From time to time I get emails or tweets asking for tips on blogging. This is one I always include, so I thought I’d put it down in an official post finally.
Blogging, whether you like it or not, is driven by community. Sure, you can throw a crazy/sensational/weird blog up, it can go viral, and you can attract hundreds of thousands of page views in a week, but you’re not going to sustain your popularity that way. It takes a *reciprocal* village.
When I first started this blogging thing I truly was just doing it for myself. If people read, cool, if not, cool. Whatever. I had no desire to get caught up reading other blogs and making friends through blogs. Obviously, that changed. I think I can
blame thank Twitter.
Through Twitter, I found my “graduating class”of bloggers who were all very similar to me in a lot of ways. We shared a lot of the same audience, we were at the same stage of blogging, seemed to have the same questions, and we were all figuring things out (still are!) together as we went along.
I think a lot of us, instinctually, would view these other very similar bloggers as competition. And in a way, as much as any other page that takes up space online and a potential reader’s time, I guess they are. But, here’s why you should become at least friendly (if not friends who run and tackle each other every year in August when you are reunited) with them, and why their success is important to you:
Let’s think of this in terms of real estate. Say you’re a house, and there’s a house down the street that’s very similar to your 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1 level plan. They are your “competition.” Do you want that competition to be undervalued? Or would you rather that competition be recognized for the amazing floor plan that it is and sell for $20k more than the asking price? If you know anything about home values, you’re going to want that house to sell for more so that, hopefully, your value goes up, too.
By connecting with similar blogs (and “similar” can be interpreted many different ways), and building meaningful and reciprocal relationships, you can all work together to increase your collective value. Don’t be jealous when that one blogger lands a sweet freelancing gig (okay, you can be a little jealous). Congratulate her! Tweet it out! Support her at her new website. Not only because it’s a nice, friendly thing to do, but also because she just brought your collective value up a notch… and I bet she’s going to get some kickass connections out of it that she’ll be happy to share with her supportive friends.