Solo Blogger: How To Make Friends

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.

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