31DBBB Day 15: Find a Blog Buddy

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.

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 Responses to “31DBBB Day 15: Find a Blog Buddy”

  1. 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.

  2. Dan, I love working with you at HCB. And I highly recommend finding blog buddies with a sense of humor. 😉

    Okay, today I say "honk if you like, I prefer cake…"
    http://greeninventionscentral.blogspot.com/2010/0

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. I love talking about relationship and community. Rather I love learning about relationship and community because I didn't really grow up with a steady or constant community to support me outside of my family. Anyways, here's my post for today :) http://justapen.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/simple-r

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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!!!

  9. 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

  10. 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!

  11. So far I have found some bloggers I've worked with on some projects on Twitter. I just joined highcallingblogs.com 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! http://jenniferjanes.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/boo

  12. 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.

  13. 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 HighCallingBlogs.com has been a good experience for you. We certainly love having you on board.

  14. 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!

  15. 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 joinhttp://highcallingblogs.com/ as soon as I finish this post!

  16. 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.

  17. 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:http://bit.ly/cyLHTJ 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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?

  21. Thank you, Dan, for the great post and tips. I have contacted another blogger to see if we could team up on today's assignment. Your points Paul are well taken. Gives more structure to the assignment and invitation.

    Here's today's post:http://openmyearslord.blogspot.com/2010/05/cleans

    Janis

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

  26. I've been blogging only a few months now, but I already find myself blogging into a silo. I also recently joined highcallingblogs.com 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!

  27. 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

  28. This is an excellent suggestion. I have not been able to implement it because I am searching for a person in my blog niche. If you are in my blog niche please contact me. My blog site is http://www.christchosenambassadorsministry.com/ap

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Building a Better Blog, Part 1 - May 31, 2010

    […] marketing and ‘consumer’ behaviors, and maintaining relationships with readers and blog buddies. Successful blogging certainly requires much more than just a passion for […]

  2. Building a Better Blog, Part 2 - Jun 17, 2010

    […] the project, and I even had the chance to be the project’s guest blogger a couple of times (Day 15: Find a Blog Buddy and Day 24: How to Use a Magazine to Improve Your […]

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