We often forget about the one thing that makes blogging different than just writing an article. Blogging is meant for engagement. In other words, the vast majority of blogs give users the ability to leave comments for a reason. Without such interaction, why even bother?
Since blogs are social by nature, anything you can do to make each and every blog post more social will only help you. One thing you could do to increase your readership and level of interaction is to mention other folks in every blog post you publish.
For instance, if you’re writing about the latest changes to Facebook, see what others are saying about it online, on blogs, on Twitter and anywhere else. Then, give them a mention (with an appropriate link) if you feel it would add value to your article. By doing this, you’re accomplishing several things.
First, you’re recognizing the work of others, who will definitely appreciate it. Look at it from another perspective for a minute. If you just found out that someone quoted and linked back to to your content, wouldn’t you be thankful? You might even end up engaging with them through the comments section of that post, on twitter or elsewhere.
Moreover, you’re more likely to share their blog post with your friends and followers since it mentions you. Yes, that sounds egotistical, but a lot of social behavior is driven by egotistical behavior. As Aaron Balick argues, “If we think of the ego as an estate agent, its three most important needs are “recognition, recognition, recognition.” When we think about social networking, we can see how well it is created in the service of recognition.”
Also, you’re delivering something of value to your audience from an outside source. This shows that your blog is not all about you, your thoughts and your website. That’s what being authentic is all about. Authenticity is partially built through what we share.
This is a post where you mention several other larger bloggers in your niche, perhaps quoting from their blogs or linking to a particular post. Or you could pick a particular topic and find bloggers who write about that topic well. For example, you could write a post called Perspectives on Self-Esteem from Ten Top Bloggers. Then you might get quotes from each of the bloggers.
And if you’re wondering how folks will know that you’ve included them in your blog post, you could always tweet a link and and mention everyone who you’ve quoted. Here’s what I did for the blog post you’re reading right now:
— FastBlink (@FastBlink) June 13, 2012
Of course, always keep copyright and fair use considerations in mind when mentioning the work of others. As Susan Gunelius tells us, “Providing attribution and a link back to the source is often enough to satisfy another blogger as long as you don’t copy their content at length verbatim.” Always give credit where credit is due!
Whatever approach you take, it doesn’t hurt to mention others in your blog posts. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!