This blogosphere we inhabit is vast. It’s made up of thousands upon thousands of active blogs, all with a different story and message to share, and I’m just talking about writer blogs. If you’re like me, you spent the first six months just trying to figure out how everything worked and learning that IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME doesn’t apply here. Once you learned that, then you went about the task of developing your own niche.
As big as the blogosphere is, it’s impossible to maintain meaningful connections with everyone (unless you’re Alex). So what ends up happening is that we gravitate to blogs that we learn the most from, that we really “get”, that are on a similar path, that resonate for us, that brighten our day, or otherwise fits into some definition that draws us back time and time again. What ends up happening is that we form these pseudo-cliques, kind of like in high school – except without the finger pointing, back-biting, gossiping, and exclusionism. Unlike high school cliques, here they’re formed out of necessity, not choice. Another differentiator is that we are constantly looking for ways to expand our reach in the blogosphere, diversify our exposure, and spread our influence. To do this we sometimes hitch a ride on a bee.
The bee I’m referring to are the different mechanisms we use to get to know other bloggers. Blogfests, Blog Hops, Blog Awards, A to Z Challenge, Book Tours, Guest Posts, are just a few. Writer conferences take it to a whole other level. They each have a unique function and objective, but the underlying purpose of them all is to bring bloggers closer together and help us find one another. The benefits you’ll see are directly proportional to the number of events and amount of effort put into each. Even still, that’s only half the battle.
Once you’ve made new connections via a “bee”, you still need to cultivate those relationships. Landing a new follower should never be considered simply a notch on the belt. Visit and comment on their blogs regularly, then find out who they frequent and follow them there. They should be doing the same with you. As often as you can tout their achievements, discuss their books, or mention their feats. Help make it so that the ripples of success rattle the entire blogosphere.
Yes, I realize all of this requires energy and devotion in order for it to blossom the way it should, but that’s what creating a brand – an on-line presence – is all about. However, what if you’re comfortable with this cozy little spot you’ve carved out for yourself, with just a handful of active followers? Is that so bad? Absolutely not! Every blogger needs to determine for themselves just how involved their willing to get, or what works with their already congested schedules. All I’m trying to do is point out this nifty little reproduction system I discovered that can help enhance your on-line presence, should you desire to do so.
A little bee told me. :)