I'm extremely grateful for every hit I get to my blog. Each comment makes me happy. Every "like" makes me giddy. When someone shares my posts via tweet, it makes me smile. I am thankful for each and every one of you and honored that you've chosen to spend your precious time reading what I've written. I don't take any of it for granted and am humbled that you're here.
If you're trying to develop your online network, remember that people have choices. They can choose to engage with you and your content, or they can ignore you. And if they decide to spend their time with you, how will you thank them?
Here are nine of my favorite ways to say thank you to your online network:
Acknowledge Comments: It's amazing to me how many bloggers ignore their readers and allow comments to land in a big black hole. If someone takes the time to comment, let them know that they've been heard.
Subscribe to YouTube Channels: Regardless if you're an active YouTube user or not, find your friends' channels and subscribe to them. "Friends" are nice, but "subscribers" are better.
Tweet and Retweet: Tweets are a quick and easy way to share the love. If someone has supported you, why not support them back and share their content via tweet?
Like Facebook Pages: Do the most active members of your online community have Facebook business pages? If so, throw them a "like". It's free and they'll appreciate it! (If I haven't liked your Facebook page yet, let me know!)
Follow Their Blogs: If someone follows your content, it's a nice gesture to follow theirs back. I've recently created a bundle in Google Reader and added the blogs of those who are most active on my site. Can you do the same? (To subscribe to my bundle, click HERE. If you're not on it, you probably don't have an RSS option for Google Reader. I tried to add several of you, but could only do so via Yahoo!. If I missed you and you have an RSS feed that works with Google Reader, let me know so I can add you!)
Sign up for Their e-Newsletters: Does someone in your network write a weekly or monthly newsletter? Are they, perhaps, just getting started and want to grow their subscriber numbers? Sign up and chances are you'll be their new best friend!
Create a Special Twitter List: Lists are a great way to acknowledge people. I recently created one called "My Favorite Blog Commenters" and add people to it who have been kind enough to comment on my posts (if I've missed you, let me know!). Can you create something similar to show people that you appreciate them?
Leave Comments on Other Blogs: If someone comments on your blog, return the favor by commenting on their blog. One good deed deserves another.
Write a Recommendation: If your online connection has developed into a more substantial business relationship, how about writing them a recommendation on LinkedIn? Who doesn't like it when someone says something nice about them, hmmm?
What did I miss? How do you thank your online community? Let's hear it, my friends! (And, thank you all for your readership!)