OK, so you have stumbled onto the Blogosphere, now what?
Even though most would say the next part I am daring to bring up has NOTHING to do with blogging, I am going to argue it has EVERYTHING to do with blogging.
I want you to think about your "blogivation" AKA what motivates you to blog. Why are you blogging? What is your purpose as a blogger, what do you want?
If you can answer that, I will stand up and applaud, because after almost 3 years of blogging almost daily, I have no idea if there is one sole reason I have chosen blogging as a hobby.
I started blogging upon my DH's return from war. I was scared about the reintegration, reunion, and possible alteration in our relationship as an evolving family. So I decided blogging would be the best place for me to sort it out. Go ahead laugh, but the blogosphere was different then. A different place entirely. Very few bloggers had met one another, there were not nearly as many of us as there are now. It seemed like a cheap alternative to therapy for me. Plus frankly there was the interaction I WAS craving as a Mother of 2 children under 3 1/2 years of age, in a town with no family and few other Guardsman.
I really want you to think about WHY you have started blogging, and what your blogavation is. Because your "networking" will depend on this reason.
The blogosphere likes labels.
Mom bloggerChristian bloggerPunditmil bloggercraft blogger Jewish bloggercat bloggerphoto bloggersupport bloggergun bloggerliberal bloggerconservative bloggerweight loss bloggerexcercise bloggercelebrity bloggerWell the great news is, there is a blog group for just about EVERYTHING on the planet. And I am noting the blogsphere is a changing place. More and more blogs being added daily.
MY first tip in finding a great blogging community.
Find blogs you REALLY enjoy reading. One of my daily reads was, and continues to be Tammi, and Blackfive. I enjoyed them so much I ran through the blogrolls, and found more. While writing this, I actually called Tammi, (who happens to be my Blog-Momma, which is what we bloggers tend to name our blog mentors) and I asked her, what she thought the most important thing was about networking. She said it was to CHOOSE WISELY, who you choose to network with. Choose those who you really enjoy, and would love to meet, choose those who tend to have the same moral and ethical standards as you do. I happen to be in agreement.
The best way to network is to COMMENT! Comment on the blogs you enjoy reading. If you read SpouseBuzz, and have a blog. Leave your blog in the URL section of the comment section. The contributors follow those links, as well as other commenter's.
If you are a military spouse, or military blogger, I would first direct you to,
Milblogging.comMilblogging.com is probably the BEST place to get the latest in military related blogs. They also separate by country, spouse, parent, etc. If you are not registered there, I would encourage you to do so. This will help others find you.
Another great tool is The Truth Laid Bear. This is an ecosystem based blog rating in which blogs are placed in an ecosystem according to links/and daily readers. This is also a great place to register your blog, and a great place to find NEW blogs.
Sitemeter and StatCounter, are also great places to check and see where your incoming links are from. these are also great tools to see which of your entries are most popular, and they will both track traffic, according to time, place, and location. It is a great place to find who is visiting, and how often. Also note, ALMOST EVERYONE checks the sitemeter. My Blog Grandpappy told me that one time. I did not believe him. But I have learned, everyone checks traffic.
My Blog Grandpappy , also is the king of NETWORKING and offers great blogging tips at his site Bad Example. If you look at the upper right hand corner of his blog, he offers a TON of tips on blogging. From Networking, to commenting, finding your blog voice, google search codes, he can even tell you how to get more comments. Frankly, the guy has been blogging forever, and is a blogging genius. (GO NOW and CHECK OUT THE BLOG TIPS!!) One of the best tips I have ever read from Harvey is this one...I will paraphrase "find your authentic voice". People are not idiots, and they can spot a fake. The blogosphere is full of smart, funny, well read folks. BE YOURSELF!
I also must include here "Trackback". What on Earth is a trackback? Well once again Harvey explains it perfectly. So, I will steal his explanation, and then I will direct you to his blog AGAIN!!
Trackbacks are a courtesy to the person you're linking, and not mandatory.If you have to do it manually, use the Wizbang Standalone Trackback Pinger.If they don't have trackbacks, you can leave a link in their comments.Trackbacks can bring you extra site traffic.
CAUTION: ONLY TRACKBACK WHEN YOUR POST IS RELEVANT TO THEIR POST. ONLY COMPLETE JERKS DO OFF-TOPIC "HEY! LOOK AT MY BLOG!" PINGS.
So, in essence networking can be made simple. It can be a daunting and time consuming process. I am not always great at commenting at others blogs, or pinging, and I am finding it is becoming increasingly difficult with the increase in blogs. Particularly mil-blogs, where there used to be 2 there are now hundreds. Which is amazing to me, because I do believe we have an important story to share.
I think the most important thing to remember about networking, is to keep in mind, that you will probably meet some of the people you "know" online, at one time or another, so network wisely. The blogosphere is becoming increasingly interactive.
Read the rest of the SpouseBuzz blogging series HERE