Sometimes I think the early days of blogging were friendlier. Though it’s fun now and still has a warm, fuzzy community, the vibe was different. Back in the day we were more likely to help out our fellow bloggers without considering them competition or resorting to flame wars. Oh, we had that stuff too, but it wasn’t as apparent. What I really liked about the good old days (which was only a few years ago, really) is that everyone was so generous with the recipriocity.
I wonder, are we not sharing other bloggers’ posts as often because:
- There isn’t as much worth sharing?
- Newer bloggers aren’t really sure how to do this?
- We’re all busy branching off with other projects and ideas?
- The sharing is widespread in certain cliques, but not so much outside of them?
- We are sharing and I’m way off base?
It’s something I’m looking to explore, it’s a different feel lately.
In the meantime, here are some ways you can share interesting and thought provoking posts by other bloggers.
1. Link to It
Back in the day we did a lot of blog rolling. We also did some weekly link roundups and even blog posts specifically geared towards recommending another blog or post. I’m guilty of favoring the retweet and not linking out as much as much as the other guy though. The best way to show your appreciation for another blogger for something he wrote is to link to it. Links are more valuable than most other forms of sharing as they help with rankings and more. I’ll tell you something else, nothing makes a blogger feel better than to know something they wrote touched people in one way or another. Sharing and linking are validation.
2. Tweet or Retweet
Probably the most common form of sharing is in the form of a tweet or retweet. Sometimes after my blog’s feed hits Twitter, my Seesmic pings more than a dozen times. Hearing (and seeing) people share my post is the coolest thing ever, so if it makes me feel good, I know it has to make others feel good too. I try and share at least one or two posts a day – from other people – how about you?
3. Share on Facebook
The interesting thing about Facebook is that my Facebook isn’t necessarily a business account. The people who are my friends are mostly people I know including family and personal friends. So when I share a blog post, it’s reaching a whole new, unintended audience. I didn’t think my neighborhood friends read half the stuff I share, but they do and they ask questions and discuss. So sharing on Facebook reaches people who aren’t necessarily into “the niche.”
4. Give it a Stumble
First a warning: When a post goes viral on Stumble, a social bookmarking or voting site, the traffic is short lived. Still, Stumble Upon has the ability to send traffic to a blog post for years. I still receive Stumble traffic from some of my earliest blog posts, it’s the gift that keeps giving. It also tells bloggers you’re giving their posts the thumbs up.
5. Save it on a social bookmarking site
I have to admit, I’m not into the social bookmarking sites so much. Frankly, I don’t even know how to spell delicious because I know you have to break it up somehow, but I always get it wrong. With that said, I have received occasional very good traffic from a couple of the social bookmarking sites. My preference is to give a tweet or a Stumble, but if the social bookmarks are your thing, rock on.
6. Give it a Reddit, Digg or Sphinn
It’s amazing to watch Digg numbers grow. It’s only happened to me a few times, but I know from others that it’s very exciting. I also know that it’s very short lived. When you hit on one of the social voting sites, the traffic spikes for a couple of days and then it’s back to normal. Most of the people who dropped by never come back again. Sharing in this manner is awesome and so rewarding for the blogger, though. Whether the traffic is short lived or a steady stream, we appreciate the gesture more than you know. I don’t Digg or Reddit everything that comes along, but when a post truly rocks, I’ll vote.
7. Share it with others in your favorite online forum or group
If you’re part of an online discussion group, whether it’s a forum, Google group or Yahoo group, you’re most likely sharing with like-minded people. What better way to share than with a blog post you know will resonate among the crowd. It doesn’t even have to be something everyone agrees on, as long as it’s discussion-worthy. People like learning about new ideas and reading new blogs, and sharing with others makes this happen.
8. Discuss it in casual, real time conversation
Just because friends and family aren’t bloggers, don’t mean they won’t appreciate reading a blog post. If there’s something you feel others would enjoy, talk about it. If you’re at a professional conference and you’re discussing a topic and a blog post comes to mind, talk about it. Blogging doesn’t only have have to be an online thing, take it to the streets.
9. Mention it in video updates and podcasts
Many bloggers are enjoying digital media as well. Sharing doesn’t only have to be in the form of links and retweets. If you see something you like, talk about it. Discuss it online and talk about why it touched a nerve or made you feel good. Blog posts provide endless fodder for conversation, why not use them as discussion points?
10. Create a blog post to offer another point of View
Rather than simply link (which is cool in itself), discuss. Create a blog post to offer a rebuttal or point the original blogger might not have considered. Go for respectful disagreement or talk about why the post caused you to think. Bloggers love knowing they caused you to react – even if you might not feel the same way.
I owe much of my success over the past ten years to the people who have been so supportive of me and my blogs. I think that’s why I feel giving back is so important. Many bloggers give away advice at no cost to them, and they’re not looking for anything in return. Sometimes, a little sharing goes a long way. I lost sight of that for a little while, but fortunately, I’ve come back to my senses.
Do you promote other bloggers and blogs? How often and how do you do it?