Chris Brogran wrote a great post recently featuring 25 ways to build your community. While there were the suggestions on how to improve your content, the suggestions which hit home for me were tips on what you should do for others in your blog. For example:
# 9 Promote other people’s work 12 times as much as you promote your own. This comes back as great karma, plus it shows people you recognize that other people are brilliant, not just you.
There is an added benefit -source material for my own blog. I am not a natural writer (give me a microphone and I can go on for ever) so using FriendFeed, Google Reader and GoogleAlerts I have discovered a series of people whose content I really enjoy reading, sharing and writing about. Some of my favorites: Kyle Lacy, Louis Grey, Doug Karr, Erik Deckers and Michael Fruchter
#10 Comment the HELL out of other people’s blogs. Not fishing for your blog. Just adding your voice to theirs.
While some writers like Chris, get many comments, there are thousands of other good writers, who don’t. They notice and appreciate when you take the time to read and comment, and in return they are likely to return the favor. I sold one of my books recently to a woman in England ( by the time I was done shipping it, I am not sure I made any money), but I asked her, how she found me. The answer – a blog post I made on a site belonging to a friend of hers. When you become part of the community, you are connected to the world.
Several other tips I really enjoyed:
# 18 Occasionally, when it’s a really good post, stumble yourself or bookmark it in Delicious. (Then go stumble 10 or 12 other people’s good work to absolve your sin.)
#22 Thank people endlessly. Be so full of humility and thanks and gracious awe at the fact that people share time with you (while not being one of those put-down artists) that your work comes off as perpetually fresh and energized and useful.
Actually, I really liked the entire article, but if you want to see the rest, you will just need to go to Chris’ post.