“I promise to share and be a friend”
That’s the Sparks motto and it’s also exactly what you need to do well in blogging. Let’s break it down.
Sharing is caring! Reciprocity is so important in relationships. If you want people to share your stuff, share theirs too. Not in a “I shared your stuff, now share mine” kind of way, but in a “show you’re a community member kind of way.” If karma isn’t a good enough reason, here are some others:
It Keeps Your Page Interesting
You know the chick at the cocktail party who only talks about herself? Do you want to hang out with her? No. Nobody does. When you only share your content, you’re being that girl.
BUT… AREN’T THEY THE COMPETITION?
Newsflash: they aren’t. They have no experience being you. Nobody is better at being you than you. There is room for all voices. The only way to carve space for yourself in a community of creators is to be a community member. There are a lot of cliches about this but it’s true: Rising tides lift all boats. Collaboration is the new competition.
The Facebook Algorithms Love It
Viral content helps your page grow. It’s good for your page. It’s good for keeping your audience interested. It gives them more chance to interact with content from your page, and when they do, they are telling the Man Behind The Curtain that content your page shares is interesting. When you share stuff everyone is talking about, it’s more likely to be seen.
Sharing Beyond Content
One of the best ways to network is to add value. Share of your expertise. Build a reputation for being helpful and knowing stuff. Help other people and the odds of people helping you are better. It takes a village to build a blog following. Join the village! Villages work because all sorts of people have all sorts of skills. Bring yours to the table.
Have you heard of syndication? It’s when you let a site republish something you’ve already written with their audience. There’s usually a bio and a link back to your site. It’s a great way to get your name out there. It’s a great way to build backlinks to your site. If you do share your content and let someone syndicate, support your content on their site by sharing it with your audience. Tell people you were published somewhere and shout it from the rooftops! It’s part of being a good guest – and being a friend which we will get to next.
Be A Friend
I hear it all the time. I shared my stuff and they didn’t share mine. I did x and they didn’t do y. Networking doesn’t work. If you are only doing something to incite someone else to do something, are you being a friend? If someone is only a friend when they do what you want, are you the kind of friend they want to have? Are you being the kind of friend you would want to have? Friends aren’t people you put kindness coins into in order to get a prize.
When you see people as people instead of stepping stones, your networking is going to be more effective. Don’t be fake! Don’t be a user. Be authentic, be you, build relationships “the old fashioned way.” That stuff MATTERS.
Blogging is hard. People say nasty things in the comments. Sometimes you don’t hear back about submissions. Something you worked hard on BOMBS. You need people who get that. Make friends who get what you are going through and your blog will be more sustainable and your life will be more enjoyable. So be nice. Encourage people. It’s like that Maya Angelou quote. People forget what you say and do but they REMEMBER how you make them feel. So sprinkle kindness everywhere. Make people feel good. BE MEMORABLE.
Being a friend isn’t just about being a better blogger, it’s about being a better human and treating people well. Observe the thumper rule. If you don’t have anything nice to say…. well, you know the rest.
I promise to share and be a friend.
It’s so simple, it just might work. Try it and let me know how it goes.