It is always harder to do something by yourself. The more help you have with your venture, the greater the chance that it will be successful. For bloggers, “getting help” comes in a variety of different ways. For many, it simply means going out and finding successful bloggers in similar niches to act as mentors. For others, it means forming relationships with fellow up and coming bloggers to cross promote content. However, one tactic that is often overlooked by many bloggers is blogging within part of a larger network.
Everyone is part of social networks, whether informal or formal. By social networks I don’t mean Facebook, I mean real live social networks which we find ourselves part of in our daily lives. For me, the main social network I associate with is my university, UC Berkeley. For others, these social networks can mean extracurricular groups (such as John’s Dot Com Pho), trade organizations, religious groups, etc. The more resources and members (or influence over others) the group has the more beneficial it will be for you to blog “within this network”.
Now, blogging “within a network” is a broad phrase so to help provide some substance to this idea I will share what I have done and the benefits I have enjoyed through associating my blog with UC Berkeley.
I started CEOB, the College Entrepreneurship Organization at Berkeley, and after recruiting close friends as initial members, worked to grow the group to over 100 members and the largest undergraduate club on campus. (The club was entirely self-funded) I had been blogging about business for quite sometime at my personal blog, AM Beat. Traffic to the blog had been sporadic at best coming from a wide variety of sources. I decided that it would be beneficial to associate the blog with the club.
I worked to promote the blog within the UC Berkeley entrepreneurship community and focus more on entrepreneurship events related to the UC Berkeley community, will still writing content which had wider appeal. This allowed me to use my blog as a networking tool within the UC Berkeley community, allowing me to connect with successful alumni and influential faculty members. It also gave me access to UC Berkeley events and the speakers at these events which proved quite valuable for networking as well.
While UC Berkeley certainly provides a large network to become a part of, even smaller networks can have their benefits. Associating your blog with these networks helps build an additional reader base, builds credibility, and may even allow you to raise some funding.