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31DBBB Day 15: Find a Blog Buddy

Written by Dan King

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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 HighCallingBlogs.com 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.

Discussion

  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 HighCallingblogs.com) 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 bibledude.net. social media editor for highcallingblogs.com. occasional contributor for the 8-BIT network.

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    About the author

    Dan King

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

    85 Comments

    • 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 HigherCallingBlogs.com. 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.

      • That's a superb analogy Phillip and reminds me its back on soon – I love the TdeF.

        To win they also have to be prepared to make sacrifices – and that part is hard these days when you don't really know someone. Sacrifice of time, committment,effort, etc … it all adds up but can we each hack teh pace? Hmmmm.

      • 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 HighCallingBlogs.com 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. http://ronniespoon.blogspot.com/2010/05/thank-you

      • 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!!!

      • After reading what others said yesterday I think i have more work cut out for me too. I need to update my About page again and some other stuff. Not sure when to do it but I agree that it will take an afternoon or something. I'll come give you some feedback.

    • 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?" http://junctionforjesus.blogspot.com/2010/05/peac

      • 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!