Network Or Die – An Irreverent Online Survival Tip For Aspiring Bloggers

7 May

Here's a question;

"What keyword can you still possibly put forth that will assure you of a page one result in Google?"

Chances are there are not many. And if you do come up with one, it's going to be something that only a few folks would even think about searching. Think somewhere along the lines of 'mating habits of hermaphrodite iguanas'. That should be a trip.

Kidding aside, search engine optimization with its vaunted keyword analysis and optimal positioning can only do so much. Nowadays if you're blogging about a mainstream idea, there is not enough wiggle room there to sort of inch your way through your target audience's consciousness. But it would be stupid of me to disparage SEO techniques and the wonders it could do to promoting your blog. It's a proven method that works and that's why everyone's messing around with it.

Another proven method, one that is as old as the world itself and is available to any blogger, is networking. This should be an easy enough skill to master as we were born with it. The moment we were brought out into this world and we screamed our first cry, we were already networking. We were creating a lot of buzz and the people around us noticed. And if we were not shouting when we came out, the attending doctor would make us do it anyway with a loving slap on our bottoms as saying, "Welcome to the real world kid, network or die." When doctors do this to quiet just-born babies, it's not just a suggestion; they actually want them to scream their tonsils out.

Networking is reaching out to another in the hope that one's effort is reciprocated. In the blogosphere, this is the most direct approach to driving traffic to your own blog. It's also the most accessible. Fortunately, the internet is one big networking community. Everyone is just dying to reach out to one another for this and that purpose. All you have to do is extend your hand and see who bites it first.

A new blogger can start off with commenting on other people's blogs, leaving his blog address and wait for these bloggers to hop back to his site. This is the most basic of all networking approaches and the most effective, but also the most time consuming. But because of the effort spent in leaving a comment, the visited blogger is almost obliged to visit the commenting blogger's site as well. Almost, because some bloggers are so big that it's normal for them to receive gazillions of comments on anything that they post and it's just not possible to pay all of these commenters blogs a visit.

So, if your aim is to get a hop-back, carefully choose the blogs that you are going to comment to. Small to mid-sized blogs (in terms of ideas and comments received) are your best bet for this purpose. This is not to say that leaving a comment on those big blogs serves no purpose. If you leave an interesting enough comment, other people who visit that blog may take an interest in you and visit your site as well. Which drives home the point, if you're gonna make a comment, make that comment count.

The next best networking approach is joining social networks. One social network that I would highly recommend is blogcatalog.com. The rest you can discover for yourself as you go along. I've been a blogcatalog member for more than a week now and it has really boosted my traffic. I now receive referrals from that community of around, err 3 visits a day? But hey, no traffic is bad traffic. I'll take whatever I can get.

When joining these communities however, try and make your presence felt. Do not just be a wallflower on those sites, mingle! Participate! Start a discussion! But for pete's sake do not spam! Nothing gets you kicked out of a community faster than spamming. Another note here, subtlety. You can be bold, but not to the point that you appear desperate. That's just pathetic. Observe and know the community culture first before you plunge into the discussions.

There are still a lot of other networking options out there for those who are willing to spend the time. But for starters, focus on these two approaches. Network, and get those very important contacts. Of course all of these presupposes that you already have good content in your blog. Without good content then-well not really, I know a lot of sites which content suck but they're getting all those hits anyway, which goes to show that even if you're not one hell of a blogger but you can network the pants off Winnie the Pooh, then you can still keep them coming.

But If you are not up to this, if you feel that networking cheapens you, then you should start thinking whether you should be blogging at all.



Source by Javier D

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