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Setting Goals to Improve Your Blog Part Seven: Networking and Relationship Building

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Creating and Managing Outposts

An outpost is your “home away from home” on the web; its your presence on a website, blog or social network that draws people to your blog. Examples of outposts can be your twitter page (mine is twitter.com/mikewayne), your myspace page, or your facebook page. If you want to drive traffic, having an outpost is a must. It’s one of the easiest ways to direct targeted traffic yo your blog. You just need to ensure you are not losing productivity because of them and that using them to build genuine relationships.

Loss of productivity are one of the most common dangers of using social networks. You should be them as a tool to facilitate relationships rather than a method of entertainment. Don’t sacrifice your real goal (promoting your blog) by abusing your promotion tool! You should be using the social networks to meet and build relationships with your target audience and other bloggers in your niche. You should create a list of the networks that you intend on joining and set traffic refferal goals for each one. This way you can track how successful your netwoking is actually going. Why waste hours sending tweets or creating myspace blog posts if no one is being reffered back to your blog?

Using Social Networks Effectively

One of the smartest things that you can do with social networking is that you can extend your branding. All of your social network outposts should have your blogs logo, color scheme, and a link back to it. It’s amazing to see how many people use social networking for traffic and refferal traffic and use generic backgrounds and themes. Your background is fre advertising real estate – use it effectively!

Another big mistake I often see bloggers do is that they overpromote their own blog without offering links to other good content. You should be routinely be sending links and refferals to useful information relevant to your niche. It will increase your credibility and good will among your audience/peers. Then when you post the occaisonal link to your own articles, people will be more likely to click!

Commenting and Forums

Another great way to help you build relationships with through commenting on other people’s blogs. Not fluffy, two sentence comments either, i mean meaningful insightful replies to blog posts. Let the author know what you like, disliked and offer your take on he post. if it was a tip, try it out and let the author know if it worked or bombed for you. BLOGGERS LOVE COMMENTS. It’s one of the fastest ways to get the Bloggers attention and it open’s the dorr for you to build a friendship and perhaps write a guest post or two!

Joining and actively participating in forums is another way to build gain credibility, meet new people and direct traffic to your blog. I discussed this in an eariler post, The ASS Effect. By joining forums and actively helping and answering questions helps to imcrease your name recogniton and the good will of the forum cimmunity. Getting your name out there in a favorable light will only HELP you, and your blog. The more places that you are known, and the more valuable informationthat you can provide, the more credible you and your blog will be seen.

Email Correspondence

I’m acutally surprised that more bloggers do not use emai as a networking tool. Simply sending an email to the owner of a blog you admire can go a long way toward building a relationship or setting up a guest post oppurtunity. You could send a simple email to the blogger, explaining who you are and why you like their blog. Cultvate a relationship and keep sending emails. If the blog is lacking in a certain area that you are good in, you could even volunteer your services. Eventually you want to build a mutaully beneficial relationship so you can trade guest posts, trackbacks, pings and links on each others blogrolls. Hey, i’ll put my money where my mouth is – feel free to email me at mike at mikewayne dot com!

Building and Maintaining Relationships

One of the key takeaways here is that the key to success is relationship building. Relationships take time, effort and and honest interest in helping the other person. Through helping others, we usually always help ourselves. Everybody knows the shallow guy who only wants to talk about themselves. You also know how fast you try to avoid them! You need to get out there, socialize and offer yourself up as a resources FIRST before asking for anything in return. You also need to be continually analzying the actual results that you are getting from your socializing and to avoid the social networks and people that aren’t doing anything for you.

Well, that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed this Seven Part Series on using Setting Goals to Improve Your Blog. Leave a comment, a tweet or an email to let me know what you think!

About the Author Mike Wayne

Mike Wayne (me!) is a Serial Entrepreneur residing in New York City. I created this blog to provide tools, advice and tips to help Entrepreneurs understand the world of Online Business. I’m also the Founder & Lead Developer at MediaCraft Marketing, a New York Based Internet Marketing Firm that reeks of Awesomeness =)

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