Solo Blogger: How To Make Friends

Guest post by Neeraj Sachdeva

My first blog, the name of which I shall never mention – more out of embarrassment than the fact that I can’t remember it – was a complete and absolute failure.

Most of us start that way, and that is in fact the best way to start! If your first ever project was a failure, chances are, you would be more likely to succeed in your future endeavors, as long as you don’t lose the will and focus to continue.

Most people with a fighting attitude find newfound enthusiasm after a failure.

So who or what is a solo blogger? I was, but am not anymore. I prefer not to be. Solo blogger does not mean that you are the only one in charge of a blog. Rather, a solo blogger prefers to be isolated, working within their very small, if at all existent, social network. Can you guess why that is bad?

Blogging, contrary to popular belief, is an arduous task. Realistically, this is how most of us start blogging: We buy a domain name, or we stick to the free ones offered by numerous websites. We decide to blog about ourselves, or one of the subjects we are passionate about.

We start by posting once a day, which slowly turns into once every 3 days, ending up at one post a week. Some of the more procrastination-loving bloggers blog when they feel like it; which is a recipe for disaster and an empty blog. We lose the motivation, the edge and the will to succeed. A successful blog is a marathon, one that cannot succeed in two to three months.

Loss of motivation results from loss of success, which in most cases is understandable. Bloggers work in isolation, which is the biggest hurdle for building a following and hence, resulting in lack of traffic.

If you want more traffic, if you want your blog to monetize better; simply put, if you want your blog to succeed: Connect with others. Connect with other bloggers, at all levels – those that are more experienced than you, those that are at the same level as you, and those that have just started.

You can get more traffic, more recognition and thus even more traffic if you follow the FRIENDS technique:

Follow:  Imagine walking into a room and demanding everyone to like you. How do you think people will respond? Be humble, and start following people who are in your same niche, or those who are successful. If you are blogging by yourself, you will often struggle with finding people to pitch your ideas to, and brainstorm with. Social networking options such as Twitter and Google+ are terrific to connect with like-minded bloggers who can help you get recognition.

Respect:  Statistically speaking, most people consider themselves smarter than they really are. I do, and I bet you do too. Being confident is actually an excellent quality, being arrogant however, is not. So respect those who care to differ with you. Appreciate their input, and learn from them. Being humble and recognizing their effort in your growth is positive for you and your blog.

Interact: More than 2000 years ago, Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher said: Man is a social animal. This still holds true, and always will. We cannot survive in isolation, we cannot learn in isolation (books will only take you so far), and we certainly should not blog in isolation. Interacting with your peers will provide you an essential platform to develop and expand your blog to include your perspective on top of issues highlighted by others. After all, one person alone is not enough to solve all problems in the world.

Enemies: Big NO! Don’t make enemies. If someone disagrees with you, be courteous enough to make your stance clear on the issue, but stay away from outright offending or bullying them. Information on the internet travels like Chinese Whispers, and if you want to gain recognition and be well known in your niche, making enemies does not help.

Having said that, you inadvertently will and it happens to the best of us. If and when it does, just stay away from confrontation and make sure your working relationship with other bloggers is not ruptured as a result.

Newbie:  You probably have been blogging for 1 month, maybe a year, or maybe 10 years. You know far more than someone who is just starting up a new blog on ‘making money online’. Don’t dissuade them from trying. Instead, if you can, take them under your wing.

They will appreciate you for it, perhaps for their entire blogging career. Many bloggers offer free mentoring for new bloggers, though many others simply help with their tips and newsletter. If you can include such a package for your readers, they would certainly appreciate it, and you will be well known for your social efforts.

Diversify: If you blog about self improvement, simply following blogs that talk about self improvement will only get you so far. Same goes for making money online or relationships. An expert blogger can interact and learn from other bloggers across different niches. Viral blog marketing is based on triggering the same interest in bloggers of different niches, a quick-fire way to gain recognition. So diversify, or you might be limiting yourself!

Support: Lastly, support others, be a friend. If you like a post, tweet about it. If you appreciate the content, give it a +1 on Google and if someone comes up to you to ask for your opinion or suggestion – give it. Blogging can be a lonely venture, a realm apart from your personal and otherwise professional life. Only through support can we make the most of it. If you are unsure about what kind of support is right, check out Kiesha’s Survivor contest, in which I play a small part!

So if you are a solo-blogger, make friends before you make enemies, for that is the only way to succeed.

Neeraj Sachdeva is a solo blogger who writes about Freelancing and Self-Improvement, often together. You can find his take on The Art of Persuasion as well as his latest post on The Essence of Friendship over at The Next Goal, one of the WBB Survivor contest blogs.

Comments

  1. Great Article and I do agree with your points.

    I have been blogging for almost a year, and I seem to be dissuaded with interacting with the blogging community because I really don’t know where to interact with them. Can you give websites, forums etc. that can help new bloggers interact and be familiar with the online blogging community.

    Thank you!

  2. For the success of a blog community is very essential factor. Though loyal, you can learn a lot and promote your a blog a lot.

  3. Neeraj,

    That is a great acronym to organize this wisdom.

    One of the ways to show support, and interact, is through the comments. Most bloggers will respond. In fact, if they don’t I think some commenters will stop following or peeking in from time to time. By commenting, the blogger realizes there are real live people reading. Sometimes we question whether the traffic numbers are real.

    I ran across one of those abandoned blogs you alluded to, three or four posts that petered out. The problem was the posts were good, the person knew what they were talking about (a banker giving useful business advice about bank accounts, interest rates, etc), so it is kind of a shame they didn’t keep on. I wonder if they didn’t get any hits and decided they were wasting their time.

    If anyone wants to go leave them an encouraging word, it was http://simplytreasury.wordpress.com

    Thanks!

    .

    • Thank you David!

      Comments is a very important way to motivate bloggers. The example you have given is true representation of how many excellent blogs fail to garner enough support, and eventually fizzle out. So this is an honest request to everyone – if you read a blog post that interests you or seems useful to you, just leave a comment there. Commenting just to thank them and pointing out the aspect that you liked would be enough. After all, would you want the same?

  4. You have jotted down a nice set of strategies that new bloggers can use.

    A couple of other ways for newbie bloggers to make friends is -
    1> Writing guest posts in popular blogs
    2> Looking for like minded people on discussion forums for blogging tips

    Nice post!

  5. hello
    I like this weblog it’s a master piece! Glad I found this on google. i always was concerned in this topic and still am, thankyou for putting up.thnx for sharing it with us

  6. Neeraj, you know my story, but I agree with you, anyway! LOL
    I love the FRIENDS acronym. I wish more bloggers – heck, more PEOPLE – followed it.

    The key letter is “I” and not because of its pronounced property. ;)

    Interaction is the most important trait to develop because it fosters and reinforces the others. Following with respect reduces the chances of making enemies, encourages newbies to keep going, introduces us to a wide, diverse range of topics shared by many different people and all this equals the framework of interdependent support.

    Basically, what you said in one sentence. LOL

    Cheers,

    Mitch

  7. Hey Neeraj , I don’t think I would make a very solo blogger. I enjoy the company of our blog engage members and in fact if it wasn’t for them I don’t think I would be blogging anymore. I enjoy engaging with them and commenting on blogs like I am now. I’m very social when it comes to being online as you most likely know. You really delivered a great article here I was most engaged with it.

  8. I’ve recently started writing for a community blog, in addition to my own blog, mainly as a way to get a little more sense of social interaction with other people. This can be a bit of a lonely world behind a computer screen unless you make the effort to reach out somewhat.
    ~Bruce

  9. Yes, it is best to make friends, it will be at help for you to succeed. Having enemies will just be a means to fall down.

  10. Neeraj

    Love the acronym. Community is essential to blogging in my mind. Not trying to build community in of blogs is like having a pool but deciding not to fill it with water. It just doesn’t make sense.

    a good blog is about community, exchange of ideas and building a network and relationships. Absolutely need that to succeed. A solo blogger is just likely to remain that: solo. you will sit at your blog for a long time and wonder why no one shows up.

    Anyhow, great article…love the FRIENDS. Well done!

  11. Great ideas, I learned from my experiences as well.

  12. fantastic advice!

    Can’t begin to tell you how many people I have run into who seem to think that blogging success happens “overnight”

    They also seem to feel that just because THEY feel that THEY write well, they should have a swarm of followers. It doesn’t work that way.

    Blogging isn’t meant to be equatable to writing a book, if you are concerned about rave literary reviews then write a book.

    Blogging is SOCIAL MEDIA…the operative word is SOCIAL…interacting and what’s more, being able to speak to your audience in THEIR language, finding content that THEY will find interesting, not just what WE find interesting.

    BRAVO!

    • Cathy, I have a confession. I was one of those people who thought that blogging success can be achieved overnight. I see Blog fan pages with over 1000 members and think, well, that should be easy; after all I have more than 500 friends on Facebook. If I can ask them to invite their friends, we should be done.

      However, reality is strikingly different. For The Next Goal, between us, we have more than 2500 friends. Do you know how many FB fan page likes we have? Less than 100 (Not implying that we are not famous, just that it is another aspect of social media that requires work and collaboration, just like everything else).

      On that note, here is some shameless advertising: Please join us on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/TheNextGoal Plans are underway to release The Next Goal manual, and chances are that our Facebook fans will be the first to know.

  13. I hate to repeat what everyone seems to have said here already, but that really is a cleverly thought out acronym and I simply say that out of respect :) which is the point that I like the most out of all that you’ve raised here, because I do believe that, most of all, arrogance stands in the way of great friendships. I think it’s the one thing that dissuades most bloggers from befriending and interacting the “competition”.

  14. Excellent thoughtful post Neeraj!! yeah well done you. Great acronym and sums up the whole lets be friends first attitude vital to any successful venture. keep up the excellent work and am glad we are on same Team

  15. Great post Neeraj.

    In the beginning I was reluctant and I thought I could do it as a solo blogger. After a while I realized, I needed to build relationship with other link minded bloggers. And I think its especially crucial for anyone who work online to build these kinds of relationship. Working alone and not communicating with anyone else who does the same thing, just makes it much harder to keep going.

    I think one of the best benefits of building friendships, beside the usual seo and brand building benefits is that its a great motivational tool as well. Thanks.

  16. I enjoyed being a solo blogger just fine, till I ended up on a teem with you, Neeraj. What a great post – pretty much the best advice any blogger could follow.

  17. Excellent article, Neeraj!

    I agree with you where failure is the best way to start, after this failures we learned something that we won’t ever repeat again. Bloggers who doesn’t have motivation and dedication won’t succeed. Even in the real world we need our friends to achieve our own goal, I think that’s the same with the internet.

  18. Really a great topic! The article is well written and worth reading! Thanks for sharing this great piece!

  19. solo blogging is just good but when a group works together then production increases for sure. If you want to make money from blogging then a group of blogging team will work the best.
    By the way topic is good. well written. thank you for sharing this.

    • I agree. Solo blogging can get a bit heavy, putting huge demands on one’s time. I would personally like to work on 2-4 different blogs (too many interests), and working in a team will cut down the time I have to spend on each!

  20. Getting traffic is really hard. When you get traffic you get frequent readers but you wont make friends that way :) Great article anyway!

  21. Blogging is a great way of promote anything,I just like the posting,really it is acts in social network also.Thanks for sharing the post.
    Ecommerce Websites

  22. Pretty nice share Neeraj …

    Agree with your points, without proper interaction, respect, support ..etc its impossible to build a strong relationship

  23. Thanks Neeraj… These are all great ideas on winning friends through blogging. This is important to the newbies like me.

  24. Commenting just to show appreciation them and peak out the feature that you approximating would be sufficient.Thank you for the informative post1

  25. Sincere and nice words which can really help bloggers to make better results online. After reading I realize what mistakes i have made and I am making, but I am short of time and I think this is the problem of many bloggers to find the minute and improve the blog maximum you have. Thank you very much!

  26. Thanks for the info.

  27. Nice post Neeraj. Its like building relationship in real life. A REAL friend follows, respects, interacts, supports other people to achieve both goal. :)

  28. I tried connecting with bloggers in my niche, but I didn’t hear anything back from Experience Bloggers, which I’m not sure why, but thanks to guys, and you good information, it’s helping me along.

  29. Neeraj -

    I’m completely new to blogging. Honest, I opened my Facebook account two weeks ago.

    I’ve worked about two months on the blog quietly by myself.

    When a friend-who-knows-what-he’s-talking-about urged me to get start getting the word out, I was very surprised by the responses. A relatively small gesture is usually more than reciprocated. I think I’ve doubled my Twitter followers (not much, from 45 to 90, but that is double). And traffic is building.

    The idea here is to work on how we give, not receive. A good lesson for life.

  30. I think engagement towards your readers and fellow bloggers is what matters most. To be able to gain trust and connection.

  31. Yes, participate in the conversation / connect.

  32. One way to keep your motivation high is to make some friends (bloggers), use them as your inspiration. Its a give and take; you respect them, they will respect you; follow them, they will follow you too. Blogging is more like interaction between people using the internet.

  33. Making real friends can be tricky.

  34. This is interesting point and I can’t say that I have ever read similar guide to this one. Most likely as everything in blogging, making friends takes time and a lot of hard work.

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  36. yeah, arrogant people never get far. its probably an insecurity issue. arrogant bloggers will sooner or later loose visitors for the same reason.

  37. Being a Solo Blogger doesn’t make any sense. I mean blogging is all about interaction and connecting with the users online. Now if you don’t have any followers, how can you connect with your users? Participating in social media sites like Facebook and Twitter would help you build relationship and expose your site online.

  38. Really great posting and informative one. Neeraj, the factors you have shared will help anyone to make friends anywhere.

  39. being social right now is not difficult, many social networking site outthere and waiting for blogger to jion ther site. blogger must socialize with others to share their knowledge and making a new friends. learn new thing everyday and share new thing everyday

  40. I chanced to come across this wbsite only today & this being the 1st post to read,I must say it surely has taught me some new things although Im into blogging for more than 3 yrs.Will surely implement the tips mentioned above in my blogging career..

    Have already subscribed for feeds & will be looking forward for updates!!

  41. ramandeep singh says:

    I think best way to make friends in blogosphere is by providing freebies to community, as I provided free blogger templates which helped me make s many good friends

  42. facebook and the blog commenting are two tools which can help a solo blogger to make many blogger friends..! when I started blogging I was having no friends in this field but these two things helped me in this respect.!

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