How To Build Relationships As A Blogger + Tips For Networking
Over the years, I’ve had so many people ask how do you build relationships as a blogger? How do you network with others in real life professionally, as a blogger with other bloggers and with brand? I’ve decided to finally answer these questions with a blog post on how to build relationships as a blogger and tips for networking.
For someone like myself, an extremely extroverted person who thrives on making connections with people, I have ALWAYS wanted to connect with others. When I lived in LA, I wanted to connect with other brunch loving women and started a brunch club. Little did I know that this was to my core who I was, Brunchinista. Over time, I changed that same concept but to be more niche because I wanted to meet with bloggers and talk about things that we worked on. So I started blogger brunches in LA back in 2015.
It was a time where I didn’t really take blogging seriously and had zero direction. But I wrote, weekly, sometimes every day. It felt so right to be in the hustle and bustle. I met bloggers who have now blown up in LA. SO PROUD OF YOU GUYS! And to this day still keep in touch with! Why? I started something that didn’t even exist. There wasn’t just some built in group where bloggers got together over brunch and took photos. God no! Back then things were so different. I was different! We all were.
Instagram wasn’t nearly as big as it is now, or so it seems and the blogging community was still pretty fresh. We were all just figuring it out. When I moved to Oregon, I wanted to bring that same concept and have now started @portlandbloggers. We all meet monthly to have drinks, chat about blogging and really just catch up.
So how do you build relationships as a blogger? I always encourage people to reach out to the people that are in their city. I know, we all get busy, but it feels SO refreshing sometimes to sit with someone who just gets it. You talk about your struggles, you talk about what’s motivating you and hopefully you become each other’s cheerleaders!
Look for local bloggers in you community. Connect with local brands. I swear this will go a long way. I talk all about that in this blog post. Building a relationship with a brand takes time, especially when your first starting. People may not necessarily know who you are. My angle was to do local. And slowly people in Eugene picked up on the fact that I lived there and it built momentum. The same thing happened when I moved to Portland except way faster.
Meet with people for coffee, drinks, brunch. Research local people and try to get together with each and every one of them. Start a dialogue via e-mail or DM them on Instagram. You would be surprised at how EXCITED people get when other people want to connect. After all, we’re all human and just want to make a connection with someone. And the more you do things in your city people will start to notice that well hey you’re there and there and EVERYWHERE!
CONNECTING THE DOTS
Over time, you may notice that certain brands work with the same bloggers and certain bloggers hang out with a certain crowd. The blogging community is just like that, just like any other community. We’re all creatives aiming for the same goal and wanting to be around like-minded people is human nature. People in communities tend to be like one another which is WHY it seems like sometimes a lot of the same thing. See which niche you fit into and go with it. Just remember you are you, not anyone else.
LEARN FROM OTHERS
Try to learn from other people. Don’t just assume you know everything. I still remember when fellow blogger Payton of Hustle & Halcyon messaged me when she first started. She wanted to grab coffee, learn about me and what I did. I loved her for that, for her transparency and eagerness to just connect. Think of every opportunity of meeting a new person and discovering something new. You never know what new thing you can learn. I’m not sure if Payton ever learned anything from me, but I learned from her that not caring about what other people think of you is your power. And she was insanely driven. She is a girl with a plan. And it shows through her feed, her blog and her everyday life. So proud of you P!
FIND YOUR NICHE
This may be hard in the beginning but there are literally thousands of bloggers. Where do you fit in? Are you beauty? Fashion? Style? Life? Inspo? Like what is it that makes your soul light up. Figuring out your branding and where you fit in will take time. But as you’re figuring this out, find other people who are also figuring it out. Meet with someone to take photos with, talk over things that inspire you, meet at places that inspire you. We are ALL looking for someone to connect with. I really should have name this blog post connecting the dots. For me connecting the dots has always been about networking. There is nothing like a genuine connection!
In real life, building relationships as an adult is REALLY freaking hard. Since moving to Oregon I’ve made maybe one or two friends in the Eugene area. Since moving to Portland? Well that’s kind of a thing that’s slowly evolving. No one tells you how ridiculously hard it is to make friends as an adult. And building relationships becomes harder and harder as we get older. So here’s a little tip I learned from a beautiful podcast called THE ART OF CHARM.
THE ART OF CHARM
When you’re building a relationship, and really this goes with anything, we are all watching for cues. Our friends and people we date watch for emotional bids. We’re all CONSTANTLY giving people emotional bids.
“A bid is any attempt from one partner to another for attention, affirmation, affection, or any other positive connection. Bids show up in simple ways, a smile or wink, and more complex ways, like a request for advice or help.” -Gottman
It’s a way of telling someone who we’re interested in getting to know more about that we’re interested in receiving attention, appreciation or affection from them. The beginning of every relationship is a good time to listen to these bids. Like when someone says “yeah we should grab coffee and chat”. They’re letting you know immediately that they want to spend time with you and get to know you. When someone says “I really want to do (name an activity) with you, they’re letting you know they want to spend time with you. Okay this all seems like common sense right? But somehow, sometimes we miss these cues.
I will be the FIRST to say, I’m horrible at being direct with my emotional cues. This literally will help you in all facets of life. If you just stop for a second and actually listen to what people are saying. Heck, this will help you build relationships with brands, coworkers, friends, family, ANYONE. By listening to what people are saying to you, not just thinking about what you want, you could really learn a lot from others.
The truth is allowing yourself to be vulnerable to others is hard. In work situations with coworkers, in making new friends, and in building new relationships. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to be accepted. So when you think about this in real life or with blogging, think about next time you want to connect with another blogger. We’re all human. We could all strive to be more human and listen to one another.
If you want to read more on emotional bids, read more here. If you fully want to listen to a podcast, I highly recommend this one. This talks about emotional bids and how to improve your workplace communication. I really feel like listening to this will be really eye-opening for you.
I honestly don’t have just one answer for how I’ve built relationships with bloggers and brands over the years. I have always supported bloggers that I’ve met, I’ve tried to learn from them, I haven’t ever thought I’m better than them or anything like that, and I connect with them on a human level. So many of the Portland bloggers I meet up with here always tell me I’m really good at building connections and bringing people together. I love doing it! Maybe that’s why I’m so good at it.
It’s been a crazy road here in Oregon. Featured in these photos is the first friend I ever made in Oregon, Stacie. Making friends as an adult is really hard. Having someone like her in my life has really made Oregon wonderful. I think making connections that will last a lifetime is hard, but as long as you’re always there for each other, supporting each other with love and respect, you will be surprised how strong those ties will bind. Professionally and personally, my approach has always been to connect with others and try to inspire them to be better versions of themselves. So go out there and try connecting with people. I know it’s a scary world out there, but putting yourself out there is what you’ll need to do over and over and over!
I’d love to hear how you like to build relationships with others in your community.
If there’s something you’d like me to elaborate more on let me know in the comments below.