by Miguel José Vieira of Beyond Fabric
One of the most satisfying things about blogging, besides granting you the opportunity to express yourself, is how you instantly become a part of a huge networked community. It comes to no surprise that a considerable amount of your readers/followers are bloggers themselves, who in their search for inspiration and/or knowledge, find an interesting read in your blog.
As you keep adding content to your website, interaction is bound to happen: be it in the form of questions from your readers or emails from other bloggers, websites or brands. As I see it, one should be flattered when someone takes the time to contact him/her; it just shows that the person holds your work in such account that is willing to go through all the trouble. Besides, connecting with other bloggers is one of the best ways to expand your readers, establish your place in the community and promote the exchange of ideas and experiences.
I, for one, am thankful to a handful of bloggers (and IFB, of course) for helping me get started, providing tips and feedback and even blog content through guest posting. However, as most of you may have already experienced, not all bloggers have this kind of positive response to contacts. Taking into account that a blog is nothing without its followers, and the benefits that may come from networking, I can’t cease to be amazed by the posture of some of our peers.
As such, how should you “behave” when interacting in the blogosphere?
As I see it, your blog is an extension of yourself; hence, your manners and posture online should reflect those of your everyday life. Being respectful and overall nice is the least that’s expected from you and whoever you talk to. There’s no need for overly formal language nor dramatic niceness as it may be interpreted as false and unauthentic;
I mean always! Even if a few days have passed. If someone takes the time to write to you, you should do the same and write back. It’s not that time consuming and you won’t come off as a rude or self-centered. Even if your response is negative, let them know: it’s a whole lot better to be turned down than ignored;
I believe this is one of the best advices I’ve ever been given, and it applies to all aspects of life. No matter how successful a blogger you’ve become, keep in mind that you had to start from scratch, like some of those who may contact you. Sometimes I get a feeling that bloggers are afraid others will take advantage of their success; success doesn’t come easy, and if you ve achieved it, chances are you’re talented and hard working. No one can take that away from you. If someone asks you for a guest post or opinion on a certain topic, give him/her the benefit of the doubt: check his/her work and then decide.
Keep an open mind
Don’t underestimate what you might learn, or grow as a blogger through sharing ideas and experiences. Each day more and more people put themselves out there, it’s likely that some will share your interests and have different perspectives. Also, don’t discard projects, which, at first, may seem off your comfort zone: sometimes those are the ones that make you evolve the more.