Build Your Social Networking Influence With a Simple Plan of Action

Building your social networking influence can take a bit of work, but you have to plan your strategy before you stand a chance to make it work. There are loads of sites you can use to build your influence. For example, you could check out this post on how to build your social networking influence on Twitter, or follow the plan I will lay out here today on just about any networking site.

Ever since I made weekly top user at Blog Engage last week, I have been really excited. It gave me a lot of exposure, and I have gotten a lot of really great contacts. But, it wasn’t something that happened by accident.

I have had over 20 requests to guest post on various blogs ranging from health related blogs ( not a niche I am even really well involved in, although I talk about some of my own personal experiences on my personal blog) to marketing and personal development blogs.  That has been awesome, and I plan to do something for almost all of them (there were a few that the blogs didn’t look up to par for me).

However, without one essential piece of the puzzle, none of it would have happened.

Plan to Build Your Social Networking Influence

Social Networking InfluenceIf you have been around for a while, you probably have been told hundreds of times that you need a plan, and in order to create social networking influence, this is no exception. Although some of us seem to beat this dead horse into the ground, the fact is that without a plan, you won’t really succeed at anything that you try in this business. It is most often the one thing missing from the blogs that I see who struggle to succeed.

A few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to boost my visibility on Blog Engage, and get to know more people. In order to do that I put together a plan to help me get there, and really I didn’t spend a ton of time doing it. I put this plan into action at the end of the first week of September, and at the end of the month, surprisingly I had already reached one of my main goals behind the plan.

Today, I thought I would share my plan with you, so you can get an idea of what type of plan you need to really succeed in building your social networking influence, and becoming a top user yourself. I thought I would let you steal my plan and test it out for yourself. It could also be easily transferred to any social networking site, and even adapted to use with forums, and other community based sites.

 (I adapted this plan from my forum marketing plan that I have used for 3 years to build my brand through forum networking)

 My Blog Engage Action Plan

 Submissions – My plan included making a new blog post on one of my blogs every day, and submitting it. My main blog is on the RSS feed service, so that one is easy to handle, but my other niche blogs I have to submit manually (although I am looking to upgrade soon so that they are all on the feeds.)

So, in order for this to work, I had to make sure I posted every day on at least one of my blogs. Using a variety of articles and curation software made this pretty easy to manage.

 Voting – I decided to vote at least 20 posts every day. I would browse through all of the submissions in my related niches and vote on at least 20 (if I found more, I would vote on as many good ones as I found). Some of the posts would also be ones I found on other networking sites, and through my Google Reader, so hitting the Blog Engage Vote Button Was a piece of cake.

One key thing to note here, I only vote on posts I have actually read. Don’t just go through spamming votes to up your vote count. That throws the whole system out of wack.

I would also tweet g+, like, stumble, and/or comment on all of them, sharing the love with those blog owners, and engaging them a little more directly.

Commenting – one feature I really didn’t use much until I decided to move into the top user ranks was the commenting feature. I set it in my plan to comment on at least 3 posts a week. This engaged more people, and especially some of those who were higher up the food chain than me on the Top User’s list. If you want to leave a comment on Blog Engage, look underneath the submission, and hit the “Discuss” tag.

Blog Engage Memberships, RSS, Blog Engage

 Chat Messaging– This was probably the scary part with me, because although I make a living from using social networking sites, I am still a little shy. Once you get me talking, sometimes its hard to shut me up, but I am always a little hard to start up new conversations.

However, in my plan, I decided I would message at least 2 new people every week. I would randomly strike up a random conversation with at least 3 people I met. Usually I found that talking about their latest blog post was a good icebreaker, and from there we would just chat about blogging, marketing, and other stuff related to our mutual topics of interest. Not only did this help me with my goal of becoming a weekly top user, but it has helped my overcome some of that natural shyness as well. On top of that, I have gotten to know several really great bloggers this way.

1 Guest post per week – I also decided to ramp up my guest posting on Blog Engage, so I did one guest post each week on their blog. This engaged more people, and kept me coming back to answer comments, while I did the other things within the plan of action.

When guest posting on these networking sites, I found out something interesting. Most people who guest post are focussed more on what they normally talk about on their own blogs. I had done the same thing in the past, and it really didn’t generate much feedback.

Instead, write to the community. It will help your social influence with that network, and brand yourself as someone there to help the community. For example, in my latest guest post, I talked about how to raise your social authority by engaging more on Blog Engage. Since it was on their blog, EVERYONE using the site could benefit from it.

Your Social Networking Influence Doesn’t take Loads of Time to Build

All this took place with an average of less than 45 minutes per day of work on Blog Engage. Some days I spent more, but other days it was less. Although reading the blog posts took a bit longer, many of those were blogs I was already reading as I looked through my Google Reader, Twitter feeds, and other sites I regularly pay attention to, looking for content ideas of my own and great stuff to curate on my blogs.

From the time I put the plan into action, it took less than 2 weeks to reach my goal of hitting the top user list. I thought perhaps a month or 2 at least when I started the plan, but it was actually much easier than that. Once you set a goal, often I find that it works out faster than expected, if you have a solid plan and follow it consistently. Following this plan has expanded my social networking influence not only on their site, but across the other sites that I use as well.

I would then break this plan down into a daily list of things to do, so that before you ever log in, you will know exactly what you plan to do that day. This will help you engage more, but keep focused on the fact that you are working.

This plan could easily be adapted to any social sharing or networking site that you use. In fact, it wasn’t hard to create the plan since it was simply a variation on my forum marketing plan that I have been using for 3 years.

Set yourself a goal, and stick to it. Once you hit your daily quota, leave the site, and work on other things for the day. You don’t want to get so caught up in it that you don’t do anything else, which is really easy to do if you are enjoying yourself (which you should be).

Not only has this gotten me to becoming a top user on one of my favorite sites, but it has helped me build my own reputation, and I have gotten guest post requests from several people in the niche, as well as requests to guest post on my own blog. It can do the same for you, and your struggling blog.

 How has setting a plan helped you achieve more with your site? If you don’t have one, what is stopping you? Leave your comments below, and share your thoughts and experiences, as well as any questions that could be floating through your mind.


I am James Pruitt, and I am a marketing addict. I can't get enough of it. I read about it, blog about it, talk about it, and yes, even dream about it constantly.


  1. This is one awesome strategy James. I may try this sometime as this already works for masters like you as well as the other marketing gurus 😀


    • Thanks Herbert.

      The old axiom comes to mind “people dont plan to fail, they fail to plan”

      If you really want to succeed, you have to plan out your strategy before you will achieve anything. Its also a great lesson in goal setting and planning. I planned to take 2 months for it to work, and I did it in less than half the time, largely due to having an action plan and following it.

  2. Hey James. You really hit this one out the park! HIGH VALUE POST ALERT! We should develop a strategy on all social networks for it to work effectively. Each one is different, sad, but has to be done. Good post!

    • I agree. I see a lot of people wasting a lot of time. social networks are impotant, but have a strategy in place, and look at how much time you are spending on them. There are other things you need to do besides socializing in order to succeed in a business.

  3. nice strategy. surely helps in generating more traffic.
    except guest posting, i am doing pretty much the same as you did.
    ofcourse, i read various blogs, and i don’t stick to a niche as mine is a personal blog :)

    • I have a personal blog myself, but I also have niche specific sites for individual niches. You will get better, and more targeted traffic that way. if you want a hobby, keep the personal blog and dont do anything else. but, if you want some real income, I would diversify and do just a few niche sites. You dont need many. 3 or 4 niche sites will bring in a good income, and they dont have to be blogs. you can do a few articles, and focus on building an email list. I have several myself, and I outsource almost all of the work for them, so they dont take much of my time.

      • agreed. but, since am a student and not into marketing or developing softwares/tools, there is no niche for me to stick to. and i blog occasionally. not for money. :)

        • Thats cool. You don’t have to blog for money, in fact many bloggers I know don’t. I run a personal blog myself. Also, you dont have to be into marketing or developing tools or software to build a blog and make some money at it. When I blog, making money isnt my primary focus, although I make a full time income doing it.

          My main focus is in finding a topic that I know enough about to help other people, and that I want to improve in my own life.

          There is how i choose a “niche”

  4. This is a great post, James. Developing a strategy is key to increasing your social networking influence for sure. I try to implement a strategy, although I am guilty of deviating from the strategy from time to time. I still haven’t gotten into guest posting, but I am still hoping to find the time to do so.

  5. great post
    one guest post each week, that’s quite a lot of work
    i feel like when you’re guest posting you have more pressure to write great content

    • James Pruitt

      short term, for 1 article, it takes more work than spammy articles the fake seo gurus teach you to use. However, that 1 article will do you more good too. If you want a solid 200 visitors/ week, you could just do 1 guest post a week and nothing else to promote your blog, as long as you post them on the right blogs in your niche. right now, I do 3-4 guest posts/week, and its one of my biggest traffic sources, beginning to overtake all my forum marketing even.

  6. Hey Paul, One thing I did was went out and did one or two guest posts. I saw how effective it was within about 2 hours, rather than months like most SEO techniques. What are you wasting time on that isn’t showing you immediate results? drop it, and use that time to do just 1 guest post a week.
    I see people all the time say they don’t have time to guest post, yet they have a site with little traffic, and they are building thousands of links trying to play the SEO Game. Since I started guest posting, I have almost completely stopped SEO link building, and the funny thing is all my rankings have gone UP since I did that.

  7. Valuable info here James. The power of social networking does not inherently lie within the network. It lies within the members INTERACTIONS on that network.

    They are only what you make of them. If you use social networks for spam, spam is what you get back. If you use them to engage, engagement is what you get back. It is the ultimate karmic balance!

    • Thanks Steve. Karmic Networking…. I think we could work out something with that one… I totally agree with you. You always get what you put into it. :)

  8. Hi James,

    Congrats for your achievement, So basically behind your success on Blog Engage was your relationship building techniques which really helped you to get more exposure and made you well known blogger.

  9. Social Networking Influence is really essential for the success of your online business and your site. You have to put extra effort to create relationship, I mean you can’t just sit back after creating your social media account hoping people will come to by their own and will ask about your work and your blog and so on.

    • You got that right Riya, but you would be amazed at how many people don’t realize that. I had someone the other day wondering why he wasn’t getting traffic from Twitter. He had hundreds of tweets but only about a dozen followers, and most of those were just spam follows. he hadn’t done anything to engage other people. he was waiting for them to find him. I see it all the time with everything from social networking to SEO, if you just build it, people won’t automatically find you.

      • Riya

        So true, You need to expose your blog or site and tell people what you actually offer and how they can be benefited.

  10. Hey, bro! Congrats on reaching your goal. I like your road map.

    The key for everyone to notice here is that he didn’t just stop at the plan… He took action on it. Having a map won’t get you from New York to LA. You still have to get in the car.

    Thanks for the post!

  11. Thanks Grady. that is so true. having a plan is essential but putting that plan into action is just as critical to reaching your success. I Plan to put your Car analogy into action next week 😀

  12. Enjoyed your post James. It really is all about setting goals and sticking with them. Like they say- if you don’t know where you want to go, it is difficult to get there!

    • Thanks Lary! I agree. setting goals is one of the most critical aspects to running a successful blog or website. You have to know where your going if you want to get there.

  13. Thanks for Info!!!!

    No doubt in that all Social Media sites are very useful for make social networking and we can take many advantage from all social media sites if we have enough tactics to use all social media sites.

  14. I think you should do more than one guest appearance on other blogs. Guest blogging is really useful for promoting your blog. And thus you’ll establish good relationship with other bloggers.

    • This is true. the more I guest post on a particular blog, the better my influence gets. I am getting into a regular posting here at BBT, and every time I post I get more and more out of it.

  15. Craig Sowerby

    Hey James,

    Funny you should write about utilizing Blog Engage, I am just thinking about registering as a user as the owner Brian and also Ileane have been giving me a little push to become a member!

    Your strategy will come in use when I do become a member



    • I definitely will add to the PUSH! Join Blog Engage :) its worth the effort. I love using his syndication services for my feeds. And the community there is really a great group of people to network with. I have found really great blogs in a variety of niches that I am now engaging with regularly to boost all of my sites, not just my IM sites.

  16. Social networking influence have a high role in successful of your site. I will definitely try your strategies, hope it would be good for me. Thanks for sharing this James!

  17. Thanks for laying everything out, James. I’m going to try to apply these for my blogs. I’m still a bit hesitant with guest posting, mainly ‘coz I’m still quite a newbie in blogging and I’m still a bit nervous about submitting my stuff. Still trying to overcome the fear of possibly being rejected. :) But I’ll give it a go this coming week and see how it goes. :)

  18. Hey Adeline,

    I can understand that fear. I had to overcome it myself in order to get started, and even now as I submit requests to guest post on bigger blogs ( I just sent one off to ProBlogger yesterday) I still get the butterflies in my stomach.

    Here is the deal, the more you guest post, the easier it gets. The way I started was by finding a contest that was open to all bloggers. That got my foot in the door. Now I look for blogs that allow community members to post as well. That is another good way to get in front of the crowd. Do a few of them, and you will begin to get people requesting you to guest post.

    Think about this, whats the worst that can happen if they reject you? they say “NO” and you move on and ask someone else. The fear of rejection is something that you will have to overcome if you want to be successful in this business. I have had more rejections and failures than successes. However, being willing to fail is critical to going all out and doing what it takes.

    The most successful people in the world didn’t get there by being affraid of rejection.

    The funny thing is, now that I have done some good guest posts, some of those people who rejected me before are now coming to me and asking me to guest post on their blog.

  19. I think this is definitely one of the things that people overlook even though it’s one of the most important elements of getting found online: networking.

    A while back, I setup an RSS of 100 bloggers I wanted to be a part of (in terms of community). I would make it important to leave comments, tweet their stuff and contact them consistently; the results were excellent and got my blog a lot of traction when it was first beginning – gotta have some kind of strategy and stick with it because it can takes months and even years.

    • It can take months, but with networking with the RIGHT PEOPLE at the Right time, you can bypass the months or years that it takes to do it on your own.

      I recently got an explosion of exposure from networking with a prominent blogger and product owner.

      Find the Big guns.. too many people only try to network with people getting the same ammount of traffic as they are. LOOk up, to go up. I am networking lately with people getting 10 times the traffic I do, and with lists way bigger than all of mine put together. Doing that has helped me get more traffic to my blog, and every week, I am almost doubling my numbers.

  20. I’m impressed that you can accomplish all of this in only 45 minutes a day. My average blog post (400 words plus) takes me about 2 – 3 hours. My blog commenting takes at least that much depending on the length of the posts. You are correct in having a strategy, I just need to streamline mine.

    • 2-3 hours for 1 blog post? GEESH IDK about that. MY 1000 word blog posts take about 15-20 minutes.
      Find tools that make it easier (in fact check out my CL link to find an easier way to create your posts…)

  21. Hey James,

    Thanks for the great tips. These are really solid techniques to build relationship with people in the blogging communities. Voting, Commenting, chatting to get to know the person and contribute value via guest post.

    Kodos to you :)


  22. Well that’s an interesting post 😉
    Of course all of us don’t have the time or energy to build up and maintain this kind of web strategy. Guess it’s what makes you a communication person…
    Thanx anyway for the advice, I’ll certainly pick up some few tips and build my own small scaled strategy :)

    • Daniel, I hear people say “I dont have time to network” every day. Most of the time its because they are WASTING TIME on things that dont work, and so they dont have the time to spend on things that do.

      30 minutes a day of networking will do you good than 4 hours a day of submitting articles to article directories, and spam link building. You get what you put into it. so if you cant commit to your business, dont expect it to give anything back to you. (like sales)

  23. A few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to boost my visibility on Blog Engage, and get to know more people. In order to do that I put together a plan to help me get there, and really I didn’t spend a ton of time doing it. I put this plan into action at the end of the first week of September, and at the end of the month, surprisingly I had already reached one of my main goals behind the plan

  24. hahah… I can understand that. I recently moved a lot of my sites around too. took me several months to work out all the kinks.

  25. I did like to ask what you mean by “curation software”?

    Although I had yet create a plan of my own, but after reading your post, I believe the one thing I failed to plan is “focus”, I mean I focus too many social site at once and it makes me mix up, so I will do one social site at one time for 2 weeks and another for another 2 weeks, you plan sounds good and easy going, it does suits my way, thanks for sharing and don’t forget to answer my first question :)

  26. Hello
    I think social net working good for all because by this way you can get more and more visitors and then get top ranking so that is the best by to increase ranking through this way.

  27. Shelvin

    Good post, I have a good success in social networking specially in facebook via Facebook Fanpages. You have an awesome post James, I also visit blogengage everyday cause I also found it very helpful to me.

  28. Interesting approach. I certainly need a plan. Each day I think to myself “I need to reach out to more people to promote my product” but then fail to do so. I will try to incorporate some of these ideas into my weekly routine.

    I am a bit confused about the voting part though – what do you mean by that?

  29. great post James
    I agree with you that that every social network requires a different strategy to with and you makes it very simple for all of us. thanks for taking time to write this splendor. great post.

  30. Hi James,
    I’m not a member of blogengage, though i engage on bloggers group on FB. Like you said, every social networking site has it’s own strategy
    Thanks for sharing.

  31. James, writing 1 guest post in a week is really nice idea. It connects you with community, establish your authority and won’t take much of your time on weekly basis. Good share.

  32. I’ve started doing far more guest posts than forum posts recently because they build stronger backlinks, constant referral traffic, they grow with age, and build reputation. They offer far more advantages than just a forum backlink and possibly a profile backlink, depending of the forum.
    Great strategy, anyone who needs to establish a social media following should follow this guide.

  33. Great strategy James and I am glad that your plan is working for you. Planning is very important in any aspect of business especially social media promotion. Having a clear strategy in social media is important as it guides our marketing efforts to the right direction.

  34. Thanks james for this wonderful article. Now i learn lot of advantages of using better social media in web marketing. They are the best for getting more targeted visitors

  35. This one is the best article I’ve ever read. I found this article through google search engine at the front page!! It really deserves it.

    Thanks for sharing your views brother :)

  36. James that was an awesome and inspiring post. Engaging others in this blogging business is something that so many struggle with. Your planning certainly has paid dividends. Makes me almost ashamed I haven’t properly engaged myself.

  37. Social networking sites can surely help gain a lot of followers and lead to success. One must syndicate all their feeds to Facebook and Twitter and actively participate with their users to create a good, comfortable and friendly environment!

  38. Social networking sites are the best way to drive traffic towards website, However we dont participate actively, which is required for sure to have a good interaction with followers. Nice post!