Navigating the labyrinthine realm of social media can be as daunting as trying to convince my Golden Retriever, Barkley, that the mailman isn't a threat to our household's sovereign integrity. Let's face it, as writers, bloggers, artists or any other digital content creators, it's easy to feel lost when it comes to finding the right platform which can act as a network to cater specifically to our needs, and just as important, our audience. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, the list goes on. The digital world as we know it is littered with these titanic platforms that each hold a piece of the pie known as online social networking. However, I want to propose a question to all my fellow bloggers out there: Is there a platform, a hidden gem in the internet sands, that is tailor-made specifically for us bloggers?
You might be wondering why such platforms would even be necessary. 'Why can't we just use one of those aforementioned titanic platforms?' Well, picture this. You're spending a lazy Sunday afternoon, nestled comfortably on your favorite couch next to Barkley whilst, of course, enduring his occasional defiant farts. You're scrolling through the stream of selfies, recipes, motivational quotes (which are certainly a mood lifter, especially when they're paired perfectly with a picture of an awe-inspiring sunset), and product advertisements on your social media feed. Amidst this waterfall of disjointed content, you spot an article, a blog post that is so engrossing, so alluring that it feels equivalent to finding a crystal clear oasis amidst the chaotic, sandstorm-ridden desert that your newsfeed usually is.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were platforms dedicated specifically to bloggers where the focus isn't lost amidst a sea of diverse content? Places where you wouldn't need to shout to be heard over the incessant buzz of the digital crowd, but rather where your voice, your thoughts, and ideas are the rock stars of the show. This is what blog-focused social networking platforms can offer. Platforms like Contena, Beyond Your Blog, and ProBlogger are fine examples. These sites aren't just a meeting point for bloggers, but are nerve centers of resources, community, gig opportunities, and much more.
If you're a blogger seeking to network, learn, improve, and potentially profit from your craft, blog-focused social networks are your ticket to that destination. You're in an environment tailored to your needs, rubbing virtual shoulders with peers, potential readers, and even prospective employers. There's no white noise to cut through, you can reach your audience directly without having to circumnavigate around Aunt Mabel's cat videos, your co-worker's political tirades, or the latest COVID-19 conspiracy theories. Let's also not forget the wealth of material available to learn and grow as a blogger. From writing and editing tips to understanding SEO and audience analytics, these platforms are a knowledge goldmine for newbie bloggers and seasoned veterans alike.
Just like any other social network, these platforms offer ways to interact with fellow users. You can comment on posts, share tips, ask questions or simply cheer on your fellow writers. My wife, Meredith, often comments on the multitude of connections I've made via these platforms, and I must admit, the research and discussions we've had over meals about my newfound cyber acquaintances have been the source of amusement to our kids, Elliot and Juniper, on multiple occasions.
Embarking on the journey into the blogging social network might seem a little bit intimidating at first, just like the start of any new endeavor. But remember, you're among friends, colleagues, and kindred spirits here. Don't hesitate to put forward your ideas, ask for feedback, immerse yourself in the wealth of new-found knowledge, engage with your peers, collaborate with them, and most of all, grow with them. As a blogger, there is no better place to be, and no better people to be with, than at the heart of a blogging social network.
We should never underestimate the power social networking platforms can bring to our digital doorsteps, especially to us bloggers. As much as we'd all love to magically hit upon that 'viral' blog post, the truth is, it's a slow grind and these networks can exponentially ease our journey through it.