Monday, June 13, 2011

All About Blogs - Part III: It's All In The Connections

We have come a long way so far today. Our blog is built and looks great plus we are writing articles like crazy. In fact we have five articles scheduled to come out during the week so we can focus on comments. Life is good but the work isn’t done yet. Yes, I heard that sigh but trust me, this is not hard.

Think of your blog as the center hub of a bicycle rim; each spoke that leaves the hub is a network connection. Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Goodreads, Shelfari and/or any other social network? If so, you should have a link to those networks on your blog. Why? This serves multiple purposes but the first being that when visitors come to your blog and see that you are on Twitter (for example) they are highly likely to click that link and follow you. It is pretty much guaranteed they will follow you if they like your blog. You should go one step further and include the URL to your blog in your profiles for all the social networks you are a part of so people can find your blog easily. Yes, organization is important. You don't want your links and networks scattered throughout Cyberspace. With a blog you can present them with creative buttons and your blog becomes a one stop directory for finding you on all the networks.

Expand your reach even further by asking your peers, friends, and those who share your passion to exchange links. Generating a blog roll or link list is a great way to make connections, meet new people and attract a new group of readers. Do not be afraid to ask others to be a guest on your blog in exchange for being a guest on their blog. Many bloggers welcome this because it is another way to expand their reach. You may have noticed that blogging can be much more than a singular effort. Meaning, you can work alone while building and operating your blog; however, you would be missing the larger picture and that is the opportunity to reach out to others. Through meeting others, linking with them and sharing articles with them you not only expand your network but you also build relationships. If anything you see, first hand, that you are not alone in your endeavor.

Now that Google owns Blogger and Feedburner it is very simple to set up an RSS feed. I highly recommend this. With an RSS feed visitors can enter their e-mail address and have your articles sent to their inbox. This is a really nice option and should be close to the prime area of your blog. This is also a powerful tool to enhance your reach and build your connections. The more options you provide a person to receive your articles the better.

Keep in mind that you can do many of these things on an actual website; however, it is not as simple to add the links and maintain them. I bring this up here because, at times, links can become broken or you could change a network account that voids the link. You could even run into problems with your RSS feed. With a blog you can easily reset your links; however, with a website you need to have some knowledge about website language such as html or java for example.

Do you follow the social network links provided on blogs? Do you have links on your blog?


Lisa Forget said...

Me...again! :)

My website links my blog, facebook, twitter and myspace. To answer your question, yes, I follow links that are posted on blogs.

I've tried to add the Twitter feed but things went wonky. When I have some time to devote to it, I'll try again.

I plan on inviting guests to my blog in the very near future. I have some wonderful contacts at my online writing group as well as in my profession (I'm a singer) I often work with composers and lyricists. I'm very interested in tying in my professional life to life as a writer and that would be one way to do it.

All of your advice is wonderful and very much appreciated.

I'll be referring to your posts when I'm tweaking that blog of mine! :)

This is what it looks like atm:

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Lisa - I like your blog. The background adds a lot of character to it. I jumped over to your site as well. You have the foundation ready to really take off. There is a lot of potential there between your blog and your website. Good job!

Yes, inviting others to guest on your blog is always interesting. I am interested to see how you blend the two between your blog and your website.

Oh, I also added your blog to my link list. I hope you don't mind.


Lisa Forget said...

Thank you Brian - you're so kind!!

I'm thrilled that you added my blog to your link list and if you don't mind, when I figure out how to do it...I'd like to add yours too.

My plan is to invite my friend who has written the lyrics to a new musical. I've recorded some of the demos and love the lyrics.
(Mine is the first voice)

I think there are a slew of questions related to writing the book of a musical that many people would find interesting, least I hope they would!


Anonymous said...

Lisa - Please do add me. The link list is a widget you can get from the design tab on Blogger. All you need to provide is the address for the blog or site you want to add and a name. Click add and you are ready to add another.

I, for one, hope you include a sample of your music on your blog or site. You have a nice melody to your voice and that should be shared.

Lisa Forget said...

Thanks Brian.

I'll get the widget and start adding my favourite sites - yours will be the first!

I appreciate your lovely comment and when I have Frayne on as a guest, I'll post the link to my...oops...HIS song. LOL, we singers are so possessive. ;)

Happy blogging,