You know that old saying, “No man is an island”? Not only is it true but can that wise quote should be applied to the world of blogging.
If you look at the most successful bloggers in the business, you'd see that these individuals aren't just lone strangers in the community. All of them have spent time developing and cultivating key relationships with their peers. From the dynamic duo that is Jamie Beck and Kelly Framel to the budding blogging groups found all over the country, finding fellow bloggers who relate to your successes/obstacles is as important to your blogger development as learning more marketing skills or taking photography courses.
Why are blogging peers so crucial to your success?
- They help you see “the bigger picture”
- They can sympathize with blogging challenges
- They have their own network that they can offer to you in times of need
- They offer an outsider's perspective on posts, business decisions
For instance, say you are having trouble nailing a sponsor for an event. You sit and brainstorm but your brain is completely fried. What should you do, give up? How about calling up your friend, scheduling a dinner and discussing your troubles? Guaranteed, your friend will have a fresh perspective and possibly a resolution for you. AND she might have a contact for you. Problem solved.
However, you may think that these blogging peers are competition, that they are threatening your success. I've seen this many times at parties where a popular blogger will act standoffish and avoid mingling with fellow bloggers. Not only does this come off as awkward, it's not the smartest PR move. These are YOUR people, your community. They will be there to help you grow, champion your growth and be there to listen when things get tough. By distancing yourself from the community, you are only making things harder. For example, think about Regina George, the Wicked Witch of the West, and every other movie villain known to man. They all isolated themselves from their group, creating resentment with those around them. (Plus, they were slightly crazy.)
So, where can you find fellow peers?
- Conferences and workshops
- Blogging associations
- Social media
- Fellow blogs
The best part about conferences, workshops and parties is the networking aspect. Ask IFB Conference attendees about their favorite part of attending and they will tell you it's meeting new friends in the community, may of them who they have stayed friendly with for years! I can't tell you how many blogging folks I've met that I have kept in contact with to this day. For tips on how to network at these events, we have a step-by-step guide for blogging events and, more specifically, the IFB Conference.
The biggest piece of advice I can give to you about finding fellow peers is this: have patience, be open, and be authentic.
Friendships take time to grow, and trying to rush into things will leave you feeling flash. Also, if you aren't connecting with someone, chalk it up to different personalities and leave it be. Not everyone is meant to connect but that doesn't mean you should give up.Do you have a blogging friend that you found on your own? Has your blogging friend helped you succeed? We wanna hear!