Networking has somewhat of a stigma attached—especially for people who aren’t total extroverts—but it can be a vital way to increase blog traffic and get yourself out there. And luckily, networking these days doesn’t come with the formal and forced name-tag wearing events that we sometimes picture when hearing the word ;) Here are ways to use networking to grow traffic + action items:
Use your comment section
In its simplest form, networking is a way to connect with others and develop relationships. Connecting to your readers through the comments section of your blog allows you to build rapport you may not have otherwise. You never know how that commenter will come into play in your future, or vice versa. Plus, people are more likely to visit the blog again when they’re part of a conversation! We try our best to do this whenever we can!
Action: If you’re getting comments, respond to at least one per post—or all if you can!
Find followers outside of your inner circle
The blogging world is small and just like other industries, people have their cliques. And because of that, people tend to follow certain groups of bloggers since they’re constantly being linked between each other’s accounts. That’s why meeting people outside your circle is invaluable. It sets up exposure that you might not have without. Sparking up a conversation with someone new at an event simply cannot hurt. You may eventually hang out with that person again and show up on their Instagram account, which will likely lead to more follows and blog traffic! Boom, instant traffic all from having a conversation with someone outside of your bubble! And I promise, MOST bloggers don’t bite ;)
Action: Spark conversation with someone outside of your group.
Use social media to your advantage (in an authentic way)
To go more into the social aspect of the last tip, social media is a huge help in introducing yourself to other people’s followers and vice versa. Say you end up grabbing coffee with your new blogger friend from tip 3, and you both open Snapchat to show your followers what you’re up to. Use social media to both of your advantages and add each other’s blog name to the snap. Now both of your followers know where to find the other, and it’s not forced. Instead of only showing your lattes off, you can do that AND support each other. You shouldn't look at other bloggers as your competition in the sense that promoting them will take traffic away from you. Not the case- social media is not a finite business or zero-sum game, meaning if followers are following you, they don't need to unfollow you and not read your blog to read someone else's- readers can read multiple blogs and follow multiple bloggers!
Action: Make it a point to introduce other bloggers in your social posts, and ask that they return the favor.
Have an elevator pitch
Most of you have probably heard the saying “elevator pitch” while applying to a job, but it’s basically a quick summary of you and why you’d be great for a role/brand/partnership. Having a 20-second go-to when meeting brands, readers, and other bloggers is helpful because you’re getting to the point and not wasting anyone’s time. Use your (unique) elevator pitch when networking or any time a potential brand, client, etc. asks what your blog is all about. That can lead to successful partnerships which leads to more traffic to your site. Yay!!
Action: Develop your pitch and practice, practice, practice!
Attend as many events as possible
Networking can be done without showing face, but it’s a lot harder. Going to events as often as possible gets your name out there and gives you the chance to practice a lot of tips from above. It also leads to the potential of being featured by someone at the event, or even the company throwing the event. Even geo-tagging the location you’re at or using the event hashtag will put you on the social media radar of potential blog readers.
Action: Attend an industry event in the next couple weeks.
Present your blog URL
When introducing yourself to someone in person or even through email, it’s imperative to make your site’s URL known, not just your Instagram handle. Using old school business cards or having a link directly to your site (not just social handles) on all emails accomplishes this. And make sure your blog is directly linked and mentioned often on your accounts, especially when your blog isn’t “your name.com” like in my case.
Action: Make sure there's a direct link to your blog from all social accounts and emails.
Be kind and generous
Being nice goes far in life generally, right? Especially when it comes to networking and gaining traffic. Along those lines, offer to help and be generous with your platform where you can. Same idea; helping others along the way will only increase the value of you as a brand since you’ll get a reputation of being helpful and easy to work with. Those are the people whose blogs I also love the most! I've also met a few bloggers at events who acted like they were too-cool-for-school and I just take that as they're insecure and not someone I want to associate myself with, so don't be that person! :) Being confident in yourself and your brand means you can show kindness to other bloggers without feeling threatened.
Action: The next time someone looks lonely or uncomfortable at an event, introduce yourself.
Hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any questions or additional tips, and thanks as always for reading! Now go network :)