by Suzie Eller
A group of bloggers sat around a table at a coffee shop. One newer blogger shared the uncertainty of fitting in the fast-paced blogging world. A seasoned blogger spoke words of encouragement. Another offered a tip to help her overcome her fear.
Yet another offered to host a blog link-up with her to bring in more readers.
This is networking at its best.
Networking could be defined as intentionally creating relationships with people who share a passion that can mutually benefit each other.
In today’s tip, we’ll explore numerous ways to connect with others – as well as what networking is and isn’t.
There are many ways to network.
- You can network at writer’s conferences.
I’ve presented at She Speaks for 12 years. I’ve also taught at other writers conferences around the nation. This is one way to connect with writers, agents, publishers, and editors who share your passion for writing, but also may share a passion for your message.
- You can network at local writing groups.
Years ago, this was my first step. I joined a Christian writers group in a city 60 miles away and attended once a month. It was valuable on so many levels.Search online for a writers group in your area.
- You can network with friends who write
When I moved to a new state four years ago, there was not a writing group. However, I discovered other writers in my area and we now meet in person once a month.Nurturing those friendships have led to natural networking opportunities. For example, one writer and I had a book launching in the same month. We did a video together and shared them on our blogs and social media. We do a live broadcast together. We encourage each other when writing is hard.
- You can network through online organizations
COMPEL is an example of one online organization that nurtures writers. There are others. However, don’t limit it to writing only. If your passion is how-to writing or restoring furniture, marriage, Bible study, humor, or any other niche, it’s great to connect and network with online groups or organizations that are focused on that niche.
What networking is not:
- Networking is not meeting people just to get something from them. It’s mutual give and take.
- Networking isn’t just building a database of people who might benefit from what you offer. While building a database is a great idea, networking is building a community of people who strengthen one another.
- Networking isn’t passive. No one is going to show up at your door and ask you to be a part of their community.
- Networking isn’t spam. Courtesy is key when reaching out. One tip is to meet a person first based on the fact that you like them or like the organization. Get to know them. Make a friend. Then see where that leads.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT IF YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT
Choose one of the following:
- Search online or in your Christian Writers Market Guide for a conference or writers group in your area or region. Share that here.
- Share one intimidation factor you might have about networking. We’ll take this deeper!
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