This is a portion of an email I received from an admin at Blog Farm (a site used to grow my blogs) and I thought it fit perfectly into my Better Blogging series. Be sure to read this through, enact upon it, and next week I’ll share how I did something similar a few weeks ago.

I do not consider myself a blogging ‘expert’.., although I play one on The Blog Farm. Given that, I am going to offer my two cents on participation, or lack thereof. As I have said in the past and have mentioned on different pages throughout the site, “Participation is the key to successful blogging.” It never ceases to amazes me that so many bloggers complain that no one is commenting on their blog, but yet they themselves do not take the time to comment on other blogs! Seems to be a disconnect in thinking…

Commenting on other blogs is a proven method to gain friends, build relationships, increase participation on ‘your’ blog and build your social network… It actually works! So why is it so hard?

Many new bloggers get into blogging thinking all there is to being successful is providing interesting content. This is true, but in reality there are literally millions of sites that provide interesting content. Most bloggers take hours building an article, researching their material, double checking spelling and punctuation, selecting just the right image, etc., but neglect one of the most important things. Participation…

You have to take the time to do it.

Begin a social networking campaign and be as serious about it as you are about your blog articles. Visit three to five blogs a day that provide content you are interested in, truly interested in. Find articles that you agree with or even disagree with and comment. Provide a real comment, not a short bs paragraph that sounds more like spam than an honest reply. If you disagree, call them out on it, if you agree, explain why. The person on the other end that has gone through all the trouble to write the article will welcome your participation with open arms, same as you would.

Take out a piece of paper or start a log on your computer. Note the date, blog link and topic. Comment on several blogs a day for a week and if allowed, leave a link to your blog. Do not be embarrassed to ask them to return the favor by visiting your blog. Wait a week then return to the blog and see if they responded. If they didn’t, scratch them of the list. If they did take the time to respond continue the conversation. Engaging someone in an honest conversation creates the rapport needed to build your social network. Do this for a month and you will begin to harvest the rewards.

Try this, once you finish your blog post and hit the publish button, go out and comment on several other blogs. Copy the title of your post and Google it. Find a blog discussing the same topic and join in. Don’t forget to mention that your article on your blog might be of interest to them.

Yes, I agree, this IS hard work. But so is publishing hundreds of articles on your blog… especially if no one is responding to them.

Blogging is hard work, and if you’re not willing to roll up your sleeves and burn the midnight oil them maybe blogging isn’t for you. It is social networking with the keyword being networking, which implies at least two-way conversation.

Between now and next Friday commit yourself to commenting on at least ONE blog post each day, for seven days. Let me know how you do, and next week I’ll share how my experience went.