Connecting with Other Bloggers

Admittedly, I’m not a very outgoing person. Writing is a pretty solitary profession. You sit in front of a computer for hours typing things that come into your head. I liken it to playing God, because you are able to create a world in which you are omniscient and all-powerful. (Although many novelists will tell you that their characters take on a life of their own, but that only furthers the metaphor.)

My point is, you typically don’t become a writer for social reasons. However, I’m learning in my research about blogging, that becoming active in the blogging community (or blogosphere) is key to having a “successful” blog (i.e., one that people actually read.) 

According to my research, connecting with other bloggers and websites is fairly easy. Here are a few ways you can make connections today:

1. Actually read other people’s blogs. I am terrible about doing this. Being a bit egocentric, I get so caught up in my own thoughts, problems, and writing, that I don’t take the time to see what other people are saying. Which is a real shame since many bloggers have some good and helpful things to share. This is one of my new goals for the year: to read the blogs of others and glean helpful information from them.

2. Comment on other blogs. Who doesn’t like to get a note from someone on their blog. Even if the comment is negative, it’s nice to know someone at least took the time to read what you wrote. But, I think the idea is to leave helpful and complimentary comments on the blogs of others. After all, you’re not going to ingratiate yourself with other bloggers by trashing everything they say. The comments should be thoughtful and add to the value of the overall blog post. Self-promotion and inappropriate content is discouraged. Including your URL provides a link back to your blog, so choose blogs that complement or relate to your own blog.

3. Trackbacks. As a newbie in the blogging world, I had to find out what this is. I’ve been reading The Everything Blogging Book by Aliza Sherman Risdahl. Apparently, when you reference a blog post from another blog, you can create a link to the permanent page of that blog post. According to Risdahl, with “some blog-publishing tools, you are able to create actual TrackBack references that will ping the server hosting the blog you are referencing.If their blog-publishing tool accepts TrackBAck and if the original blogger enables the TrackBack feature to publish any references to their posts, an excerpt of your referring blog post will appear on their blog.” The readers of that blog can go to your blog to see what you have to say.

4. Pinging. In Blog Wild! by Andy Wibbels, this is defined as “a notification sent to various online services that a blog has been updated with new content.” Many blog hosts like WordPress offer this service, but there are outside services like pingomatic.com and www.pingler.com also provide this service for free. I have yet to do this, but I might try it in the future.

I’m still learning a lot about blogging, so if you have any tips, please leave them here. Also, send me links to your website if you have any helpful information about running a home-based business. I can use all the help I can get!

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