Giving back to your local community is an important way to help others in need. And as you look for ways to boost your community involvement, networking with other area businesses can help you create long-term relationships that help introduce a world of professional opportunities. Giving yourself to your community is certainly an important element of networking for many small businesses. But what do you do if your primary community is online?
Just because your business peers are online doesn’t mean you can’t support them and find collaborative ways to help them. When you put positive energy into your web community, it can be one of those “what goes around, comes around” situations. When you want to channel your energy into helping others in your online community, here are some ways to actively support their work.
Visit Other Websites
Check out the websites of companies that you like or people that interest you. It can help with their page views, as well as SEO rankings. Subscribe to their corporate blogs or newsletter so you can check in often–not only will it provide you with new reading material, but it will help out your fellow online businesses.
Promote Their Products or Special Offers
When one of your fellow bloggers has a new digital product being released, is teaching a webinar, or is hosting a special promotional event, your support becomes invaluable. Sharing their success, signing up for their webinars, or reviewing their eBooks will be a huge show of faith they won’t soon forget. We remember the people who encourage and lift us up. And when you’re in need of support and assistance for your own project, your network is much more likely to help if you’ve already done the same for them.
Contribute Quality Guest Posts
Offer to guest post for a friend or a blog that you enjoy reading. When two successful websites pair up, good things usually happen! You don’t have to ask for payment or reciprocation, just offer up your content and see where it goes. When you contribute a guest post, make sure you’re sharing really great content that serves their audience. You can even connect with a multi-author blog for more regular collaborations. And when the post is live, be sure to share it through your online networks. Not only will you help more people see your post—you’ll help give the blog more exposure, too.
Share Great Content from Your Friends
Most businesses and blogs also have Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, or other social media interests. If you see something that piques your interest, share it with your friends and family. This will help the site with traffic and help the site owners to gain new fans and followers. Everyone loves to have their hard work appreciated, and sharing, retweeting, or spreading the word about other informative, must-read blogs is a great way to spread the love.
Leave Comments on Other Blogs
Interaction with readers is one of the components of a blog that make it so valuable. If a post makes you think about something, comment on it. Once you get the ball rolling, others will be more likely to comment The best comments are those that give a thoughtful response beyond a simple “good job” or “great post,” so take a couple minutes to create a brief yet insightful reply that not only provides valuable feedback—it just might help spark additional discussion, too.
It’s easy to support your online peers if you’ll take just a couple minutes each day to read, comment, and share. And collaborating with other great bloggers and business owners will benefit everyone in the long run. How do you show your appreciation for your online network?
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.