Social Networking

Lynn Terry I have been in Internet Marketing for years, and have managed a wide variety of site models: content sites, product sites, forums, membership sites, mini-sites and sales letters, you name it. But I have NEVER found a model that is easier to "promote" than a blog. While you can promote a blog in the same manner as any other website - via SEO, PPC, article submissions, etc - there is one area where blogs stand apart...

Social Networking in the Blogosphere

Promoting anything online boils down to one thing: getting links. You submit articles to either a) get quality inbound links, or b) get your link in front of your (human) target market. You exchange links for the same reasion - for traffic and search engine benefits. You pay for advertising so that you can put your links in front of people who are searching for products/information you offer on your site. It's a tedious process, all this 'link placing business'.

But with a blog, it comes much easier - and for the most part, naturally. You'll find that you get a large number of unsolicited natural links (the type that Google loves best), and that those links will be posted in places that get seen by a large number of potential visitors and readers.

Why is this? The blogosphere is made up of information hubs, grouped by topic and style by both individual readers and authority sites, which creates a natural breeding ground for super-networking between information publishers.

This group, as a whole, links very freely to sources that relate to their own - or, simply put, to 'bloggers that they like'. In the end this creates an entire network of related information for each niche, and even micro-niche, within the blogosphere.

You need to get in on this - Don't set out to be "The Lone Blogger"!

Previous teachings may have left you thinking that "linking out" is a bad thing. That you may leak PageRank. Or worse, lose your visitors by sending them to someone else's link. But when it comes to blogging, you will actually increase your readership dramatically by getting involved... and by linking out freely.
 

Here are 7 ways that you can get involved:

1) First and foremost, if you are currently using Blogger.com - switch immediately to a WordPress blog on your own domain. There are other solutions out there (such as typepad, for example), but you'll find WordPress super easy to use and an endless source of help and information on it across the web. This is important, because if you are using Blogger.com (like I was, before switching) you are missing out on TONS of 'perks' to blogging.

2) Second and equally important, if you have a "splog" (a "spam blog"), it's time to trade that in and start publishing quality content. In order to truly do well with a blog long-term, you need to post useful information on a particular topic on a frequent basis.

3) Having your personal style shine through in your posts is a big plus. Even if you're quirky, because your readers love 'real' and that's why they'll keep coming back. The winning combination in your actual writing is: Quality Content + Personal Style. You might be funny, geeky, outrageous, dry - whatever. But this tends to be a big 'attraction factor' with blogs.

4) Make use of your Blogroll and link out to related blogs, or blogs that you frequent yourself. WordPress has a feature that will automatically alert the bloggers that you link to, and most of them will check out your site - and add you to their blogroll if they like what they see. (You will be surprised at how many quality sitewide links you will gain this way)

5) Include Tags in each of your posts. I use the plugin here: http://www.broobles.com/scripts/simpletags/, which allows me to include tags at the end of each individual post. This is VERY easy to do - not as complicated as it sounds. Simply put the code at the bottom of each of your posts with relevant words that pertain to that post.

Once you publish your post, check out the hyperlinked tags at the bottom. Click on each one and you will see a listing at Technorati of posts on other blogs that are also tagged for that particular word. Check those out, and if they are interesting and related... leave a comment! When you are given the option to put in your URL, link back to your individual blog post on the same topic (not your "home page").

6) Frequent blogs that you like, or that are on similar topics as your own, by subscribing to them through a feed reader. Check 'your favorites' no less than once a week, and post comments on any interesting new posts you find there. You can find active, popular blogs on just about any topic in some of the major blog directories.

7) When you find posts of particular interest (while going through the steps above), mention them in your own blog posts. In WordPress, when you link out to an individual blog post on another blog, it shows up in the comments section of that post as a "trackback". It's automatic, and it's that simple: you link to a post, and an excerpt from YOUR post shows up in their comments.

When their regular visitors and new readers are finished reading the article, they will notice your excerpt and link at the bottom. Many of those readers will click through to see your comments on this post, or to continue their research of the topic. It's a great "traffic sharing" method - highly encouraged in the blogosphere!

As you get more involved, and become 'known' in your particular niche, you will find that others link as freely to you as you are linking out... which improves your overall exposure, your readership, and your search engine rankings.

What kind of results can you expect? Try this out, track the results, and let me know what you experience. You'll start to see results within days. Personally, I've had amazing results in regards to the number of unique visitors and the huge increase to the number of inbound links showing up daily!
  
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This article on Social Networking was written by Lynn Terry. Join Lynn at the Self-Starters Discussion Forum if you have any questions, or would like to brainstorm ideas. Be sure to check out the Blogging category for more great tips and resources!

Discussion

  1. Lynn, another cracking post and one of the clearest I've read on just how good WordPress is for link building.

    Bloggers do seem more sociable, for some reason, and I suppose if you're interested in someone else's writing it's only natural to want to share it.

    Part of the reason people become bloggers is to communicate and that - usually - involves a two-way conversation.

    I'll be putting your article on my business blog later today, with a suitable link.

  2. Thank you, Amin 🙂

  3. Steve Dickinson says:

    Hi Lynn, great blog! I've already got your site on my blogroll and would like to put your social networking post onto my blog, but I don't get what you mean about where the copy and paste code is located within the Image ?

  4. My apologies - I just updated ClickNewz with a brand new theme this month and dont have the image in the sidebar anymore (or yet!). All you have to do is link back to Clicknewz.com to give credit on the article - Thank you!

  5. Hi Lynn, I have a blogger blog published on my own domain and server. What do you mean by missing out on TONS of ‘perks’ to blogging?

  6. Hi Nic,

    I answered your question in a new post which you can find here:
    http://www.clicknewz.com/782/blogger-vs-wordpress/

    Best,
    Lynn Terry

  7. Ken Fleck says:

    I really appreciate this website. I have missed out on so much useful information for far too long. Thanks for sharing so much! I feel like I just took a class on internet marketing!

    Ken

  8. Your blogs were really very helpful and informative. I affirm that through blogs you can really promote your products and services since it functions like a web site in terms of marketing capabilities

  9. I agree with you Lynn ..

    We have been developing a new social networking web site for professionals.. http://conbuzz.com
    It will be for business networking..

    Thanks
    Tracy

  10. Thanks for these good points.

    I especially liked what you said about developing an individual style. I think this is crucial. As you say, people will recognise and value your unique online voice and return repeatedly.

    But it's also good for the blogger's own ego ... Even if I'm not making a squillion dollars from my blogging it gives me a sense of satisfaction that I'm putting stuff out in cyberspace on my own terms and with my own personal stamp. I'm being true to myself, which will benefit me in the long run.

  11. Great point, Matt. I do think a personal style will go a long way in keeping pace as a long-term blogger (vs the frustration of working outside of your comfort zone)... and also helps to attract the ideal audience or readership.

  12. passive residual income - makingyouricher online says:

    Lynn,

    Did you really wrote this one? Your 7 points social networking is great. So much to learn from this article.

    Thanks.

  13. Thank you & yes, I did 🙂

  14. What great timing! LOL I just switched over from blogger to WordPress and am now making some finishing touches in personalizing my new blog. Now I found this post and am even MORE happy to have made the switch!! Some great tips here Lynn.

    Thanks! 🙂

    Teri
    ~

  15. You're most welcome, Teri 😉

    Congrats on the switch-over!

  16. I feel like a lone wolf crying out but I have never had success with social networks. Every now and then I give it another go but the small traffic increase is not worth the time wasted (for me anyway).
    Regards, Don.

  17. Social Networks and Social Networking are two different things... I'm not sure if you're referring to one over the other, or if social networking in general 'hasnt worked for you' for some reason. I'd be interested in hearing more...

  18. Sorry Lynn I did in fact mean social networking, I think I am stuck in the mindset that you spoke of, I can't even get my blogroll off the ground!! I try to reach out but find have always thought it best to not link away from my site. I have only in the last 6 months started blogging, previously I owned an information site. I will certainly be taking up your advice and start reaching out more freely.

    Thanks for your words of wisdom 🙂
    Regards, Don.

  19. Hi Don,

    I think you'll be very impressed with the results. You can start out by participating in blog comment discussions (just like this one!) in your niche, which will result in links back to your own blog with each entry. You dont want to be self-promotional, of course, but its a great way to network and get involved with readers that would also enjoy your writings on the topic.

  20. Jacquelyn says:

    Very Good Post!

  21. Thanks for these good points.

  22. Amie Stilo says:

    Thanks for sharing, you made some great points Social Networking. I feel this is the most important part of Internet marketing, after all where would we be if no networking took place!

  23. Jay Thompson says:

    Hello,

    My name is Jay with Panthera Interactive. Panthera is an online marketing company based in Las Vegas, NV that specializes in performance-based advertising. The reason for my inquiry is I’m interested in talking with someone from your company about a potential Business Development opportunity. At Panthera, we have many clients that are looking to reach the “Social Networking” communities and when I came across your website I thought there would be a good fit. This could be a great opportunity for you to be able to monetize on your website traffic/membership. Please have someone contact me at their earliest convenience so we can discuss.

    Thanks for your time and I look forward to the possibility of working with you. If you are interested in signing up right away and seeing all the available campaigns, below is a link for your convenience.

    http://partners.pantheranetwork.com/signup/CD652

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Jay Thompson
    Manager of Publisher Recruitment
    Panthera Interactive, LLC
    Tel: 702.202.4740
    Fax: 760.295.9765
    Email: jay@pantherainteractive.com
    Web: http://www.pantheranetwork.com

  24. Great tutorial and congratulations, but as you describe it there, a blog requires lots of time investment and that I do not have... I would like to create a blog one day but it is not a day that will come soon.

  25. You'll definitely want to invest yourself in your blog to get it off the ground. It takes time, yes, but the return is WELL worth it 😉

  26. This is a very good post. The guidelines are brilliant. Thanks very much.

  27. Donna Emperador says:

    This is very useful. I currently have a blog through yahoo360 which doesn't get much traffic. I will check out wordpress. Thanks.

  28. You're welcome, Donna. You might also enjoy this post on that same topic:
    http://www.clicknewz.com/782/blogger-vs-wordpress/

  29. Simple and timeless. Great advice for anyone!

  30. Dear Lynn

    I am coming back to this post to give you thanks and to tell you that after reading your this post I found what were the flaws in my blogs.

    I remove those flaws and my blog is really working fine.

    Thanks again.

  31. Thanks Lynn,
    This was exactly the information I was looking for and it helped answer some questions for me. Thanks, SD

  32. Amy Jo Neal says:

    Thanks so much Lynn. I just set up my own hosted blog with WordPress and am just getting it off the ground. Your explanation of linking in and out is extremely helpful...most people roll right over this without explaining and it's been baffling to me up until now. I'll be back! Cheers, Amy

  33. Charlotte Real Estate says:

    Another excellent post, you are rapidly becoming a personal hero... I do about 5 of these, but the last two will send me way up the ladder. thanks again.

  34. Angie blankenship says:

    This is great info. I recently started a website and have gotten stuck. I have read everything about blogging and marketing. I am even paying some companies, so I have gotten into debt. I realize I need to blog, but cant seem to take that first step and start, I am not sure how to exactly begin. I don't understand what SPAMING is, and I don't want to start out wrong.
    Any suggestions.

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