The One Secret to Growing a Blog Quickly (Really Quickly)

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growing a blog

Last Update September 30th, 2014

So you want the secret to growing a blog quickly? Who doesn’t?

Well, there is one secret that will help you do that faster than you thought possible. Have a guess at what you think I’m talking about…

Advertising? Nope.

Guest posting? Nah.

Top Google rankings? That’s nice, but not it either.

In this article I’m going to show you the one thing that you need if you want to grow your blog fast. And it’s got something to do with Brian Clark.

It’s not a beard.

Let’s take a look.

What has Brian got to do with this?

If you don’t know Brian Clark he is the handsome genius behind Copyblogger as well as all the other things that brand now represents (StudioPress themes, etc.)

He’s been around for a really long time writing about conversions. They say the site is about copywriting but I’ve thought about it a lot and I think it’s actually about conversions – making your sales pages work, using language to sell products, etc.

Anyway, Brian has done a few things for me lately:

  • Inspired me and all that fluffy stuff
    He was on the scene well before I got started. Without those articles I doubt I’d be doing this.
  • He approved a controversial guest post
    I’ve had a few guest posts over there but the one called Why I Hate Copyblogger that went live recently caused quite a lot of stir. It was Sonia Simone who was brave enough to forward it on but I was told that Brian was the one that gave the final approval. That brought in a huge influx of traffic, subscribers and, more importantly, brand awareness.
  • He shared a post of mine on Google+
    I published a simple graphic last week that said, “Your mailing list is protection against Google’s unpredictable updates. Grow it.” Brian re-shared that which caused an avalanche of new shares and comments. I even heard it being cited on a Rand Fishkin thread!

So what’s the point?

Well, the point is that a lot of stuff that happens around here happens because of people like Brian.

Truthfully, Brian hardly knows me at all. I’ve never chatted with him on Skype and certainly never met him in person.

But his website, endorsements and encouragement have been completely invaluable to my business and helping me stay on the couch instead of in an office.

So what then can I say about people that I am in daily contact with like Glen from ViperChill or my (very private) best mate in Australia who has pulled in many millions from affiliate marketing? Those people give more ideas, support and feedback than numbers can quantify.

So what’s the secret sauce?

It’s friendships, endorsements and meaningful connections.

It’s as simple and incredibly complex as that.

Why are connections so valuable for blog growth?

I don’t want to give the impression that we’re all in some big boys club that just looks out for each other. It’s not like that at all.

Glen would never, for example, share a post of mine unless it matched the quality that his readers have come to expect of him. And the Copyblogger editors make you work damn hard to get articles good enough for publication.

And so it means you work harder to match that level of quality.

But what I do want to stress is that making connections with the right people in your niche can rocket your progress extremely quickly.

1. They are a sounding board

Got a new idea that you’re not sure about? If you have the right people in your circle you can shoot them a message and trust that they’ll give you feedback without stealing your intellectual property. Recently I had an idea for a premium plugin and knew that Neil Patel had experience with this particular style of software.

Within a day I had some wonderful feedback that helped me direct my energy with the future of the project. You can’t often email people “cold” about this stuff.

2. They are an emotional support

Some really strange things happen to you when you are working on the final stages of a product or website that is about to be launched. And as much as your friends and family love and support you, there is nothing quite like talking to someone who has lived it.

I literally email my Australian friend 5 to 10 times per day about work related stuff. Sometimes it’s for a person to lean on, sometimes it’s for some advice about accounting.

Either way, it’s always really nice to have that there.

3. They put you in contact with the right people

We all know that it’s often not what you know but who you know. The same is true for the online space. In fact, it’s even more true because we are talking about relationships that span the globe.

I watched all six series of Mad Men in about two weeks over Christmas. And I was constantly amazed at how much face to face contact was needed for new clients or projects. They’d fly to LA or London at the drop of a hat just to get in the same room as someone. And I know that still happens (and sometimes is necessary) but these days and introduction from someone online can be good enough. Get on a Skype chat and trust is made.

The introductions often happen indirectly as well. I highly doubt I would have been able to get a guest post on Smart Passive Income if I hadn’t already done really well over on ProBlogger.

4. They have your target audience ready to go

If you connect with influencers in your niche it is the single best way to get traffic to your site. It trumps advertising because it is an endorsement from the site where you are mentioned.

When Brian shared my Google+ post he wrote “My name is Brian and I approve this message“. That is an extremely valuable thing: he believes in the meaning of the quote that I wrote out but he also trusts the source enough (that I won’t then share spam or adult material, etc.) to share it with his hard-earned followers.

And those followers pay attention.

How to connect with the right people

growing a blog

So what I want to do now is talk a little bit about how you can forge some of these relationships for yourself in a way that is both meaningful to you and the person you’re connecting with.

1. Take your stuff seriously

If you don’t take your brand seriously then they probably won’t either. This means spending time making sure you look solid, having your own domain and professional website, as well as actually growing yourself as an authority before expecting other people to connect their brands with yours.

This is sometimes a difficult point for new bloggers: if I have to grow before I can connect with them so that I can grow, how the hell do I do that? Well, some of these next points should help.

2. Reach out to learn before anything else

There is something about someone who is looking to genuinely learn and better their situation that is really compelling. I get emails every day from people: some of them just want something, others really want to learn. I am always more likely to reply helpfully to the latter.

If you don’t have anything to “give” then at least reach out because you want to learn. Entrepreneurs have ALL been where you are now and will (hopefully) remember what it is like to be at the beginning looking at all the people ahead of you.

To go along with this, if any of you ever need help from me the two best places are Twitter and my comments section. I will always reply. Sometimes emails get a bit lost and I actively try to use it less because it takes up so much of my time.

3. Know where to look

Not all sources are created equal. Some people are going to be more likely to help you and then connect with you than others. Sometimes it’s just a vibe thing; like how Reddit and imgur get along but Reddit and 4Chan not so much.

The point is to get relevant sources for growing a blog. Sources that have not only the same topic as you but the same “feeling”. One way to find them is to go to Twitter and search for your root keywords. The results will then show you a selection of Twitter users who are doing well or are super relevant for that niche.

top tweets

The next step is to follow those people but not necessarily start asking for things right away. Share their content, reply to their Tweets in a way that is useful but not attention seeking and then begin to study what they are about.

Over time you can meet some really nice people this way – people who are working in your field and often want to connect. You’ll often find that their comments section or website forum is a good place to go connecting.

4. Be yourself (I mean that)

The web is a really weird place. There are people out there trying to do horrible things to your bank account. And people who work on the net a lot are often a little bit paranoid.

What this means is that if you aren’t really, genuinely being yourself you will probably find that the influencer is less likely to want to connect with you. They will be able to tell that something isn’t quite right.

I’m not sure how this is going to go down with my readers but one example of this is my sweary email language. I sometimes swear in emails to important people (Chris Ducker got one this week!).

Chris Ducker
A screen grab of Chris’ reply to an email. Loving his new book… ๐Ÿ˜‰

For a long time I stopped but after a while realized that my emails sounded fake. I do swear occasionally in real life (ah… I’m Australian…) and decided not to bloody worry about it so much in emails.

If you’re finding that you’re censoring your reach out material a lot then it is probably coming across as really dry and impersonal. That’s fine for a job interview but we’re trying to make friends with like-minded people.

(NOTE: Please don’t start swearing in your emails because of me. It’s not a good idea. A lot of people really don’t appreciate it. It’s just an example.)

5. Don’t always try to talk to Seth Godin

It’s tempting to try and become best friends with Seth Godin if you are in the online marketing space. Or perhaps Steve Pavlina in the personal development space. Or Leo Babauta in the minimalism empty space (I have a story about Leo in a minute).

But those guys are at the very top of their game. They are bombarded with emails and requests every day from dozens, if not hundreds of people. It’s just not realistic.

So instead of trying to go to the top of the pile, start making conversation with people that are on or near your own level. It won’t bring you in a huge flux of traffic and authority but it just might earn you a few backlinks and start getting you on the radars of new audiences.

And now a story about Leo Babauta that proves that sometimes it is good to reach for the top. Years and years ago (I can’t remember how it came about) Leo gave me free advertising space in the sidebar of Zen Habits. Yep. That actually happened. It was a massive boost for the career of that site and really got me started in a big way.

If Leo ever reads this I hope he knows how appreciative I was of that gesture and that I’d love to write for him one day. Writing for Zen Habits is a little now not-so-secret goal of mine.

6. Make them famous

Danny Inny from Firepole Marketing compiled a beautiful book a few years ago featuring a bunch of famous internet marketers (and me). Since that time I’ve mentioned him quite a lot to my readers and even hosted a webinar where he was able to talk about his new ideas to some of my readers.

I highly doubt any of that would have happened without the book because it really felt like we owed him after putting in so much hard work to create something so great. He really did a good job.

If you can promote the content of those you are trying to connect with, and do it in a successful way, the you will be on to a winner. It’s a wonderful introduction.

7. Value those friendships

If I had to choose between being friends with these other internet marketers or having them regularly promote my stuff I would choose the friendship every single time. Even if it meant they would never promote me again.

Why?

Because I get a lot more out of friendships than I get out of dollars and Tweets. I’d rather be able to be there for them or have a genuine friend to rely on than have someone promote my latest blog. Ironically, that attitude will probably make them want to promote you even more.

The final word on growing your blog

If you want to grow your blog really quickly you need to start connecting with the right people. Some of them will share your content, others will inspire you to go down new roads and try new things. I’m of the opinion that bloggers should prioritise these relationships over everything but content creation.

I’d love to hear any stories you have of how this might have worked for you. Leave me a comment.

SO, WHAT'S NEXT?

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89 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • Billy Murphy

    Getting point #1 right can give people access to just about anyone they want.

    Random story from just after I started my blog. I reached out to someone I wanted to chat with and asked them to do a call that I thought would be mutually beneficial.

    They quickly dismissed me as they were too busy.

    30 minutes later they said they read my blog and would love to chat with me and gave me their cell and skype.

    Really showed me the power that having a high value ‘product’ can have, and the doors it can open for you.


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah that’s the stuff right there…


  • liz@lifedreaming

    Let’s see. I follow and respect you Ramsay. Your advice has always been sound.

    I am growing my biz big time this year and have left comments and enjoyed heaps of other blogs and sites over the years.

    Can’t say it has helped my biz. Maybe that says more about me.

    I am doing your challenge this month to do a small paid ad campaign.


    1. Ramsay

      Do let me know how that campaign goes. Very interested.


  • Vicki ross

    Good Post! Now I’m off to put it to good use,


    1. Ramsay

      Let me know how it works!


  • Geoffrey

    So many people think blogging is just about you and your writing. It may have been that way at one point, like way back when it first started, but it has evolved into so much more than that and it really is a conversation at this point. My favorite posts to write are those that are in response to other posts I’ve read. And my favorite posts to read are the same. As bloggers, particularly those in the same focus area, we should strive to connect with as many other bloggers as possible, to read their blogs, and to get out there. We can’t simply type up a post in our admin panel, hit publish, and expect results. Even the greatest posts on the Internet are worthless if no one knows they exist.

    I think this is a great post and certainly surpassed my expectations from the headline. I’m always skeptical of posts that promise “the one secret” or the “the one way” to anything, especially blogging, because there isn’t any one thing you can do on your own – except for maybe this one. Perhaps you really can build a successful blog with just connections to other bloggers without doing anything else. I can see it happening.


    1. Kris Claire

      I love this comment. I’m a new blogger and I’m just now figuring this connecting thing out. I used to read other blogs and walk away discouraged because they had it all together with their years of content, massive followers, extra fantastic widgets and just all around “I’ve got it all together” polished look.

      I was looking at it all wrong.

      All of this amounts to the fact that they might just have something to teach me and MOST bloggers I’ve connected with are happy to network with and promote others in kind … to “help those who help themselves”.

      I think you should run with this comment and write a whole post on it! About networking with other bloggers from Blog Hops to Social Media to how to pick which blogs to follow.

      And if you do, be sure to let me know. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Cheers!


      1. Sam Adeyinka

        Hey Kris,

        You mean you’re a new blogger? Wow! You’re not really doing bad trust me. Your commenting style is pretty okay but I think you should get gravatar setup so that people will get to know you when they see your comments.

        You wrote a good comment yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Sam


        1. Kris Claire

          Hi Sam!

          Thank you for the encouragement! You may check your Random Act of Kindness for the day off your To Do list. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Yep very new. Very green blogger. My site just went live on January 1st of this year.

          I would loooooove to set up my avatar and actually went hunting for the means to do it after I post that comment … but alas, I came up empty. Might you head me in the right direction, please? (See? Totally, helplessly NEW).

          Thank you!

          ~ Kris


          1. Sam Adeyinka

            I’m very sorry for the late reply Chris, I’ve been so busy with so many things. Hope you’re enjoying the game so far?

            If you do need my help, bro, don’t hesitate to use my blog’s contact form or reach me through any social platform you could think of.

            I visited you blog, trust me Chris, you are not doing bad as a new blogger, it seems you’ve been in the game for some times and that’s good if you ask me. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Trust you’re having a good time yonder, right?

            Sam


    2. Sam Adeyinka

      Hey Geoffrey,

      Like you I’m always doubtful of post that promise the one secret…and the likes but this was so fantastic and I so enjoyed reading it as it was worthwhile.

      The singular thing that has helped me so far in my blogging journey is ‘connecting with fellow bloggers’ and like Ramsay advised, I didn’t connect with bloggers that are way passed my league but those that are slightly ahead of me.

      Nice connecting with you here, Geoffrey. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Sam


      1. Ramsay

        Great comment Geoffrey. I was a bit unsure how the headline would go as well but I don’t do that kind of thing often so hoped it would work out.


  • Melissa Wilson

    I totally agree with you Ramsay. I’ve created social media accounts with the intent of making genuine connections with people before launching my website. My website will be launching soon and I’m pretty sure that it won’t launch to an audience of zero because of these connections I’ve made. I even have people who have told me they will share my site with their audiences once it goes live. This is something that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t made those connections.

    It’s also great if you can take your online connections offline. I recently went to a conference and got to meet many people who I’ve connected with online and that only helped to solidify that connection.

    The only thing I would say to anyone taking this approach of making connections with people is to make sure you don’t get so caught up in doing that that you never go live with what you’re working on. Building these connections will be ongoing, so you have to reach a point where you just have to go for it.

    Melissa


    1. Sam Adeyinka

      Hey Melissa,

      I love your approach towards building solid relationships and that was the exact same thing I did while creating my blog.

      I had connected with all the bloggers I could possibly reach, both upcoming ones, those we started together and the ones that have gone ahead of me.

      I can’t remember how many people I connected with at the time but the connections really helped in my blogging success thus far.

      I’m glad you shared your thought here with us and I’m sure gonna help promote it too when it comes live. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Sam


      1. Ramsay

        Good luck with the launch Melissa! Sounds like you’re on the right track.

        Sam, appreciate your replies around here.


        1. Sam Adeyinka

          I appreciate your many great posts around here too! ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep it coming as you’ve always done.


      2. Melissa Wilson

        Thanks for the support Sam!


        1. Sam Adeyinka

          Wow! You got it fixed already. I’m glad I could help Melissa. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Kris Claire

    Best tip on here was the Twitter tip in #3. THANK YOU! This will hep a great deal.


    1. Kris Claire

      /facepalm

      *help

      #OCDTypoCorrector

      ๐Ÿ™‚


      1. Ramsay

        Glad it heped Kris. ๐Ÿ˜‰


        1. Kris Claire

          PS – Fun Fact: My bro-in-law gets to talk to Brian Clark pretty regularly. He’s the host on the New Rainmaker podcast. ๐Ÿ˜‰


          1. Kris Claire

            #6Degrees


  • James George

    Ramsay, I appreciate this post. I like to share tips like this on my site. What I like about your post is that it isn’t full of fluff. It just makes sense that relationships are what propels you professionally.

    You give great business advice and I totally agree with you. It’s tough to grow a blog, but if you leverage good relationships, you can grow your site quickly with relevant visitors.

    I look forward to more posts!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks James. Glad you enjoyed it!


  • Paul Back

    Hey Ramsey

    This is one of the most powerful posts I have read this year ( yes I know we are only in Februrary..) but I mean it. This really gels with me and I couldnโ€™t agree more โ€“ nearly all things in life are about networking, relationships and reciprocity and blogging is no different.

    I would love to add that I feel guest blogging is actually a fantastic way to build relationships as well as educate yourself on how to become a better blogger and business owner.

    In my personal experience , when you have nothing to give to a popular blogger the most important thing is believing in what you do, having a passion for it and knowing you are making a difference ( or trying to).

    When I first reached out to Neil Patel ( who is one of my online blogging heroes) I never thought that I would get to speak to him on skype, but that did happen and he inspired me, and encouraged me to start my blog. He reassured me that I am on the right track and I donโ€™t think Iโ€™d be here without that help. Now how did I get one of my heroes to take time out of their day to help me?

    First I was interested in what he says and contribute to his site, I also helped him out in small ways here and there and over time he could see I am not just someone wanting a shameless plug or a silver bullet to success. I did it cos I fully believe in giving value and asking for nothing in return.
    It is important to not have expectations and to give without wanting anything in return. Respect is earned and when someone has everything and you have nothing you are not in a position to expect them to help you, ask for guidance, build trust and help them out over time you will earn respect and build a reciprocal relationship.

    Other great ways to network is to buy into someoneโ€™s course and excel in it, start a dialogue and see where things go from there. Itโ€™s a win win, you get fantastic training and the opportunity to speak with your heroes and if you do well they get a great student that they can show off. I have personally done this with Jon Morrows blogging course ( which is fantastic by the way) and I got to speak with him and many of his great staff in the process and got some top notch help. This is how relationships begin.

    My last bit of advice is to offer free services or help people out, not only is it a great thing to do but if you do a good job it can blossom into a great relationship or lead to even bigger things.

    These are ways to go about networking when you are just starting out, have no resources and no contact.

    Itโ€™s all about being respectful, non-demanding and just being a good human being โ€“ it takes a lot of hustle but itโ€™s worth it if you love what you do.

    Thanks for the great post!

    P.S I’v said it before but I really love the community you have built here Ramsey and its great to see another Aussie killing it!

    Paul Back


    1. Ramsay

      That’s the comment of the day so far Paul. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it and being part of the community.

      Neil is a great guy – even if it’s only short he’ll usually respond.

      Glad it’s going well for you. Sounds like you know what you’re doing.


      1. Paul Back

        Thanks Ramsey, honoured to receive such an accolade ๐Ÿ˜€

        I love how you respond to your community, and it genuinely means a lot to get praise from you so thank you.

        I feel like I know what I am doing but there is always more to learn!


        1. Ramsay

          Don’t I know it! ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Tania Dakka

    I haven’t reached BlogTyrant status yet, but I’m working on it and I’m living proof that the right friends make an immeasurable difference. Great post’


    1. Sam Adeyinka

      Hey Tania, it’s good to meet you here. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great friends indeed is the one secret of blogging success. It’s true that the right connection matters.

      Have a blessed day. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Sam


      1. Ramsay

        Thanks Tan!


  • Sam Adeyinka

    Hey Ramsay, it’s good to be here again and I’m glad I got this alert at the time when I was feeling really bored.

    I must confess to you bro, I almost deleted this post because have read many headlines that looks like this and the contents are not promising as they kept talking the same thing, and you clear that for me bro in the first few lines of your post.

    Truthfully, blogging is never about what you know. I mean the mount of coddings, SEO tweaks, promotional methods and communities you know, the list continues but it’s rather about the people you know.

    And you said it well in a rather simple fashion and I so resonated with.

    I was just thinking to myself just before I got the alert of this post that what can I actually do to lunch out this year, like ‘how or what can I really do to get my voice on blogs like Copyblogger and the likes’.

    Your article has shared the light, all that I need to know;

    #1. Connect with Top bloggers(those that are a bit ahead of you)

    #2. To connect successfully with them, share their works.

    #3. Talk about them by linking to them in your posts.

    The list continues but I’ve got to stop here less I start to talk off topic.

    Thanks so much Ramsay for sharing this with the Tyrant Troope community, one I’m happy to be a part of. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Regards,
    Sam


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Sam. Appreciate all your comments and input.

      I was a bit wary of the headline as well but thought I’d give it a go. We’ll see how it pans out when the stats come in.

      Thanks again.


      1. Sam Adeyinka

        No worries man…..is part of me already.

        Speaking bout the headline, I think is cool, considering the fact that the content itself meets and surpass the readers expectations.

        Trust me when I said it worth my while and I’m sure the stats would surprise you.

        Sam


  • Kay @ Green Money Stream

    Wow, this is a great post and I completely agree. Though my blog is super small compared to yours or Copyblogger, I definitely notice the difference that just reaching out to others in my niche has made. When I first started the site I was blogging on an island basically, but then I realized that I needed to start to connect with others. It’s been great starting new friendships this way too!


    1. Ramsay

      Totally agree Kay. It’s funny how some of the people you talk to online can become legitimate friends that you would hang out with.


  • Sam Adeyinka

    Hi Paul,

    Wow! You are really a great and I’m glad to have meet you here.

    I love long comments and yours is long and invaluable at the same time. An example of what I like to call ‘epical comment’. I know there’s no word call epical but permit me to use it.

    You have shed more light to ways I could connect with top influencers and get results.

    Mine oh mine Patel and Jon are really great dudes. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Paul, I must confess I never really thought of connecting like this..those are genuine connections. And I would sure practice this one from now on.

    Thanks for sharing this valuable thought here sir. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sam


    1. Paul Back

      Hey Sam

      No worries! If I’m going to comment I’m going all out ๐Ÿ˜€

      Yeh I wanted to share some things which worked for me and that I don’t really see that many others doing ( or at least not as many as there should be).

      I feel pretty strongly on giving value to others and networking as when it all comes down to its about people and relationships.

      Thanks for taking the time to read my comment I hope it gave you some value!

      Paul


      1. Sam Adeyinka

        “If I’m gonna comment, I’m going all out”. Common, that’s the spirit brother!

        That’s a good mentality, Paul. Helping people get to a success point. I love that.

        Did your comment add value to me? Oh it sure did!

        Thanks for deeming it fit to reply to my comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Sam


  • Marc

    Networking was probably the single most significant factor that enabled me to go from part-time to full-time with my blogging several years ago. The people in my network let to paid freelance blogging opportunities that held me over while my own sites were growing, accounted for a lot of social media shares and votes (back in the days when Digg and Delicious were a lot more powerful), led to more links, and I’m sure plenty of other things that I’m forgetting.


    1. James George

      Wow, Marc, your story and my story are very similar. I wrote on other sites to build my income, while I built my blog at the same time. It worked, and now I work 100% for myself. it was tough at first, because I worked a full time day job and wrote mainly at night, but after a few months, I was able to leave the job behind.

      It’s good to meet you on here, and I am glad you have found success!


      1. Ramsay

        I cleaned toilets in a gym from 6am to 10am every day and then went home and blogged. Word.


        1. Sam Adeyinka

          Hahaha……you’re too funny Ramsay. ๐Ÿ˜€


          1. Ramsay

            It’s true.


  • George

    Being a new blogger as well this was awesome to read. Sometimes it is overwhelming to see how far ahead some people are but everyday is just another baby step forward.

    I have been reading your other posts about how important it is to leave comments because of how they lead to back links. But definitely need to get on social media more and creating an online circle.

    Reading this stuff is exactly what I need whenever I feel like I hit a block of here to go next! So thank you!


    1. Ramsay

      So glad it’s helping George. If it makes you feel any better, I feel like that almost daily in regards to how well some people are doing. There is always someone better/richer/thinner/whatever than us. We just have to be honest with our own work, i think.


  • Eros P

    Y’know, there are days like this when I admit that I’m in awe of you and all those who are decent bloggers because, simply stated you can easily write longer pieces and still sound great. Me? I grew up with a camera in hand because for me a photo literally spoke 1,000 words (and still does to this day). Trying to find the right words to match the picture in my head is a daunting task and it frustrates me more than you know. Any ideas on finding someone who could help/teach me to write? I figure that if I can write better, I can connect easier…

    BTW Ramsay, you highlighted me once on a blog post about Google Plus (totally unexpected) and I really appreciated that, thanks! It inspired me to keep using that platform as a micro blogging tool to connect to others. If I could just learn how to write longer pieces easily…


    1. Ramsay

      Eros I’m going to have a think about the writing thing. It’s a very interesting problem.


  • Johanna

    This is so true. I’ve done lots of guest posting, lots of ‘doing things right’, put in a few years hard yards, and it wasn’t until I started making the right connections (which took time) that I noticed any real difference to my traffic. Thanks for bringing back to base on this idea, because today I’ve been writing, writing, writing and I’m tired – I should have done some connecting too.

    Oh dear, too zonked … think it’s time to go shopping ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. Ramsay

      Ha ha. Time for sleep!


  • Nabil

    You might not remember me but I do. Once I asked you how to get started with affiliate marketing and content creation and you directed me towards one of your blog posts and said “เคงเฅเคจเคฟเคฏเคตเคพเคฆ”. I just couldn’t forget that, I don’t know why.

    Just wanted to give all the credits to you because I’m now writing articles for 10 different people. Yes, I’m on my way to become a copywriter. I never made a website but I’m working through Elance and oDesk. Is there anything more you would like to teach me about copywriting?


    1. Ramsay

      Glad it’s all going well for you Nabil! Might be time to get your own website?


      1. Nabil

        I am planning to create one in the early June because I will spend the whole month of May playing Watch Dogs (its a game) which is releasing on 30th April. I’m thinking to get in the gaming industry because in the make money online niche, super-human people like Pat Flynn, Brian, Darren Rowse, Ramsay, Glen and Diggy are there. So it would be better to stay away than to get into the fortress that is already set to crush you out. (I think I exaggerated it).


        1. Ramsay

          The gaming niche is very popular right now. Especially if you can grow a blog about a game that is yet to launch.


  • Norah Colvin

    Great article. Lots to think about. Thanks.


    1. Ramsay

      Thank you.


  • Steph Martel

    Hey Ramsay,
    This post is a good reminder that online life is a lot like everyday life offline–you need to forge relationships in an authentic way in order to connect. It’s not a popularity contest, it’s about finding others you truly jive with and enjoy the company of ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait to read your post on Zen Habits–I’m a total super fan of Leo and that blog!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for stopping by Steph! Hope I get that ZH post one day!


  • chris

    Hang out where the pro’s in your field hang out.

    Imagine an online forum as a trendy coffee shop. Go to the same coffee shop. Sooner or later, you will strike up a conversation with the pro. Don’t walk into the coffee shop yelling, “CAN CHRIS DUCKER PLEASE ANSWER MY QUESTIONS!” Know that if you talk with enough people and they see your character and dedication that sooner or later, you will finally run into that “pro” in your field and they’ll say, “good to meet you, I’ve heard good things about you.”

    If that didn’t make sense, that’s ok, I haven’t been awake for very long.


    1. Ramsay

      Ha ha. Love it! Made perfect sense.


  • Raquel

    Hello. I’m new ’round these parts. Found you via “Why I hate Copyblogger”.

    Most of this blogging/web presence stuff sometimes feels somewhat beyond me, but this, this I get. I trained in the LA jewelry district and the motto there was, you’re not going anywhere with your business if you don’t know anyone in the business.

    I’m assuming another big rule of the jewelry design community applies here, too.. never talk shit about anyone, ever. Because it *will* come back to haunt you. Instead, deal with your problems directly with the individual in a direct and professional manner. Common sense, yes. But we watched several business go down in flames due to ignoring common sense.


    1. Ramsay

      Sounds like it could be a pretty tough industry?


  • John Shea

    This is one of the best blog articles Iโ€™ve read on Blog Tyrant so far! This is why I love doing interviews so much because the relationships Iโ€™ve built and the help people provide through those connections has been my #1 key to seeing success. I actually like this article so much Iโ€™m going to add it into my upcoming Kindle book that is all about building relationships with online entrepreneurs. I recently interviewed Corbett Barr and this was the highlight of our conversation.

    I know for a fact that I have so many more future opportunities now that Iโ€™ve interviewed folks such as yourself, Corbett, Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, Andrew Warner etc.. itโ€™s really an eye opener for how new opportunities arise.

    Iโ€™ll be sending you a free copy of my book once itโ€™s released! Hope you donโ€™t mind the mention!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks John! Sounds awesome!


  • Lewis LaLanne

    I have to admit you sucked me in with the part of your email that said you swore at Chris. I like that dude’s blog and I think it’s cool that you two can have fun swearing. I know on it’s surface this a pretty dumb criteria for liking someone but there it is.

    I love #7 on the list.

    It seems to me that if you start from that premise, all the other stuff will fall into place and your friends will joyfully help you in whatever way they can.

    I also greatly appreciate that #2 pointed out a route to connecting with the movers and shakers that you’d like to connect with: Seeking them out as mentors

    If you think about it, thereโ€™s really no mentor for how to find mentors

    I want to thank you Ramsay for reminding me that relationships are an amazingly valuable currency for the not only the health of our wallets, but also for our souls.

    And I still greatly appreciate you answering me when I asked for your advice here on what to do when I want to get my Google + profile all pimped out. ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for you awesome comments Lewis. Always love getting them. You have a very unique thought process.


      1. Lewis LaLanne

        I appreciate that you think my comments are awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

        I can count on both my hands the number of blogs I read and I comment on very few of those. Yours and Chris Ducker’s are two of less than ten that I will consistently take any time to say something on if I have the time to do so.

        And when I do have time, I’m pretty stingy with it when I do comment giving myself no more than 15 minutes to comment so that I don’t fall into the old habit of taking an hour or longer to write out a comment.

        I do make exceptions though.

        On Chris’s site I have invested hours writing a comment that I planned on using as a blog post for my site and I just spent hours turning a comment I left on Gary Vaynerchuk’s site into the latest 2,000+ word post on my site. I’ve done the same thing with Brian Solis’s site.

        When I comment, I do my best to bring something valuable to the party and I’ve got process that helps me do this in a short amount of time – I try to not ever comment with fluff or from scratch.

        As of yesterday I’ve written 369 posts for my nerd site.

        So when it comes to making a comment, one of the first things I think about is if I’ve already written about this topic before, or if I’ve written about something that is complementary to it.

        If the answer is “yes” then I go to MY site and my site alone, and find the post that has the relevant content, copy it, and then paste into the comment and customize it for the situation.

        I don’t reinvent the wheel if I don’t have to. Speed is of priority to me.

        Especially when I’m not turning my comment into a blog post. But even with a blog comment turned blog post, if the opportunity arises, I will pull a section from a previous post I’ve written before just as I did with the comment I left on Gary V’s site a couple of days ago and the comment I left above here.

        Blog posts either remind me of things I’ve written before, or they inspire me to assemble something new.

        I subscribe to the premise that I’ve never said anything that I didn’t learn from someone else. Another premise I subscribe to is the legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz’s belief that no one but God/universal architect/Allah/insert here whatever a person believes in creates from nothing; hence no one is creative but God.

        Everyone here just reassembles what already exists into new shapes and forms.

        As humans, we all get thrown into a cultural heritage of programming, imprints, habits, ways of looking at the world that come from other peopleโ€ฆ that operates on a group mind level and jumps from person to person and we canโ€™t even see the degree to which the cultural programming is affecting us so weโ€™re influenced by people and culture and we canโ€™t even see it happening. (pulled from a post of mine)

        This means weโ€™re living inside a reality created by other people.

        As a I copywriter/marketer, I own the fact that I reassemble. I don’t create anything but instead I’m the sum of parts of everyone I’ve ever learned from. And I like the results. And others like you and Chris and Brian along with many others have as well in this commenting arena.

        And I thank you Ramsay for consistently being a source of inspiration for my comments. You’re one of a few, and I treasure what happens when I come here. ๐Ÿ™‚


        1. Paul Back

          Hey Lewis

          Just wanted to say I really like your approach to commenting, I do something similar but I don’t really have a “process” set up.

          Might try that seems like it would save some time.

          Cheers

          Paul


          1. Lewis LaLanne

            Hey Paul,

            The comment you made above was money.

            Especially the part about having your success with a mentor’s instruction being your fast pass ticket to a front and center position on their radar.

            People who make things happen like to be in the company of other people who make things happen so of course this a simple (but not easy) way to get yourself into their circle. Especially if you bring a complementary product or service to the table that they would be proud to promote to any of their lists.

            Also, thank you for your feedback on my commenting style.
            Anyone like you who puts their mentor’s instructions into action, who also appreciates what Ramsay is putting down here, who follows The Bloggess on Twitter, and writes Cadillac-Sized/Cadillac-Quality comments like you is cool with me. ๐Ÿ™‚


        2. Ramsay

          Hey Lewis.

          I love your comments. You know that.

          The reason I trimmed the last one, however, was because I noticed it was published elsewhere. That causes a duplicate content problem for my blog in the eye’s of Google so just wanted to flag it.

          Hope that’s cool.


          1. Lewis LaLanne

            I knew they liked to see interaction on a site but I had no idea Google gave content consideration to comments.

            But then again, I’m the guy who has yet to give my Google + profile the love and attention it deserves so I’m behind the curve. I guess this is the luxury of having a business partner who nerds out on all the SEO stuff for our site. ๐Ÿ™‚

            As for the trimming, no worries. I have zero intention on messing up your house here. I appreciate you letting me know and I’ll definitely keep this in mind when I come back to visit you. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • marwa

    Hi Ramsay,
    I love blogs and i can’t get enough of looking more into things i like.And one day i wish to launch my very own blog.But it is really your posts that gives me the insights to this enchanting world of blogging,it has helped me understand aspects of it ,which not many share.

    I had a question since i have not embarked on this adventurous journey yet,and am still doing research,do you think its too early to make connections or should i start at a latter stage where i’ve some content on hand not published yet?

    And please keep posting such useful content.You are really best at what you do.Keep up with your work.


    1. Ramsay

      I’d wait until you have something that people can look at on the off chance they get curious and decide to check out your blog.


  • Ruth Currah

    I do not know these people. Its hard to follow. If we do not know the people we do not know the emotional reaction to have to follow the emotional trend. I am not one of them, dare I not be? Should you have an ungroup mailing list? Am I where I should not be? The Mouse In The Corner


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Ruth.

      The last two comments you’ve left have been quite negative. I’m sorry I’m not hitting the mark for you. The reason I talk about those people is because I think they are valuable sources of information for my readers to know about.

      Please do let me know what kind of topics you’d prefer to hear about and I’ll try hard to make it work.

      Thanks for sticking around. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Guy

    Great piece from start to finish.

    The most important points–in my opinion:

    1) Drop the pretenses and simply be yourself when reaching out to other human beings, and especially those you’d like to connect with in your profession. People can smell a fake from a mile away and they don’t like it. Don’t stink up the joint.

    2) Don’t think in terms of “give and take.” Instead, make it your goal to give, give, and then give some more. Keep in mind that giving does not give you license to take. Forget about what you might get and put effort into giving. Then, if somebody decides to reciprocate, accept the gifts offered by others with grace and humility.

    Thank you, Ramsay!

    Onward…

    Guy


    1. Ramsay

      Love it! Thank you Guy.


  • Stuart Walker

    You’ve nailed it again Ramsay, so many people see ‘other bloggers’ as their competition and don’t want to network with them….HUGE mistake.

    Like you I’ve also found that blog comments and Twitter are the best places to reach out / be reached out too. It’s quick and easy to reply so I and other people usually do.

    My blog traffic and audience has grown massively because of links, tweets and other mentions by influential bloggers.

    You were already featured multiple times but I’ve just added this post to How To Start A Blog That’s Epic too…

    http://www.nichehacks.com/start-a-blog-thats-epic

    Keep up the good work.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for all the mentions Stuart. Appreciate it!


  • Matthew Kaboomis Loomis

    Such a fantastic blog post, Ramsay.

    I’ve made some incredible online connections already and so many of them are because of your points here.

    Point well taken on the Mad Men era compared to today…I’ve felt an itch lately to read some classic books on making authentic connections like How to Win Friends and Influence People…books that old school Mad Men once read back in the day. Classic books like Psycho-Cybernetics can still help us make quality connections in 2014, don’t you think?


    1. Ramsay

      I highly recommend a book called How Brands Grow by Byron Sharp. It’s not old but it’s incredibly confronting. Marketing based on data, not ideas.


      1. Matthew Kaboomis Loomis

        Sounds like a good read, Ramsay. I’ll get it. Thanks!


  • Thomas @ Online Income Tycoon

    Awesome post, Ramsay! This really struck a chord with me as sometimes I can get frustrated and start expecting to see my blog grow overnight when in reality, that’s not going to happen. It’s the building of relationships that really seem to lead to eventual blog growth and that’s something that has to take time and naturally occur.


  • Rachelle

    Hi Rams,

    See above where I devoted myself to social proof? Well… I am still trying and the idea I had was that I would rename one of my pages and when ever I got a new property to manage or rent I could put it up as a blog post on that page. However as I found out that is not that easy. Do you know how to do this? Do you even understand what I’m asking here?


  • Abdul Rauf

    You come in contact with the right people, yes, this is true! And something even more powerful is that we get power to do the things which we have not been doing lately. Thanks


  • The Complete Guide To Affiliate Marketing

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