online friendshipsI’ve come to the conclusion that nothing great happens online without friends and supporters. I’m serious about that—nothing. And when it comes to blogging success you can be rest assured that if you don’t have a network of people supporting and helping you out, no matter how great your content is, you’ll forever be a billboard in the desert.

Tough words? Yeah, maybe so, but true. Which is why you shouldn’t simply live by all that ‘Content is King’ talk. Sure, good content is critical, but if good content isn’t read, it’s kind of like that tree in the forest no one heard….Did it really fall?

Catching the Vision of True Community

As I’ve mentioned again and again here on TSL, I WASTED an entire year of blogging due to my poor networking online. Because I didn’t take the time to build relationships, growth never occurred, and boy was that disheartening.

Then, once I started to catch the vision of community and connections, I thought my biggest goal was to simply build fans and followers. And although fans and followers are a big deal when it comes to online success, I’ve now reached the point where my biggest priority has changed again. Today, my greatest focus is that of building true and lasting friendships with amazing people.

So how does it happen? How do we go from gaining fans to true ‘friends’?

Who Have You Helped Today?

A few months ago I wrote what turned out to be a one of my most popular posts ever on TSL about how to network online and build your community. In the article, I discussed various stages, or levels, whereby bloggers can build relationships with others, with Level 5 being the highest—the stage by which we move past the simple comments and links and truly look for ways by which we can help, serve, and impact others.

As an example, the past few weeks have been some of my most enjoyable as a blogger. Why? Because I’ve made it a point to make at least one phone call every day to a blogger/business owner that has filled out my contact form and asked me a question. Instead of a generic and quick answer to all the questions I receive, I’ll choose one each day to call personally via phone, and often times the reaction I get on the other end of the line is one of shock and amazement.

I don’t say this in an effort to sound like some great guy out to save the world, I’m simply saying the reward of taking a few minutes of my day and making a true personal contact with someone that completely doesn’t expect it is incredibly rewarding, both to the receiver and the giver.

As I mentioned in that post a few months ago, the most important question we can ask ourselves if we really want to develop a stronger network with rich friendships online is this:

Who can I help today?

So simple, yet forgotten by so many. We’re so busy writing content and doing the networking basics (simple tweeting and commenting) that we never develop a depth to these relationships.

Be Thoughtful

When it comes down to it, we’ve got to be thoughtful folks. That’s right, thoughtful.

  • Thoughtful is when Ingrid from NittyGriddy Blog sends me a book called The Tao of Twitter, completely out of the blue and really without knowing me well, simply because she wanted me to experience success with Twitter, something she knew I’d been struggling with up to that point.
  • Thoughtful is when someone like JK Allen of Hustler’s Notebook takes the time to call me after my first major guest post many, many months ago, and then calls and emails me directly whenever he feels particularly strong about something I’ve written in the months and weeks since (Wow that guy knows how to make a brother feel good!).
  • Thoughtful is when someone like Dino Dogan sends Srini from Skool of Life a BRAND NEW SUITE for his blog world seminar.
  • Thoughtful is when someone like Al Smith of the wonderful new C.A.R.E movement takes the time to send me a long and passionate email discussing how one of my recent articles moved him to action.
  • Thoughtful is when Danny Iny of the great blog Firepole Marketing sends me a business book in the mail because it contains principles related to an article I recently wrote.

Are you starting to see where I’m coming from folks? Yeah, comments, tweets, and ‘likes’ are well and good, but none have the ‘depth’ these thoughtful acts above have when it comes to building true friendships.

Some People are Just Plain Awesome

Speaking of depth, I do need to share one more example of thoughtfulness that will hopefully make as much of an impression on you as it did on me. Just a few days ago, I received a package in the mail from my favorite online couple, John Falchetto of Expat Life Coach and his lovely wife Ameena from Mummy in Provence. To see how they shocked me with their kindness, please watch the following video because it’s dang awesome, and with it only lasting 130 seconds, I promise it won’t be too long, but well worth it:


So that’s the challenge folks. Ask yourself each and every day: “Who can I help?” Be thoughtful. Think outside the box. Look to build depth with your online relationships and I can personally testify that you’ll not only build fans and followers, but you’ll also find yourself building friendships that will last a lifetime.

Your Turn:

I’m curious to know some of the kind and thoughtful acts you’ve been a part of in the blogosphere. Has anyone touched and surprised you before? And as you look at your networking efforts, where do you feel like you biggest struggles are? As always, I’d invite you to be a part of the conversation below…


Oh, and if you haven’t connected with me on Google + or Facebook yet, quit delaying and let’s make it happen!! :-)

80 thoughts on “How to Build Amazing Friendships, Not Just ‘Fans’, Online

  1. Hi Marcus,

    That’s very nice of John and his wife. My heart feels very warm even i am not the one receiving the package. Is there no true friends online? John Falchetto has given us a very good example over here to show us there is.

    Is it too difficult to start networking with your fellow bloggers. Not really, just a little thoughtful gesture will bring us far. I hear your message loud and clear.

    P.S That really fits your little girl. She looks very nice on it, like a little princess.

    • As a family guy, I can see how you’d appreciate this Lye. Thanks so much man and you’re right—simple, thoughtful gestures go such a very long ways.

      Be well brother, and thanks so much for dropping by,


  2. You have to network with people if you want to really grow your site. It all starts with engaging on their blog and sparking up a conversation.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • Exactly TC. Engagement is HUGE. And that’s where it starts.

      Appreciate it man, and have a great Friday!


      • I’m sorry Marcus but I have to jump in here and make a comment. TC is not about engaging with anyone on any blog. I visit many blogs and I have seen his comments at so many places. They generally are one or two sentences. Sometimes the comment is almost unrelated to the post. Actually I don’t even think he reads most of the posts.

        He is all about getting his comment first or as high as possible. For example, I had a post that had 35 comments at the time. He decides to reply to the very first comment, when there was no need reply at all. I knew what he was trying to do. That was his first comment ever on my blog. I removed his comment. He won’t even notice cause he doesn’t go back to the same post twice.

        I honestly don’t know how gets his comments in so early on so many blogs. He must be waiting around for someone to publish their post for him to leave his comment.

        My good friend Adrienne Smith is one of the nicest people around and knows how to build an engaging community like you. In a recent post, she talked about how some people use Facebook the wrong way to connect with people. He leaves a comment where he said “Getting to know people can be hard at time..but I at least come to their page and say HI.” Adrienne has the ReplyMe plugin like you and asked him then why does he use social media? No further interaction? Naturally he didn’t reply. This is a guy not interested in getting to know you, having a conversation, or adding to it. I had to say something over there. I spoke with Adrienne by it via email as well because I had been seeing him do this all over the place. She gave him the benefit of the doubt when she first met him but now understands he comments to TRY and get traffic, CommentLuv juice, and not the reasons you mentioned in this post.

        And he’s offering a product to teach others how to make $500,000 a year without a website. Plus how you can do it in only 2 hours. Oh and also how to make $250,000 in your sleep. You get the picture. All for the low price of $39. Come on now.

        So his comment about networking, engaging and sparking a conversation is so far from what he actually believes in. I judge by action and he doesn’t do it anywhere.

        Sorry to vent but his true intentions should be exposed. You can delete this comment if you feel it’s a bit too harsh.

        • Hey Benny, I completely understand what you’re saying and my honest thoughts on it is that eventually, we all reap what we sow. If TC is sowing for relationships, he’ll have them. If not, then…well…you know how that ends up. Appreciate your concern my friend, and hope you have a great week.


        • Benny,
          Thanks for speaking up about this. I think it’s important that someone have the guts to speak up. All too often people see something or know something that looks fishy but say nothing.

          when I first saw his comments all over the place I assumed that he was reputable. I even went to his blog to read up about him. i was a little confused because he seemed to be well connected but then had this really spammy sales page about how to make loads of Money. I chalked it up to my inexperience, after all he has been doing this for over 10 years according to his videos and sales page. I know better now, because i am more well connected and have true connections. But it took me a while to figure it out.

          Marcus is right. SEO guy will reap what he sows.
          So far you, me, Adrienne have noticed his tactics of spamming peoples blogs with non relevant one liner comments. Others will figure it out too. Hopefully sooner rather than later. I doubt, or atleast i hope he is not fooling anyone with his claims of making tons of money on the internet.

          Take care Benny.

        • Hey Benny, glad you brought this up because I’ve noticed the same thing and find it extremely annoying.

          Quite frankly, most of the time the comments aren’t even proper English or have a ton of spelling mistakes. I’m not going to talk down on anyone who has English as a second language (I wasn’t born speaking English either), but I don’t think that’s the case here.

          And of course we all make a mistake once in a while. I do it more than I’d like to admit. But it’s pretty consistent in this case.

          It leads me to conclude one of two things:

          1) The comments are left with no thought or meaning and he rushes through them just to leave some back links, or

          2) There is some sort of auto-commenting program involved here (which would explain how he always gets into the comments near the top).

          I bet it’s the former though.

          Anyway, thanks for calling it out. When reading comments on blogs I usually just skip right over his because I know they bring no value whatsoever.

  3. I am all about the concept of community Marcus. I think the key is to be selfless. There are plenty of people out there who comment here there and everywhere, email people, and so on and so forth, but their true aim is to help themselves.

    In order to become a successful and well-liked blogger, you’ve got to throw all personal goals out of the window and simply look to help others. I firmly believe that the rest falls into place behind that.

    It’s wonderful to hear that so many people have done good things for you. Reading those things have made me think that perhaps I should be upping my game… 😉

    • ‘Selfless’ is a great way to describe it Tom, because if you ‘help’ others without the right intentions, the strategy will soon fail as it can be seen right through.

      Glad this gave you a few ideas man. You know, it’s the 3rd of 4th time I’ve written about this stuff here on TSL, and each time I think—Dang Marcus, you can do better!

      Appreciate all your support man,


  4. P.S. Your family are freakin’ adorable 😀

    • The Sheridan Clan greatly appreciates that Tom! :-)

  5. Marcus, a kind and thoughtful act? How about the hour that you took out of your day yesterday to selflessly spent with me, offering your advice and wisdom towards my small business and the new online community that I’m beginning to grow? Yes sir, I will never forget that!

    When I asked you to get together, you reached right back out to me and said “Would love to, just say when!” I would have been thrilled with 5, 10, even 15 minutes of your time. But to give an hour, knowing how precious time as a business owner can be, that was a complete surprise! I am truly thankful.

    In the few short months since starting my community blog I have met some terrific people. Right now, while it feels like that “tree falling in the forest”, I am super excited by the opportunities to help people that lie ahead.

    Many thanks Marcus! -Adam

    • Adam, all my pleasure brother. It was a mutual exchange, and huge benefit to both, plus did you like the way I got that ‘tree in the forest’ in there?? (Probably should have accredited you on that one though 😉 )

      You’re going to do some great things my man. Based on the fact that you’ve ‘been there, done that’, the sky is the limit, and I’m sure we’ll be talking and seeing A LOT more of each other in the future.

      Have a wonderful Friday,


      • Marcus, laughed my butt off when I saw that one. Couldn’t have written the tree analogy any better myself LOL!!! Have a great weekend man!! -Adam

  6. Hi Marcus,

    Wow, I agree, the Falchetto clan is awesome. I was just greatful for the link John added to my blog from one of his recent posts. The gift you got was just amazing.

    I haven’t done anything close to what John, Dino or Ingrid have done. I do my best to help people online with adding comments, sending emails, tweets etc… But, I should probably start sending Norwegian goat cheese in the mail to people :)

    I haven’t received any gifts in the mailbox, but I have received a lot of awesome online gifts :)


    • Norwegian goat cheese, ehh Jens? Hmmm, now that would be an original!!

      No question bud, there are a lot of great people out there that simply are willing to give. And you’re one of them my friend. Every time you stop by here and comment, tweet, etc—it really means a ton to me.

      Have a great Friday my friend.


  7. Awesome Marcus! Pink is rocking her French dress … it looks great on her!! It’s really something so little and your video has touched as all.

    Thank you so much for making it about how wonderful it is to give as to receive :)

    Here’s hoping that one day Pink and BiP will be awesome facebook friends!

    Great food for thought in this post. There is no point being the worlds greatest blogger if you don’t work on the relationships!

    Love to the Sheridan clan from across the pond!

    • Yes, it does look great on her, doesn’t it?!! :-)

      Sorry I may have embarrassed you and JF a little Ameena but I couldn’t possibly say ‘thank you’ via email after such a gesture. Plus, as I told John, you all inspired me. :-)

      Thanks for being so dang awesome and thoughtful.


  8. Wow ! Blown away …… Again ! Just watched the video and my eyes are watering up. What can I say, I am a softee for beautiful kids, loving parents and great friends. I was all excited to thank you for mentioning me in this awesome post on “friendships”, then I watched the video and forgot all about me. Incredible stuff Marcus.

    Like I have said many times before, you just “Get It”. Plain and simple. I am so grateful for all the support, encouragement and advice you have given me. You and JK have been great examples for me to try and emulate. There are so many kind and giving people, I have met on line, but you were the first to reach out your hand and offer assistance. (and told me how cool JK was) And for that, I will be eternally grateful and always consider you a friend.

    Thanks again for all you do and your continued support of The CARE Movement.


    • You’re a softy big Al?? Stand in line brother, I’m the king of the softies. 😉

      It has been a pleasure working with you my friend and I’m simply thrilled with what you’re doing and strongly believe in it as well.

      Now get to work. 😉


  9. Hi Marcus,

    You were one of the very first to post to my Facebook wall this morning. :) So did John and Gini. Gini sent me a tweet, and an email that was simply hilarious. It took a while, but I replied to everyone, because I am so grateful that you all took the time to remember me. 😉

    On a much more serious note, I had a health issue come up a few weeks ago, and Bill Dorman was the very first to respond. I wound up having a pretty bad anxiety attack. I was amazed at some of the people who tweeted and texted me to see if I was alright. I thanked all of them.

    My friends online are pretty outstanding, and I know I have only just begun.

    Thanks for always being a great example Marcus

    • GREAT examples Nancy. You’ve built up a network of people that care about you online (and off) and this example just shows how many ‘friends’ you’ve built in a short amount of time. So a big Happy B-day to you and thanks for being simply awesome. :-)


  10. Hey Marcus,

    That’s an awesome video. And equally as cool is John and Ameena’s gesture to Pink and your family overall. That’s just awesome. All the way from France! Can’t beat that.

    This post is great because it brings to light a very good point that I’ve kind of lost a little track of. Not appreciation for…but track of. I’ve developed a handful of friends online that I simply don’t think of as online friends. I forgot that I met you online. Because our friendship is more than what I used to think the internet can produce.

    I was that guy who thought it was SO strange that dating sites existed online. I’m a married man and will never experience what those services have to offer (happily)…but I must say that I can see how relationships can develop from the internet because I’ve developed friendships from here…and they’re real. non-bloggers or people who don’t spend a lot of time online will look at friendships being formed online like I used to view people seeking relationships online – as nonsense. But my attitude has changed greatly.

    Does that make an ounce of sense? LOL!

    Anyhow, thank you for the mention, Marcus. I appreciate it. I consider you as a friend and appreciate all that you provide to the world via TSL and beyond. From inspiring lives to changing businesses for ever!


    • That’s such a great point JK. Like you, I was cut from the same cloth. Because this online thing is still very new to me, it never made sense before. Now I get it, and in many ways, you can get closer to folks online because much of the relationship is based on service–two folks taking the time to lift, support, and sustain the other. Not a bad friendship model in my book. 😉

      Thanks for all you support my friend.


  11. Marcus,

    As one of the people you reached out and took under wing, I can only say to you, Thank You, with all my heart. My heavens! What a world we live in, to be able to meet and be part of each others lives.

    I know that this isn’t “where” I am going to “grow” our business, but Marcus, I can’t tell you how much I feel that I have grown these last months. I don’t know “where” I am “supposed” to be… but in my heart, I think it IS here.

    Yourself, Danny, Gini, Erica, Lori, Stacey, John & Ameena, Margie, Jayme, Janet, Yomar and even Dino(!!), you have all helped and tuned me up so much. You each have, I believe not only helped (and are) me become a better business woman and manager, but really, a human being. Just by being part of my life. By being the people YOU are.

    Thank you.

    • Wow, what a list of great people that have been a part of your success Amber. That is so GREAT! :-)

      Happy for you lady and just make sure you hold on to that fire and enthusiasm and it will certainly take you places.


  12. Some people think of cyberspace as being a cold wasteland, but not me. It is just filled with lots of friends, some I have already made and some I am going to.

    • Well said Jack. Folks that see it that way are in serious need of some ice water in the face.

      It’s amazing the friendships that can be built online.


  13. Hey Marcus,
    So true! When I started a blog last November, new to the blogosphere, I thought only about the aspect of building community on my blog. I had no idea that this whole other world existed which WAS a huge community I was about to meet.
    Recently we had the first LFI Google+ hangout and it was so cool to see and talk to people that way! It just gets to be more and more fun the longer I’m here, something else I didn’t anticipate nine months ago!
    P.S. Like the embedded video – what cute little girls you have!

    • Hey Lori! Yes, I saw you did that, and what a GREAT idea, seriously! I was on the road that day but I always appreciate innovation when I see it, so big props to you for leading the way!

      And thanks so much for dropping in to comment and for your continued support Lori. You understand ‘community’ as well as anyone.

      Have a great Friday,


  14. That is such a great list of thoughtful actions — and people! You’re so right — you really can’t do it alone. I’ve been fortunate to have been helped in my few short months blogging in ways both big and small by some great people — and to echo my fellow Adam above, you have been beyond gracious with your time. You truly live what you speak!

    Talk with you next week.

    PS. The family is adorable.

    • Thanks Adam, appreciate the kind words man. For me, helping others in some ways is a selfish thing. I say that in the sense that when I talk to other awesome people (like you) they have fresh voices, ideas, questions, etc.—in other words they inspire the heck out of me, and it makes it awesome. :-)

      Oh, and The Sheridan Clan say ‘thank you’. :-)

      Talk soon bro,


  15. John and Ameena have excellent taste.. Miss Pink looked adorable. Offline relationships, I’m usually the one who remembers the holidays, birthdays with snail mail cards; it’s such a small thing yet my friends notice. Online relationships, Marcus those friends ships are just as real-life to me. Anything from a simple tweet, to a round-robin exchange of emails to talk about nothing really but have meant so much… those make such a difference. I’ve had a few good calls, Jayme Soulati called me and let me talk her ear off once.. sounds silly but it was huge. As is every time someone comments or shares my blog, links to it.. I really do take that as a gift and great help. I’m also thinking of that list in my head, things I’ve been meaning to do for others – so this is a good reminder to get on that and reach out to my friends more often. FWIW.

    • You point out so well here the power and difference of simplicity Davina. It’s a big deal to be able to have someone to talk to when you do what we do. And it’s a big deal to have others helping you all the time to reach your goals. Synergy is the name of the game making it online. It ain’t a solo world out there.

      Thanks so much for always rockin the Lion’s den lady. 😉

      Have a wonderful weekend,


  16. Just in the past week, I’ve felt so blessed to have such amazing friends online. The day before my first ever guest post was published on Firepole Marketing, I was really nervous and worried that I wouldn’t get any comments. Then the marketer in me kicked in and I sent out individual tweets asking friends to stop by the next day–and they did! I was completely floored to receive so many insightful and interesting comments.

    This past Tuesday, I had my second guest post published, this time on Spin Sucks. Again, I was pretty nervous because Jayme Soulati’s guest post on Monday kicked off some great discussions. But my fears disappeared when friends arrived to comment. And, to top that off, I made some new friends too!

    That’s the true power of social media–the deep bonds you can build without meeting in person. It is awesome Marcus!

    • Such great examples here Marianne. You know, it takes guts to put yourself out there like that. You were on two large platforms and you put yourself in the position to fail….but also to succeed greatly. And you ended up with the latter. I love that. Go girl.

      And one other thing. Your point is a great one regarding the power of asking. Sometimes, that’s all it takes, a simple tweet or email and the people will show up. After all, 99% of the folks online want to help. They really do.

      Great stuff Marianne, and thanks so much for taking a moment to stop by. Cheers. :-)


  17. Marcus,

    That truly was a thoughtful gesture from your friends. The video was cute too. I have found that things like that can happen, but perhaps not as often as it could because so many times we don’t respond to the thought or idea that we should do ‘this or that’.

    I have to wonder about what I am doing and if I am blessing anyone’s life through my actions. I hope I am — but now I wonder. What could I be doing better? Hmmm.

    One of your friends sent me a book because he read about us on your blog. Tim Brownson sent the book “how to be RICH and HAPPY whatever you want, whenever you want” just because he wanted to. It is a fabulous book so far. I’m not finished yet but I will finish it this weekend. That man has his act together and is truly trying to make a difference. I feel in awe of his goals and mission.

    This last month has been one of tremendous personal struggle. More so than I have experienced in a very long time. Thanks for the reminder of some things we can do to make a difference.

    Nancy Genys

  18. Aw, what a lovely post *wipes tear*. I remember reading a blog post from a woman who was experiencing a real tough time and in it she said she was hankering after a lipstick just to feel good. So I posted several new lipsticks and some other cosmetics (we have an outlet store nearby and it was just $15). She rang me up in tears, she was so touched. I recall thinking at the time, that’s a bit of an over reaction. Having experienced many kindnesses from online friends I know exactly why she felt that way – it shows that someone listened, that your voice was hear amongst the noise and someone responded.

    Someone sent me some music a few weeks ago, and I was so touched. I listen to it all the time and I think wow, this is fab every time I hear it. Then I go and comment on her blog and share her stuff. Not because I have to but because I get a kick from reading her words and I want everyone to read them too. The music and friendship make me feel that way.

    I need to do some more reaching out and talking to people I think…

    • Hey Sarah, you’re such an awesome person, and it’s cool to hear these random acts of thoughtfulness from your perspective. I really love that, and you demonstrate clearly here that this stuff is real, and such acts are well worth it. :-)

      Thanks for all your support, I so very much appreciate it Sarah,


  19. Well my most amazing encounter with someone online was YOU! I was one of the recipients of I should give a desperate person a call 😉 (just kidding). You are a true gift! Thanks for being you!

    • Awww Beth, thanks girl!! But like I told you, if you didn’t have such a big smile and great message to your site, you wouldn’t have won my heart so quickly! 😉 But I appreciate the kind words and hope it’s not the last time we talk….so make sure you use my number if you ever need to, OK girl!!?


  20. I know one thing about the power of friendships…. To prove it, I have a story to tell…

    It was 1996. I was leaving college to transfer to art school. To leave, not knowing anyone or anything. I was both sad to go, leaving my friends and familiar territory, and also excited to start a new chapter on my journey. As my friends got together that Christmas to celebrate the holiday, myrelatively new friend Marc Sheridan handed me a present that TO DATE, is still one of the best unexpected gifts I’ve EVER received. A poem, in a card. I cannot quote it verbatim, but basically, “If I ever need anything, you are there. A partner for a summer days run, you are there. If I ever need to hear something nice, you are there.” You can see the poem (that I used to leave on my nightstand) here

    It’s been 15 years since I’ve actually seen Marcus Sheridan, but that poem still resides closeby, where I can always remind myself that it doesn’t take knowing someone for YEARS, every intimate detail of their life to make such a HUGE impact. Marc and I had only met each other months earlier, along with his gang of fellow friends at college, I didn’t even know I made such an impact. I was just being myself.

    Thank you my DEAR friend Marc. You are still a shining example of what making an impact can do to one persons life. Apparently, your impact is now being felt world wide and I could NOT be happier.

    Standing on the sidelines, cheering for you.

    • For Kerilyn (11/10/96)

      If I ever need anything – you are there
      If I ever want to blow off some steam, you act like you care.
      If I ever need a night of fun,
      or if I need a partner for a summer days run,
      You are always there.
      If I ever need an inspiring word of advice,
      or if I ever just want to hear something nice,
      You are there.
      You put others first,
      No matter what the cost,
      You help others find the way.
      When they think they are lost,
      you do all of this, much of which
      I would not dare.
      But to say it in the least,
      You are always there.
      – Marcus Sheridan

    • Ahhh Kerilyn, you simply have no idea how much joy this comment/poem gave me to see. You’re literally one of the kindest persons in the world that I’ve ever met (and I’ve met many) and that poem could not be more applicable to a better person.

      Thanks so very much for bringing a smile to my face on this late night. :-)


  21. I keep hearing content is king, but there are many blogs I visit where the writing is stellar, but the comments few. There are quite a few people out there who do a great job of community building and you are certainly among the best. You certainly like making other people look good that’s obvious and it goes both ways.

    Love that little story about Griddy sending you Mark Schaefer’s book. It’s funny because I recently listened to your interview with Srini and one of the things I noted is that kind gesture from Ingrid. Now, that’s community building! Ingrid did something for you and you shout it from the rooftops, and that’s what you do best, Marcus. I just purchased the Tao, now to learn and practice :)

    I have to check out JK Allen’s blog … not enough hours in the day :) … because I keep hearing so many great things about him. I did take a quick look from your link and do love the branding and design, very nice!

    I keep hearing great things about Dino and Danny as well.

    And Al, wow another great blog to check out.

    And very, very nice of the Falchettos too, wow. And your daughter … that is too cute, man.

    I definitely see where you are coming from, Marcus. You better watch out, because now I know what you are offering and I might chew your ear a bit too much in the coming months. No, seriously I won’t, but I do appreciate you being out there and sending these positive messages. I’m off on vacation, but look forward to coming back here soon.

    • Craig, if you don’t chew my ear at some point I’ll be highly dissapointed man. Seriously. When you’re ready to get your blogging groove on, your butt better be giving me a call, or else. :-)

      And I’m glad you see what I’m saying regarding the ‘content is king’ talk. There is plenty of good stuff out there that goes unnoticed every day, and then very mediocre stuff that gets shared 307 times on twitter. 😉

      Have a great week Craig,


  22. Hey Marcus! I am feeling you are referencing coming from that space filled with compassion and thoughtfulness — “the heartspace”.

    Thank you for this article and wonderful reminder 😉

    • Hey Kenya! And thanks so much for your kind words. Yes, I do think ‘the heartspace’ would be an adequate way to put it!

      Appreciate the comment Kenya and hope you have a tremendous week!


  23. Marcus you never cease to amaze me. Every time I read your blog I ask myself, “How are you making a difference?” It is something I’ve always tried to do and at times you feel you can’t do enough. You keep me on my toes.

    When I started The Blogstress Network with two friends who live near me and also have blogs the intention was to create community within the cyber world as well as find fellow bloggers nearby that you could meet and chat with. It’s difficult to discuss your blog friends with your face to face friends who have no idea what blogging is really about. Having bloggers you can have coffee with fairly regularly helps keep us going.

    I’m going to share this post on The Blogstress Network fb page because it completely speaks to our mission.
    Thank you so much for all you do.

    • Hey Barbara, you’re always so kind to me and build me up. :-)

      I love why you started The Blogstress Network, and think it’s awesome what you goal is. Synergy certainly is better than walking this path alone, at least in my opinion!

      Hope you have a wonderful week Barbara!


  24. Hi Marcus,

    Great post and big shout out to John and Ameena for doing a small thing that creates a big memory. I think making a difference in someone’s life and taking it beyond the online relationship is what it is all about – my wife did that for me! we met via the internet and ended up married!.

    I gotta be honest mate, you are not only a role model for newbies like me (I’m still trying to get all the plates spinning), but I think you are what an A-list blogger SHOULD be. You say what you mean and mean what you say. That is what takes relationship building into the stratosphere. All the kudos that you get is deserved.

    Thanks to the Sheridan and Falchetto clans for making me smile after a long, long day.

    • Such a kind comment Sean. Thanks so very much, and I think it’s awesome you met your wife via the internet—so you clearly know how this online relationship stuff works. 😉

      I hope your blog is going well for you though Sean. If you have any questions or need any pointers, don’t hesitate to drop me a note.

      Have a great week brother,


  25. You capture a major point Marcus when you show how our blogging and interaction plus encouraging connecting and sharing can have major impacts that we have no knowledge of until someone gets in touch. I often think my posts are average and are just entertainment to many until last month I got an e-mail from a young lady who read a post I wrote on hanging in there some 9 months ago. Her message knocked me off my chair – she was planning to commit suicide until she read the post. Now she was determined to stay. That’s the power of our words and influences and when we don’t think we are helping we probably most are somewhere.

    • Holy cow John, that is absolutely amazing my friend. You’ve literally saved a life. I’m sure that email shook you to the core. But in all honesty, that doesn’t surprise me at all. You’re a special writer and you’ve got the purest intentions of really wanting to help others. Good for you my friend. :-)

      Thanks so much for this comment John,


  26. Danny Inny from Firepole Marketing graciously shared his advice and experiences with me this week over the phone. Plus he’ll be running a guest post of mine in September, which is pretty awesome!

    When I first started blogging I wanted to be friends with everyone online, but after some time I realized I should focus my efforts. I would say my biggest struggle is finding the right bloggers to connect with, but as Danny pointed out…find the micro niches that exist everywhere online and focus on one at time. Glad I found this blog though…

    • I think your focus is a very good idea Steve. It’s impossible to be great friends with hundreds of people. It’s for that exact reason that I don’t follow tons on twitter. I want to follow folks I really am interested in, not just numbers and names that mean nothing to me.

      And that’s a cool story regarding Danny. He’s a class act and his star is seriously on the rise.

      Thanks so much for dropping by brother,


  27. As I sit reading this post inbetween my workouts, and I watch the short video, I can’t help but wonder about a few things Marcus:

    – It’s amazing what the Falchetto clan have done for your clan.
    – The relationship between you and John has really developed.
    – There’s some truly great people in the world!

    ‘Kindness’ is a trait that we don’t often see, either in the offline world where people are afraid to relinquish their money for fear of losing out, or in the online world where people are too afraid to relinquish their money for fear of being caught out, or for fear of not being accepted for who they are. But this post gives me hope.

    It gives me hope because I know that no matter what I do or what I decide to do in this world, there is always someone who will be grateful for the kindness.

    Take care Marcus, and I’ll be e-mailing you shortly about a couple of things :-)

    • Hey Stu, always so great to hear from you brother. It has been really nice over this past year reading your stuff and getting to know you better, and watching you take some huge steps along the way in your own personal growth—very cool.

      As for John F, yes, he and I have become very close. I think in many ways it stems from our experience in NY where we saw each other so much and really had a great time. He looks out for me on a weekly basis, and I do the same for him. The fact that an ocean separates us means very little. It’s quite amazing really.

      But yes, there is simply so much kindness out there Stu. I see it more and more and I know you do too….Oh, and btw, I hope we can Skype for a few minutes on Monday (today)…I’ll shoot you an IM.

      Thanks for all my friend,


  28. Well Mufasa – you nailed it again with another incredible post!
    You are so very right in that we should be asking ourselves – who and how can I help today?

    To me, it’s pretty simple. If you take the time to genuinely get to know people who interest you – there’s a good chance they’ll do the same and make the time for you. It’s not just about getting to know as many people as possible – it’s not a contest!

    I remember reading about what Dino did on Mark Schaefer’s blog a while blog. I thought it was super cool of Dino to send Srini a suit. It’s little gestures like that which turn acquaintances into life long friendships.

    I also think what the Falchetto clan did was awesome! So cute of them to send Pink that dress but what’s even cuter is her in it :))!!! Ummm..simply adorable as is your entire family M.

    As for me – I never sent you that book expecting anything in return – and yet you’ve offered me so much, but most of all – your friendship – and for that I’m forever grateful.
    I first got that book as a present in the mail (the snail kind) from Mark himself. I thought it was incredible that he would go such a ways to send “this girl” he met online a signed copy of his book all the way to Beirut. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated!

    But I also wanted to do something in return (without him knowing). Not because I had to – but because I genuinely wanted to support Mark in any way I could – plus I knew I would love the book when it arrived – and I DID! So I bought about 7 copies of his book online via Amazon and sent them to different people/bloggers.

    I sent it to you for the exact reasons that you stated here and more. I never thought that you’d thank me in such a wonderful way – by sharing the story a couple times with your readers. But you did :) and I’m truly grateful. But again – it was nothing! It was only my pleasure.

    And of course – let us not forget the package that I got in the mail not long after ;).

    But here’s something your readers don’t know. You’ve helped so many people here M in so many ways. You are so generous with your time and skills that it’s only normal that people want to do nice things for you. You go out of your way to help everyone and it comes naturally to you – you don’t do it with ulterior motives – you do it cause it’s you!

    This blogosphere of ours is truly incredible – remarkable even! We’ve all been helped or touched by so many gestures and in so many ways by different people – some realize it and some don’t. If only life offline was as giving and nurturing (as often) as the one I’ve come to know and love here.

    It’s people like YOU Marcus – as well as many of our mutual friends – who set examples for turning fans into real friendships. I’m proud to know you and though you might be a good friend – I’m still a fan haha ;).

    God bless you and your family.
    Talk to ya later c…c


    • You may just be the coolest chick on the face of the planet G :-) :-) :-)

      What the heck is a guy supposed to say after such words?? 😉

      Thanks so very much, I can only say I’m humbled, grateful, and incredibly thankful of our friendship.

      All Smiles,


  29. That’s such a nice gesture, and the dress fits perfectly!

    I know exactly what you mean, Marcus. Jk did the same for me – when I published my post about finishing my MBA and not getting the teaching position that I was after, Jk called me up out of the blue with words of encouragement. That’s something you never forget. :)

    I got to experience some of that personal touch recently with a free consulting offer I made on a ThinkTraffic guest post. As a result, I did about 30 free consultations over the last two weeks. It was intense to connect with so many people, and I was really blown away by how appreciate everyone was.

    It really does come down to finding opportunities to help – it’s the most rewarding way to do business that I’ve ever seen. :)

    • Wow Danny, you really did give away a TON of value w that Think Traffic post. I’m curious to read from you what the results are and further details of all the benefits.

      And yeah, that JK is something, isn’t he? As thoughtful as anyone I’ve ever met.

      Keep up the great work my friend and I hope you have an excellent week.


  30. Oh, that is so nice to hear! I love that you have made these kind of connections and also that you make the effort to contact people by phone personally.

    I haven’t been blogging for very long, just since March, but the entire exercise is for the purpose of connecting individually with people. After all, you really can’t get more personal than doing an intuitive reading for someone and connecting with their spiritual team. I do freebies and spend a lot of additonal time with those who need it because I feel called to do so.

    But the best connection I’ve made is with a man who I encouraged to write a book that he had been putting off, and I told him what the cover would look like, and just two days ago it arrived via mail – looking exactly like I saw it in my mind’s eye, and with a personal, encouraging inscription. It really does not get any better than that – seeing people’s dreams come to life!

    • Wow Julie, the story about the book cover is AMAZING! So glad you shared that with us and it does certainly appear that you’ve got a gift that can make a huge difference in others lives and also build relationships.

      So I hope your blog continues to grow Julie and if you haven’t already done so, make sure you get your avatar photo at It’s free, easy, and quick—and is important for your blog’s brand.

      Come back again Julie!


      • Marcus, Thank You for helping me solve a problem this morning! I’ve had a gravatar for months but could not get it to show up on anyone else’s site. This morning after reading your comment I was determined to find out the cause, and I did – my profile was rated “X”. Woo Hoo – sometimes it’s the small victories :)

  31. Great article to remind us on some of the fundamentals of creating a great community.

    One of the things I do to help folks is provide a free 2 week consulting session with me and another business owner looking to learn some new ideas about the world of digital media. I connect the two business folks and answer any of their questions in a private forum for two weeks.

    It’s fun and a great learning experience for all.

    • Hey Matt, great example you’ve given here. It’s amazing how free consulting gigs often lead to friendships, inspiration, and further opportunities for both parties.

      Thanks so much for stopping by bud and hope you have an excellent week!


  32. A great article and its remind me of something about friend vs. fan.

    A friend is somebody that you trust. A fan is just somebody that follows you.
    Another big difference is that a friend can send you private plurks while a fan can’t.

    I love this article… I will share it to my friends

    • Hey Vernon, I really appreciate those kinds words and so glad you’re sharing it out. Keep building those friends and continued success—


  33. Julie is one of my online/blogging friends and she’s full of amazing stories like that, I promise you!

    I have met SO MANY amazing human beings in just a year of blogging that it blows my mind and humbles me. It also empowers me and gives me the energy & strength to keep it up. This blogging & networking is a lot of work, but oh so worth it!

    So happy to have found your site. :)

  34. I’m really admiring your Blog :)

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