How Bloggers Can Leverage their Real World Social Networks

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.

This post was written by Aditya Mahesh, founder of AMBeat.com, one of the web’s most popular entrepreneurship blogs.


39 thoughts on “How Bloggers Can Leverage their Real World Social Networks”

  1. Definitely take advantage of any networking opportunity that you can!

    1. Optimize it exactly. 😀

    2. Agreed. We should take advantage of anything we can to help us do better in the market or make us stand out.

    3. Absolutely! Networking is of cardinal importance if you aim to be successful. The more people you meet and interact with, the better. It is who you know that counts for far more than what you know, as the old saying goes.

      1. Exactly. I wrote a post about this exactly and had a great response as well. I like that a lot of us share a similar mindset!

  2. I agree.. your life is a social network as well!! make sure you dont forget about that one!

    1. Exactly. I would recommend the book “Crush it!” by Gary Vaynerchuk if you haven’t read it. Talks a lot about social media and how it can help build your business.

    2. I agree with you completely. We should look at online social media as a source of expansion only, not our primary way to communicate.

  3. Great post Aditya! You’re right across the Bay Bridge! You were spot on in leveraging your offline resources and groups you have exposure to.

    I am doing something similar where I am connecting my website with the college classes I teach and the students that I counsel. Since my site revolves around success strategies in college and careers, It’s a natural link.

    After I get some more content on my site, I will start a forum and require my students to sign up and discuss topics as part of their grade.

    Would you call that “evil” John?!?! 😀

    1. tell them to click on your google ads and complete some affiliate programs while your at it too!

      hahahah now we’re talking “evil”

      1. I don’t know if I would take that far…I have to see these students on a daily basis 🙂 Plus, I want to add value for my readers…a few clicks on high paying adsense wouldn’t hurt though LOL But knowing them, me telling them to do something will get me banned from adsense…

        1. scheng1 says:

          haha, I think your students will click continuously for an hour, hoping to make millions for you, if you ever ask them to click on the Google Adsense.

  4. Mathew Day says:

    Thanks for the reminder and your real world example. Sometimes I think we forget to leverage all of our resources and connections into our blogs.

    1. It’s really unfortunate when you forget about all the tools to use and don’t take advantage of everything you can!

    2. Its true, sometimes I even forget to do this in my own blog

  5. I definitely agree with this. A network is something that could help your business prosper.

  6. nice idea to make optimal use of these promotional opportunities

  7. Steve C. says:

    Great advice!

  8. Your real world example was what “social media” was before we had the internet.

    1. Hey, social media is social media though!

  9. Never thought of social networking in this way before disputing the fact that I have been living my life like this for the past five years without knowing it.

    1. Ya, it is powerful information, thanks for sharing John

  10. Great interesting new thought for me. I think I will start to utilize some of real blogger network that I join at.

  11. If you currently have an online business and you are not leveraging the social networking sites to help build new relationships and brand your company, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity to gain free traffic and possibly more sales

    1. true, but i think the idea with this post is to also leverage your offline social network as well…

  12. Free Picks says:

    thanks Aditiya for wonderful article

    1. Agreed! Keep up the good work!

  13. Networking is so important! It’s something that all professionals should start to build once they begin their career..or even before then! the sooner the better…

  14. Everyone should be taught how to find the right social networks. Life is so much easier when you are talking to the right group of people! I moved from Engineering to this Hospitality e-commerce business and that was step #1.

    Bryan

  15. scheng1 says:

    I haven’t tried live networking for my blogs too. Most of my friends and contacts are not interested in reading blogs. They consider blogging as hobby, rather than business venture.

  16. scheng1 says:

    Haven’t thought of utilizing live contacts. When I started my blog, I did try to get my friends and contacts to read the blogs. However, their interest peters out within a week.

  17. Great post, Aditya! It is always nice to have some fresh insight from guest bloggers. I’m heading over to your site to go check your offering out straightaway! Cheers!

  18. You can start a network from just your circle of friends, relatives and acquaintances. You can easily build your own social networking site on Ning. Then invite people who you know (offline) to join. People are not only more likely to join if they know you personally; they’re also the ones will be most active on your network. But you’ve got to be careful so as not to appear to exploit their relationship with you for your own gains.

    1. scheng1 says:

      That works in certain culture. Even my boss does not know enough about computer to use skype. He just knows how to check email and play games. I think someone has to point a gun at him to make him join Ning

  19. I & O says:

    Hey John,

    We can use anyone that makes us stand out, but ethics are something that must not be staked at any cost.

    Because a crucial success is the result of ethics and faith that we have from our network.

  20. David Koh says:

    I definitely agree with this. I recently met a friend in one of my social groups here in Singapore and we really hit off as both of us had a similar passion which is investing and making money. It then led to us doing deals and being partners in business ventures.

  21. jtGraphic says:

    A fair amount of my readers are local people I ACTUALLY know.

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