How to Get People to Read Your Blog {HINT: It's all about relationships}

You know you’re a blogger when…you start categorizing your friends into two categories: “blog friends” and “real-life friends.”

For example, I might tell my husband about how Jo-Lynne just bought the most incredible dress or about how Caryn is pregnant with her second baby. When I first started my blog, he would often ask, “Hmmm…where did you meet her?”Oh, she’s one of my blog friends!” I’d reply matter-of-factly and with a sheepish smile. Now, he knows to say, “Oh, yes, Caryn’s the one who lives in southern California, right?”

movingOnce you get sucked into the blogosphere, you’ll realize that it’s a bit like moving into a new neighborhood. At first, you might be shy and uncertain. You hope the neighbors are nice and that eventually you’ll all be having backyard BBQs and swim parties like old pals.

Slowly, it happens. You say hello (leave a comment on her blog). You invite her to your place (or your social networking circle). She invites you to hers (follows you on Twitter or “friends” you in the Mom Bloggers Club). Before you know it, you’re chitchatting about everything from your kids to your favorite restaurants to tragedies in your life.

Before blogging is about business or moneymaking or sharing knowledge – it is about relationships. The most successful bloggers know that. They are experts at creating and maintaining friendships.

After all, information can be found anywhere – websites, books, magazines, and hotlines. Blogs are different because they showcase personalities – they encourage participation and long-term commitments that last beyond just one article.

When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, blog friends really aren’t that different from “real-life” friends. They know your favorites, your pet peeves, your successes, and your parenting dilemmas. They will support you and promote you and launch you into success.

Blogging is no different from real-life in that “it’s about who you know” and…it’s also about who knows you. So, get out there and introduce yourself!

HOW TO MAKE A BLOG FRIEND

hiIntroduce yourself. Just like in real life. Send a short e-mail to say hello. Offer a compliment. Ask a question.

thoughtfulLeave thoughtful comments. Bloggers thrive on comments and if you leave a provocative, funny, or interesting one, you WILL be noticed.

trophyNotice and celebrate milestones. Did one of your favorite bloggers mention that today marks her 100th post or that yesterday was her 15th wedding anniversary? Be sure to leave a comment.

giftSend a birthday or “congratulations!” card or gift via snail mail. To stand out in a big way, send something by regular mail – a birthday card, a bouquet of flowers, a book, a baby outfit, anything to mark a special occasion.

lookoutBe on the lookout for ways to help people. If Rachel mentions that she just created a workout plan and needs to buy some running shoes, send her a link to your favorite shop. If Susan said she’s going crazy because her toddler won’t eat vegetables, share your favorite recipe or a book that is all about hiding veggies in common meals. Be observant, find a need, and then offer a solution.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING FRIENDLY

Being a kind and genuine person is good for a million reasons. Doing nice things, being observant of needs and meeting them, extending compliments – those are all things that we should be doing every day, not only to help others but also to help ourselves.

loveYou’ll win thousands of friends and have a fan club in no time if you are a positive, inspiring, and authentic individual who seeks to make the world a better place. Seriously. It's one of the great "secrets" of the world: give to others without hesitation, love recklessly – without expecting anything in return. Then – it’s the strangest thing – you’ll find that everything you gave will come right back to you…and more!

As Sheldon Vanauken (author of A Severe Mercy - an AMAZING book!) put it, "Love is the one thing we can give away endlessly-…and yet have even more of.”

So start by being warm-hearted and selfless – and you’ll notice your traffic start to grow and your circle start to expand.

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51 comments on “How to Get People to Read Your Blog {HINT: It's all about relationships}”

  1. Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for this post. It really helps. I am a new blogger and I am very nervous about posting. Do you think you could take a look at my blog and give me some pointers? I know you are probably extremely busy so if you can't I definitely will be fine using these pointers. Thanks again! My blog can be located at: truecurrency.org :)

  2. Thanks for this post - I am not a new blogger, but new to trying to keep up with a REGULAR baby blog - I needed to read this! :)
    And I've always wanted to read A Severe Mercy and you have reminded me to check it out!

  3. I started my own blog because I came across this post of yours. I'm a bit confused, though, because there's a blogroll at the bottom of my page, and I don't know what it is or how to remove it. (I'm a true novice.) Can you please help? Thanks in advance.

  4. What an awesome bunch of information Stephanie! Thank you! I am a new blogger as you know, and I feel awkward and down-right weird about posting entries, especially since I believe you are the only one who has read my blog (Thank you for that!) so far. It does kind of feel like moving to a new neighborhood. I enjoy it though, and I really enjoy reading your entries. Thanks for the wonderful work you do!

  5. Your article is that I wanted. I am looking for a kind of article that is similar to your. I had study Air Jordan shoes recently, you know that many people want to find a valid way to buy cheap Air Jordans shoes.

  6. Wonderful advice! One of my favorite quotes, that I try to repeat to myself as often as possible (particularly when someone if being less than kind to me) is, "may all your actions be beautiful prayers." Kindness will always get you more from life -- more blog viewers or otherwise.

  7. Thank you for the good advise, I am just getting into the whole "BLOG" thing, and I am excited about it,it seems like a cool way to meet new people and talk about any and everything. I am a personal trainer and love everything fitness... keep up the cool blog!!!

  8. Hi,
    I like your blog. Love the quote that you posted, “Love is the one thing we can give away endlessly-…and yet have even more of.” Thanks for the how to start a blog article. Have a great evening.
    Heather from NC

  9. I stumbled on to your site by chance when looking for a Tucson thing. I'm in Tucson too. I had another blog when I was Italy, the current one is not particularly well populated. However, you might want to check out another v. cool Tucson mama site a friend of mine has called http://www.tucsonmama.com Its a great resource for things going on in Tucson.

    The internet is a fabulous way to connect isn't it? Through an online community I have made some of the most amazing friends and met them too! ONe of my closest friends from college here in Tucson is now up in Boulder. When she was expecting her son I put her in touch with a virtual friend in Boulder who was pregnant at the same time. They've since become fast friends. I used to be a little bit embarrassed by the virtual friend network, but frankly I have developed some fabulous friendships with fabulous mamas from across the globe that way, and that is nothing to be at all sheepish about. Thanks for a great post, maybe I will post tonight after all!

  10. Stephanie,
    I was just perusing your blog and came across this post. I LOVE it. And wish I would have had it before I wrote my very first post. You've nailed it so perfectly. I love the comparison of moving into a new neighborhood, it feels just right. Thanks for this!

  11. I am a new blogger I am so enjoying meeting all the new people. I loved when I posted about my daugher writing on everything with sharpie so many great new friends offered solutions. Its great the comments always put me in a great mood. I loved the Send a birthday or “congratulations!” card or gift via snail mail suggestion. A great idea to really connect.

  12. I love this post! It's such a funny topic to me, I met a great group of girls on The Knot when I was planning my wedding. We now are friends in real life and have a private message board we use to chat. And since I've been blogging I've made so many fellow blogger buddies. It's great 50 years ago how many people had "friends" who lived all over the world! And now it's almost common!

  13. This is such a helpful posting for a new blogger like myself. Sometimes I feel like my head is swimming trying to get all of the sites organized and figure out a general direction and purpose with the blog. This really helps to give some perspective. I'm looking forward to following your blog!

    Muggs

  14. I've enjoyed your blog for a while now, but went back to re-read a couple of interesting articles since I started my own blog on our shops' website (you're inspirational!) I love this one and your birth story. GREAT birth story :)

  15. Thank you so much for your post Stephanie! I am starting my own blog and am very inspired by your postings each week. I'm so happy I stumbled across your blog...I always look forward to a new post from you!

  16. Greetings, Stephanie!

    Tiffany from TN, here! I have been inspired by all the great mommy bloggers out there (including you!) to start a blog! I'll be talking about products that I really love that help make parenting a bit easier. Check me out when you have the time. I'll be adding you to my blogroll there, for sure!

  17. I want to say thank you, I'd say in every language I could except I can only spell in English, lol.

    I truly enjoy reading your blog. Your comments are well thought out and often having me sitting here thinking, 'why didn't I know that?"

    So, thank you! Now use your imagination, I just said that in Thai, Swahili, Spanish, French and German ;-)

  18. Thanks for this great blog! I've only just recently thrown myself into the blog world and I've been feeling a little lost. It's nice to read a post that is about making genuine relationships with people and not about SEOs and other confusing technical things. I'd much rather start my new blogging life by making friends.

    Thank you,
    Megg

  19. Stephanie,
    I am SO GLAD I happened upon your blog. I am constantly reading people's blogs and talking to my real-life friends about them, but I have never left a comment! I have been working on my own blog, and wondering how on earth I could get people to read it - I never even thought of putting myself out there on other people's blogs first. Thank you so very much for this entry; I have a whole new perspective on the blogosphere now!
    Regards,
    Heather

  20. You are so dead on, Steph. It is all about relationships. The good part of that is that it's fun and the benefits are way beyond traffic to your site. The bad part is it takes time and patience and work.

    Thanks so much for being such a fabulous blogging friend!!!!

  21. I love this!!

    The online community really is amazing, isn't it? When I started blogging a couple of years ago, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into.

    ...and you could have been talking about ME in the beginning of your post, about 'blog friends' and 'real life friends!' lol!

  22. hey stephanie! i think i originally found you/this post via jo-lynne. anyway, i think the advice is great. but my FAVORITE part of this post is your 'severe mercy'/sheldon van auken reference..his and davy's story, as chronicled in that book, was extremely influential in mine and my husband's romance...we even got married at st. stephen's- van & davy's church in VA! i always love to stumble upon references to that book, as i find it's not particularly well-known :)

  23. Thanks for that post. I just got to meet one of my bloggy friends while on vacation. I'm not sure the hubby understood who she was or why it was important to me, but he played along. I feel the same connection as to other friends. We chat several times a week, and I know just as much about her as any of my friends who live nearby. It's great to form new relationships with wonderful people.

  24. i love this post. i read SO many blogs, but have been hesitant to join in the "conversation" on any of them. i don't know why.

    strange, i'm more shy online than i am in real life!

  25. that is so true! i've cried, laughed and celebrated with blog friends over the 3 years i've been blogging. its wonderful!
    i'm glad that im not the only one who has bloggy friends (or "imaginary friends" as my husband jokes.)

  26. Intro - Hi, I am janmary, from N Ireland - lovely to "meet" you.

    Ask a Question - who introduced you to blogging?

    Thoughtful comment - I love your pink and black colour (yes - that's how we spell it!) scheme on your blog.

    How am I doing?

    PS Jo-Lynne sent me :)

  27. This is a great post! I laughed at the part about you relaying to your husband about the going-ons of your blog friends - sounds like a conversation me and my Love have often :).

  28. I loved this post. Being new to blogging, I feel like the new kid in class. You made me realize that I need to get out there and introduce myself if I want people to visit my site.
    Great blog!

    Rachel

    Educational blog for parents
    http://www.biglittlebrain.com

  29. Hey Stephanie,
    I read A Severe Mercy my freshman year of college (1998) and still remember devouring the words and crying late one night when you-know-what happens. It's all about relationships, isn't it?? I wish I had more time/determination to devote to blogging but I am proud that I have a large circle of good friends who support each other here in Portland.

    OH! And we got the Sugarplum Dreams princess dress finally and My Little Princess loves it!! :)

  30. This is exactly true.

    I love your list of ways to make "blog" friends - it really isn't all that much different than making "real life" friends - just commenting on blogs, instead of talking over the fence or on the park bench and going from there!

  31. and like in any real life relationship - friendship takes time and commitment. Don't give up if your "community" isn't what you wish it was overnight.

    great post!

  32. What a Great POST!! Be the type of person who UPLIFTS others!!! I love it!!
    Many thanks for something we all need in Blogsville and in Real life!
    YOU So Rock!!
    Leslie
    And I Do Love YOUR Blog!

  33. What a wonderfully thoughtful, insightful, and beautiful post. I often feel like I'm still on the outside looking in, but I know I've made a few really great relationships online and that is all that really should matter.

    Of course, you're at the very top!

    Nell

  34. Stephanie,

    This is the best post I've read from you so far. I'm a firm believer in building relationships. Women especially need to know that others care about their lives. That's why I started my blog...to care, encourage, and to find other women to talk with. Thanks for your insights.

  35. I think our blogging community is amazing– there is such a diversity of women with so much knowledge to share. I have been so fortunate to make some great bloggy friends in the past couple of years and I am so excited to be able to meet some of them next week at BlogHer.

  36. I still remember when you read A Severe Mercy... I seem to remember that we found out about that book around the same time. How?? I can't remember.
    It's fun to reconnect... First through your blog, and then through face to face interaction!

  37. That's a wonderful post! And very truthful-Before you do anything else, you need the support to back everything up. Plus it's wonderful to have friends from all over =]
    I do the same thing as you, when my mum asks who I'm talking about, I just say, "A friend from my blog." Lol

  38. "give to others without hesitation, love recklessly – without expecting anything in return." I fail on that one all to regularly, but it is definitely what I strive for in all aspects of my life. What words of wisdom you're passing along today!
    I started my blog to share pics and stories with out of town family and friends. But, what really keeps me blogging is the strong and wonderful community that I've found. The warmth and giving that I've experienced (and hopefully give back at least some of) is such a blessing. Yours is definitely among one of my favorite blogs! I'm very glad to have met you in bloggy land. :)

  39. You have it so right Steph...Seriously. I have to say that if you were the only one reading my blog, I'd still write! You have become a friend to me and I know we live far away and we've only met once but I feel like I know you. Your blog is one of my favorites to read. You inspire me. You teach me. And you encourage me.

    And by the way...you are so smart!

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