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Monday, April 16, 2012

Networking

Description: Social Networking Source: own wor...Description: Social Networking Source: own work Author: koreshky Date: 12/10/2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



What is Networking?

         Isn't the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge mostly about networking?   Well, I am certainly qualified to answer that question and the answer is a big YES!  When I organized the first Challenge in 2010 it was to celebrate networking and to expand my network.

        During that first Challenge I increased my number of followers significantly as did most of those who participated.  From the onset the emphasis has always been on networking since that is primarily what blogging is all about.

        Networking is all around us in everything we do.  We have networks of friends, family members, and common interest groups.   We typically will have social networks and business networks.  Sometimes our networking systems of involvement will intersect or overlap.  In essence, our networks are the groups of individuals with whom we interact by exchanging ideas, information, support, or even contacts with other individuals who are in similar networks.

 How is networking vital to marketing and promotions?  

        Word of mouth is the best promotion you can get.  A testimonial from a true believer is more convincing that any paid advertisement.  You want to create a cadre of  followers, fans, and happy customers who will spread the word about you, your product, or your agenda.

         Creating a network is all about relationship building.  Many of you who are introverts may find this difficult at first, but it gets easier the more you do it.  Join local organizations, attend events concerning things you are interested in, and do whatever it takes to meet the people who can possibly help you directly or who can introduce you to the right people who might eventually be of potential help to you.  

Here's a Networking Experiment

        I have two blogs entered in the A to Z Challenge that I haven't promoted too much and consequently are under 100 followers.   My goal for everyone who enters the A to Z Challenge is to finish with at least 100 followers if they don't have that many yet.  This is also my goal for my two under-performing blogs.

         Let's try an experiment.  If you are not currently following A Faraway View and A Few Words please go to visit those blogs and follow them in order to help me reach the magic 100 followers on both of them.  After you have done this, leave a comment on each blog letting me know that you have become a follower and then leave me a link so I can follow your blog if I am not doing so already.

         While you're at it go ahead and follow this blog (Tossing It Out), Wrote By Rote, and the Blogging from A to Z Challenge Blog if you aren't following these already.  These are my other blogs and I'd love to see the following on these grow more as well.

        Then if you want to take this experiment one step further, visit the blogs of each blogger who has left a comment on my blogs and follow their blogs and leave the same kind of notification in their comments that you have left on mine--let them know you are following and leave your link so they can follow your blog.

         After a while, if a number of you have done this, we will have created a network--or at least added to the network we have in place.  Blogging is a microcosm of the larger networking world that you will encounter when you start marketing and promotions on a serious big time level.  Start now and see how it works for you.

More Networking for the letter N:

Nostalgia is the theme of Rosalind Adam's A to Z series at Writing in the Rain.  Visit Rosalind's blog and become part of her network and invite her to become part of yours.




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41 comments:

YeamieWaffles said...

You're so right in this post that when it comes to blogging networking really is one of the most important things you can do. Without a network you're alone and it's not a good idea to be alone in either business or blogging, great post Lee.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee - good post - it's all about networking and finding friends amongst the bigger circle that's out there ... I love the connections I've made.

Last year's A - Z helped a huge amount .. and this year's is doing the same .. making some great new friends.

Ros' - Nostalgia posts are amazing .. such reminders of my early childhood and great fun.

Cheers Hilary

Retro-Zombie said...

sometimes networking is a lot of back and forth, in the end it really pays off. also you make some great friends and contacts along the way.

Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
A to Z Co-Host
My New Book:
Retro-Zombie: Art and Words

Huntress said...

*bookmarking this page*

shelly said...

Lee, I do believe you could put all your April posts into an e-book. I'm sure peeps would buy it. I would.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I have much to thank you for Lee coming up with the A to Z Challenge back in 2010. I have made many friends over the years,
But to have met the person behind the concept was the highlight of my year so far.

Yvonne.

Justine Dell said...

So let me get this straight...you are the author of FOUR blogs? Is there a giant S underneath your shirt? ;-)

I went and followed them all (didn't comment, though).

And keep up the good work Superman!

~JD

Stephen Tremp said...

Lee, I agree with the word of mouth being the best form of networking. If one person says something positive to ten people for free, then this is the best form of networking and promotion.

Journaling Woman said...

I've had only one job where I didn't use networking to get the job.

Networking is great.

t

Matthew MacNish said...

I thought I had seen you at one or two other places!

Ron Easton for Dads UnLimited said...

I am pretty sure I am already linked to all of your blogs...I linked to you in my post today though. You talked about Branding back on the 2nd, and I did today too, though from a different perspective. :)Have a great day, Lee!
Having fun yet? Getting worn out? I see from hits to the blog, that people have been moving a little slower the last few days, though that may be because I haven't been visiting too many each day myself.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think if I network much harder I'll explode.

Karen Walker said...

Yes, blogging is all about networking. It's also about time and what you describe here is very time-consuming. I already follow all your blogs, at least I think I do, but the challenge is taking whatever blogging time I have right now. Sorry.
karen

Donna B. McNicol said...

Second A-Z blog today on networking - both were excellent with great tips to follow. Tweeted it!

To make it easy on everyone:
http://facebook.com/mywritespot
http://twitter.com/DonnaBMcNicol
http://donnamcnicol.com
http://donnamcnicol.blogspot.com/
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/donna-b-mcnicol/48/775/822
http://pinterest.com/donnabmcnicol/

Abracadebra Designs said...

Hey Lee, Great post on networking. One thing I noticed, is that a lot of the blogs doing the challenge are the blogs of writers. I am a crafting blogger. To be exact I weave tiny seed beads into jewelry. What I am liking about this hop is that I have discovered a whole new world out there and am now following lots of talented writers and reading lots of great short stories. I have also gained a whole slew of new followers who probably wouldn't have found me otherwise. And all these creative writer types are truely enjoying my visual blog.
-Debbie

Elise Fallson said...

Hello!
This is my first time doing A-Z and I love it! I'm also exhausted. lol! I'm writing all my posts on the fly but I'll be sure to be more prepared for next year! Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for your initiative here and I'll be sure to check out and follow your other sites. As a new blogger, and new to the writing community, this is really a great boost.

elisefallson.blogspot.com

Sarah Allen said...

My N post today is about Niche marketing, somewhat in the networking vein. Thanks for the great thoughts!

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Arlee Bird said...

Yeamie -- If one depends on other people then they better communicate with them.

Hilary -- You do a great job of not only make networking connections, but also making knowledge base connections in your blog posts.

Jeremy -- Networking is communicating.

Huntress -- Thanks for visiting.

Shelly -- There is so much more info that could be added to what I'm doing in the Challenge.

Yvonne -- I was honored to meet a blogger that I'd networked with for so long.

Justine -- I'm far from a blogging Superman. There is so much more I wish I could get done.

Stephen Tremp -- That's one reason why book reviews can be so vital.

Teresa -- I was talking about this just the other day to someone. It's the same with me. The best and most long term jobs I've had came from networking contacts. Very few jobs that I've found through ads amounted to much.

Matthew M -- I'm in a few places.

Ron-- I'll check out your post. I've found that there is a direct correlation between my activity on other blogs and the amount of comments that I receive.

Lee

Arlee Bird said...

Alex -- You're the networking ninja. I can't keep up with you.

Karen -- No need to apologize. I know what you're talking about.

Donna-- Thanks for the tweets. Great example of networking.

Debbie -- The preponderance of writing blogs is probably part of a networking effect. It's good to get other types of blogs involved to expand the community.

Elise -- Thank you for stopping by to say this.

Sarah-- I'll check out your post.

Lee

Maurice Mitchell said...

I love your dreaming blog. The message is so subtly thoughtful. I'm following all four now!
- Maurice Mitchell
The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
@thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

theartistrycollective said...

The A to Z challenge is such a great tool for networking, and I want to thank you again for making it happen. I have a better handle on the challenge this year, so now I have a bit more time to interact. I started using Twitter this year, so that's also helpful.

Cheers!!

Lynn Proctor said...

so true about word of mouth--thanks for the great tips

Annalisa Crawford said...

Sometimes I feel lost by all the different ways to network, and the time it takes. The writing world has certainly changed since Jane Austen's time.

As a Writer... said...

Lee, this is my first time doing A-Z. Having fun with the posts, but behind on commenting. Glad I got to yours today - great post!

Thank you.

ladysknight said...

I agree but I also know that there is a sacrifice to the creation process involved when we network
that network juggling is a balance

thank you for all the time you give it is appreciated

LynnRush said...

Happy Networking!!! Loving this A to Z Challenge. I've been at RT for the last five days, so I'm catching up on some blogs now. Awesome!!! :)

Sherry Gloag said...

Thanks for breaking networking down in this way, for an introvert, it takes the fear out of it! :-)

storytreasury said...

Yes I have to agree. It's a big reason to do these blogging challenges/fests.


Sonia Lal, A to Z challenge

klahanie said...

Hey Lee,
Ah yes, social notworking, sorry, networking via our blogs.
I'm sorry, but a lot of this 'following' stuff can be most superficial. The old follow me, follow you, scenario that potentially gets more followers, can be a false reading of who is actually paying attention or reading a certain blog.
I'm quite happy having, considering how proactive I am and the fact my blog is over five years old, not have a huge total of 'followers'. I rejoice in the intimate group of bloggers who have interacted with me over the years and done, mostly, with open, honest sincerity.
I have been to sites that have well over a thousand 'followers' and very few comments. I have been to sites with very few followers who get lots of comments. That tells me something. To interact within the true sharing, caring blogging community, is the ideal that I uphold.
In actuality, the number of 'followers' on a blog is not necessarily a true indicator of the popularity of the blog.
Take care and have fun.
In kindness, Gary

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Arlee! I found your post about networking very interesting.

I also found Gary's (klahanie) comment interesting.

What affects a blogs ranking more when it comes to search engines; the followers or the comments?

Susanne
PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER

Heather Murphy said...

I think Networking is very important and the challenge is a HUGE help! Thanks for all that you do

Chuck said...

I belive Alex's comment might be true! Good post Lee...I find myself spread thin at the beginning of the challenge and then engage the sites that I have found commenting on sites I follow. Seems to be working so far!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I have found some of my best blogging buddies by checking out the followers on my favorite blogs.

Arlee Bird said...

Maurice -- Thanks!

Artistry -- I got on Twitter this year and have been using it to promote the A to Z. Still not sure about the effectiveness, but I'm sure it can't hurt.

Lynn Proctor-- Word of mouth can go both ways. A person who has something bad to say will tell everyone who will listen and the damage can be significant.

Annalisa -- It can be overwhelming. It's probably best to get a grasp on one method at a time. It's so time consuming though.

As a Writer -- Don't feel bad about being behind. I stay that way and just have to accept that there's more than I can do.

Ladysknight -- It is a dilemma. I guess the best thing to do is focus on priorities and do the rest when and if you can.

Lynn Rush -- It's easy to get behind with this Challenge. I started out that way.

Sherry -- I've simplified it probably overly so. Doing it can be something else, but it's something you should just make yourself do.

Sonia -- Choosing the right blogfests can make a tremendous difference in ones networking.

Gary -- I agree with you on one level, but recognize the psychology of having a lot of "followers". I'm not sure what other terminology would work best. On my site I've labeled this section "Bird Watchers" and Google calls them "Members", so I don't have followers as such. The truth is that having at least the illusion of a large customer base makes a blog look more important. I don't know why a blogger would want to discourage having subscribers (maybe that's a better term), but expect to have readers. It's like a performer wanting to be on stage before a mostly empty house. When I was in the touring show business, we'd have financial sponsorship that would pay for us being there, but we would give away thousands of tickets so we'd actually have an audience. Illusions of grandiosity can be pretty effective in attracting attention to oneself. I want readers on my blog and that is my primary concern, but if I have 10,000 subscribers then that's fine with me and in having that I've increased my odds of getting more readers per post.

Susanne -- I still don't understand rankings that well, but I don't think followers or comments either one determine rankings other than reflect rankings. I think the main thing for rankings has to do with key words in the post and the number of hits the post receives. But heck if I really know for sure.

Heather -- Networking is important, but who you network with will have the greatest impact on what you are trying to promote. If you're in a network that's not interested in your product, then you're wasting valuable networking time.

Chuck -- I'm feeling it too. It gets to be a bit much if you try to cover the world. Focus is the most effective approach.

Lee

Sara Kovach said...

The Blogging from A to Z Challenge epitomizes networking at its best. I feel very honored to be able to be part of this great network. I have branched out and found some wonderful blogs and bloggers.

Jessica L. Foster said...

Oh I need to get better about networking. Thanks for the tip!

Joanne said...

You are so right. Networking is key. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and take that chance!
Blessings, Joanne

Pati Morris said...

Stopping by to say hi - new to "blogging" and new to "networking" - I wrote about networking today as well. I am going to follow all of your blogs - sounds like I will learn a lot!

bucksaver said...

Great point Lee and am always impressed with your passion for blogging and networking. Will follow your advice when my schedule stabilizes a bit. Thanks!

NellieVaughn said...

I am definitely going to, at least, check these blogs out. If I like them, then everyone wins. They get a new follower, and I get something interesting to read.

pywacket said...

i'm really enjoying this challenge, all the things I'm reading and the people I'm meeting. I'm not a natural networker or promoter, so this is out of the ordinary for me, but that is a good thing. I'm quite enjoying your articles and the extra links you give. Thank you!