How to build amazing friendships, through networking

I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing great happens online without friends and supporters. Especially when it comes to blogging success.  Is content king?  If it is and no one finds your blog to read your content, it’s kind of like that tree in the forest no one heard—did it really fall?

I’ve wasted many hours writing due to my poor online networking. Because I didn’t take the time to build relationships, growth never occurred, and was that disheartening.  I thought my biggest goal in social media was to build fans and followers, and though that is important, I find myself changing my goal.  Today, my focus is on building true and lasting friendships with amazing people.

How? you may ask. Well, the answer is networking!  Along with great content, nothing will give your blog more growth than learning to network. So, here are my “essential stages” to networking:

1. Comments, Retweeting and Like!
Listening to the voices out there and reading articles about the power of commenting and adding your “Great Post!”  or “Like” is a beginning.  [You’ve taken that baby step into true networking.]

2. Adding Depth to Your Comments.
You may have noticed that some people leave incredibly thoughtful comments on various blogs you read. After reading RTs that are so appealing that you’ve just got to keep reading, you find yourself adding creativity to your retweets. [You’ve just gotten your training wheels off your bike.]

3. Mentions.
Now that you’ve mastered the art of thoughtful commenting and retweeting, you’re ready for your next assessment. You start to notice a pattern–bloggers are mentioning others…in fact, these smart bloggers talk more about others then themselves!  So give it a try. You’ll notice that you feel great helping others and your relationships with those persons grow stronger and stronger…it’s a win-win! [You’ve now gotten your driver’s license to networking.]

4. Promoting Others
Now that you’ve established the habit of mentioning the good deeds of others within your blog posts you observe that your network has grown tremendously. This is when you decide to write full-blown articles, expecting nothing in return, about people or products you feel are changing the world. And, as you do this, your relationships and network reach a new level of strength and synergy.  [You’ve just graduated from the college of networking!]

5.  You’ve Arrived!
The world is now at your doorstep and you’re running a hugely popuar blog with an army of supporters and fans at your side.  Your passion, excitement and energy can be felt in every word you write.  But, now you’re looking for a way to give back.  One way is to help that newbie get started.  I recently read a tweet asking if there was a good book on social media. A really good book is Mark Schaefer’s “The Tao of Twitter.”  It is available at http://www.thetaooftwitter.com/ 

Can you identify with any of the essential stages I listed? What are you doing to move to the next stage in networking?  Are there any other actions we could add to make the list even better? 

Oh, and remember to follow me on twitter and LinkedIn.

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