By Srinivas Rao, Contributing {grow} Columnist

In the earliest days of my blogging career — well, to be honest that was just 18 months ago! — people taught me about getting my name out there by commenting on well-known blogs and guest posting at big blogs. While the guest posting strategy definitely had a strong pull for new readers, it became clear that commenting on the biggest blogs was a desperate attempt to get your voice heard in a place where there was a bunch of noise.

Today I want to suggest an alternative strategy. Instead of focusing on the A-Listers, look at emerging talent as a way to grow a loyal blog community.  My fellow {grow} columnist Stanford Smith said that one of his strategies is to “kiss lots of digital babies.”  I think that is a smart perspective. The blogosphere is like an unlimited NBA draft with tons of talent accessible to anyone who can shed their ego and look for an opportunity to connect.

New Bloggers Need Encouragement.  When people start their blogs, it can be demoralizing when nobody is reading or commenting. How often do you look at the blogs of the people who comment on your blog?  Baby bloggers become big bloggers.  Can you take just a moment to see what they’re up to?   Join their tribes and invite them to join yours.

New Bloggers are Looking For a Lifeline: As an established blogger you have a chance to become a lifeline for a new blogger.  My friend Bernardo Ramirez recently started a personal development video blog. It was a week old and he commented on one of my posts.  So, I decided to see who he was and what he was up to. I was so blown away by the quality of video blog posts that he had, that I invited him to do a guest post, initiating what I hope will be a long relationship.

New Bloggers Become New Readers: Most new bloggers are looking for additional blogs to read, while established bloggers tend to have a set reading list and occasionally add new feeds to their RSS reader. New bloggers are looking to learn from established bloggers and as a result they end up becoming loyal subscribers. I’d say the majority of people who comment on my blog these days are digital babies on the rise.

New Bloggers Can Teach Us Things We Don’t Know: The beginner’s advantage is that they have no preconceived notions of how things should be so they tend to be more open to new ideas, take more risks, and play like they have nothing to lose. When you think about it, we really need new bloggers to keep starting blogs because we need fresh ideas to keep making progress.

As you think about how to grow your tribe and build your network over the next couple of months give some thought to what emerging talent you may be neglecting. Then, start reading their blogs and providing a lifeline to them.  Do you have examples where you are using your influence to pay it forward?

Srinivas Rao is a contributing writer to {grow}. You can read more of his original writing at The Skool of Life blog or listen to his podcast at BlogcastFM. Follow him on Twitter at @skooloflife

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