Relationship Building

August 31st, 2008 · No Comments

At Walt Disney World for Grownups we were a bit frustrated in developing our forums. We were having trouble getting enough traffic to have our site look “credible.” The most common advice was to get your friends to post to get the ball rolling, but most of our friends are not “Disney people.” They lacked subject-matter expertise.

New friends can be hard to make.

New friends can be hard to make.

In a way it was something of a blessing that so few of our friends were optimal for this job as it forced us to think about a better solution. While having friends post would be fine, we instead developed a win-win by approaching people who wrote some of the best blogs in our space. We asked them to post in our forums, and we commented on their blogs. Basically we helped each other with content and simultaneously advertised our own sites.

Even more importantly we’re essentially trying to “make friends” with these people. They are motivated and net-savvy, and by making friends with them we essentially each bring the other into our content networks. So if either of us gets a boost in readership, it will help the other. Plus we can help each other out on other projects.

Ultimately it’s hard to approach people and say “let’s be friends,” so it helps to start out with a small goal. We basically just asked them to join our forums and bring the level of conversation up. In return we tried to provide them content through comments and sometimes guest articles or interviews. The result is we establish credibility with each other and help each other out. Hopefully we can keep up these “friendships.” While so many people focus on “link building” we feel like “relationship building” is a much more valuable vehicle.

Categories: Main blog narrative

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