Building a Positive Network – The lessons I learnt

As a 14 year old working on a novel on her first computer, my only ambition was to become a writer.

Fast forward – after years of blogging off and on, and five years of enjoying motherhood in all its glory, I’m now living my childhood dream –  writing. I’m a contributor to popular publications and am starting a magazine of my own!

It wasn’t without it’s struggles. I plunged into blogging to give a positive direction to my parenting loneliness. It took over 60+ rejections and a lot of late nights learning the intricacies of blogging, before I found my voice.

The beauty of today’s connected digital space is that you don’t have to do this alone. With hard work, persistence, digital smarts and a little bit of luck you can achieve your dreams. And much, much more.

I believe that the one other thing that plays a major part in the jog to our destination is taking each other forward.

In all the years I’ve been blogging, I was fortunate to connect with many people who have helped me with my questions and offered me direction when I needed it most.

So how did I find these amazing people ?

Keep Your Interactions Real

Over the past 10 years, I’ve tried to engage with collaborators online in a consistent and authentic way. By showing real interest in people and being myself even in an online space, I have made relationships that have lasted me over time. I’m grateful for the support they continue to provide me even after being out of touch intermittently.

That is why, when I launched my new venture, an online magazine titled – Raising World Children, I’ve had over 75 contributors since our announcement.

These are people who have faith in my dream and encourage me to push harder as friends and co-writers.

What worked for me? Over the years,

  • I have visited other people’s blogs and left genuine comments.
  • Reciprocated when someone left a genuine comment of appreciation on mine.
  • Cheered their wins, once we became friends on social media.
  • Never spammed people with requests to comment or follow back.
  • Always waited before sending my blog/social media links after we connected online.
  • By being professional in my approach. Just because we are Instagram friends, doesn’t mean we are buddies.

Bloggers in your niche are your colleagues. Treat them as such.

Ask For Help

The second trick to finding amazing mentors and teachers is by asking.

Yes! The simple questions, “Can you tell me … ? ” or ” Do you know how … ?” are often answered in detail or help you find the path forward. Most of us hesitate in showing our weakness or ignorance. But most people in the online world know that they have been down this road too.

Learn To Hear No

We often hear ” Learn to say no.”

But in life it’s important to learn how to process the negative responses you will get to hear. Notice, I say you “will” get. You will meet people who are not open to questions or working together. And that is Okay.

Maybe they just don’t know how to help. Don’t take that No personally. Turn it into a positive instead.

  • Assess you experience.
  • Question your approach.
  • Adapt your question/voice.
  • Try again.

For my magazine when I reach out for collaborations, I’m not always met with an enthusiastic response. I learn from my experience and move on.

Not everyone and not every idea is going to be a part of your journey.

Offer Help First

I can’t stress this enough. The publisher of the book ‘100 Moms One Journey’ is a friend and a selfless person. No question put towards her is left unanswered. She’s taught me the more you give, the more you receive. She guided me to the right coaches and helped me get the idea for starting my own magazine.

Which is why I frequently offer to edit content for numerous writers who need help reviewing their stories before submission to any publication.

Last year, for the upcoming book , I edited 5 stories by other women writers and
in the process made great friends. They support me on my blogging journey and we encourage each other with tips and suggestions in writing. The testimonials some of them provided for my editing are a testament to our great working relationships.

Many of the talented bloggers I have connected with, are currently contributing writers with me on my new venture. Some are helping with me graphics, others with the marketing.

Be generous personally and professionally. Like karma, it all comes back.

Maybe not from the person you helped but from a totally new source that you never expected.

I wish you luck on your journey and offer you help should you ever need it! Let’s take each other forward and together create a strong online network.

Originally published on Maroon Oak.

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