7 secrets for making real life friends online

7-secrets-for-making-friends

1.  Follow their blog for a bit.  If you still like them after awhile–maybe you could be friends.  Reading someone’s blog is a little like becoming acquainted with someone.  However, remember, the opposite is often not the same at this point.  Ask yourself: Do I feel kindred with this woman?  Would I have more questions to ask her about herself?  Is she interesting?  What could I bring to the friendship?  Is there a venue I could talk with her?

2.  Join the conversation.  Oftentimes, there are other ways to engage with bloggers (like Facebook or Twitter) outside of their own space.  Of course, you can leave comments–bloggers LOVE comments.  However, if you really want to get to know someone, answer their questions on Twitter.  Ask them questions of your own.  Leave a “Good Morning!” on their Facebook page.  Basically, this is your first move.  Make it casual, make it about them, make it genuine.  Blog girlfriends often come around just like real girlfriends.  Sometimes it’s a compliment on a haircut, wearing the same outfit on accident, bonding over a mom story, sharing a common background.  Think about these things and try to relate and connect.

3.  Email them with encouragement.  I am most compelled to get to know women who email (or tweet!) to encourage me or to let me in on their burdens.  This is just like real friendship, don’t you think?  This is the moment where the line is crossed from blog-friend to genuine, real, good friend.  You would be amazed at how fast you can become close.

4.  Offer to lighten their load.  Is she having a baby coming up?  Offer to guest post for her.  Is she launching something big?  Offer to promote it (or help get it done!).  Does she need tips about blog design, or advertising, or writing?  Can you help?  Offer!  Partner with her in helping her dreams happen–and she’s likely to link arm in arm with you, too.

5.  Try to Skype or G-Chat to see them “in person”.  Generally, the women I call true and real friends in this blogworld, I have talked to via Skype or G-Chat.  There is just something about seeing their mannerisms and hearing their voice and sitting in conversation that solidifies a relationship.  Brooke could tell you that our chats are often without makeup, in our pajamas, with frequent interruptions from our little people.  Jessi is sweet as good old Southern sweet tea, and talking with her made me feel like we were fast friends.  Susie and I are normally talking about goals or plans, and she is the most encouraging woman–full of grace and always open to redemption.  Sure, the first time you “meet” in person and video chat can be awkward.  It’s a risk, for sure.  I feel silly and nervous every time.  Engaging and seeing their face, though, makes them stick in my mind as real people–not just perfect faces on a screen.

6.  Try to meet in real life.  Nester and I went to church together and became dear friends, then I met Ellen and Tracy through Nester (Slipcover Weekend).  I went to Relevant because Ellen and Tracy (and eventually Nester and Caroline!) were going and I wanted to spend more time with them.  Ultimately, Gussy and I ended up becoming good friends that weekend.  Maggie (Gussy) and I had been aware of each other online for a couple years, but it wasn’t until we met in real life that we became friends.  I worked up the courage to ask her to meet with me to “dream big dreams” and she DID!  So, now we’re buds.

Going to Relevant was huge, because I was able to meet so many people I’d worked with, written to, tweeted with, etc. only now we were meeting in real life.  Putting a real face (rather than just an avatar) to their name made them real and made them stand out to me in a sea of similar.  It became a little bit like looking for my friends in the cafeteria!  On Twitter, they are the first I look for, etc.

7.  Plan a weekend.  If you can, plan a weekend where you can be friends “in real life”.  Not doing blog things like you’d do at a conference, but just hanging out.  Eating breakfast together, grabbing dinner, shopping, laughing over a silly movie.  Whatever, you just want to start making more connections offline that on.

Blogging friends can become real life friends in an instant.  It only takes a kindred connection–just like when you make a friend in person–and then a little dedication to cultivate the friendship.  I encourage you, in 2012, try to make connections in the blog world.  It’s much less “go it alone” and much more “girl, can I help?” when you have other people cheering you on and feeling a real life spark.

 

Do you have a great story of how a blog-friend became a real life friend?  Do you have any other secrets to share?  Please fill us in down in the comments!  I’d so appreciate it. 

33 Comments

  • Reply January 16, 2012

    Brenna

    I loved your post this morning! When you read someone’s blog for a while, you *feel* like you know them and are friends with them, and then reality hits, “Wait, I actually don’t know them!” And the tips are just as easily translated to our relationships with people in real life. Making the leap from friendly acquaintance at church, for example, to actual friend can feel daunting, especially for us introverts. :) It was an encouraging way to start the morning!

  • Reply January 16, 2012

    Alison

    I have made so many wonderful friends through the blogging community. It’s amazing to me that such true, wonderful friendships can form this way.
    These are great tips on how to pursue/foster those relationships :)

  • Reply January 16, 2012

    mel

    I don’t know why I’ve never thought of using twitter more. I barely do anything with it, but this makes sense!
    I have been lucky enough to meet a few blogger friends, which is always nice because we usually have more common interests than say I do with my other circle of friends from school and work.

  • Reply January 16, 2012

    Bree

    I have made so many wonderful friends through blogging. When we recently moved from CA to KS, the Kansas City blogging community reached out to me, and invited me to all of their events. I had instant and now lifelong friends. Some of the relationships that I treasure the most in my life have come from blogging and I am forever grateful to have these amazing people in my life.

  • Reply January 16, 2012

    Leslie

    This is such a great post, Hayley! I met one of my very best friends, Emily, through blogging, actually. We literally went through every single step you described here. First comments, then facebook, then skyping, then texting, then hanging out… and now I’m postive she is going to be a life-long friend. The best ‘thing’ that has ever come out of blogging, for me, are the friendships that I have made!

  • Reply January 16, 2012

    Joy

    This was a great topic to post on! I will definitely be putting some of these ideas to use! I actually blogged today {http://timandjoy.wordpress.com} about being homesick, as I have recently moved away from my family and friends… Since my move, the blogosphere has started to become a special way to connect with women both near and far!

  • Reply January 16, 2012

    Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama

    And now I can’t help myself but say – yes yes yes and yes – LOVE this and really all it’s missing is a link to (in)courage’s http://www.inrl.us – another fun way to connect beyond the blog post :)

    LJ

  • Reply January 16, 2012

    Jenny Meyerson

    Wonderful post Hayley! With only blogging since June, I feel sometimes lost in a sea of the unknown. But I’ve been amazed at the generosity of the blogging and twitter community to new strangers/friends.
    Thank you for the pointers and I look forward to skyping with all my new friends, although I will admit it does make me beyond nervous (and nauseous!) and I usually am not a shy or introverted person.
    I look forward to sharing this. Thanks again for sharing your heart and your suggestions.

  • Reply January 16, 2012

    Reeve

    Beautifully written!! I need to be better at communicating with my online friends, so thanks for all the great suggestions.

  • Neat idea for a post! And pretty inspiring. It’s a little funny and weird to make new friends as a grown-up person, isn’t it? So it’s a nice little reminder to get that there are friends still to be made. Thanks!

  • Reply January 17, 2012

    Jessica Sliman

    I love this post. I am relatively new to blogging – and reading blogs – and am SHOCKED at how many terrific and interesting sites and people there are out there. You’re one of the first that I’ve followed for a while now – I found your site through a link to your no fuss wardrobe posts – and just about died when I read them. It was exactly what I was looking for :) I look forward to reading more!

  • Reply January 20, 2012

    Friday Linkup 1/20/12

    [...] 7 Secrets for making real life friends online – by Hayley at Tiny Twig [...]

  • Reply January 22, 2012

    Steph

    These are great ideas. I’ve been following a few blogs for while and was wondering what a good next step might be for getting to know the women writing them. Thanks.

    • Reply January 30, 2012

      Tiny Twig

      do it, steph! it was the single biggest step for me in blogging. actually MAKING friends. ;)

  • Reply January 22, 2012

    Sam

    I really thought this was interesting …

  • I’ve been blogging for over 4 years now, and I honestly think my life has changed because of it. Not just because it’s enabled me an outlet for writing and sharing and processing my dreams and hopes. Not just because I get free stuff for having a blog (though, that certainly is a perk!)

    Nope, the people are why my life is better than it would be had I never blogged. The people who I drove across the country to meet. The people who I spent a girls weekend with in Indianapolis. The people who encourage me and cheer me on as I started my own photography and graphic design business.

    The people are why I stay.

  • Reply January 23, 2012

    Samantha

    Love this post and I totally agree that you can quickly make super close friends online. It is great that we have the internet to bring us together with people we would never meet otherwise (because of distance). I think this is especially valuable for younger moms to be able to build a community in those times when it is hard to get out of the house!

  • Reply January 23, 2012

    brooke

    Awesome…just like you! I promise i havent fallen iff the face of the earth, although I’m pretty sure i tripped! Xoxoxo

    • Reply January 30, 2012

      Tiny Twig

      i’ll come search outer space for you, friend. don’t worry. xoxoxoxo.

  • Reply January 27, 2012

    vee

    love this post!! thanks again for the nice tweet this am. :) have a wonderful weekend!

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  • Reply January 31, 2012

    bentley

    Thank you so much for these amazing tips. I find leaving the online world intimidating sometimes. It’s nice to read this – so reassuring. Your blog is lovely too. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon it but I’ll be back!

  • Reply February 5, 2012

    tammy

    I’ve been pottering around the blogging world reading amaing blogs for a few years now and have to admit to not forming any friendships. I think it is because I am always too scared to reach out and email or contact them in any other way than leaving a comment. Living in Australia and having 99% of my favourite bloggers living in the USA doesn’t help either (time difference and all lol). After reading your post I am going to take that next step. Thank you :}

  • Reply April 15, 2012

    Sara Grace

    great post! great encouragement especially for new bloggers, like myself! :)

  • [...] 7 Secrets for making real life friends online – by Hayley at Tiny Twig [...]

  • [...] +Great tips on how to make friends online. [...]

  • Reply May 13, 2012

    Ryan Claire

    Friendsbuddy.in is a social network where free online chat rooms are available, you can make friends online by doing free chats, private chat rooms and many other online chat rooms.

  • Hi, after reading this remarkable article i am as well glad to share my familiarity here with mates.

  • Reply May 9, 2013

    Mary Evelyn SMith

    Such a helpful post. As a relatively new blogger (1 year old!) I’m still figuring this whole online community out. I don’t have many friends with kids so I love the idea of connecting with other blogging moms but didn’t quite know how. Now I’ve got all kinds of ideas! Thanks!
    PS: What is this super cute font I’m typing in right now?? This comment box has got style!

  • Reply June 28, 2013

    Donna

    I just stumbled upon this as I was looking for a site that would help me find friends. I have moved to Manitoba and haven’t really made any friends. My husband is a long haul trucker and I am having some medical things to deal with. I am 57 so don’t have children at home which can help you meet people who have some of the same interests. I am trying blogging but not sure I am doing it right. I do not have a twitter account but will try that too. Tks for giving me some ideas as I am looking for someone to do things with even just going for a walk.

  • […] some great ideas of how to “choose life” through your social media presence created by The Tiny Twig. I loved this post and think it has some great […]

  • Reply July 3, 2014

    Kitty

    here I am bumbling around the blogging world from site to site and I found this one an a post that made me a little whimsical…i always feel so odd because I have no real blogger friends that “get it” or blog themselves. I need to find my blogging tribe you know…this article helped a lot! I’m glad you had it tagged on your about me page! ps. you have a great smile! :) keep it up!!

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