Want Friends? Be One by Devon Ellington

Please welcome prolific author Devon Ellington to my blog . Today, Devon is blogging about blog etiquette. A subject close to my heart.

Want Friends?  Be One

By Devon Ellington

 

We all worry about how many people visit our blogs, see our press releases and so forth and so on.  Comments alone aren’t the only indicator — I worry if I don’t see comments on a given day, but when I check the stats, I see a lot of traffic anyway.  That’s fine.  No one HAS to comment.  I just like to know people were interested enough to stop by!

But how many of us actively go out there and try to be supportive of other bloggers on a REGULAR basis?  How many of us keep up with our blogrolls, and how many of us find other bloggers on other blogrolls who interest us, and then work at building relationships?

 

Friendship, be it in person or online, takes work.  Like writing, the lack of time excuse doesn’t cut it.  If it matters to you, you do it.  We live in a society and work in a business that forces us to be more extroverted than most of us would like to be.  But it’s part of the gig.

 

Seeking out other blogs, finding blogs you like, and visiting them regularly needs to be part  of your workday.  Part of your WRITING day, as part of the marketing element in your day.

 

Not only is a great way to expand your network and interact with people you might never get to meet under any other circumstances, it’s a great way to learn AND take a quick break in your day.  It’s easy to get distracted and spend hours reading new-to-you blogs.  It’s also fun to hop on to one, read a few posts, comment, and then go back to your day.

 

How do you find these new-to-you bloggers?  First of all, make sure your blog is in your signature line in any loops and other correspondence where it’s appropriate.  Obviously, if you’re writing erotica under a pseudonym, having the erotica blog in the signature line of your corporate correspondence might not be the best choice.  Or you might get some interested and interesting looks at the next conference.  Use your common sense.

Visit blog links posted by your fellow loop correspondents.  If you have something to say, leave a comment.  If you disagree with something, phrase it respectfully.  There’s always room for civil discourse; stay away from uncivil and judgmental rants!  And make sure you can back up what you say with actual sources, not fake news sites or sites where nothing is vetted or fact-checked. If something upsets you so much you can’t be civil, just click away.  The beauty of the internet is that you don’t have to engage with people who drive you crazy.

 

Don’t just leave a link back to your own site without a comment that’s relevant to the actual post.  Plenty of people “comment”, but they haven’t actually read the post and don’t have anything to say.  They just say “great site” or something inane and put their own link.  That’s a quick way to get deleted as spam!  And don’t tell someone that x, y, and z are “wrong” with their blog and they should pay you to fix it!  That’s not the way to hook a new client.  Especially when you mis-spell your post!

 

Look at the comments on blogs you frequent.  Does someone regularly leave comments you feel are thoughtful and well-spoken?  Follow that individual’s link back and read the blog.  If the blog is as interesting as the comment, drop a comment back — perhaps this is a place you’d like to return.

 

Who is hitting “like” on your blog?  If someone “likes” your blog, track back and visit theirs — you may have something in common.  And if you enjoy someone’s blog, keep visiting.  Keep commenting.  BUILD that relationship.

All of this is less time-consuming than it sounds, and the payoff is huge.  The payoff isn’t just in terms of how many comments you get or how many “likes” you get or how many new sales you generate – it’s about interacting with people who actually enrich your life.  And you enrich theirs.  The best blogs are a platform for conversation, not monologues, and they are a great way to meet people you might not have gotten the chance to know through any other venue.

 

 

–Devon Ellington is a full-time writer, publishing under a half a dozen names in fiction and non-fiction.  Her plays are produced in New York, London, Edinburgh, and Australia.  Solstice Publishing handles the Jain Lazarus Adventures, and Champagne Books released the paranormal romantic suspense, ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT.  She’s also in the DEATH SPARKLES anthology.  She handles business writing services for an international client base, and teaches writing workshops online and in-person all over the world.  Her holiday-themed shorts are available on www.devonellingtonwork.com/ninabell.html and www.devonellingtonwork.com/avadunne.html.  Visit her blog, Ink in My Coffee, at http://devonellingtonwork.com and her website, www.devonellingtonwork.com

 

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  152. I apologize. In my haste to clean up spam on the site, I deleted a couple of Devon’s replies. I couldn’t pull them back. Once again, I’m sorry.

  153. Great blog. Such a simple idea, but so difficult to follow. Time managment in the business is the hardest thing for me to manage. Priorities. I have to remember that.

    I’m glad to know that just stopping in a blog is such a good thing since I also don’t have a commnet but enjoy the topic. I read every post on your Ink In My Coffee blog.

  154. Jenny says:

    I don’t always post comments. sometimes I don’t really have anything to say, but I do at least try to hit a like button to let the person know I was there and that I read.

  155. Marian,

    I know. On days when I procrastinate, I can wander the internet for hours! 😉

  156. First of all, Marian, thanks for hosting me. I appreciate it.

    Gerri, it’s a hard balance. The key is to find a way to build it into your workday so it enhances the rest of your writing day, instead of interfering with it.

    Helena, I LOVE Twitter. I’ve gotten some of my best gigs via Twitter, and met some awesome people. I’m having a lot of trouble mastering Facebook, but Twitter works really well. It’s nice to take a 10 minute break or so in a stressful work day and engage in conversation with people all over the world.

    Shelley, yeah, Twitter links are good. Sometimes the hobby search can seem a little overwhelming, although I’ve found some great travel blogs that way.

    Thanks, all of you, for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    Off to your sites now! 😉

  157. I love this article. Thanks for being my guest today, Devon. Each morning before I start writing I a lot one hour to social media (that includes returning emails, blog posting, twitter and Facebook) then at lunchtime I a lot another hour. After dinner I spend another hour or hour in a half on it. If I didn’t schedule the time, I’d be on it all day.

  158. Social media, and staying up with it, is like a full-time job. I have had to cut back recently, but I’m getting back into it. Great article. Thanks for sharing.

  159. Hi Devon, I enjoyed reading your excellent post. I’m fairly new to blogging and social networking. I love my writing, but as you say, writing is not just a solitary exercise, it’s part of “a business that forces us to be more extroverted than most of us would like to be.” I can really relate to that! Sometimes it’s also hard to find the time to reach out to others, but I have found since I started blogging that I’ve met people I would never otherwise have met, and read great blogs I would never otherwise have come across. Blogging and Twitter have opened up new worlds for me and I’m so glad I’ve engaged with them. Thanks again for your post.
    http://www.helenafairfax.com

  160. This is excellent advice. Following links from Twitter or doing searches for our favorite hobbies or whatever interests you is a great way to find interesting blogs too.