Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Creative networking

Liz Strauss made Creative Networking the topic of Open Mic Night this week. Here are a few of my better contributions to the discussion.

Getting answers on Twitter, Plurk, etc., when you ask questions: 

1. Follow up with the people who do respond. Start conversations.
2. Persist. Keep asking. Ask again later. Rephrase the question.
3. Share your results, and talk about it.

Guest posting secrets: 

My highest profile guest posting did boost my visibility, especially because it was a series, and built on two popular blogs finally linking back to me. It wasn’t a huge traffic builder. More of a recognition builder.

Here’s how I got good guest posting opportunities: I announced on Twitter that I was willing to do some guest articles. Then followed up, and actually wrote some articles that fit together.
Guest posting did get me some incoming links (6 when I stopped counting). I tracked around 20 incoming readers to my blog that arrived directly from the link in those 2 guest posts. My subscribers probably went up by about 10-15. I had around 725 total at that time. Those numbers aren’t earth-shattering. But I don’t think that was the point.

DON’T expect instant world changes from guest posting. View it as a layering process. You’ve added a new layer to the world’s awareness of you.

Be inviting  

Someone mentioned a WordPress plugin for offering guided tours of your blog. I have a guided tour on Small Biz Survival, but it’s really just a post I wrote and put links to in the sidebar, and at the foot of every post. “New here? Take the Guided Tour. Like what you see? Subscribe.” Goes on every single post.

Use your offline network

I also got some good results early from reaching out to my less-than-techie folks in my real-world network. Folks I had worked with or connected with in the economic development network. Here are two things I did that worked:

1. Sent emails to about 20 people I knew well enough to say, “Hey, you might be able to use the info I share here.”

2. Asked 2 or 3 people to do a guest article, even though they had no idea about blogs, etc. Then they automatically promoted it to their network when I gave them a link to their article.

Network in Google Reader

One other great networking tip that improves readership is Google Reader Shared Items. I’ve been pretty impressed with seeing my articles passed around by other people!


  1. Hi Becky. I found your site through Chris Brogan. Thanks for the advice. I was also wondering what small town in Oklahoma you live in. My hometown is Sayre, OK. I live in Chicago now.

  2. Hi, Shawna. I'm from Alva. Sayre is south and a bit west from here. It's a small world!

  3. I know where Alva is. And you're right: it is a small world!

  4. Hi Shawna, I found your blog through the Oklahoma Women's Network Blog. I also live in rural Oklahoma, but I only own 7.5 acres. Thanks for the tip about the Wordpress plugin. I'll be checking it out.~~Dee