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The Social Blogger: Using Networks and Forums to Learn, Grow and Share

social-networking-tips-bloggers

Continuing with our series of posts on blogging for beginners, this one talks about an important yet time-consuming aspect of blogging – networking.

One of the most common reasons most bloggers start blogging is because they want to share, learn, interact with others like them. Networking is, therefore, an essential part of blogging.

However, when you start blogging, sometimes (actually most of the time), the readers don’t come that easily, the comments are missing and well, you feel a little lonely in your part of the blogosphere.

So, you decide to get out there and network. I’m sharing some of my favorite forums as well as some others and hope that you’ll find one that’s a perfect fit for you and your blog and learn to network without getting overwhelmed by it all.

Let’s get ready to mingle then, shall we?

Let’s start with the big 3:

Social Media and Blogging

Twitter

My favorite network for connecting with moms, bloggers, writers, experts and social media professionals. Twitter is a great way of kickstarting your network into action. Create a profile, add a photo of you or your site’s logo and you’re ready to start tweetin’.

Facebook

Again, a very popular social network, especially now with all the Pages and cool apps that you can add. Yours truly is on FB but only for family and friends. I don’t have a FB page {gasp!} and I don’t intend to at least for some time. I’ll explain why later.

Having said that, it is a great way to start discussions, engage with like-minded bloggers and connect with your readers.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn  for bloggers? Really? Yes. LinkedIn is a fantastic network for bloggers with all the relevant groups and interesting discussions going on. You can learn about the various aspects of blogging for by joining in groups like Mommy Bloggers, The Blog Zone, Tweeple,

Plus, you can ask questions or answer them in LinkedIn answers and more often than not, you’ll receive helpful, practical advice.

If you do decide to drop in at LinkedIn, stop by and say “hi” to moi! I’ll be honored to be a part of your network.

Time Management Tip: Use a desktop application like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to use multiple accounts, manage all three networks, track conversations or chats and trending topics quickly and easily.

Now, that we’re done with the Big 3, let’s move on to more networking options for bloggers:

Google+

The new kid on the block, Google+ has great potential and offers you a lot to choose from. I’m still playing around with it, but here is a good post on The Mogul Mom that’ll help you decide whether Google+ should be your network of choice.

Pinterest

How about networking through visual boards? Again, a new but fast growing way of networking, Pinterest is very different from tweeting and facebooking. Find out more about pinning in this post by Megan of Sorta Crunchy.

Forums for Bloggers

As I’d mentioned in my earlier post, I am a member of a few forums – Social Moms and Mom Bloggers Club are the free ones and also, the ones that I enjoy the most.

Social Moms has recently undergone a huge makeover and now, the network is part of a larger magazine-style site. In other words, things just got a whole lot better at this popular hangout for moms.

Mom Bloggers Club is similar to Social Moms and both the sites offer you the opportunity to connect with other moms and bloggers.

At both the forums, you can join groups, start discussions, write blog posts and basically, have fun connecting and sharing.

If you’re looking to seriously grow your blog and take it to the next level, there are several paid( yet affordable) options to choose from. I

I was a part of the A-List Blogger Club managed by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits and Mary Jaksch of Goodlife Zen . It offers a great community and lots of fundamental blogging tips and advice for the new blogger. From offering you tutorials to doing one-on-one blog reviews, you’ll find it all here.

Currently, I am a member of the Wealthy Web Writer Platinum by AWAI and while it isn’t about blogging, it is a great place to grow as a web writer and aren’t we just that?

Other communities that I know of but am not a member of {yet} are:

Blogelina Community  - Free

Blog Mastermind  - Paid

SEO Book  – Paid

Optimizing Your Presence and Managing Your Time on Social Networks

It can get SO easy to get sucked into all the networking and socializing that the hours just whizz by. However, one can manage one’s time and presence on various social networks with a bit of savvy time management and some posting rules:

1. Never ever flood the inboxes of followers or new friends with requests to “like” you, vote for you or visit your blog. You’re there to socialize not spam.

2. Find the network that fits your personality and your blog’s and then, work on that. You don’t have to sign up on 10 different forums. Just a few are good enough. That is the reason I still don’t have a FB page. You see.

3. Make sure you respond to relevant comments, mentions and posts.

4. Set yourself a time limit for networking every day. Mine is 20 minutes. I divvy that up between 2 networks every day. So, on Monday I may spend 10 minutes on Twitter and 10 on LinkedIn while on Tuesday, I hang out at Social Moms and Mom Bloggers Club for 10 minutes each.

5. Make sure that it is easy for people to find you and follow you. Your email signature and blog sidebar must have links to your social networks. Another reason for you not to have too many of them.

How do you network? What blogger networks are your favourites?

Prerna


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Comments

  1. What a great article! You’ve mentioned some really helpful tips for marketing your blog through social media – my favorite is the one to set a certain amount of time each day to work on it. This is SO important as it’s easy for Social Media tasks to take over your schedule – I, at least, get sucked in and before I know it, I’ve wasted a couple of hours just browsing!

    Thanks for the shout out for Blogelina, too – when you do join the community, be sure to let me know what you think!

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hi Tanya, thank you SO much for stopping by. I’m glad you found the tips helpful. I think Blogelina rocks and while I am a subscriber to your posts, joining the community has been on the backburner for a while now. :-) Will keep you posted when I do join.

  2. What a great resource for writers and bloggers. Thanks for sharing. Love the forums, I always need more ways to connect and learn with other mom bloggers!
    Happy Blogging!

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hi Pam, glad you liked the resources. If you come across a great forum for moms who blog or just bloggers, do let me know. I’d love to add to the list. Thanks!

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