Now that you know what to do to successfully start a mom blog, promote it and bring in some income, the next thing you need to do is network properly. There are 4 key elements in successfully networking your blog and each has its own strategies that make it successful.
Partner With Other Bloggers
While this sounds like a no-brainer, it is probably one of the most important aspects of networking. Partnering with other bloggers means finding the people in the same niche or in a complementary one.
How it works in real life
For example, a fitness blogger would do well partnering with a foodie blogger who focused on good nutrition. As you build a core group of people you regularly visit and befriend, you will build a relationship with these potential benefits – all of which I can personally attest to:
They will think of you when they need a guest post.
They may recommend you for writing gigs catering to your niche.
They may invite you into campaigns or pass them off to you.
They may be available for guest posts, expert advice or interviews for your blog or projects, and then promote them for you.
More than that, though, you will build a relationship that can expand your audience and, more importantly, provide you with the opportunity to help others. The more you pour into others, the more you will be valued and remembered as a helpful resource. That’s one of the key elements of being a great blogger – that you are a valuable asset for others, whether that be your expertise, your point of view, your ability to make people laugh, or your brilliant photography.
In fact, if you find a group of bloggers who are struggling to find community, this is an excellent opportunity to step in and create and manage a group for them. Or, volunteer to administrate a group in your niche if that opportunity comes around. This is a great way to build your reputation as a helpful blogger.
Finally, remember that good blogger relationships can build into friendships, and those can build into valuable partnerships, creating a group of like-minded influencers who look out for each other.
“I feel the reason my brand is growing and I am getting more paid opportunities is by networking. Joining private Facebook groups that support one another and joining like-minded organizations that will help you grow but it’s a 2 way street…you need to give back too.”
2. Partner With Celebrities and Big Names in Your Niche
What do you have to share with the thought leaders in your niche that can make you a respected authority?
These people do not have to be bloggers but they do have to have a strong social media presence. And when I say “strong,” I don’t mean 1 million followers.
Who to target?
Someone who has 5 – 10 times your followers can still hear you above the din, especially if you are a strong advocate for them. When choosing these people, again, don’t put yourself in mind first.
You want to find mid-level thought leaders in your niche that you agree with most (but not all) of the time, who provide information that is valuable and even surprising for your audience. A little disagreement from time to time keeps things interesting and makes you unique.
You should naturally support these causes with blog posts and social shares. Many advocacy campaigns that I worked on free of charge in the past have now provided income. At the time, I just thought that this was an important issue my readers should know about but it established my reputation in that niche. Never pass up an opportunity to help a thought leader in an area you are passionate about.
In addition, this kind of sharing is great for your social media. With recent changes to Facebook pages and the elimination of spam accounts, most of my colleagues have taken a hit in fan page followers. However, by sharing critical information relevant to my niche from leading bloggers in my field, my followers, engagement and visibility has actually grown for me in the last few months.
“I’ve been blogging for several years and I find being around like minded people is crucial in improving my traffic. I highly recommend networking with other bloggers who write about similar topics by joining groups and communities in Facebook, LinkedIn or Google Plus. Sharing ideas, your posts, and supporting each other is very important if you want to improve blogging. Another great way to network is to join a blog network, like Green Sisterhood that I co-founded. I created the network so we can empower each other, learn from others, and support [each other] when needed. It’s a blogging family [where] everyone benefits. Find a blog network that fits your blog style and theme. And you will benefit based on what you put [into] it.”
3. Build a Solid Relationship with Brands
When we think of brands, we often think of getting something: a product, a sponsorship, and a blogging job. Those are great things but you don’t need any of them to start building a relationship with brands.
Starting Tweeting, Instagramming and tagging your best and your favorite brands. For example, if you’re a foodie blogger, post a photo of your favorite brand and how you use it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, etc. Write an attractive comment, pull in the right hashtags and awesome photos – and be consistent!
Don’t just give one shout out. Instead, pick a handful of brands that you already love and sing their praises. Finally, brands will notice, but you probably won’t be visible to very large brands. Disney may not even see you compliment them on Twitter, but the small mom and pop shop or brand that you adore?
They will be more attentive and may consider working with you.
That’s why it’s a good idea to check your favorite products’ about pages to soak in their background and what’s new with them. I was absolutely thrilled when Nutiva, one of my very favorite brands, gave me a shout out on Twitter last week. Check out these best practices for brands and bloggers to work together.
I’ve talked about this before: how a conference can help you build relationships, make contacts and more. You should look for those that finely target your niche, such as the Travel Writers & Photography Conference or ShiftCon for the natural health space. However, you should also attend conferences on the art and craft of blogging and social media.
Local, smaller, intensive workshop conferences are also a better bang for your buck. Ranging from $100 to $250, these save you the cost of an overnight stay, are more intimate for building relationships with other bloggers, and provide intensive, focused training on a particular topic. Blogging Concentrated, for example, has lots of intensive one-day workshops all over the world for a reasonable price.
Type-A also hosts a one-day workshop and lots of smaller venues are cropping up all over the blogosphere. Don’t miss these great opportunities if you can’t afford a 3-day trip to the bigger blogger conferences.
Gina Badalaty is the owner of Embracing Imperfect, a blog devoted to encouraging and assisting moms of children with special needs and restricted diets. Gina has been blogging about parenting, raising children with disabilities, and allergy-free living for over 12 years. She’s blogs at Mamavation.com, and has blogged for major brands like Silk and Glutino. She also works as a copywriter and brand ambassador. She loves engaging on social media, travel and cooking gluten-free.