One of the greatest parts about blogging is meeting new people and forming new friendships! I’ve been so lucky to have met some wonderful people through blogging, both offline and online, who have been such great friends and wonderful supports! These friendships are so special- having someone who understands my goals, dreams, and struggles is so huge! And I’m so grateful to have these friends by my side through thick and thin.

And besides the obvious benefits of making friends (please tell me I don’t need to list them for you) it will really help you move forward in the blogosphere!

building relationships - Building relationships in the blogosphereThey will naturally want to share your work because they love you!
You can ask them for help and advice!
You can post on each others blogs!
It sets you up for really great collaborations!
You can share and give of your talents and abilities to help each other!

But many bloggers, especially shy introverts like me, have a hard time knowing how to genuinely connect with others and start up friendships online! Trust me, reaching out to others (especially when I’m not with them in real life) does not come naturally to me so I’ve had to learn a lot! And this is what I’ve found has really helped me to get to know others and start up friendships in a natural and genuine way!

1. Remember: Networking doesn’t win you friends.
I hate when people refer to connecting with other bloggers and creatives as “networking.” No good friendship is going to start based on elevator pitches and business talk. Friendships start when you open up and share about real stuff people can relate to! So be real. This is about making real, genuine friendships, not making new business connections that will further your career.

2. Get on Twitter!
Twitter is a great place to share little thoughts and snippets of your life and start a conversation! Of course you can use Twitter to promote your blog, but also share the real stuff! Talk about your awesome date night or the movie you just saw or how you’re feeling a little stuck in the rut. That real talk is what starts conversations.
And respond to other people! Even if you feel like they are way out of your league and won’t care about what you have to say, say it anyways! Just respond with your genuine thoughts- if you liked the movie too or that you’re jealous about their date night. Join in the conversation and keep it going!

3. Comment on their blog
Show your support for what they’re doing by leaving genuine comments on their blog! Just like with Twitter, you can keep the conversation going by sharing your thoughts on the subjects you write about. Plus, everyone feels really good when they get comments. Show that you care about their hard work! Comments go a long way.

4. Respond to their comments
Show appreciation for those that are reaching out to support you! At the very least, say thank you for their sweet comment, but even better keep the conversation going! Be open to others that would like to better connect with you by taking the time to respond to them when they have the courage to reach out to you.

5. Send them a nice email
A nice email never hurts! If there is a blogger out there that regularly post things that speak to you or if you seem to have a lot in common or you just like them, send them an email and say so! Just open up and share what’s on your mind and get a conversation going! At the very least, you’ll be remembered. And don’t worry about whether or not they’ll have the time to reply or if they’ll think you’re weird, just put yourself out there! What do you have to lose?

6. Meet in person!
If you ever have the opportunity, meet in person! If you visit their city or if you go to events or conferences, meet up and get to know each other in person! It might seem a little strange at first, almost like you’re online dating, but you’ve already talked so much online and you’ll have so much to talk about! It will all turn out to be very natural and fun. At the very least you can talk about blogging. Give it a shot and put yourself out there and meet someone new!

I promise. If you take some time to reach out to other people and make some friends, blogging will get a whole lot more fun!

What are some ways you love connecting with other bloggers online or offline? Have you made some great friendships?

Hi, I'm George MP, founder of Trunk.Ly. I help bloggers grow their blogs from obscurity into something spectacular. I want to show you, step-by-step, how you can take your blog to the next level by showing you what works ... and what doesn't. Learn actionable tips and strategies to gain more targeted traffic, grow your list and build your influence.