Photo credit: First People
A blog pack is my way of describing a group of bloggers who agree to help each other:
- Get established
- Build personal networks
- Increase traffic
- Increase RSS subscribers
- Get organic backlinks
Being part of a blog pack helps you and your fellow pack members get some momentum going for your blogs together as a group. It’s a loose, informal alliance between people who are all near the same level in order to help each other grow.
I have been recommending this strategy to my blog consulting clients, lately, and seen some decent results.
Why Form a Blog Pack?
When you start a new business, you create a website for ecommerce but you don’t have much else. You want to network not only with established bloggers, but also with other new bloggers. Why? So you can form a pack and grow your blogs together much more effectively than you could if you were isolated.
Networked Growth, Not Gaming the System
Being in a blog pack is really nothing more than a sped-up version of what happens naturally when like-minded bloggers become acquainted with each other. They link to each other, stumble each other’s posts, add links to each other to their blogrolls, and are frequent commentators on each other’s blogs.
How to Create a Blogger Pack
- Find other bloggers to be in your pack. Look for bloggers who seem to be at the same level you are. Bloggers who have far more traffic and subscribers than you may not be interested in joining your pack.
- Find other bloggers that you genuinely like (more on this in a minute).
- Contact the other bloggers privately and ask them if they would like to enter a mutually beneficial exchange of attention, where you link to each other’s posts, and bookmark and submit each other’s posts to social media sites, and comment on each other’s posts. Inform the blogger that you want to bring in more bloggers into the pack, so that you can all help each other.
- Each blogger in the pack subscribes to the feeds of the other bloggers in the pack. When bloggers in the pack post, other bloggers in the pack comment, stumble, bookmark, and tweet the posts.
Be Genuine, Form Real Relationships – This is not about Using People
I must state as strongly as I can that this is not about exploiting people or pretending to be something you’re not. It’s very important that your efforts to establish a pack are not exploitative. This isn’t about what you can get out of others, it’s about how you and others can help each other together in an alliance.
That’s why I said above that you should only do this with other bloggers you like, respect, and get along with. If it’s not real, it’s not going to be effective. It will feel forced and you won’t get the results you were hoping for. Truly help the others in your pack. Think of it as your sworn duty.
Do Blogging Packs Really Work?
I’ve been sitting on this post for a long time–months. I wanted to publish it as soon as I wrote it, but I held back, because at the time there was no proof. I didn’t feel right about just making an unproven assertion, so I withheld publishing the post.
Now, all I can say is that I have anecdotal evidence at best. I wish I had hard and fast numbers to offer you, but I don’t. Unfortunately, I’m not much of a hard and fast numbers kind of guy. I go by the gut, by instinct, and by observation. So let me tell you what I’ve observed from my own blogging pack.
My blogging pack is not official. I never approached anyone and said, “hey, let’s do this.” I just naturally did this with people I liked and observed the results. You could do the same, but a more deliberate process will speed things up.
I hang out a lot (online) with James and Harry of Men with Pens, Naomi from IttyBiz, Mark Dykeman from Broadcasting Brain, Dave Navarro from Rock Your Day, Christine O’Kelly from Self Made Chick, Chris Garrett, and Brett Legree from 6 Weeks, to name a few. I am constantly stumbling, commenting, and bookmarking their posts, and I have noticed they do the same for me. It’s all genuinely mutual. These people are my friends. Nobody is exploiting or using any one. You could say we’re an unofficial pack.
In fact, I could and should be doing more for them than I am. The day I decide to finally publish this article I realize I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve been neglecting my friends a little bit. In fact, although I chat with Brett a lot on Twitter, I wasn’t even subscribed to his blog until today. I feel like a jerk. Sorry, Brett! The situation has been corrected!
But you see, our audiences cross over to each other’s blogs. We’ve each helped each other grow. That’s really what it’s all about. Yesterday I posted about how to make your blog into a relationship hub. I guess this post is my answer to my own question.
So now that I’ve brought this out into the open and given it a catchy name, I hope it can work for you, too. Try it. Look for others with whom you can form a blog pack. Follow the steps I’ve outlined above. I think you’ll be very glad you did.