I have been blogging for 3 years now and in that time I have attended just one blog conference. I do however feel like I have formed connections with other bloggers beyond those I met at the conference and some of those connections are leading to friendships.
It isn’t that I don’t want to go to conferences it is just that they don’t work into our budget right now. Still I have learned a few ways of getting to know other bloggers more without having to attend a conference.
7 Ways To Build Blogging Friendships When You Can’t Attend A Conference
1. Read their blogs
This is vital, if you want to make a friendship with someone it is a lot easier if you know their interests and bloggers tend to write about what interests them.
2. Leave great encouraging comments
If you want to form a friendship with a blogger, don’t leave comments like, “hey I blogged about this too check it out” and then drop a link. Instead read the blog post with a pen and paper in hand and as you read. Write down aspects that interest you as you read each and every word of the blog post. I write it down because often I will get to the bottom of a post and totally forget my thoughts I had sentence one into the post. It is important to read fully to avoid comment mistakes, like finding out the question you asked about paragraph 2 was answered in great detail in paragraph 5.
3. Follow and interact with bloggers on Instagram
Instagram is my favorite way to follow bloggers I want to make friends with. Instagram is the one social media site where bloggers tend to drop the business side of things and let you into the behind the scenes real life stuff. Real life stuff is what true friendships are made of.
It is also really easy for a blogger to hop over to your Instagram feed and get to know you better too.
Leave comments, not just likes. Answer any replies you get. Don’t get creepy and like and comment on every photo they ever posted. Simply stick to commenting on those that genuinely got your attention and that you can relate too.
4. Get into facebook groups
I join pretty much any blogging orientated Facebook group I am invited too. I will admit I don’t get to spend that much time in them but I still find them very valuable to forming blogging friendships.
I try to spend time once a week, 20 to 30 minutes perhaps, scrolling the feed in the groups I am a part of and joining conversations when I feel I have something that adds to the conversation in a positive and helpful manner.
Not a part of a group? Create one. If you already have a few blogging connections create a Facebook group and invite them to join.
5. Share their work
Crystal Paine said something at the one and only blogging conference I have attended that has stuck with me and I feel has been vital in me forming blogging friendships, “We are not competitors we are co-laborers” . Sharing other blogger’s work won’t harm your own instead it will not only grow your work but more importantly grow friendships between you and other bloggers.
If your blogging friend writes a great article, that fits with what your blog is about, share it on your social media platforms. If they write a book sign up to be on their book launch team and write a post about what the book inspired you to do.
(One last tip if your blogging friend writes something you love but it is totally off topic for your blog audience, share it on your personal Facebook page instead.)
6. Go to local events
Due to health problems, a horrible winter and a packed schedule I didn’t get to do this as much last year as I would of liked but I hope to do it more this year. Usually through Facebook groups, I will find a group of bloggers near me (as in less than 2 hours away) getting together a few times a year.
These are inexpensive ways to meet bloggers face to face when compared to conferences. There is just something about face to face interaction that forms bonds to depths the internet has a hard time copying.
If you don’t see anyone doing this in your blogging Facebook groups be bold and ask if any live near you and see if they would like to meet up. You might have to drive a bit out of your way, but the seeds of friendship sewn will be worth it.
You can also sign up to go to a local (in) Real Life Conference. They conferences are really more like meet ups and although not attended exclusively by bloggers, most that attend are and they are held all over the states, so there is bound to be one near you. Plus the price is very reasonable, and usually comes with great sign up bonuses.
7. Remember this verse
Ephesians 4:32 And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted) forgiving one another (readily and freely) as God in Christ forgave you. (Amplified)
God has used this verse in my life again and again to remind me what it takes to be a true friend. You can do all 6 steps above but if you don’t do it from a heart that truly wants to serve instead of be served, the friendship bonds you desire will never be created.
Before approaching any blogger for help I pause and think “what have I done for them lately”. Have I prayed for them? Have I promoted their work? Have I complimented them when I saw them do something awesome? Did I do the last favor they asked me to do? . Or is the relationship getting “me” sided. If it is the latter, I make sure to correct matters right away.
I am not perfect at this. I am a work in progress, which is why I love the end of the verse “forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you”.
How about you? Have you found a great way to form friendship bonds with other bloggers that you might not be able to meet in person? Share them in the comments below.
This post is part of the series What I learned My Junior Year Of Blogging University. You can view all my blogging tips here