Blogging as a Connector Tool

Street at Night

There’s nothing like walking down the street at six o’clock in the morning.  Nobody’s out, except the bread maker at Pastabilities and the guys downstairs at K-ROCK.  I was just walking back from getting my free drink from Starbucks (rewards card, gets you every time), when I admired the crystal clear rain on top of the sidewalk, under the black sky of a December morning.  It was truly beautiful.

The Discovery

DiscoveryI've liked blogging ever since I started years ago in college.  I wrote for my friends’ online newsletter which also was a website.  I loved hearing about all the people that read my stuff.  You didn’t just pass around your story in the hallways; I got to entertain a global audience.

And I liked it when I started blogging at Cowley.  Little did I know the real power of the tool.

I got the first hint when Gail and Tracey invited me to go to the first Social Media Breakfast in Syracuse.  The rest – how Poe the Gnome has subsequently become a legend there and has attended every one – is history.  But I jumped the gun.  I blogged about every one of those events, and after every blog post there was a myriad of Facebook likes, Twitter follows and retweets, back links, etc.

Blogging had become a huge connector tool for us.

More on Connecting with Blogs

Winning Friends

Made a couple friends this way too.  A good friend of mine now, Chris Malone, is an ardent blogger I “met” in “CNY Bloggers” my local Facebook group.  I haven’t met most of them, but we all read each other’s stuff when we can and I love getting feedback from fellow bloggers there.

What’s In a Name?

I realized a cool trick: mention people!  Everyone’s favorite word is their own name.  Nobody can deny that honestly.  You hear your name mentioned and your head turns immediately.  I mention people by name in my blog posts (positively, of course).  I make sure to and I link to their Twitter, blog, website, what have you.  I always get back links and follows from that.  Why?  “Hey everyone, check out this blog post where I was mentioned!”  Yeah, that’s like second nature.  And I still get jazzed when I see my name mentioned when someone shares one of my posts.  It’s just cool!

The Conversation

The ConversationMake blogging a conversation.

How? There are several ways.

First: read blogs.  I always suggest using ZITE: a free, awesome app that farms the web for blogs related to topics you want to read about.  It fully customizable and you can basically choose any topic.  Read blogs!  Then, instead of just responding with a comment –write a blog post in your own blog about it and post a link to that.

I use LinkedIn a lot for that.  You can create your own discussion in a group or comment on another and I often find posts I’ve written that are the perfect answer to the question in question.  I get a lot of readers out of that.  It’s pretty cool.  LinkedIn is actually Cowley’s #1 source of traffic, next to SEO, because of that.  Pretty epic.

So you don’t have a lot of readers?  Write a blog post, like I said, in answer to a comment on a popular blog and see what happens.  It’s like the rainmaker of blogging techniques.

Be Conversation-al!

You’re not trying to recite Shakespeare, get a Ph.D., or cure cancer right now.  Just talk.  That’s what people want.  They read to learn but they want to be entertained.  Entertain them.  I try to.  It’s fun for me too.

In Short

Blogging is a great tool to get readers, web traffic, SEO, and new business out of a website.  Use it well and use it wisely and you will reap those benefits.  And feel free to blog about it and post your link and comment here.

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