Thursday, May 26, 2011
Today's Armchair BEA topic is about Nurturing Relationships: "Blogging is about community, and community is about relationships. Post about a relationship you've formed with a particular publisher, author, blogger, or bookstore; share your thoughts and tips about connecting and building those relationships."
As a blogger I haven't really gone out of my way to fostor relationships with pulishers, authors, or bookstores. A few years ago I jumped on the ARC/Review copy bandwagon and received several books to review but have since decided it isn't really my thing. I wasn't reading enough fantastic books and I didn't like being on a schedule. Shame on me for still having ARCs and review copies that are two years old that I still haven't read and reviewed.
But blogger relationships? Yes, that I do know a thing or two about.
When I started blogging four years ago (bloggiversary in 12 days!) there were far less book bloggers. No twitter. No tumblr. No facebook pages to like. I'm not even sure if anyone really used Google Reader back then? It was much more intimate and easy to connect with other bloggers.
Now there are a bajillion book bloggers and so many different places to connect with others and promote your blog. I find it more difficult to nurture relationships now than I did four years ago but I feel blessed that many of my readers have been around for that long. I can't claim to be a big or popular blogger. I prefer to be intimate with a [large] handful of bloggers rather than just a face in the crowd with the masses, but I do love making new connections with bloggers!
It's always fun to meet new bloggers as well and there are so many ways to do that. These are the things that have worked well for me over the years...
Comment! But don't just comment to comment, try to leave a worthwhile comment. Let the person know that you actually read his/her post and have taken an interest. Sure leaving a million comments will probably lead people back to your blog, but if you take the time show the blogger that you care, you'll be rewarded strong with blogging relationships.
Get Involved! Some of my favorite ways to meet other bloggers is through events held during the year. Dewey's 24-hour readathon is one of my favorites and even though I've never been able to participate, Bloggiesta is another great community building event. There are also challenges and memes and other events.
Listen to your Audience! One of ways I've able to connect with readers and bloggers is by asking questions in my own posts. This gives my readers something to respond to in the comments. Obviously this isn't always applicable, but when possible I try to elicit conversation in the comments by asking for your opinion. Sunday Salon works really well for this!
Be Yourself! I know, cheeseball. But I've found that if you give a piece of yourself to your audience they respond positively. I realize I'm a bit on the extreme with my personal blogging (at least for a book blogger), but I find myself drawn to those who share a bit of themselves in their posts.
I know there's lots of other ways to nurture relationships but this post is already much longer than I anticipated (thank you sleeping baby!).
How do YOU nurture relationships within the blogosphere?
Oh...and lots of fun learning your favorite ice cream flavors in the comments on Monday's post. Lots of Mint Chocolate Chip!