Why Relationships Grow Online

Relationships grow online for the same reasons they grow offline. If you practice effective relationship principals your online friend list will grow, too. We vanity bloggers usually blog for the relationships we build

Hobby bloggers do not usually sell anything but online blogging personas. They might review restaurants or make-up, or have fun with flags. Sometimes they get perks or press passes from businesses in their hobby niche. They all work very hard to watch their relationships grow online. 

Right?

I planned a trip to Australia for the sole purpose of meeting with two of my long-time blogging friends. I enjoyed three weeks with one and several days with the other. We cement relationships with some bloggers and not others. With millions of bloggers worldwide to choose from, what is it that draws us to one person, not another?

Why are some relationships set in stone?

Blogging friends meet

Here are some of the reasons my relationships grow online. What can you add to the list?

  1. My Need: I have a need and someone helps me out. When I started blogging five years ago, I knew nothing but how to put one word after another, followed by a few deletes. I am always grateful to those many bloggers who took pity on my and helped me out. I was almost clingy when someone followed me even if they were only doing it to get people to follow them back.
  2. Your Need: You have an urgent need, and I know how to help. Nothing makes relationships grow online better than being asked to help and then having the answer. That person then comes to you more and more because it is hard to know who to trust in the blogosphere. I am ashamed to say that I probably let some of my friends down when I first started because I did not know enough to help them. I remember Eric first started emailing me asking me all kinds of questions. He was a great photographer and he was older than I was and probably lonely. His photographs were good, and he was so sweet with tons of great experiences. He needed a grammar and spelling check. I did not have the heart to tell him that. We are not still in touch, and I feel bad about that.
  3. Humor: He or she makes my day. I laugh till my sides hurt, then I laugh some more. When I visited Carol, she read Badfish’s posts out loud. We both had tears running down our faces. Then I tell hubby to cheer him up. Soon we are friends online on several social media accounts, often. Everyone has their favorites. So it’s good to be on as many as you have time to maintain. I warn you, though, if you don’t continue to post your blog posts on social media those friends will quit reading your posts, and simply like your photos. Soon the friendship dissipates.
  4. They chase me. I’m commenting on someone else’s post, and they comment on my comment. I’m flattered. I check them out. Ralph has been my best long-time friend for this. I call him MFR, My Favorite Ralph. He found me making a comment on someone else’s blog and started a conversation. That was probably a little rude. We did not do it long. His friends have become some of my best friends over the years. Don’t worry I’m going to give you my list. You can’t find all their comments on this blog because it is more didactic and less personal than my Streaming Thoughts blog. I changed the name to Traveling & Blogging Near and Far.
  5. They read every post I write and make comments. This is a sure bet for me. I love those people. Do I need to say more? You write, your read, you discuss, you quote in your next post. That was Autty Jade for me and her blog, A Day in the Brine and  The Cotton Boll Conspiracy. My new friend Hugh engaged in real conversations, not just “beautiful picture.” Carol’s friend Denzil is great at conversation, too. Now granted, these new friends probably do not read every post, but we have a connection. I have spent time studying their blogs. I remember when I first started blogging. Ralph was looking for a place to live after his partner died. Hundreds of women were telling him that they liked a total dump of a place. I couldn’t let him buy that one! I read every post that Ralph wrote and every comment. (I had about two followers at the time.) I’ve spent hours on Carol’s blog and The Adventures of Justin Beaver
  6. They follow me. It has to be more than that. If I have to chase them down to try to figure out why they followed me, we probably won’t become friends. If they leave a comment, I’ll respond, and I’ll check them out. If they do it again and again, I figure they like me. I’m sold. But over the years I’ve lost touch. I have more people following me than I can possibly connect to in a year, and my list is short compared to pro bloggers. The difference is that most pro bloggers send out email lists to hundreds of people and they might only connect with a few of them, just like we do. It takes more than a follow. Debby of DK Writer taught me so much recently about starting an instant friendship. She connected with me on three different social media accounts. Retweeted everything I wrote, and sent me stickers on messenger. WOW! 
  7. We do something together. This is huge for me. Taking a class is the easiest. Sending Manny, my stuffed bear, to various bloggers to take pictures and use him in their posts and mine is huge. He hasn’t gone anywhere for a while, by the way.
  8. Guest posting and interviews, featuring blogs are huge relationship cementers for me. Those who featured me and those I featured are still friends of mine four years after the post was published. To apply for an interview on this blog click here.
  9. Visiting  This is probably the biggest relationship cementer. The pull to be with the bloggers you like is irresistible. I’m going to Queensland, Australia December 27 through January 16. I’d love to meet my Australian friends if you have time and we can work it out. YES, I know Australia is a big place! 🙂

What is it for you that has cemented those firm friendships over the internet?

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