31DBBB Day 15: Find a Blog Buddy

Written by Dan King

This is Day 15 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a group project 60+ of us bloggers are doing together in an effort to help each other become better bloggers. You can read an overview here.

One of the hardest things that I’ve ever done was to blog in a silo. Well… not a literal, physical silo, but a figurative one. That was back in my early blogging days, and I struggled quite a bit with whether what I was doing was making any difference. I frequently got discouraged because I wasn’t sure if anyone cared, or if they were even listening.

What I needed most during that time was someone that could tell me if I was hitting the mark, or if I was off my rocker.

Today’s assignment deals with this very issue. Our task is to find a blog buddy. A blog buddy is someone that you can share ideas with, get feedback from, and work on projects with. Essentially, you have someone to partner with in a way that helps you both to improve your blogs.

Darren Rowse shares this advice to consider (with my commentary) when looking for a blog buddy:

  1. Make it mutually beneficial – As with real-life relationships, it’s never about how much you can take. So make sure you think about what you have to offer the other person (in addition to how they can help you).
  2. Attempt to find a blogger in a similar niche – This whole blog buddy concept works best when you and your buddy can compliment each other, especially if you decide to do projects with or guest posting for each other.
  3. Find other bloggers on your level – Would a first-grader be lost trying to study with a high-schooler? You bet. There’s a reason why our education system groups people based on their learning-levels.
  4. Make each other’s blog better – If you put a good deal of effort into building someone else up, you’ll usually find that it comes back to you. Do what you can to bless your blog buddy.

One of the best things that I’ve done as a blogger was to join the network, and it is for this very reason. I’ve looked in lots of places to find somewhere that I can connect, and I’ve had limited success. However, it wasn’t until I joined this network that I discovered a whole crew of like-minded bloggers at all different levels that I could connect with. Now I have several great blogging buddies that I get to work with.

The truth is (unless you are genetically predisposed to blogging) that you cannot do this alone. None of us can. In fact, God didn’t create us to do life (and that includes blogging) alone. Find a buddy.

As iron sharpens iron, so one blogger sharpens another.


  1. Have you struggled with blogging in a silo? If so, how does it make you feel?
  2. If you already have a blog buddy, then what are some of the benefits that you’ve discovered in that relationship?
  3. Are there places (like that you’ve found valuable connections that help you become a better blogger?

The Extra Mile

A few other things you can do to take your blog, other bloggers, and this project even further today…

  • Reply & give other bloggers feedback on the little things they do.
  • When other bloggers include a link to a new article they’ve posted today, click, read, and comment on it.
  • Check previous posts in the series for new comments.
  • Tweet, share, & bookmark this post.
  • So, please review Stuart Dyckhoff’s blog, ChurchTechy,  and give him some feedback.
[image by A Simple Country Girl, used with permission]

Dan King is… Christ-follower. husband. father. corporate training development guru. bible college instructor. blogger at social media editor for occasional contributor for the 8-BIT network.

About the author

Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. corporate training development guru. school of ministry and missions instructor. social media editor for blogger at co-founder and media director for the movement. social media director for help end local poverty.


  • Well, this surely strikes a cord. Thanks Dan for your post. It's good to know that someone has been there before me. During this 31 DBBB I have actually joined the I'm too new to have discovered much yet but I did pick up a comment from the community yesterday. My Google Alerts are also providing some potential blogger contacts. Guess the hard part, for me, is to start making contacts and seeing what may develop. Most often I just feel like I have nothing to offer.

    • First of all, thanks for joining the network! I'm also starting to notice some good potential connections through my new Google Alerts, so thanks for pointing that out as a resource for finding a blogging buddy.

  • Good post Dan – I must admit this one has me scratching my head.

    I have some blog buddies but what do you do with them once you have them? That's my problem. I read today's post and lesson and it reminded me a bit of trying to make friends at a new school – unless you can show you have a skil or talent of something that the other kids want then most times making friends is tough.

    And whilst I'm a friendly chap I instantly want everyone to be my bestest friend – it's my failing and I have to accept that some folks (most?) will only ever be acquaintances rather than friends. So my question – aside from the what do you do with them is – how does one turn an acquaintance into a friend in blog terms?

    I don't have an answer … yet.

    • I would say that the conversion from acquaintance to friend happens the same way in the blog world as it does in the normal world: through relationship. You talk to people, dialog with them and eventually an acquaintance will become a friend.
      Obviously it's harder to do this online when you can't sit down with people over coffee and donuts (wait ur in the UK right?…uh Tea and biscuts? 😉 ) but the concept still applies. You have to initiate and invest in the relationship. So comment on their blog, link to their posts, and really want that person to do well.
      Relationships are better defined by how people give to one another rather than by how people take from one another.
      Ok that was kind of all over the place but it isn't 9am yet and I'm still on my first cup of caffeine.

      • It's OK – I do coffee and donuts too 🙂

        I get the principle of relationships – I'm 46 now and havemanaged to start and maintain quite a few but as I said above I have this habit (which may or may not be a good thing) of wanting everyone to be my best friend straight off. May be I come on too strong or too open or similar – I honestly don't know. But I also know that I don't want to change my openess and friendliness off the bat just for my blog.

    • That is a great question, and in order to do it justice would probably require a whole post or two (a la Day 11). I think that the easy answer is that it's probably much like in 'real life'.

      But one thing that I would say is more important than having that marketable skill is having a willingness and desire to help someone else. And then not being afraid to ask for help. I've developed some pretty good blog buddies by simply asking them to guest post on my site. When doing that it can be on a topic that you have in mind, or it could be asking them to expand on something that they've been writing about on their blog.

      Great question though, and it is certainly something worth exploring more!

    • Hi, Stuart

      You're right. It's exceedingly difficult, on-line or in person–to find people who desire/have time for/place a priority on genuine, deep friendship. It helps a lot to be similar; have kids the same age, be into the same sports, etc. Being a tech wizard tends to be, in my observation, kind of a solitary occupation. (Not that I am one–I wish!) But don't give up. Keep blogging; keep looking for blogs in your niche, and you'll eventually find someone you resonate with. It took me a long time, but I finally have.

      Blessings, Cindy

  • brilliant.
    it is a hard job to go it along in a world filled with hundreds of thousands of blog fighting for readers.
    on top of that blogging is a marathon. runners who run long distances need support; not only in the preparation but also during the run – to keep your spirits up and to help you when you struggle. Well, I think that maybe blogging is more like riding the tour de france – those teams work so well together to win.

    • I love finding myself immersed in relationship and community. It's really cool to discover that not only do you have people that are looking out for you, but also to whom you can be a blessing.

  • The silo thing was very recent for me. It wasn't until I started Twitter and met the circle of encouraging people at HCB's that I felt the two way street thing. Before that, my husband and mom were my faithful/dutiful/obligatory readers. 🙂 Writers need other writers, because we give what we need. 🙂 You said it well.

    • That's great! I'm glad to hear that you've benefited in this way from too! That really is one of the coolest things that I've found about being part of that network… It has been very easy for me to find some like minded people to really connect with. It feels more like an extended family to me than some website where I hope to meet people.

      I know that if I go to a blog and see the HCB badge, that I'm likely to run into someone that I can develop some level of blog buddy relationship with.

      Thanks for sharing Kathleen!

  • I agree with some of the comments above. I think the 31DBBB has been a great forum to do just that, find a "blog buddy". Through this event I have found some fellow bloggers that we happen to be on the same wave length, so to speak. I guess, I will now ask if it can be something more. Will you be my "blog buddy"?

    That said, I wrote about social media today and if it has distorted our view of a friend.

    • I agree! It's great to be a part of a project like this and connect with people who all have the one BIG thing in common… that we are Christian bloggers who are looking to improve our craft.

  • BTW, after yesterday, I have my homework cut out for me. My afternnoon will be spent at the computer. I appreciate all of the feedback. The good and the bad was all great! Every topic someone mentioned was something we had thought about and many new ideas too. Great experience!!!

  • Joined your High Callings Blog today, we'll see what that brings. I have also joined a couple SBC blog networks although I have not contributed much to them yet. Seems like you are right, the more you give, the more you gain. The whole 31DBBB experience has brought me several new blogging acquaintances and perhaps some will become forever friends. And I appreciate all the help I have gotten so far from many of you. I hope I've been able to help a little even though I am newer to this than most. –Richard
    Today's post is "Peacemakers – Are You a Child of God?"

    • I agree about 31dbbb. Other bloggers bring value to our blog(s), as well as us bringing value to theirs. I hope the ones of us that get connected on here stay connected even after 31dbbb is over.

  • Great thoughts here Richard! I've found that the more you give the more you get mindset applies to so much, and blogging isn't really any different. And I definitely agree that a project like this really helps to bring people together and develop new relationships.

    And thanks for joining the network! I look forward to interacting with you over there too!

  • So far I have found some bloggers I've worked with on some projects on Twitter. I just joined and haven't been active long enough on the forums I joined to see who I can work with there. I've also found some new friends here! I need some people to come alongside and help me, and I'm working on building those connections. Thanks for your article, Dan!

    My post today is a book review, and I'm also giving away a copy of the book! Enter to win!

    • You should try to connect with Laura Boggess at She usually posts on Mondays, and leads lots of great book projects. Since you do book reviews on your blog, then you would probably benefit a great deal from participating in some of those projects… you'll certainly make some new blog buddies doing that!

  • I started blogging and a few days later this project started. So I haven't struggled with blogging in a silo yet. And the days that I don't post for one reason or another are maybe because I just need a break or feel that yesterday's stuff should be up a day longer before moving on.

    I have a few friends that helped me start my blog, have lots of blogs I read daily through rss, I don't specifically have a "blog buddy" yet but I have people who would probably encourage me to start blogging again.
    I'm still finding my niche and it may take awhile. Tried to join highcallings but my blog doesn't fit any of their categories. I blog about too many areas instead of one specific thing. I guess the things that have helped me become a better blogger are just reading other blogs and paying attention.

    • Well, keep doing what you are doing! I think that you are on the right track!

      If you want to try, I would probably recommend the Faith category. I think that would be the best fit for what I'v e seen of you blog so far.

      I was also just checking out your About page, and I see that you are an online volunteer for Healing Place Church. I'm a big fan of Dan Ohlerking… we've worked together on some online stuff in the past, and I love the work that he's doing online with that church.

  • Dan, you nailed the central problem with blogging. It is disembodied. As such, the feelings of isolation can be even more powerful than they are in regular workplace where many of us already tend to feel isolated–even while we are surrounded by people!

    I'm so glad that has been a good experience for you. We certainly love having you on board.

    • Thanks Marcus! You are right that even in the workplace today we can feel isolated. I see people all the time IM'ing and emailing each other from one and two cubicles apart. Sad really… But this lack of connectedness can easily be exaggerated in a purely online environment like blogging. That makes doing the right things to stay connected much more important.

  • Hi…My name is Ray..and I feel like a stranger around here.

    What can I say this week hit me hard.

    I was able to read these during the week and write a blog or two…but didn't have the time to post comments to everyones blog.

    I have been trying to keep up with everyones posts…

    Is there a day when we talk about maintaining a fulltime job raising 5 kids…taking care of family members…helping out your church…post a blog and stay 'in touch' with all your blogger buddies? : )

    You guys all rock though!

    • Love it Ray, glad you are back. I think part of what scheduled blogging is for is so you can write posts ahead of time and they will automatically go out at the time you set. As for commenting and participating that unfortunatly can't be automatic. Glad you are back.

    • hang in there, I know it's tough I have a one month old,a toddler and also a full time job. My wife is in there, but she makes life easy and worthwhile 🙂 I am not saying I have it as hard, but I know what you mean. It's about finding balance and sometimes it's ok to walk away.
      And maybe when times are easy (in finding time to blog) save a few posts for the busy days.
      Wish I'ld practice this too.

    • LOL! It sounds like lots of us are in the same boat, and agree that this one could be a WHOLE extra post (or series… thinking back to Day 11).

      The only wisdom that I have on this topic that I try to ensure that my blogging is a natural extension of who I am and the other things that I have going on in my life. This way I don't get myself in a position where coming up with blog posts is a totally separate task that I need to do. I blog about the things that I am already studying, pondering, and living.

    • I am with you this week. I have had to all day field trips one for each of my kids this week. That takes away from my work in ministry that has to be made up for in the evenings which takes away from by blogging which means I haven't posted twice this week.

    • THANK YOU for saying this. I'm so glad I'm not the only one, and others of you are saying the same thing. I just sent a lengthy and whiny email to Paul just to say "hey, I'm still in" because I've been so uninvolved. I had a giant (and, frankly, very pointless) project dumped on me at work because I was the only one who could do video editing. I already had another project I was committed to, we had to go out of town last week, I have to go out of town again early next week, and my wife and daughter have been sick all this week.

      I'm scratching my head wondering how all of this came together right now….but there it is.

      It's good to know I'm not the only one feeling a little overloaded. Community (even virtual community) is a good thing, which is the point of today's post.

  • I sure have struggled with blogging in a silo. It's lonely and disheartening.When I first started my blog years ago I thought for sure my inspirational stories and poems would touch the hearts of everyone who read them so much that they would feel like they just had to comment and share a similar expereince of their own. Biy was I wrong! I belong to CWHAM and one of the other Christian ladies saw a link to my blog and emailed me to tell me I was doing a great job and just to believe that others like herself were reading, even if they weren't commenting. Boy did that make me feel great. I realize now that I should have stayed in contact with her. She would have made a great blogging buddy!
    I am going to join as soon as I finish this post!

  • Dan I could not agree more about HCB. I honestly have a sense of real community in my life, since joining. However I know that I get the most out of it when I actively participate and give to other members.

    Off to go and consider a few blog buddies….

    Ray, you have touched on a point that I really think needs to be addressed somewhere in this series. Its the toughest part of blogging for me.

    • You bring up a GREAT point Claire! It will be hard to connect with a community like HCB if you are not doing what you can do to engage. Commenting on the site, and other members sites is a great way to begin building those relationships.

      I know that there is also quite a bit of chatter on Twitter among members, and it seems pretty easy to jump into that conversation.

  • The whole reason I joined 31DBBB was because my blog buddy, Jon Reid, invited me. His recommendation won out over my reluctance. I'm very thankful.

    I really enjoy my interaction with Jon and am definitely a better blogger because of this relationship.

    I got caught up on several reviews I had to write yesterday, but the resource I'd like to point out here is Ed Cyzewski’s new book, A Path to Publishing: Ed talks about the benefits of having s strong social media presence as well as a well maintained blog. He had several great things to share in this resource.

  • I found this very challenging – writing is so personal, such a vulnerable, almost naked experience, an unveiling of the soul. In my formal book writing my characters became like my children and I wept when I let them face pain or die or whatever. Writing is not a part of me, it is me, my life, my whole being – I despair of ever being published, but thats another story. However, God took me on this journey and led me over an agonizingly long journey that peeled away all my layers so I could write relevant books – to help my books along, I blogged, twittered, face-booked, self-published and wrote more than I can describe. I asked well meaning friends and family to read my works, but got limited support (not because they do not love me, but because life is life). So to now bear my soul to someone else, someone detached from all that went before …. I don't know.

    • I can totally understand where you are coming from. It is tough to deal with any form of rejection and then expect to find acceptance.

      I think that the good news for someone that might be in your same or similar shoes is you don't have to find a new best friend overnight. II think that the important thing is to just be out there and engage other bloggers. It may take a while and a little bit of effort, but I'd be willing to bet that there will eventually be some folks that you feel comfortable opening up to again.

      Thanks for your honesty!

  • I have a couple of like-minded friends with whom I share links and private e-mail. We haven't taken it beyond that, but this is a good idea. We should–maybe I'll start steering more in that direction. Great post, most excellent illustration.

    • I'd love to see you take those relationships to the next level! And I'd love to hear more about what you decide to do together.

      Thanks for the feedback on the post and illustration!

    • Perhaps this is what I should do …. I have lots (well a few anyway) of "blogging colleagues" but I perhaps need to push myself to do more with / for them.

      For example I co-write at ChurchTechMatters with approx 10 bloggers but for whatever reason we just haven't really gelled as a unit of bloggers in getting regular articles out, etc. Now that blog isn't mine so I don't feel its right to 'take it over' but perhaps with the 2 or 3 I have a more regular realtionship with I should do more.


  • One of the things that makes this assignment difficult is because "blogging buddy" is such a vague thing. It reminds me of when I've talked to other guys about becoming accountability partners. It's awkward, like asking someone out on a date.

    While I've never had a "blogging buddy" per se, I would think one of the best thing you could do would be to discuss and agree on the expectations. Are you each going to read every post the other person writes? Comment? Tweet? Are you going to guest post for each other on a regular basis? t Is it going to be less formal than that?

    • good questions.
      I think you have lay down the expectations early on.
      It could be a group of people that work towards taking each other's blogs to the next level with strategic promotions and even collaborative posting. Or just to retweet, digg and share on facebook every now and again.

      • Agreed.

        Paul's mention of accountability reminds me of a situation in my life when I needed to be accountable. Taking that first step, however 'date like' it appears to be, is the all important one though.

    • LOL… about the asking out on a date thing! Good analogy and I agree that asking someone to do that with can be awkward. Luckily, I think that this kind of relationship occurs best when it occurs naturally. I have some blog buddies too that I know that I can have some real conversations about blogging with, and we never had to say, "Ummm… do you wanna hang out sometime and talk about our blogs."

      But I do think that sometimes it does just take asking the question. Speaking of which, I've been wanting to talk to you about something Paul…. 😉

    • Ha! Yes – you took the words out of my mouth, on all counts: the awkwardness of popping the question, and the nebulousness of the "blogging buddy" concept for those of us who aren't familiar with the idea already.

      Several others were saying that the relationship has to happen naturally, and that seems right to me. But unlike those kinds of relationships, as Phillip says, I think it would be good to have the expectations spelled out.

    • Great Janis! I'm glad to hear that you are taking active steps at implementing these ideas! I'd love to hear more later about whether you experienced any substantial benefits from doing this!

  • I work with Dan at HighCallingBlogs and have also found that the interaction and community forming there reduces the "silo effect."

    During my early days of blogging, I felt like I was on a desert island writing messages, rolling them up and popping them in a bottle to toss out to sea…hoping someone would get my "message in a bottle." At that time, I sensed that many other bloggers felt the same, and we were a hundred billion castaways, all cramming messages into bottles and hoping someone would spot ours bobbing in the vast sea of cyberspace.

    A network like HighCallingBlogs attempts to pull some of those messages together to be seen, noticed, read; HCB invites us to join a bigger conversation. Instead of tossing bottles randomly out to sea, we can find connection and community with others writing on similar topics. We can support each other. We can visit each other's blogs and comment. We can stay on top of the carnivals and projects our blogging buddies are part of. In fact, I'm here today because Dan referenced it and I wanted to see what my HCB friend wrote today for the 31DBBB project!

    So glad that blogging buddies are in my life.

    • Thanks sharing your experiences Ann, and I really appreciate your support by stopping by to see what I was up to here! That's exactly what this post is all about!

      I'm happy to have the opportunity to work with you over at HCB! Thanks!

  • Thanks for the post Dan. Great comments and suggestions. I have not really made much of an attempt to connect with a blogging buddy. But the idea is worth considering. I also can see the advantages of connecting into a community like HighCallingBlogs. Sounds like it has good interaction.

  • Dan, great post – the writing and the summary are great.

    I'm right in the middle of finding this so very true right now. I've been put on a big project at work that has had me working very long hours by myself, since I'm the only one at work who can do this particular thing. My wife and daughter have been sick all week, which means that I'm the only one who can contribute to keeping the house together. It's tough working in isolation.

    There have been other things on my plate in addition to the above, and the result is that my participation here has been sporadic (which is a massive disappointment because the community going on here is great!) and my blog hasn't been updated in a week. Having a blogging buddy would at least mean that someone else could contribute and keep things going when busy seasons come up.

    • Thanks for the feedback on the post! I definitely don't think that we were made to work well in isolation. That's why I believe there are so many references to things like the body of Christ and how each part is needed… People need other people. We are designed for community.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

  • As a lurker through this project, I have to say that this one makes a lot of sense. That sense of community we feel at HighCallingBlogs is something pretty special. It does take time to establish relationships like that…but it is so worth it.

    Love working with you, DAn!

    • Out of curiosity and an attempt to get you to not lurk so much let me ask how long it's taken the HCB group to feel like a community?

      When HCB became a group blog (was it always?) did regular posts take place or did that have to be encouraged, etc?

  • I've been blogging only a few months now, but I already find myself blogging into a silo. I also recently joined for this same reason. I'm very new to blogging and I'm looking to improve my writing skills. Feel free to check me out and see what you think. Feel free to contact me if you have a similar blog and want to team up!

  • this post has got me thinking…
    (I suppose I must admit I was doing that even before I read this), about this very thing.
    One thing I have been noticing in myself primarily is that we can quickly become a slave to building our blogs and slaves to our readers (aka: buddies; friends), or at least to trying to make more of them! While I want friends as much as the next guy (and TRULY cherish the ones that I already have), I've got to remember where blogging fits in my life… is it my life? or are there real life experiences and ministries that I miss because of it? I'm definitely not criticizing or finger pointing, just thinking out loud. I realize that 31DBBB (what is the 3rd B for?), is all about building up blog readership and that we should ideally have worked out already what our personal objective, purpose and such of our individual blogs really are… I think self discipline is really important here. Of course, I'm sure most of you who are here absolutely do not struggle with this… 😉
    In my case living overseas, blogging has been a way to connect with people who encourage me, and I like to connect with real people with blogs who see life the same way as I do, but admittedly, blogging does distract from real life. As I'm thinking about what to write, thinking about what someone else wrote, while I'm writing, I'm sitting here… in front of the computer. Sometimes the dream of lots of people reading my blog and becoming interested in our ministry and making me feel important and loved can put a lot of pressure on a person. Just sayin' 😉
    That said, I very much appreciate anyone who reads my blog and I really like the highcallingblogs network… LOVE the food for thought and lots of healthy discussion.
    I've found where I want to be… that is, when I have virtual time to kill 😉

    amy in peru

    • Love this comment!!! Thanks for being so real. You are absolutely right–in my opinion. The bottom line is being led by the Spirit of the Lord. If He leads to write we write. If He leads to lay it down we lay it down. No other life will ever prove abundant–millions of readers or not. Glad to connect with you. 🙂

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