The One Great Key to Building a Blog Community and Changing Lives

by Marcus Sheridan

http://nittygriddy.com/2011/05/15/superpost-sunday-weekly-roundup-30/This is one of those posts that has been on my mind for many, many weeks. Heck, it’s actually something I’ve been thinking about for months but the time is right to delve deep into a principle that I really feel 99% of bloggers don’t fully understand—but if they did, the blogosphere would never be the same…..

A Love Story

Recently, I came across Mark Schaefer’s 500th post on his inspiring blog {Grow}. The article was called ‘How to REALLY Build a Blog Community: A Love Story’, and as soon as I read the title, I couldn’t help but smile.

You see, I understand exactly what Mark was talking about. Without question, I love my community here. Does it sound cheesy? Yeah, sure it may to some, but for anyone that has poured their heart and soul into growing their blog and community; they get exactly what I’m talking about.

But before I delve too far into the core of this article, I need to make a little analogy that some of you may appreciate.

Adam Sandler Would Have Been the Greatest Blogger in the World

Have you ever heard of Adam Sandler? Yeah, of course you have (unless your name is Gini Dietrich ;-) ). He has done a ton of movies over the last 15 years such as ‘Waterboy’, ‘Grown Ups’, ‘Billy Madison’, ‘Happy Gilmore’, and many more. And if you’ve been watching any of these movies, you’ll notice a similar characteristic in each—many of the same actors keep appearing again and again.

You see, Sandler owns Happy Madison Productions, which is a film production company. But because he started on Saturday Night Live as a relative ‘nobody’, with a bunch of other ‘relative nobodies’, Sandler formed a strong bond with many of the young comedians, including Rob Schneider, during this time period.

Such is the case so often times when we are just beginning and struggling to make it big in any field—we form relationships with incredible people that will on some occasions last forever.

Because of Sandler’s love for this initial circle of friends, and also due to his general loyalty to the people within his comedic community—he now takes every opportunity to promote these actors by feeding them roles in almost all of his Happy Madison movies.

As you might imagine, it is because of acts like these Adam Sandler is one of the most beloved actors in all of Hollywood by his peers—and it’s well deserved.

Simply put, Adam Sandler understands community.

Community Goes Far Beyond Hollywood

But the principles that Sandler is using in Hollywood do not only apply to his particular industry. In fact, every industry is made up of its networks and circles, and those persons that know how to build the strongest network of friends through the power of support and promotion, often times find themselves with the most loyal of fans, friends, and community.

And it is this same model that I apply to all of my blogging here on TSL. As I’m sure many of you have noticed, I care as much about promoting other people on this blog than I do myself—it’s just the way my mind thinks, and it’s also why this blog’s growth has exploded these last 6 months.

A little over a month ago I published what I still feel today is the best article I’ve ever written on TSL—How to Network Online Like a Superstar….and Grow BIG! The reason why I’m so proud of this piece is the fact that it was one of the first articles on the web (from what I can tell) that truly broke down the essence of building community through different levels of online networking. As some of you may recall, Levels 3 and 4 discussed a blogger’s ability to shine as much light as possible on others through links, mentions, etc.

It is for this reason that before every article I write on this blog, I ask myself the most important question any blogger can ever make:

‘Who can I help today?’

It is because of this question, just as with Adam Sandler and his friends, you also see many of the same names pop up again and again in my articles. These are people that take care of me and I do my best to take care of them as well. They’ve become my friends, supporters, and in some cases—business partners(more on this soon). It’s the digital version of the Law of Reciprocity, and it’s an amazing principle when used correctly.

How Much Difference Can One Person Make?

In order to help you fully understand exactly what I’m trying to explain with this article, I’ve taken the time over the past week to gather the Google Analytic stats of some of the websites/blogs I’ve promoted in my articles. After emailing some (I’ve actually not included many of the blogs I’ve promoted here) of my blogging friends and requesting the number of visits they received from links coming off of TSL during the months of March and April of this year, I received the following results back:

# of Visits from The Sales Lion, March/April 2011

Tristan Higbee from Blogging Bookshelf: 162 visits

Mark Harai: 74 visits

Troy Claus: 19 vistis

Steve Scott: 121 visits

Gini Dietrich of Spin Sucks: 253 visits

Danny Brown: 73 visits

John Falchetto of Expat Life Coach: 107 visits

Brankica Underwood of Blog Like a Star: 129 visits

Davina Brewer of 3 Hats Communications: 144 visits

Lori Gosselin of Life for Instance: 72 visits

Diana Baur of A Certain Simplicity: 75 visits

JK of The Hustler’s Notebook: 182 visits

Jason Hughes of Skyward Blog: 53 visits

Srinivas Rao of Skool of Life: 27 visits

Mark Schaefer of {Grow}: 135 visits

Ingrid Abboud of NittyGriddy Blog: 195 visits

Total Visits to Other Sites: 1,686

Now granted, such numbers may not seem like a big deal to some, as I’m certainly no Chris Brogan,  but let me assure you that these visits lead to each blogger receiving tweets, comments, promotions, subscribers, and more than anything—loyal supporters. In fact, the average time on site for visitors from TSL was almost exactly 5 minutes. For those of you who have ever studied the relevance of ‘time on site’, you know just how impressive this number is.

That’s what the social web is all about folks. We must embrace the power of networking and community. We must stop thinking about ourselves so much and shift our mind to the big picture.

In a Coming Day…

To close, allow me to be brutally honest in saying I look very much forward to the day when this blog has thousands upon thousands of subscribers. I say this not because such stats will lead to greater fame or fortune, but rather it will give me a platform to, with the click of a mouse, send thousands of visitors to some obscure yet amazing blogger that is just waiting to catch a break and be noticed by the masses. I’m not exactly sure when that day will come folks….but be rest assured I can see it, I know it will happen, and I know it will change lives for the better.

Editor’s Note and Amazing Update****: Serendipity struck me this morning exactly 10 minutes before this article was scheduled to post. Allow me to quickly explain the story– Just a few weeks ago I came across a blog that I found to be magically written by a lady named Diana Baur. So impressed was I with Diana’s writing style, as well as her expat story of moving to Italy to open up a bed and breakfast, that I felt strongly prompted to let others know of the treasure I’d found. Therefore, the next day when I posted an article on TSL, I briefly mentioned her in the first paragraph and asked my readers if they would please give her a visit. If you look at the stats mentioned above, you’ll find that 75 of you did just that, and the next day Diana emailed me to sincerely express her gratitude. But this gratitude pales to the pure joy Diana felt this morning when I got a direct message from her on Twitter saying one of my readers had just booked for their parents a 5 day stay at her B & B. Upon reading this news, my eyes got a little watery knowing that a simple link from my blog had touched and impacted lives……This is what it’s all about folks. This is why we do what we do. And my joy is full. :-)

Your Turn:

OK folks, some important questions for discussion, and I’m really hoping that if you’ve read down this far you’ll take a moment to add your thoughts below. What actions are you taking in your blog to promote others? Also, can you mention a time that another blogger(s) promoted you and it helped you in some way? Finally, why do you think so few bloggers truly understand the power of promoting, networking, and community? C’mon folks, it’s your turn to make the magic happen. :-)

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{ 196 comments… read them below or add one }

Randy Cantrell May 17, 2011 at

Yeah, buddy. Good stuff, as always.

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

Thanks Randy, appreciate it man. :-)

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Steve@Internet Lifestyle May 17, 2011 at

Marcus,

This is the perfect post that really shows why you are such a popular guy and blogger.

You really care and it shows.

I love your feelings on community, and your blog is a great place to go about finding community. I know every so often when I am looking for a few blogs to check out or comment on I often search out one or two from among your community.

It shouldn’t surprise you that I often end up adding the sites I go to on my feedburner. This is a great post and an important topic, because you really do display the power of “love” caring and community that really are possible.

Thanks for this post.

But more importantly thanks for being that guy who cares and reaches out to embrace so many people in the blogsphere with your charity, kindness and warmth.

Have a wonderful week.

PS:
I bet you are in for another 7 hours of replies for this one! ;)

-S

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

Steve, wow man, what a heartfelt comment from one heck of a guy, I really don’t know what to say but thank you– it means a ton.

I think sometimes people wonder of guys like me truly have the right ‘intentions’. But the truth is, I don’t spend time at this point in my life worrying about if this blog is going to hit X mark by such and such date and make X amount of money, as I used to do. Now, I’ve just basically thrown in all my chips and played it on ‘community’. As to the results, time will tell, but I can honestly say this has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life– and is worth 7 hours of replies any day of the week ;-).

Thanks for all Steve,

Marcus

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Steve@Internet Lifestyle May 18, 2011 at

Marcus,

I DO have to worry about hitting X and Y goal, becuase I don’t have a “day-job” this is it for me… I don’t make certain levels i don’t eat, they boot me out of my apartment and repossess my car.

(not that I am saying any of that is …likely :) )

The good thing is I really have seen the power of community. It works.

I do believe there is a great power in being open, honest and genuine.

It is sort of like one of those “Zen” things.

“the path to success is not to care about success”

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

You make a great point Steve, and if I was in your shoes, I’d be watching the numbers like a hawk I’m sure. Because I have the luxury of a regular paycheck, it allows my focus to be elsewhere.

As to all this being ‘Zen’, yes, totally agree. It’s very much so I think, especially the more one captures the vision and induces the true power of community.

Marcus

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Kaarina Dillabough May 17, 2011 at

Marcus, this pay-it-forward premise is something ingrained in me, both online and off. I think there’s nothing finer than connecting people who can then learn about each other, and come to care and support one another.

When someone asks me “what do you do?”, I respond “what do you need done? because if I can’t help you, I can hook you up with someone who can.”

Giving without the intention of receiving is what really makes the world go round.

Thanks for your soul-inspired, inspiring words, and the community you’ve brought together: one I’m delighted to be a part of! (P.S. I immediately went to Diana’s site after your tip of the hat, commented and connected. It wouldn’t have happened without your nod in her direction) Cheers! Kaarina

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Diana May 17, 2011 at

…and I love having you visit at my place, Kaarina. :)

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

What an awesome response to the ‘What do you do?’ question Kaarina! I love that (and will have to borrow it, so thanks in advance!).

I’m so glad you found Diana Kaarina and I hope your relationship with her grows and grows.

Have a wonderful week and thanks so much for your support!

Marcus

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Kaarina Dillabough May 18, 2011 at

Borrow away, my friend! Kaarina

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Fred Leo May 18, 2011 at

Wow Kaarina, your pay-it-forward philosohpy will get you so far in life. There is no better way to live your life than to help others. I don’t know if you have noticed it, but every time I go out of my way to give, my life gets noticeably better.

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Kaarina Dillabough May 18, 2011 at

Thanks, Fred:) My mission in life is a simple 3 words: To spread joy.
I endeavour to do that every day, in every way I can, and paying it forward is paramount.

This quote is what I guess you would call my mantra:

“If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day.” ~ Alex Noble

Cheers! Kaarina

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Mark Harai May 18, 2011 at

Ahh, I see many share the same sentiments about you Kaarina (those I mentioned in my reply to you on my blog).

It’s going to be fun watching you turn the social web upside down by serving others and being the awesome person that you are.

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Kaarina Dillabough May 18, 2011 at

Thank you Mark: I’m liking that image of turning the social web upside down through being of service…topsy turvy here I come. Cheers! Kaarina

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

I’ll second that! Topsy Turvy is on!!

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Marlee May 17, 2011 at

Hey Marcus,
I think you make a really good point here, which I’ve interpreted to infer that many, many, many bloggers are missing the boat here. They are so focus on mass traffic, e-book sales, and tweets that they have forgotten the power of engagement. But as your story demonstrates the value in truly engaging with your community far exceeds the stats you see in your Google analytics dashboard. I’m not saying that traffic, sales, and reach are not important. If you’re in business online, they are critical metrics, but they can’t lead your focus in BLOGGING. If you really want to make money go pitch someone with a product or service that meets a need and ads value. That is the FASTEST way to generate income…not blogging. If you want to grow a BLOG that people actually give a hoot about, then you’ve got to give a hoot about the people who read it!
WORD. (that’s so urban 1990) ;)

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Davina K. Brewer May 17, 2011 at

Okay, we were all typing at the same time and ya’ll were just faster to hit “Submit.” (*Must resist urge to comment bomb.*)

Big difference in ‘blogging about blogging ISSUES’ and ‘blogging about BLOGGING for the sake of blogging for bloggers who blog about blog..’ IYKWIMANTYD. Sure I write about blogging topics like community, like comments and why limit them, advice on guest blogging but I like to think I do it differently which is to say, MY way. And it’s b/c I do give a hoot about the readers, so WORD UP Marlee. ;-)

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Marlee May 17, 2011 at

LOL! I’m so confused Davina! LOL.
IYKWIMANTYD?!?!
If You Know What I Mean And Not That You Do? (Did I get that).

Anyway, I’m not talking about BFTSOBFBWBAB. I’m just saying that if you blog – for any reason- if you focus on those other areas and neglect your community you are obviously going to have disproportionate levels of engagement.

But ultimately, you’re right. I don’t know what you mean. :)

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Davina K. Brewer May 17, 2011 at

Sorry, I typed it wrong. It was supposed to be AITYD.. ‘and I think you DO.’ My total bad and I’ll put myself in an acronym timeout now. Anyway, I’m sure you do get it and yes, if you focus too much on the ‘blog’ and not enough on the community (replying, visiting other blogs) then yes you’re missing out on engagement.

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Marlee May 17, 2011 at

Okay, I gotcha now. :)

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john Falchetto May 17, 2011 at

Ok so I got FWIW but you lost me here with IYKWINMANTYD.

Still think that it stands for For Wine I Will Davina :)

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Jk Allen May 17, 2011 at

I’m just lost completely! COMPLETELY!

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Davina K. Brewer May 17, 2011 at

Sorry, it was supposed to be “If you know what I mean and I think you do” but my speed typing failed. I’ll do better next time, promise.

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Jk Allen May 17, 2011 at

Hey Davina! Me being lost isn’t anything new. It’s actually commonplace!
MBLIC = me being lost is commonplace! ;)

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Davina K. Brewer May 17, 2011 at

There are times it DOES stand for WINE John. How do you know I don’t I have a bottle open right now? ;-) Sadly I don’t but it’s always a possibility.

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

Double WORD Marlee!! ;-)

You’ve hit the nail on the head. In fact, you beat it with a mallet. Nicely done. :-)

I do think most bloggers are really missing the mark. In fact, I can’t help but to read an article often times and say to myself ‘Geez they had so many opportunities here to shine light on others…Why didn’t they???’

What’s crazy is that the moment I caught the vision of community on this blog was the moment I started making a lot of money with it. Isn’t that funny? Every day now I’m getting coaching calls or speaking calls or other petitions. It’s stinking unbelievable. Heck, almost laughable. But most assuredly it’s beautiful. :-)

Thanks for your support Marlee. Looking forward to meeting you in NY next week!!

Marcus

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Fred Leo May 18, 2011 at

You are so right Marlee that making money solely from a blog is tough. If your goal is to grow a blog, then you absolutely have to build a community. The only exception to this is if your blog income is based solely on SEO traffic.

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Lori Gosselin May 17, 2011 at

Marcus,
Without question, the larger your reach, the more good you can do. Nice story about Diana’s B&B. This does show what Social Media can do for building a business. What fun!
You’ve been a great supporter of my blog for some time now and for that I thank you. Keep following your heart Marcus!
Lori

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

Thanks Lori. :-) Yes, the story of Diana warmed my heart and brought with it so much joy.

And thank you Lori for your support here on TSL, it’s very much appreciated :-)

Marcus

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Kristi Hines May 17, 2011 at

I went through a long phase where I didn’t have time to comment or network with others like I wanted to. The only way I could think of to give back to other bloggers in the community was to start linking out to them via my Friday posts. Almost two years later, I still see that is a great community builder. People get to discover new sites and connect with new bloggers every week. It definitely makes me happy!

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Davina K. Brewer May 17, 2011 at

And it’s become part of my To-Read list, been collecting those posts for a while.. kind of a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the week I’ve missed. So thanks Kristi. ;-)

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Brad Harmon @ Big Feet Marketing May 17, 2011 at

Like Davina, it’s part of my routine now too, Kristi. I’m amazed at how much you’re able to accomplish already, so I understand how it is not to be able to comment as much as you’d like. It’s always a great pleasure to have you on my site, and I’m always surprised and grateful when I’m included in one of your Fetching Friday posts.

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

That’s the thing about you Kristi. Even though you may not have had the time to comment or ‘network’, you were still shining light on others and their good works. This is just one reason why everyone likes you so much! (that and the fact that you have such a happy avatar ;-) )

Marcus

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Fred Leo May 18, 2011 at

Kristi,

Your Friday link post is awesome. I look forward to it every week. And, it inspired my own Saturday link post!

I agree that my link post has been good for networking. People love having their work acknowledged. Linking used to happen all the time on blogs. But, over the last couple of years, it seems like bloggers have forgotten about this. I hope that linking and sharing come back in style.

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Davina K. Brewer May 17, 2011 at

Ahh.. so THIS is why you wanted those stats. Teasing Gini about her lack of pop culture cred, classic. Oh, and ‘na na na’ – I used Mark’s “Community Love Story” post yesterday so there. ;-)

Love Diana’s story, she’s got a nice social media case study to show anyone who thinks it doesn’t work. One thing I love about these stats: the cross-section of sites and interests. Gini, Danny and Mark may blog on PR or marketing but it’s still different; a lot of blogging talk with .. Ingrid, Brankica, Mark H, John F; others write about life and inspiration, like Lori, JK and Jason. Very diverse group of readers, so what’s the connection?

Obviously it’s you and this community. It’s why many of us insisted that be part of your tagline because you’re about helping others and building something here. I’ve seen the way you’ve applied yourself using Twitter, going from ‘hating its guts’ to using it to share and participate, all that engagement jazz.

Promoting myself? I am so bad at this. Working on the IRL component, trolling for better fishing spots. Online I tend to tweet my own posts, once (the cross-post to LI) or maybe a 2nd day. Commenting is some crazy part of my self-promotion as clearly I comment as I just. Can’t. Stop. Myself. Really, the plan’s been to scale back (I read but didn’t comment on your ‘funny April searches’ post – where do you find that data BTW?) and am failing miserably. Or should I say happily as I still like reading and commenting, still feel I learn a little something every day I’m out here.

When someone like Gini picks me for a FF, when Mark RTs my stuff, when you or Shonali highlight me in a post, when Jayme Soulati asks for my input and publishes! it.. It’s just wow. All of it has made such a difference, truly. Not sure about the challenge to others, think it comes down to having different reasons they blog, different goals for their community, different style and way of promoting.. that whole TEHO thing.

And when you make it Epically! Fantastically! Big with your thousands of followers and subscribers, fame and fortune (I’ll take Oct. 23rd in the betting pool if anyone’s game) I’ve got a wacky idea for ya, to help promote those ‘undiscovered’ blogs. FWIW.

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

Amabassador Davina has spoken ladies and gents!!! :-)

(BTW, Davina is the new amabassador for TSL everyone, just in case it wasn’t already a given)

So many great points lady, I’ll try to hit a few, but dang my eyes are getting blurry!!

1. I should have picked on Gini much worse.

2.Totally diggin how you point out the diversity of readership. I’d not thought hard about that, but it’s true, and it would be nice to think I’ve had something to do with that. I’m guessing the fact that I write about a variety of ‘stuff’ helps to. IDK

3. As far as promoting yourself, you may not to a ‘hard promo’ Davina, but your epic comment bombs have branded you throughout the blogosphere. Heck, there’s only one Ambassador of TSL!! But if I were you, I’d promote your SM services and skills harder within your blog posts…(let’s chat about this in Atlanta when I’m down)

4. People mention you because your junk is awesome, witty, and insightful. Get used to it lady. ;-)

5. Can’t wait to here more about the ‘getting big’ thing. Guess we’ll table that one too for ATL.

ttys

ty!!!

Cheers,

Marcus

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Davina K. Brewer May 18, 2011 at

Dude you just flat out rock.

1) Hee. 2) The diversity.. and aren’t you one who’s written about a blogging ‘niche’?! Think you have managed to pull-off some sort of crossover artistry wherein you hit upon marketing, sales, blogging, life and possibly the manly arts of ballroom dancing and burrito eating, all at the same time. Impressive.

3) Think I tweet my current posts once a day which is enough for me to pimp myself, on balance w/ the other stuff I share. Commenting IS certainly a means of promotion, of networking and trolling for contacts, referrals, secret fishing spots loaded with biting clients. (As well as learning SO much, meeting great people just icing on a WOW cake.) The rest is a work in progress, and we’ll talk. Be gentle with me. ;-) 4) TY, I blush. 5) It’s just an idea, might be up your alley. FWIW.

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Patricia@lavender-oil May 17, 2011 at

Hi Marcus

Not surprised at the stats. If you promote a person on your blog your community here trusts you and will go check that person out. And it’s great that you include newbies and I’m sure they appreciate that kindness too.

You sure know how to build a community and I’m sure it will keep getting bigger. Because you really care and it shows in your writing and your actions.

And to answer your questions. I try to mention other blogs and link to them in some of my posts. And I have been mentioned in lots of other bloggers posts too. Sometimes I don’t know till I visit and read their post and see my blog mentioned; which is a nice surprise.

By being mentioned in other blogs when I was still a newbie, got my blog known out there in the blogosphere that’s for sure. Doing kindnesses to others doesn’t take too much but it sure reaps its rewards :-)

Patricia Perth Australia

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

Hey Patricia, I’m so glad you stopped in here to share. Ever since I started reading your blog, you’ve always had the great habit of mentioning and promoting others. You truly have a ‘big picture’ mentality, and I hope you know how much I appreciate you support.

Regards,

Marcus

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John Sherry May 17, 2011 at

Community = common unity, so it’s genetically wired in our DNA for me Marcus. For me community is a reverse joy of late – I’ve not been home for some 6 weeks, living in different locations, fitting in a holiday, and planning leaving my home town of over 40 years. With that and 4 bank holidays in the UK I’ve not been a busy blogger but have been touched by how many fellow bloggers (like you!!) and people dropped by the blog to leave a comment or share on social media. That’s a community for sure. I did little, they gave a lot. Whilst I’m not a very active social mediaite I shall, as a result, be doing my darndest in the future to give all I can back to a fab group of people who offer friendship, insight, and pure golden insight, whenever they are around. Thanks everyone for being who you are, especially YOU Marcus!!!

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Jk Allen May 17, 2011 at

I like that John – Common Unity!

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Marcus Sheridan May 19, 2011 at

Wow John, sounds like your life is as exciting and inspirational as ever my friend. That’s awesome and I’m happy for you…and I hope your travels bring you great joy.

Thanks for your kind words though regarding my blog. It really means a lot to me and I’m grateful.

Cheers,

Marcus

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Eugene May 17, 2011 at

I was totally one of those people that checked out Diana’s blog. Unfortunately I was NOT the person that booked the 5 day stay :)

As I’ve come to realize, shamelessly promoting OTHERS actually helps you more in the long run. Talk about a win-win situation.

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Marcus Sheridan May 19, 2011 at

Exactly Eugene. Heck, you just did an AMAZING promotion of other bloggers on your site, so I know you understand exactly what I’m talking about here.

Keep rockin it my friend and thanks for your support.

Marcus

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Diana May 17, 2011 at

Davina,you are right. It is a good case study, this particularly awesome booking and also just the fact that it’s here that I started to understand what community building is all about. I am at the bottom of that learning curve but I am slowly grasping the principles of how I might get to where I want to be. The significance of that for me personally is huge.

It used to be me on the outside of this huge massive bubble of internet marketing and social media knowledge that everyone knew about except me. Then there was a post here which was actually pointed out to me by my friend Michelle @Bleeding Espresso concerning Tim Ferris and John Falchetto. I commented b/c it was in my comfort zone – about being an expat entrepreneur. Otherwise I never would have commented because I would have been way too intimidated by the amount of knowledge you all have and I don’t have concerning social media and community. I would have felt like the girl with two left feed at standing at the sidelines at the prom. But expat entrepreneur, I could do. Oh yes. And that led to a bunch of other good karma here at TSL and gave me the courage to comment elsewhere. Why? Simple. I feel comfortable here. I mean I’d be lying if I said I completely understand the intricacies of all that you guys do. I don’t. But I am listening and getting more and more.

And that’s all because it started here with you, Marcus. You are *my* one person who made a difference. And now I am taking that and starting a creative community on my blog simply because I know it is the right thing to do. That is the biggest, most valuable thing to come my way in a very long time and I will always be grateful for it. So now instead of being the girl with two left feet, I feel like I’m ready to take over the dance floor. Step by step.

Thank you, Marcus :)

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Davina K. Brewer May 17, 2011 at

For some reason Diana, I like the ‘personal’ case study vs. a corporate white paper. I wrote a post, tweeted it and put it on LI.. few steps later, speaking invite. Or Gini’s rental car story, a tweet for service makes her a loyal customer for the other guy. And I know what you mean about the comfort zone; I lurked a long time before I leapt and finally just had to go for it. It’s that cursed cycle of “you can’t get a job w/ out portfolio but you can’t build portfolio w/ out job.” Social is new, I have no qualms about being ‘new’ to it, learning my own way and deciding what is and isn’t me. Thanks to bloggers like Marcus, I’m more comfortable sharing that with others… so I can see how he’s made that difference for you.

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Marcus Sheridan May 17, 2011 at

Wow Davina, that was thoughtful and incredibly well said. Thank you Ambassador. :-)

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Davina K. Brewer May 18, 2011 at

How about a “you’re welcome” button? ;-)

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Marcus Sheridan May 19, 2011 at

This story here practically gave me goosebumps Diana. Honestly, I can’t wait to bring my family to Italy one of these days to stay at your place. (Don’t worry, I have good kids ;-) )

I’m really curious to ask you though— Is your husband starting to understand this whole ‘social’ thing now? ;-)

Keep dancing lady….I can’t wait to watch :-)

Marcus

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Diana May 19, 2011 at

Let me just say that he’s becoming much less likely to dismiss it, Marcus, which was the starting point!! When we got that reservation a could of days ago, and when I told him how that contact was made, it was crystal clear to him.

He wants to start a wine business and I could kind of see the gears going on in his head ( I think wine in particular is an area where sharing information is critical. So many people are intimidated by wine geeks. If we can be generous with information through a wine community blog – like how you explained you did with your pool business and blog – and make wine un-intimidating, it could have a huge impact when he sets up his business. But that’s a challenge for the future. It’s on “the list” :)

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Brad Harmon @ Big Feet Marketing May 17, 2011 at

I think I mentioned in one of my first few comments here how impressed I was with your ability to network through your posts, Marcus. I don’t think I’ve found one yet that doesn’t link out to someone else. When I saw this, I knew I wanted to be part of your community here.

Too many bloggers miss the power of being the person that introduces their readers to other great bloggers. If you’ve ever been to a networking event, it’s pretty clear that this is the person everyone remembers when the event is over. It’s not the ones that went on and on about their own interests (well, at least not in a good way). It’s the person that introduced you to others, promoted your interests, and matched you with someone who’s a good fit that’s the one you remember.

You do a great job of that here at TSL. Keep up the good work.

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Marcus Sheridan May 19, 2011 at

I really appreciate that Brad and I’m glad you’ve noticed it. I know I’m actually far from perfect, as there are many people (like you) who I need to do a better job of shining light on. But I’m going to keep asking myself the magic question, and I hope to continue to make a difference here and there.

Thanks again for your awesome support Brad.

Marcus

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Bruce Bates May 17, 2011 at

I loved this article. I feel like you actually did write it with me in mind. I am new at attempting blogging for a community as you know and the tips you offer me are absolutely amazing.

It was the love not of just you, but of the entire community that drew me in. People are not just talking to you, but back and forth to each other as well. Its like every post becomes its own little forum.

Since coming to your blog a couple weeks ago I have begun to redefine EVERYTHING I do in business. I won’t lie to anyone, my pocket is taking a KILLING for it, but I think the overall outcome will be worth it.

I LOVE that you asked a couple questions at the end. Very much loved it. I can only answer two of the three but I will answer them as I have experienced to date, which isn’t much.

Okay so what have I been doing to gain readership AND comments, well as I said I intend to integrate much of what I already know and do into building my community, so I have a TOUCH of an advantage in that respect. I have using my linkedin group with my blog to write answers to peoples questions instead of writing the answers in the group. Then I link to the answer, email the poster who asked the question, and encourage them to reply in both places :) I also have some business contacts that are helping to guide me as well.

I know I could send out an email or two and explode with followers and comments, but I am afraid I won’t be able to handle that much in such a short period of time :)

You want to know the truth about why so few bloggers understand? I can actually tell you that because until I started following a few select people, I didn’t get it myself. The truth is many of us started out seeing blogs as romance toys. Some sad person inside their home telling everyone about their day.

Many of us also learn what blogging could do for search engine page ranks. In fact I would bet the majority of bloggers online fall into this category. They blog for the search engine value. The ones who don’t tend to be companies that just “followed the crowd” so to speak. Only the true rare blogs build communities. And trust me when I say, I have seen some of the biggest of blogs with thousands of comments, and even they don’t have a community.

You my friend, have talent and great skill. I hope to learn all I can from you.

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Marcus Sheridan May 19, 2011 at

Bruce, I swear man you are like the nicest guy on the planet, and I’m so humbled by your story and these kind words.

The fact that your embracing this communal approach, combined with your general ‘traffic’ knowledge, is something that I think will lead you to greater success than you ever imagined before. I know the bank account may be taking a bit of a beating, but it’s my earnest hope that you’re able to hold the course and make it work.

If you ever need anything Bruce, I’m here to help.

Thanks again for the kind words. You’ve given me such a smile this evening.

Marcus

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mandy@learntoblog May 17, 2011 at

When I started blogging I always included a link to a great post I had read somewhere in my blog posts. I still do that, though not in every post. I have had some great mentions that always make me feel very humble. I don’t believe many people recognise the power of the networking they could be doing, otherwise more would do it. I am a prolific blog hopper, commenting all over the place, finding new blogs to visit all the time. I love the community.

Enjoy the journey.

Mandy

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Marcus Sheridan May 19, 2011 at

Hi Mandy!! Don’t think I’ve seen you here before but I’m thrilled you stopped by! :-)

But if you love community as you say, I hope you’ll make this blog one of your regular ‘hopping’ spots ;-)

Thanks again and have a wonderful rest of your week.

Marcus

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Elena Patrice May 17, 2011 at

This is a really beautiful post Marcus. Talk about “feelin’ it”! I think in the blogging community the most important quality (or whatever the appropriate word is) one can possess above their writing ability, creativity or whatever; is sincerity. Let me be more specific – selfless sincerity. You and a select few have bagged this; completely bagged it. That is why your audience is captivated and why the world needs more like you (like Danny, like Mark, like Jason, etc…).

I actually found out about Diana through one of your post on Facebook and I bless the day I did! Diana has taken me to a treasured place in the craziness of my day through her amazing talents. She’s rekindled my dream of some day uprooting to Italy with my sweet Eve. Talk about giving gifts. The lists go on …

Danny Brown wrote a very straightforward post the yesterday about “community being king” not content. How spot on right is he! This was like hearing chains drop reading this because it so, so true! This is what binds us; not the number of our words, but the quality of our relationships through our words!

Now, a few know that I’m a mongo big cheerleader and supporter of others; so much so that it’s probably nauseating to some. My “whoo hoo” for others is woven into every aspect of my life because like you, that’s just how I think life should work. It unbelievable sometimes to see it all in action and it let me know I’m meant for a far grander purpose. Mark Harai and I share this thought about something really happening in the blogosphere among people that is truly unlike much of what else is happening in the world. It’s rather unexplainable in exact words; yet, it is incredibly powerful and meaningful and as it is being harnessed in the right ways, adds incredibly purpose in this world.

Thank you Marcus for your wonderful way of presenting things. Thank you for challenging my head and helping fill my heart and the hearts of many others no doubt!

Much kindness,

Elena

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Diana May 17, 2011 at

Elena, it’s words like yours that let me know I am on the right track. Thank you for saying what you said.

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

Oh yes Diana, you’re more than just ‘on the right track’— you’re now on a track that has much more rewarding and fulfilling destination…..(with a book at the end as well that I can’t wait to tell the world about ;-) )

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Marcus Sheridan May 19, 2011 at

Elena, Elena– you are always so inspiring and motivating and positive with the words you share here. Thank you so much for that and like you, I’ve share a similar belief in the amazing movement of community that is happening online, and I hope to be a little part of what that movement represents.

As for Diana, I’m so glad she’s rekindled your Italian fire. I have a feeling she has done that with quite a few people ;-)

Marcus

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Danny @ Firepole Marketing May 17, 2011 at

A great post, Marcus, as per usual. :)

I don’t know why people don’t “get it” as you say, but you’re right, so many people don’t. Even among the people who pay lip-service to “givers gain”, and “go giving” and all that, it’s often just that – lip-service.

I really don’t understand why, though – it’s the best way to grow a blog, develop a business, and be a decent person, all in one shot. Who wouldn’t want that?

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

it’s the best way to grow a blog, develop a business, and be a decent person, all in one shot. Who wouldn’t want that?

You summed it up perfectly with that line Danny. And one thing is for sure— you truly get it and that’s why your blog is blowin up at such a fast rate.

Thanks so much for your support,

Marcus

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Joe @ Not Your Average Joe May 17, 2011 at

Talk about the “circle of life”. The reason you want to propel this blog into the stratosphere? To shine the light on and help others (ie newbies). Everybody knows this and is more than happy to participate. Therefore growing the blog even further.

You’re the real deal, big cat. Nice piece.

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

It really is ‘the circle of life’, isn’t it Joe? Nice analogy man (and a cool lion too;-) )

Like you said, I only hope this blog’s light gets bigger and bigger so as to cast an even larger vision of great people and writers.

Thanks for your constant support my friend,

Marcus

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barbara May 17, 2011 at

Loved this, and have Diana Bauer to thank for it because she posted it on her fb page. I have shared her blog with many of my friends and readers, mostly those who like me love Italy and great writing.

I am one of the co-founders of a new network, The Blogstress Network.com and we have quite a few newbies. This post is custom made for our network, so I’ll be sharing it with all of them.

I’ve always been a firm believer in, you get what you give, and nowhere is that more evident than in the blogosphere. Thanks Diana and Marcus!

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Diana May 17, 2011 at

Barbara, this is a great community that Marcus has built and it’s wonderful to see you over here. I am going to go check out your network.

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barbara May 17, 2011 at

Diana we’d be honored if you’d join us. You have so much wisdom to share!
Thanks for taking the time.
b

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Marcus Sheridan May 17, 2011 at

That she does Barbara….and with such a smile to boot! ;-)

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

Hi Barbara! I’m THRILLED you saw Diana’s FB post and that you stopped by, and then shared it with your tribe. Tell us, if you wouldn’t mind, a little more about blogstress network. Go ahead and post a link and give us the run-down. There may be people here interested in learning more.

Cheers!!

Marcus

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barbara May 18, 2011 at

I would be happy to Marcus. The link is: http://theblogstressnetwork.com

It began slowly last year after I started my blog, zeroto60andbyond.com, and got a lot of encouragement from my friend Lee Romano Sequiera. She had been blogging for a while at MadnessMomandMe.com and really helped me along. A few month later she called me to say another friend of ours had a blog and we didn’t even realize it. Doreen Creede had been blogging longer than either of us at StyleManiac.com. We all live within 3 blocks of each other.

We realized the reason we never spoke to people about blogging was because no one understood us. You mention SEO and get that ‘deer in the headlights’ stare. So we decided to get together on a regular basis to support and help each other. Doreen called us ‘The Blogstresses’.

Within the next few months we came up with the idea of starting our own network to encourage others to find bloggers physically near them to sit and have coffee or cocktails with. It’s just the best feeling to be in a room full of other bloggers speaking familiar language and offering support and advice.

Within a week we had The Blogstress Network blog up and running, had the facebook page up and got our vanity url within a few days. We now have over 100 members, from all over the world, on our fb page alone and it grows daily.

Our first satellite branch is forming very soon in Washington D.C. We’re very excited about that! We’re also working on one in Westchester County, NY. I think, perhaps, Diana could put one together in Italy!

We are having our monthly meeting this evening. We have 2 regular members, here in Philadelphia, in addition to Lee, Doreen and I, and tonight we’ll have an additional 5 women who are either bloggers or considering starting a blog. I believe everyone has a story, so everyone should have a blog.

All are welcome to jump into this new network of ours! We post interesting articles to help our members learn and grow their blogs, which is what started this amazing connection here on your blog Marcus! I put this post up on The Blogstress Network and it has already taken on a life of its own.

Thank you so much for offering such an enlightening post to motivate all of us to help each other out.
Barbara

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

Wow Barbara, this is awesome!! And you said you have a group in DC? I’d love to come to a meeting sometime and could even do a presentation if anyone was interested.

I’m going to further check out your site now but I tell you this concept you have is absolutely awesome and I love it. :)

Thanks again and make sure keep coming back!!

Marcus

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Lee Romano Sequeira May 19, 2011 at

Well said Barbara! :)

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barbara May 19, 2011 at

Marcus, As soon as we get D.C. confirmed I will definitely let you know. We’d love to have you make a presentation. And, Philly isn’t all that far from there you know… just sayin’.
b

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Marcus Sheridan May 20, 2011 at

Always willing to get in a car Barbara. Please keep me in mind, I love stuff like that. :-)

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Annie Andre May 17, 2011 at

Marcus,
You had me at “HELLO”.

I want to thank you. Your advice and articles actually has changed my outlook on blogging and networking. What started out as a purely business venture has turned into a passion. I find a passion much easier to maintain over something that is driven for mere dollar purposes.

Through you and a few others, i have learned so much. I’m watching and learning. How does it feel to be stalked?

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

Hey Annie!! Did you get a new avatar?? Looks great!

Thanks so much for your abundance of kindness here. It’s people like you that make any work I put into this blog and community more than worth it. And it stalking means that you’re learning from people that are doing things the right way after doing it the wrong way for so long, then stalk away girl!! :-)

Big smiles,

Marcus

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john Falchetto May 17, 2011 at

Ok so you redeemed yourself, after the big let down in your movie choice you bring back the real Marcus, the real blogger who delivers value at every post.

Your post made me wonder a few things. I think many times we get busy either promoting our peeps and we often forget to give a voice to those who really need it.
A few months ago I met a great person. He works as a pilot for a medical charity in eastern Africa. His life deals with real issues, not my server is down or I didn’t get traffic on this post.
He brings supplies to people who are literally dying or starving.
Whenever I feel I’m having a tough day I check in with him. It just puts everything back into perspective.
I convinced him to start blogging recently and he has just posted his first one.
http://estoni.wordpress.com/

The way I see it, if we want to grow we need to help ‘digital babies’ as Srinivas said.
But I will go a step further and say we need to give a voice to those who don’t have one. This goes a lot further than digital babies. We are looking at great stories and peeps who are working in communities or areas were nobody is online and the voices just aren’t heard.
AJ Leon does this with his Open Source Charity
Danny Brown with 12for12K

These great bloggers are helping voices to be heard online. Voices that would never be heard because they don’t write top 10 posts.

Cheers Marcus, thanks for showing us the way and being a role model for community support.

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Davina K. Brewer May 17, 2011 at

See John, totally agree with you on finding different bloggers, giving others some confidence to write and share. And yet, there’s nothing wrong with a “Top 10 Post” if it’s good, smart, has something to offer and contribute. Marcus has done it, so have others… “5 ways this” or “7 tips that” something well above the average list post. Also a matter of not doing it every post, mixing things up. Just saying. :-)

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Marcus Sheridan May 17, 2011 at

This was awesome JF, and I’m pumped with what you’ve said about digital babies. In fact, if I had to make a bet, you’re going to be writing about the subject within the next 36 hours, because that’s how your brain rolls. :-)

What do you say we set the goal to do just that though? Let’s push harder to find the DBs (not Danny Browns ;-) ) and spread their good works. I think it would be a great experience for all parties involved.

Thanks for sharing your friends link, I’ll soon be checking it out.

Have a great one bud.

Marcus

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jotter girl May 17, 2011 at

Marcus,
I’ve just experienced first hand what you have written about. I saw a link to your post on FB through The Blogstress Network from there I found Diana’s blog and then noticed that my friend Barbara commented just above me and had a little back and forth with Diana. I feel good promoting great blogs because I want to share the little gems that I have found with my friends and readers. So, today I have found your blog and Diana’s!
Thanks for a great post.

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Marcus Sheridan May 17, 2011 at

Well howdy Jotter Girl! (btw, where does the nickname come from, c’mon, do tell!! :-) )

You’re like the 3rd person who has mentioned this Blogstress Network, so it appears I’m going to have to check this group out, and especially thank all of you for your support! :-)

So glad you found Diana’s amazing blog and I hope you come back again to see us in the future.

Cheers,

Marcus

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jotter girl May 18, 2011 at

Jotter Girl comes from me having written in a jotter since I was a youngster. I’ve saved them all and have accumulated about 25+ books filled with thoughts, writing and sketches. I am never without my pen and jotter!

Do check out Blogstress Network, these ladies are working hard to create a nice community for bloggers.
:)

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Marcus Sheridan May 19, 2011 at

Such a cool story!!! Love it! :-)

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Diana May 18, 2011 at

It’s such an interesting thing, the way the path to finding each other winds. By last night I was just shaking my head and saying, “Wow.” It’ amazes me really, the magnetic energy between like minded people who share common vision. I find myself now scrambling to figure out the best way to organize all of this new found talent and energy to best provide a serving, welcoming community. My head is reeling. Grazie, jotter girl! Marcus, your kids are lucky to have someone with so much positive energy as a dad. I bet they know that for them, the sky’s the limit – because Dad lets them know it every day ( I am very sure Mom does too :) . It’s a gift you have, that giving thing.

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jotter girl May 18, 2011 at

Prego Diana,

I have spent considerable amount of time in Italy and look forward to enjoying visits to your blog. I have a feature over at Jotter Girl which is called the “Jotter Pages” which are excerpts from various travel journals with many of the destinations being in Italy.

Ciao!

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Rajka Milanovic Galbraith May 17, 2011 at

Marcus

You must never sleep, 4 kids and all those posts, a wife a pool business! Great read.

You will have to wait and see for my next post( on Sunday 5/22) to see what I am doing to promote others. A Creative read it will be! Oh, I can’t give any hints. Thanks for teaching me this!

@JohnFalchetto was the first to promote me. By doing a guest interview for his blog, I was able to expand my reach and get some additional hits. Then meeting his wife, Ameena (Mip!) who I also did a guest post for. This post the two did exceptional in promoting an extra 150 hits for that month. Thanks John & Ameena.

Why more bloggers don’t do it more. I think some of the stuff that is taught on internet business podcasts does nothing to shine light on building a blogging community. It is build a community so you can SELL to them!

Have a good one!
Rajka

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Marcus Sheridan May 17, 2011 at

Sleep? What is sleep Rajka?? ;-) Actually, when great things like Diana’s story are happening more and more all around me what seems like every day, sleep just doesn’t have the same appeal it used to ;-)

I’m so glad you found John Falchetto. That guy is the best, isn’t he?! I’m so grateful to have the chance to meet him and Ameena next week in New York. It’s going to be a great event.

Your support is wonderful Rajka, and I look forward to your post on 5/22!

Marcus

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Lee Romano Sequeira May 17, 2011 at

Love the post — we ALL can make a difference!

I had two of The Blogstress Network fellow blogstresses/friends mention my foundation on their blogs recently, and it did help others find out about our mission (providing birthday & holiday gifts to children in need).

Special thanks to Barbara Hammond and Doreen Creede (of TBN) and a thank you to YOU as well Marcus, because now I just found more amazing blogs I need to see!
:)
~ Lee

Peg’s Presents

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Marcus Sheridan May 17, 2011 at

Hi Lee!!! And welcome to TSL. I’m so thrilled you stumbled upon us today and do very much hope you’re able to visit again in the future. If you take a good look in the comments section here (which will be well over 100 within the next day or so) you’ll find that the people in these parts ‘get it’. They like to help, promote, share, and are as welcoming as any community on earth.

As for you foundation, would you mind telling us a little about it and writing the web address so people can stop by? Thanks so much Lee, hope you have a wonderful week.

Marcus

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Lee Romano Sequeira May 18, 2011 at

Yes, I would be honored to share more about Peg’s Presents Marcus! :)

I started Peg’s Presents (www.PegsPresents.com) in honor of my mother who passed away in her sleep (no warning whatsoever) this past Thanksgiving morning.

Over a couple of decade, my Mom & Dad were parents to over 16 foster children , and they adopted my two brothers. Mom loved to shop, adored children and so enjoyed giving gifts, so http://www.PegsPresents.com was born in 2011 in her memory and honor.

What we do: We work with Dignity Housing of Philadelphia, whose mission is to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty that confronts low-income families and individuals in Philadelphia by providing safe, decent affordable housing, promoting self-sufficiency, and creating opportunities beyond expectations.

Many of the mothers at Dignity Housing are not able to give their children birthday and Christmas presents, and that’s where we come in. Peg’s Presents will be providing gifts to children in need to let kids enjoy being kids and bring some smiles to all — givers & receivers — along the way.

We are seeking gift bags, gift cards and new unwrapped toys/gifts for children and teens from 3 months to 17 years of age (male & female).

Please contact me if you have any questions, or wish to chat a bit more.

xo
~ Lee

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

Now THIS is awesome Lee. Wow. I’m so touched by what you’ve created and it sounds like your mom was one inspiring lady who impacted many, many lives. And the fact that you’re now carrying on her legacy for good is simply amazing.

I’m clearly going to check out your site and come holiday time, I’d love to do a promo with you where we could talk about how this amazing community here could help.

Thrilled,

Marcus

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Lee Romano Sequeira May 19, 2011 at

Marcus,

This is wonderful! I’ll be sure to check in with you just before the holiday season kicks off – sound like a plan? :)

Best,
~ Lee

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Marcus Sheridan May 20, 2011 at

Sounds like a GREAT plan. We’ll do a big article on it. Can’t wait….

Marcus

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Lee Romano Sequeira January 19, 2012 at

Hi Marcus,
A belated HAPPY 2012 to you! I just wanted to check back in with you to see about a cross-promotion (as you mentioned last fall above) for Peg’s Presents.

We are currently filing all of the official 501C3 paperwork currently (we already have our EIN) and we’d love to get the ball rolling for the kids :)

Please feel free to email me at pr@goodtobeyou.com
Thank you,
~ Lee

http://www.PegsPresents.com
“bringing year round gifts & smiles to children in need”

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Jk Allen May 17, 2011 at

Mr. Sheridan – the community blogger!

First off, that story with Diana is great man. That’s what it’s about and I can only imagine the emotions that hit you when you got that message. There’s nothing more important than doing for others.

I believe that a great deal of your own success is because you directly contributed to others success. I can’t speak on the story behind how other’s have benefited from your promotions (other than Diana), but let me share mine!

I’m just going to give you an idea from comments. At the beginning of March I did an article that has compiled a total of 74 comments (in 75 days or so). Last Friday (5/13) I posted an article and it’s already at 130+ comments as of last night (4 days). What a jump huh! And I amassed much of my own blogging success from your mentions…and of course from the lessons you teach us here at the TSL. I’m not calling comments blogging success, but it is a measurement of connection with others (to me)!

From you, I got the great idea to promote others in my posts. It’s not that I only now learned this in life, but I never made the correlation between blogging and promoting others.

I honestly think a lot of bloggers fail to promote other bloggers because they simply don’t know how much power lays behind it. For those that do know this reality, but still don’t practice it – I can only assume that they find that it doesn’t fit within their structure (which should be re-evaluated if that’s the case) or they simply don’t want to be a part of others success – HATERS.

When it comes to blog communities, you are our Adam Sandler. Everyone loves Marcus! You have it down…it’s not just about you, but it’s about me, and everyone else! I appreciate that!

Thanks for all that you’ve done for me, and for others!

PEACE

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Marcus Sheridan May 17, 2011 at

Marcus Sheridan, the ‘Adam Sandler’ of blogging communities….Hmmm, I like the sound of that Mr. Allen ;-)

A huge congrats to you on your success as well JK. The most amazing thing about you that I’ve seen compared to so many is your sheer desire to learn from others, and recognize where you can improve. Your blog and writing style and ‘vision’ has gotten better and better and better with each and every post. For me, as someone that likes to really analyze ‘style, skills, and structure’, you’ve improved as much in 6 months as anyone I’ve EVER seen, and I’m not exaggerating in the slightest there my friend.

And like you said, I do hope others catch this vision. That’s what this post is all about– rolling the vision ball out there on the court and hoping a few are willing to play with it. Guess we’ll see in time.

Cheers to you JK for being such an amazing person,

Marcus

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Nancy Davis May 17, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,

I don’t really know what else I can add other than the simple fact that I am trying to change the world one reader at a time.

I have been trying to shed some light on those who may feel they have no hope. When I am lucky enough to get comments or retweets, it is priceless to me. To be included in a round up makes me shed tears of actual joy.

As far as I am concerned, helping others is the reason I was put on this earth. I would have it no other way. I hope to one day be able to look back and know that I could give someone hope. I would like to give women everywhere the strength to leave an abuser. I know how hard that can be. I was there not so long ago myself.

I blog not to get rich, but to be of service to others. I hope one day I can make a difference.

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Marcus Sheridan May 17, 2011 at

Your story is such a powerful one Nancy, and I’m glad you’ve shared some of it here. And with such pure intentions and goals, I’m sure the time will come when you’ll be able to look back and see just how many lives you’ve touched and people you’ve blessed. So continue to hold on to your vision. It’s in there for a reason, so don’t lose sight of it, no matter how slow things may seem to develop at times.

Thanks so much for stopping by and your support Nancy,

Marcus

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Mark Harai May 17, 2011 at

Jeez Marcus, all was good until you added the piece on Diana Baur!

It’s not nice to make big guy’s cry :P

I love to share the work of others. But, I can get better at it. I watch you and others like @John Falchetto and just about everybody that’s part of this community do it so well – it’s very inspiring.

One of the ways I can do better is by promoting digital babies in the community. Done.

Today I was mentioned by you and Frank Dickinson on your blog posts and I can’t tell you how this blows me away. I don’t put myself in your league. I’m just an average guy that loves the folks in the community like you. That doesn’t mean that I can throw-down words like you and many of our friends do.

What does that mean? Well, it means that you don’t have to be a brilliant writer to connect and be accepted into the blogosphere family so to speak…

It means if you put your heart and soul into something and connect in the community with others in a meaningful way, the social web can be a great place to be…

It means if you like to serve others and like to share a piece of your life with others for the benefit of community, you’ll be embraced.

It may be hard to understand how this may create value for your brand or business, but it by far, in my opinion, is the very best way to build brand equity for any business.

I love TSL, I really do. Nuff said.

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Bill Dorman May 17, 2011 at

Are you crying? There’s no crying in blogsville………….

You, my man are a supreme promoter; you selflessly are always out there helping others. And I can tell you I certainly appreciate it.

You might be a humble guy but by no means are you average. I know this is Marcus’ post, but I will say you rock too my brother and I’m sure Marcus won’t mind me pimping you here.

Whatever you are doing keep doing it. Best of luck to the both of you.

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Marcus Sheridan May 17, 2011 at

This was so kind Mark, through and through man.

Honestly, I think you sell yourself a little short in your abilities. We all have our style. And over time, what’s cool is we grow to appreciate each individual within the community for his/her ‘way’, and we wouldn’t want that person to be any different. Even better, we’re all cut from a different cloth. These unique styles, habits, strengths, skills, etc lead to a richer and fuller communal experience. You’re as likeable as they come Mark, and although I know you always say how much you’ve learned from me, I study your site and skills more than you’ll ever realize. Simply put, you’re a smart dude and I’m glad we’re on the same side ;-)

As far as promoting digital babies, that’s exactly one of my newest goals. I’m trying to find ways to do that better, and hopefully I’ll soon have many more stories about wonderful ladies who are expat B&B owners living in Italy ;-)

Thanks for all you do my friend.

Marcus

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Mark Harai May 18, 2011 at

This is an exciting direction you’re going Marcus. I’m looking forward to learning and participating with this direction of providing a platform to important voices who are worthy of exposure and support from folks that can help them. I’m all in!

And thanks for the kind words Marcus, you empower people here everyday and the work you do here is important. I’m telling you right now, many people in this community will change the world.

Their heats are golden, their motivation is in the right place, they are surrounding themselves with the very best people on the planet, the combined capabilities and reach are scary and I would bet most everybody in this community desires to make the lives’ of others and the world a better place for all.

That’s dang awesome, don’t you think?

Cheers to the community!

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Bill Dorman May 17, 2011 at

Preaching to the choir here brother, but I couldn’t have said it better.

My whole premise is helping others; it’s my mantra in my paying gig. When I really got plugged into twitter and blogging I had absolutely ZERO plans and you might think “well that’s a recipe for failure”.

I was happy people were letting me hang around and I have always been about trying to promote my community any way I can. It has never been a quid pro quo and I subscribe and engage with many with no expectations of reciprocation. If they do, fine; if not, well that’s fine too.

My come to Jesus meeting was last week when Ari Herzog did that post on me. I was totally blown away by the response and it showed me how truly powerful my sense of community was. If I had ever questioned if I thought I was ‘in’, well that answered it.

That too made me realize, that is worth something; how can I continue to expand on it and continue to bring value to my community? I think the days of no plans are coming to an end and I need to start figuring out my direction.

You are definitely pushing all the right buttons and I only wish you success on your journey. It has been fun watching you grow.

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Marcus Sheridan May 17, 2011 at

Very cool and insightful Dorman. You’re right, you have made your mark because you’ve not been afraid to be the guy at the school dance that jumps in the circle and starts break-dancing as everyone stands in a circle and claps– after which they all come up to you and pat you on the shoulder. That’s exactly what you’ve done with the blogosphere, but the good thing is you’ve fallen into a community that embraces your type. Believe it or not, there are quite a few communities out there that ain’t like us brother. The more you hang around, the more you’ll see this statement—This circle of bloggers is incredibly unique with regards to synergetic promotion and acceptance.

There are times when I go for a walk in other parts of the blogosphere and I’m left wondering what in the world is going on. At some point I’m going to write about this further, but for now, I’ll just leave it at that.

Regarding you making ‘plans’ Bill, I still would love to touch base with you personally about that sometime. I’m serious. We should chat. Shoot me an email with your contact info and then I’ll shoot you mine (marcus1@thesaleslioncom)

Continued success my friend.

Marcus

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Davina K. Brewer May 18, 2011 at

What you said. And what he said. Think you and Bill hit it right on the nose here, the kind of people who take notice and do something, like Ari’s post on Bill who is taking it seriously about what to do next. Smart move of course being to read TSL and have fun with this special community.

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Jason Kohles May 17, 2011 at

Beautiful. You are a living, breathing tornado of inspiration. Keep it up Marcus! Always looking forward to the next one.

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Marcus Sheridan May 17, 2011 at

Dang you Kohles! What are you doing making my night like that brother? ;-)

Kind words bud….much appreciated.

Marcus

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Marianne Worley May 17, 2011 at

I added a blogroll to my site a few weeks ago. Although my blog is still in its infancy, I always assume that 1 click could mean new or additional business for someone else. I never hesitate to re-tweet posts that I find compelling or join conversations in blog comments or on Twitter when I have something to contribute.

Last week, I was “talking” to @TweetSmarter about some questions I had about running a scientific test on Twitter to back up my assertions in a recent post about hashtags. I was very happy just to receive their expert opinion, but then they tweeted my post. @TweetSmarter has more than a quarter million followers, so the effect was immediate. The result? I got more re-tweets and visitors than ever, but more important, I made lots of new connections and engaged with some very interesting people from all over the world.

The power IS the community.

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Marcus Sheridan May 17, 2011 at

Very, very cool example Marianne regarding TweetSmarter. It really is amazing just how much power some of these monster bloggers and Twitter users have, and the impact they can have for good or bad on others. Very smart of you to contact them directly and congrats on the results.

I’ve noticed Marianne that even though you may be a newer blogger, you’re a hard worker when it comes to community. You comment actively, tweet often, push discussion– all these things mean you’re going to be very successful, if you’ll just keep it up, and I very much hope you do.

Thanks so much for your comment and support Marianne!

Marcus

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Marianne Worley May 17, 2011 at

Thanks Marcus. Once I’m determined to do something, I refuse to quit. The only thing that slows me down is not having enough time to do everything I’d like to do as quickly as I’d like to do it!

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Cindy@Kasper Suits May 18, 2011 at

Loved the Adam Sandler references and really hits home with those examples, keep up the great work.

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Marcus Sheridan May 19, 2011 at

Thanks Cindy, if I can be the ‘Adam Sandler’ of the blogosphere, I’m going to be one happy guy ;-)

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David Shaw May 18, 2011 at

Great post.

I run a weekly feature on my blog called Sunday Link Love where I share my favourite posts from the past week.

They always get a great reception.

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Marcus Sheridan May 19, 2011 at

Hey David, really appreciate you stopping by. Doing ’round-up’ or ‘favorite’ posts is a great way to promote others, so well done on that. But I’d challenge you to take it even a step further and see what you can come up with next. Trust me, it will come back 10-fold.

Have a great rest of your week David, and thanks so much for the comment.

Marcus

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Daniel M. Wood May 18, 2011 at

Hey Marcus,

You are so right and you know how much I admire your work my friend.
Adam Sandler movies are great, I love watching him and “his crew” go to work.
Always the same group of guys will a few coming and going over the years. He has created an amazing group and many of them have big parts in other movies, much thanks to him.

You can do the same with whatever you do, at work you can recommend a friend.
You can recommend them on LinkedIn, you can be a reference, you can keep an eye open for jobs, career opportunities, study opportunities and so on.

On the internet, you can mention your friend (by the way take a look at my post tomorrow and you will see yourself mentioned! Motivational tip about Regular Exercise), tweet their posts, share on facebook or just follow and comment on their blog.

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Marcus Sheridan May 20, 2011 at

Loving what you said here Daniel, because you bring out the ‘big picture’ approach. What we’re talking about here clearly isn’t something that is specific just to bloggers– it’s meant for any person that knows another human being ;-)

Headed to your post now boss, and sorry for being so slow in getting out lately. :-)

Marcus

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Daniel M. Wood May 21, 2011 at

Not a problem buddy.
I just realized that it is the post coming out today that you are mentioned in, sorry.
It is about working out, I think you will like that post :)

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Kim Davies @The Rendering Company May 18, 2011 at

Hi, Marcus.

Finally, I am at the famous lion’s den. I see so much of you in the conversations that I have been following since almost a month ago that I know it’s about time I finally got to meet you. And, what did I find during my first time in your blog but an article that I’ve decided will be the backbone of my blogging. I even wrote about it also in my recent blog post. :)

The most valuable advice that I have gotten since I started blogging at the end of April was build a community and this came from Bill Dorman. He was among the people who welcomed me warmly into the blogosphere. Although I am going at it slowly, I am meeting wonderful people because I decided to follow Bill’s advice. To pay it forward, (though Bill doesn’t really need help from me), I mention Bill when the situation warrants. I also gave him and several others a shout-out in my recent post.

I am unsure as of yet what results I will get from the efforts I am doing now in building a community online. All I am sure of is that I am loving looking up blog posts, reading the conversations that follow and adding my own thoughts if I feel I have something to contribute.

Kudos, Marcus! Heading off to Mark Schaefer’s blog to read his take on building a community. :)

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Marcus Sheridan May 19, 2011 at

You’re on your way Kim, I can tell you that. The biggest mistake people make when they first start blogging is that they’re so focused on content that they never develop relationships, and so they’re essentially a billboard in the desert.

The fact that you’re really participating ‘in the conversation’, and connecting with great people like John F, Mark H, Bill D, and others means that you’re willing to be humble and learn from the best.

So thrilled to have you here Kim and please subscribe and come back again, our community needs great people like you. ;-)

Marcus

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Kim Davies @The Rendering Company May 19, 2011 at

Thanks for the kind words, Marcus. Looking forward to learn more from you. :)

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Fred Leo May 18, 2011 at

Okay Marcus,

I think I have a great event for you to throw – the TSL community weekend at Diana’s B&B.

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Kaarina Dillabough May 18, 2011 at

Oooh Fred, what an awesome idea:) I’ll bring the single malt!

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Marcus Sheridan May 19, 2011 at

Haha Fred!!! OK, when I write my first NY Times best seller, it’s a deal!!! ;-)

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Fred Leo May 19, 2011 at

I am holding you to that Marcus :) Especially since Kaarina is bringing single malt!

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Kaarina Dillabough May 19, 2011 at

I’m stocking up now: let’s get the NY Times best seller rockin’ Marcus, to get the party started. Are you ready Diana? Cheers! Kaarina

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Marcus Sheridan May 20, 2011 at

Ha! Thanks Fred. ;-)

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Srinivas Rao May 18, 2011 at

Marcus,

I was waiting to comment on this even though I read it before I boarded my flight yesterday. As you well know, I’ve built my entire brand on telling the stories of other people. What I like about the visits that you mentioned is that they’re all “true fans” of what you do. It’s traffic that sticks. AS we continue to grow in the blogosphere, the amount of noise is going to increase ALOT, and as I recently said on Mark Harai’s blog, attention is a form of currency in the blogosphere. The thing is you have a high quality group of people spending there’s with you. The “who can I help today” mind set is something that goes far beyond growing a blog or business. It’s about being the kind of person the community would suffer without. Jade Craven is one of these people because she shines a light on people. As John mentioned, I’ve talked quite a bit about shining a light on emerging talent. But he took it one step further and made a great point. When you have a blog that’s popular you have the ability to give somebody who needs it a voice for their message. I’ve done quite a few different things to promote other people

- Link to their Posts
- Joint Ventures/Mini Products
- List Post Featuring People Who Are not Yet Well Known (I’m going to make it a goal to do one of these every quarter with all my new discoveries)
- Collaborative Ebooks with People

I could write an entire book on this subject (which I have, :)). Anyways, I love the message in this post and I think you’re doing amazing things for this community.

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

That’s very, very cool of you Srini, and I very much appreciate what you’re saying. I love what you’re doing to promote others, especially because you’ve built an entire business model around the concept with BlogcastFM. And it’s because of this that you’re a speaker at blog world and have such a strong brand now.

I’m pumped to be catching up in NYC soon and have a chance to finally chat face to face Srini. I know your class is going to be excellent and your new ebook will crush it as well.

See you soon my friend,

Marcus

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Robert May 18, 2011 at

Wow Marcus!

This blog post totally kicks ass! Although I am currently a much lower-profile blogger than yourself, and fairly new on the scene, I recently did a podcast for Ryan Critchett’s site imarketinghacked.com, and one of the points I made was that the most successful bloggers, not only the guys with the “authority” blogs, but the “rising stars” with the mid-sized blogs as well, have a great willingness to share other people’s content.

This post is like a sophisticated culmination of my recent thoughts on blogging, networking and community.

I was having a conversation with Mark Harai on one of his recent posts, and I was saying how important the correct intentions are. I don’t think that’s something that should be underestimated. Blogging, like most things, is give and take, but it’s all about focussing on the GIVE and the community rather than on yourself. Promotion with no expectations in return, if anyone promotes my stuff I see it as a bonus, I don’t expect it.

This game is totally all about being reader and community-oriented.

I promote other people’s stuff in a number of ways: through my Twitter account, a list of links to great blogs on my blog, and interviewing other bloggers in the same space. All this is done with no expectations, and I’ll keep promoting everyone else. Anyone who promotes me I will be extremely thankful to and just see it as a bonus in that I provided content that they felt was valuable enough to share with others.

Diana’s story is amazing. It just more solid evidence that you are living and breathing proof of what you preach here at TSL, and focussing on community.

So glad I came across your blog, and thanks a million for this amazing post. Keep doing your thing, I wish you every success.

Robert

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Marcus Sheridan May 20, 2011 at

Robert, once again, you’ve made such a great comment here that’s really added to the conversation. I LOVE how you’ve stressed the phrase ‘right intentions’. This is the part that so many completely miss. They comment only for reciprocation. They link only for the hope of the same on the other end. They tweet only because they are hoping to build their numbers.

Now granted, I’m not saying that promoting and sharing don’t come with recognizable benefits, but like you said so well, the real question is what do we expect in return.

You may be new Robert, but if you keep this up, and continue to share such a paradigm, you’ll be a rock star in no time– I really mean that.

Have a great weekend,

Marcus

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Robert May 20, 2011 at

Thanks Marcus, that means so much coming from you! Yes I think intentions are vital in everything, particularly in building a long-term and sustainable blog or business (or both)!

Exactly, they bring their benefits but I think that it’s better to have zero expectations from people. Anything that they do is a complete bonus.

Thanks for your kind and inspiring words, I hope to be up with the rock stars like you in the near future, just going to keep doing my thing and focussing on community!

Have a great weekend also my friend.

Speak soon,

Robert

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Christina Pappas May 18, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,

Its all about relationships and it takes a lot of work to build them and keep them active. Thanks to social media and the wonderful company I work for for giving me the ability to connect with great people, read great content, share cool stuff and talk about things going on at work and in our personal lives. I could not do what I do without people like you!

One of the people I connected with and started reading was Mark Schaefer’s {grow} blog. I read, commented and re-tweeted things I liked and at one point signed up for a webinar and asked a question about my own blog seeking Mark’s advice. I had a wonderful conversation with him about what I was trying to do and be when I ‘grew up’ and he wrote this:
http://www.businessesgrow.com/2011/03/06/six-ideas-to-get-your-blog-out-of-the-fog/

After writing it, we recieved almost 100 new subscribers to our blog and that number is still growing.

Another person I met who I have enjoyed immensely both reading her content and advice is Gini Dietrich at Spin Sucks. I ‘met’ Gini on Twitter and asked her how she got so many people to comment and participate on her blog. I really didnt know what to look at as far as analytics and had zero visibility into whether or not my blog was even working. She took time out of her day to go through our web analytics and our blog subscribers to give me some great data that I have been tracking since. Thanks Gini! And she mentioned our funny Charlie Sheen zmag in this post on her site http://www.spinsucks.com/social-media/gin-and-topics-train-wrecks-across-the-web/

So many other people to thank! Jay Baer and Amber Cadabra for giving me the opportunity to create the online copy of Chapter 1 for them. Read it here -> http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/4d3203e7#/4d3203e7/1

Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman for doing a webinar for our audience and allowing me to create the online copy of Chapter 1 of Content Rules for them. Read it here -> http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/c5f2ea79#/c5f2ea79/1

Joe Pulizzi at Junta42 for doinga webinar with us to our audience.

And of course you, Marcus, for spending your commute home talking to me about ways to think about developing content for my blog.

THANK YOU!!!
*am sure I missed someone because there are so many wonderful people in this community willing to help, share advice and learn. I truly love being a part of it and thank each and every one of you!

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

This was such an amazing comment Christina! What’s crazy is that you’ve worked with a who’s-who list of amazing people, and I’m very impressed by the fact that you seem so ready to soak in knowledge and truth from others. The only question is when is C Pappas going to start her personal blog?? ;-)

Keep rockin lady :-)

Marcus

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Christina Pappas May 18, 2011 at

The only reason I got to work with so many great people is because they are great people. Whats funny is I talk about people in the industry to friends and colleagues and lets face it, if you are not in the industry then some of these names are not so ‘famous’ but I think they are. I am SO excited about the tremendous opportunity ahead of me to connect with even more great people and continue to keep in touch with those that I have.

My own blog huh? Honestly hadnt thought of it but maybe I should consider doing so. Ill thank you for the kind ‘kick in the ass’ once I get it up and I hope you are my first subscriber ;)

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Jens P. Berget May 18, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,

Still learning, but I’m learning from the best :)

I didn’t know this about Adam Sandler. I have watched many of his movies, and I know about his performances on Saturday Day Night Live, but he’s community skills was news to me. Great example.

Too bad I didn’t know about Diana Baur, because I have already booked two weeks vacation in Italy. But if I had read this article, I don’t know why I haven’t, I would for sure taken a closer look at her bed and breakfast. But, on the other hand, now that I know of her, I’m going to see if she’s anywhere close to where I’m going.

Jens

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

You learn quite well Jens, that’s for sure my friend. And now that I know you’re going to Italy, I look forward to the inspiration and articles that flow from that trip. And yes, do look up Diana. If anything, go by and get some of her amazing pottery. :-)

Your support is awesome Jens. Thanks bud.

Marcus

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Diana May 20, 2011 at

Jens, I don’t know what it is about us and Norway, but we get quite a few Norwegian guests and it’s always fun. I mean big fun. Laughing and cooking and dare I say enjoying wine. So the next time you think about Italy, definitely look us up! :)

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Sally Brown May 18, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,

Thank you for such a heartfelt post. I tried every day to think of things I have learned in my lifetime that would benefit others. We are all here for a reason. I went through some very bad things as a child, so I want to really help others to move from victim to survivor to the full life they were intended to have.

My blog is small, and I do my best to promote it. I also mention my blogger friends from time to time and share their posts on my FB & Twitter accounts. We are all trying to make an impact of some kind in the universe in which we find ourselves each day. I’m glad and fortunate enough to have found a group of fellow bloggers that are willing to help me grow along with them and vice versa.

Thanks so much for your post. It is a great one.

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Marcus Sheridan May 18, 2011 at

This was so great Sally, and what I love about what you said is that you seem to be at peace with where you now are and your blog as well. The fact that you work to help and promote others, and that you’re forming relationships, says a ton, really.

Keep doing your thing and hold the course, I know it will all be worth it.

Thanks so much for your support. :-)

Marcus

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Stuart May 19, 2011 at

It’s interesting isn’t it, how you can struggle on for so long, trying to make a name for yourself and get somewhere in this world, then suddenly, you develop a community to rival the biggest blogs on the planet!

I think you’ve developed this community Marcus, through being open, honest, friendly, encouraging, warm, wise, and free. You’ve been yourself, and have encouraged others to be ourselves too. We all want this, and so we flock to you. And the more of us that flock to you, the more others will wonder “What’s going on there?” and flock to you as well.

It’s like a few pigeons fly down to the ground after seeing something good, then a few more pigeons fly down wandering what all the fuss is about, then a few more, then a few more…

On the one hand, I would love to have a community as thriving as yours Marcus, but on the other hand, as you said in a previous post, it takes evermore time to maintain and manage that community. I guess a few others would feel the same way; they want the magic, but not the accompanying work.

You’ve started a fire that’s just spread and spread Marcus, and is showing no signs of slowing down ;-)

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Marcus Sheridan May 20, 2011 at

Geez Stu, it’s comments like these that show the world how a young buck like yourself can be doing guest posts on some of the biggest blogs in the world– you’re an incredible communicator and writer.

Love the pigeon analogy, I really do….just need to continue to throw out the bread I guess ;-)

Hope you had a great Friday man and your weekend is an excellent one. Oh, and btw, I want you to start planning now to be at Blog World next year. It will be long past due that you meet everyone. :-)

Cheers,

Marcus

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Wim @ Sales Sells May 19, 2011 at

Wow, seems I’m a bit late, that’s 126 comments already! I guess you hit the sweet spot again Marcus :)

I must say this blog post really struck something with me too. Was it the story about Diana (no, that wasn’t a little tear in my eye, it was just some reflection!) or the whole promoting others idea, I don’t know.

Truth is that there is just so much love and care going on in whatever you write. I know it comes naturally to you, Marcus, but it’s a true talent. It’s one thing to feel strong about community, it’s another thing to be able to convey that feeling.

When I took a look at my analytics I could see 24 visitors coming from your site in the past 20 days or so, just from placing a few comments. While that may not seem like a whole lot, it’s 24 people that were interested enough to take the first step to get to know me a bit better. To me this awesome and it’s just another testament of how this community really cares about the discussion going on and the people involved.

As for promoting others I try my best to link out, tweet blog posts I like, share great posts with my friends, in forums etc. I’m planning to take things a bit further and start doing podcasts/interviews, so that’s something I very much look forward too!

Thanks for again making this visit worthwhile,
Wim

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Marcus Sheridan May 20, 2011 at

Wim, this comment was so very kind and it really made my Friday afternoon. You seem to really have a vision for how to make this happen, and your demeanor, from what I’ve been able to tell so far, is going to engender you to many, many people in the blogosphere.

Can’t wait to see your further plans come to fruition, very exciting my friend, and if I can be of any help, don’t hestitate to drop me a personal email sometime or even call my cell.

Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

Marcus

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Frank May 19, 2011 at

Marcus,

I was starting to get the feeling I would never get to the end of this comment thread. I need you to email me a day in advance before you post from here on out. :-) Now to add my 2 cents. I am selfish and this post has changed me. THE END!

I could go on and say more but I don’t think it is necessary. We have got to learn to take care of each other by sharing our valuable content. Blogging is not a competition it is a community outreach project on a grand scale. Thanks for this eye opening post.

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Annie Andre May 19, 2011 at

Frank you comment made me laugh. Seriously, almost feel bad leaving comments because i know Marcus is going to respond to everyone with his heart and soul..

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Marcus Sheridan May 20, 2011 at

Annie, I’m really starting to like you!!! ;-)

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Marcus Sheridan May 20, 2011 at

You are one cool cat Frank, and I appreciate your words. Really dig the analogy too– community outreach project.

I hope your blog is growing as you’d like my friend. Keep holding the course and letting your smiles and enthusiasm be contagious.

Cheers brother,

Marcus

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Martina May 19, 2011 at

Inspiring post, Marcus. Especially for someone fairly new to the community. Haven’t been promoted yet, but I have met some pretty awesome and generous people and made real connections that have helped in other facets of my life.
Have tried to be responsible in giving promotion, props and shout-outs to those connections….
Good stuff for those of us who don’t sell anything, except ideas and thoughts. Here to share.
Thanks

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Marcus Sheridan May 20, 2011 at

Hi Martina!! So grateful to have you stop by. That’s really, really kind of you and I hope you’re able to experience the growth that you desire so as to meet the vision of what your blog can become.

Come back again soon. ;-)

Marcus

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Jack @ TheJackB May 19, 2011 at

Finally, why do you think so few bloggers truly understand the power of promoting, networking, and community?

I am going to disagree here and say that an enormous number do. That is how BlogHer started and so many of the other blogging conferences and conventions.

I am the administrator for the JBlogosphere blog carnival. We have had more than 315 editions and two conferences in Jerusalem.

My blogging community has provided friends and business and I am very grateful for it. I think that it is awesome that you are doing this and have nothing but kind words and encouragement to continue.

I thought that it was important to mention that others are doing it too, but this is one thing that you can never have too much of.

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Bruce Bates May 19, 2011 at

Hi Jack,

I don’t think he was implying there are not vast numbers of bloggers who do, however look at the real numbers. There are probably a few hundred thousand blog communities that exist. There are probably a few hundred million blogs.

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Jack @ TheJackB May 20, 2011 at

The real numbers dictate that most blogs will close shop after 90 days or less.

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Bruce Bates May 20, 2011 at

Hi again Jack,

Indeed the real numbers indicate that, but thats not really relevant to what I said in my comment. Let me put it a different way, for every one blog you know of that has a community, I can show you one hundred that don’t. Not just because they are new. I am talking about blogs that are years old.

Think of all the picture blogs that never get comments, all the blogs that disable comments altogether, or just log onto twitter and do a search, 9 out of 10 blogs you find being posted will have no comments. Especially if the poster isn’t great at being social. This doesn’t even include the world of adult marketing where its common to post pictures that get no comments. Nor does it include the many personal relationship blogs or blogs created to keep in contact with a loved one in the armed forces.

Another thing you can check is how many results show up in google for “comments disabled”.

My point is, its totally irrelevant that most blogs fail, its still a common practice not to ever attempt to build a community, even among the successful bloggers.

Those who build communities also follow communities, so it may not seem that most blogs don’t do the community thing, but if you break the pattern and find your blogs via a search engine instead of following commenters and communities, you’ll see something entirely different.

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Marcus Sheridan May 20, 2011 at

Jack, I agree that others are doing it, but if I’m being honest in my assessment with numbers, I think it’s around 1%. If more than 1% of bloggers ask themselves before every article, ‘Who can I help today’, then wonderful, I’d love to be wrong here.

But whether it’s 1% or 5%, it needs to be more, which I know we agree on, and hopefully people like us can continue to inspire others to do so.

Thanks so much for your input Jack.

Marcus

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Jack @ TheJackB May 20, 2011 at

My point is, its totally irrelevant that most blogs fail, its still a common practice not to ever attempt to build a community, even among the successful bloggers.

Bruce,

I apologize but I don’t see a point here other than to disagree with what I initially said which was to point out that there are organizations that build communities. Some of this starts to get ridiculous because we are not using numbers but speaking in generalities.

And I’ll grant that after 7 years of blogging I may see things differently than other people do. For example blogs that have comments disabled don’t necessarily ignore community. Some of them have email lists and forums in which there is interaction and community.

But maybe I am just low on coffee so let’s go back to what you initially said

I don’t think he was implying there are not vast numbers of bloggers who do, however look at the real numbers. There are probably a few hundred thousand blog communities that exist. There are probably a few hundred million blogs.

What is the point here?

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Bruce Bates May 20, 2011 at

I had to re-read your post about 15 times before I finally understood. lol

Okay I will actually tend to agree with you, any blog that has any level of success is owned by someone who understands the importance of promoting, networking, and community.

I was actually answering thinking the question a along a touch different of lines. I read the question a touch differently I suppose. See whereas most bloggers must understand those things to have any level of success, most fail to understand the importance of BUILDING THEIR OWN community. To be part of others communities, is totally different, so I do agree.

However all my comments, were under the assumption of “building a community” not just being part of one.

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Marcus Sheridan May 20, 2011 at

I see where you’re coming from Bruce, and what you’re saying makes total sense, and is very true. Well said my friend.

Marcus

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Kavita May 20, 2011 at

Bonding and networking is important. It is true that blogger concentrates on traffic, backlinks, seo and forgets about building community. I think triberr is a good way to build your own community.

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Marcus Sheridan May 20, 2011 at

Hey Kavita, and thanks so much for stopping by. You’re right, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in ‘numbers’ that we simply forget about community. Great to know you’re finding it with Triberr Kavita!!

Come back again soon! :-)

Marcus

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anj May 21, 2011 at

Wow. This is a very inspiring article. And i really like it when you said “I care as much about promoting other people on this blog than I do myself—it’s just the way my mind thinks” I think that’s just the true essence of being in a community. I admire you as a blogger. Thank you for sharing your experiences. This is such an inspiration for a beginner like me.

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Marcus Sheridan May 21, 2011 at

That’s very kind of you Anj. So glad you were inspired and I hope that as a beginner you really apply these teachings, I can assure you that they’ll make all the difference, and change your life as well.

Come back again soon!

Marcus

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Gini Dietrich May 21, 2011 at

First off, is Adam Sandler the guy in that movie where he thought he was going to die and the guy from Knocked Up was his assistant and only friend? This is how well I know my pop culture. You’re just jealous I can read 36 books a year while you watch your movies, Mr. My Favorite Movie of All-Time is DIRTY DANCING!

Am I reading this correctly that you’ve sent 253 visitors to Spin Sucks in the past two months? Did Lisa give you that number? That’s A LOT. Almost like we’re paying you or something.

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Marcus Sheridan May 21, 2011 at

Oh you’re so dead when I see you next week Aunt Gini!! And fyi, I only watch movies when I’m on my elliptical, how many books do you read on your bike there young lady???? ;-)

And yes, your CCO gave me those numbers, as we all know that she’s the one that calls the shots over there these days ;-)

Love ya lady!

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Gini Dietrich May 21, 2011 at

Well someone has to while I READ!

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Julee May 29, 2011 at

Wow! This is a great article that had me shouting, “that’s right!” through the entire post. As a blogger, there are times I share someone’s talent, someone’s thought, someone’s passion and that makes me rejoice.

I get so annoyed when I hear bloggers criticizing others for going to the core of blogging–helping others. Sure, we’d love to be paid! I couldn’t agree more, however, sometimes the best payment comes from the joy of helping someone.

Kudos to you!

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Marcus Sheridan May 29, 2011 at

Hi Julee, and welcome to TSL! I’m thrilled you liked the article and I’m glad to see our perspectives are very similar. Money is nice, but as we know, it’s temporary. But relationships? Yeah, they go much, much further.

Have a wonderful Sunday. :-)

Marcus

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Robin May 31, 2011 at

Wow I’ve just discovered your blog and am excited! Community is very important to me. I love writing and created a blog in April. In March I created a twitter account which has connected me with amazing people (including you). I mentioned/ linked to an inspiring woman I met on twitter in a blog post because I was so glad to have discovered her. When she excerpted a piece I had written and linked to me a week later, I was so surprised and happy! Though we’ve never met in person, she already feels like a friend. The power of the Internet (and the people who fuel it) blows my mind… Thanks for your post. It has me thinking about the direction I’d like to move in!

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Dan Black July 4, 2011 at

Marcus,
Great post on the power of community. I recently posted a blog of all the blogs I frequently read. I think the reason most people don’t know about the power of a blog community is that they just have not learned it yet. A book that has helped me a lot is Tribes by Seth Godin.

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Brent Carnduff August 11, 2011 at

Hey Marcus,
Great advice. I recently made an effort to link to more of MY other materials and articles in my blogs. Definitely time to spread out and start linking to others! Thanks,
Brent

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Marcus Sheridan August 12, 2011 at

Good for you Brent, that’s a great idea, and I think you’ll see it will pay off more and more and more.

I’ll be calling you soon brother ;-)

Marcus

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Lindsay | The Daily Awe August 27, 2011 at

I found your blog from Unlock the Door (one with a smaller readership linking to you, but still the same idea!) and I just love it. I got chills when I read the bit about the B&B connection! I love how the Internet has made all of us so connected.

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Marcus Sheridan August 29, 2011 at

Hi Lindsay! Yeah, it gave me chills too when I heard it. Such a powerful thing this internet can be when we simply embrace its possibilities.

Thanks so much for dropping by!

Marcus

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Tony Payne September 14, 2011 at

Community! I think you are right, it is maybe just as simple as that, after all this is what sites like Facebook and all successful forums are built on, people coming to a site where they can feel at home and meet up with other like minded people.

Great idea, but I am left wondering how to create that feeling with my blog. Maybe a change in design and more attention paid to getting people to subscribe is key. More subscribers means more people seeing when you post new articles, and therefore a greater likelihood that they will drop by and interract.

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Marcus Sheridan September 20, 2011 at

It ain’t easy Tony, I’m not going to lie to you man. It has taken hundreds and hundreds of hours of work to build the community. But yes, it is worth it in many ways.

But good luck in building yours Tony. If your content is awesome, opinionated, and strong…and you spend enough time building relationships with others, things will happen.

Best!

Marcus

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Tony Payne September 21, 2011 at

Thanks Marcus.

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Sanjay Shetty January 17, 2012 at

Totall loved this post, the B&B story about Diana Baur, is totally awesome.

Just downloaded and reading your Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy ebook now, thats where I got a link to this article btw. Great stuff, keep up the awesome work.

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at

Yeah, I love me some Diana Baur Sajay ;-)

And thrilled you dowloaded the eBook bud.

Really hope you enjoy it.

Best,

Marcus

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Rebecca Livermore January 28, 2012 at

Marcus, I just want to say that this blog post made me feel proud to know you. What you shared here is just one of the things that make you truly special.

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Marcus Sheridan January 30, 2012 at

Thank you lady!! :)

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Sarah (Saturday Sequins) March 11, 2012 at

I do a series of posts on my blog called Featured Friday, where I showcase the work of artists I love. I don’t do as many of these as I’d like to, because I only use photos if their creators give me written permission to do so, but I love doing it — it makes artists so happy! And here I was, thinking they were doing ME a favor.

I’ve been featured before — most recently, a friend featured a color analysis of one of my pieces, and that was really great. Very flattering.

– Sarah

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Smudge Bransonhood March 27, 2012 at

I am totally fresh and new to blogging but loved the ethic of giving/sowing/seeding and stroking various artists/sources/inspirations, resources, significa, etc. in ones blog.

The article gave me renewed strength to push the brand of positive content and context that many of you have already grasped and explored.

Warm regards,

Smudge B.

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Marcus Sheridan March 28, 2012 at

So glad you liked it Smudge. Good luck building that community!

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Christian Hofer June 9, 2012 at

Wow, that is pretty cool – I just hope that I get into the position to have also the ability to promote other people and have an impact on their lives – this would really make it worth it!

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Vikram July 31, 2012 at

Just found your blog, Marcus. The online mag I’m starting, The New Capitalist, is about some of the ideas you’ve shared: in New Capitalism, sharing isn’t creeping socialism but a celebration of abundance. We aren’t just consumers, but co-creators of the products and services we love. And the best marketing is loyal supporters telling your story for you. You are definitely a New Capitalist in our book. Look forward to reading your stuff.

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Marcus Sheridan August 2, 2012 at

Appreciate that Vikram,and best of luck to you with the magazine bud!

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steve werner September 24, 2012 at

I am a great networker, care about others, think how I can inspire or motivate by all that I write.

I have NO understanding of how to create a following.

I feel so stupid.

Thanks for the help.

sw

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