to visit a specific post, like their FB page, or whatever, and put a link in the comment box. Janice followed up on it.
- Jason Cushman hosted an amazing meet and greet during which people introduced themselves in the comment section. He posted a short intro, and let people toot their own horn. He got thousands of responses, but that was not what impressed me. What impressed me about Jason was that when I commented on his blog, I had a like and a response within just a few minutes.
- Time – Yes, only time will tell. Time is like a sieve or separator. Some sticky friends will last for years. Face to face friends you only know if they are what they seem after you see them in different circumstances. The same is true online, but you have fewer clues use to make relationship judgments.
- Darren Rowse from ProBlogger discusses hunting for readers for your blog. Oh yes! That reminds me, bloggers communicate SOMETHING! Rowse says, “Great blogs change their readers. How do you want your readers to change because of what you write?” When we change lives, we attract sticky friends and develop trust. Not only that, our friends tell their friends about us, and eventually we become a community.
- Speaking of community, we form sticky friends when we write about and quote our friends. Trust me, I am not talking about malicious gossip. But suppose you are doing a post about a topic that your friend has already written about. Then link to their blog in your article. This is a sure way to become friends, especially if you do it more than once. As I prepared this post, I had several reference links. I read through my Transformational Blogging Journal to see if I had posted any comments from blogs about building relationships online. I want to go back to these people to get ideas.
- Going back to community and time, I think about Cee Neuner and Photo Challenges as a way to build a community of friends. Bloggers can either host or participate in challenges to make friends. Cee hosts several challenges. She carved out space on her blog for people to commune about different topics. Each week she picks winners and encourages all participants, particularly the winners, to visit each other. I LOVE that! Once, someone named Mick actually did visit my blog because I was a winner. So did my long-time blogging friend, Sylvia, further cementing our friendship. Did Mick and I become sticky friends? Not yet. Did Cee and I become sticky friends? Yes!
- Finally, visit people over and over again. The point is none of this happens immediately. It took a lot of time for my friends and me to become sticky friends. If you write interesting content and create space for people on your blog, they become “your people.” You take ownership of them, almost like a teacher does her class of students. I think Cee has taken ownership of me. She visits me every week when I participate in her challenge, and sometimes when I don’t.
So create a space on your blog for people YOU want to attract. Quote them often, linking to their blogs. Write about them, feature them, create link parties, promote them, and encourage them to promote each other. Write about topics that will change in your reader’s lives for the better.