stephen bolen

Come for the SEO, Stay for the Relationships

By Social Media

I’ve been at this social media bit for awhile. Longer, in fact, than we called it that. Long enough ago that the word blogger was whispered, like it was cancer.

I’ve adapted to new tools and the updates of existing tools and every day I’ve learned something new. One thing hasn’t changed through all of it though and it’s this: what really matters here are the relationships.

Sure, I might focus my content in a specific area to generate new visitors. I might narrow the focus again to try to attract people who might be interested in my help. But I guarantee it’s the relationship that is formed from the interaction between visitors and content producers that keeps people involved in the conversation.

I read the blog posts of people I’ve talked to on Twitter. I have followed the blogs of people I’ve met in person or heard speak at conferences. I’ve struck up conversation with people because others follow them and talk to them. I’ve been thrilled to pieces when one of the big guys in my industry have replied to something I’ve said.

When there’s something geographically, philosophically, politically, etc. I see that I think will be of interest to them, I share it. They often do the same for me. When there’s something that will benefit them, I reach out. The favor is often returned.

I’ve made real, true friends in this online space, some of them I’m closer to than my own colleagues at work (or at least interact with more often). People I admire and respect — people like Ken Mueller, Matt Ridings, Stephen Bolen (who totally had my back during kayakgate), Eric Kelley (who is totally getting some Gooey Butter Cake from me this week!), my BFF Gini Dietrich and my newest friend Paula Berg.

Today’s food for thought? Don’t lose sight of the big picture when you’re mired in SEO and content development. It’s the people you meet along the way that make all the difference.