From business opportunities to PR for your practice, making the connection is an important part of your blog.

This week we asked: What are you doing to make connections?

1. Nothing, I’m just writing my blog – 45%

2. I’m asking questions and engaging my audience – 30%

3. I’m promoting my posts on Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media – 25%

My Thoughts: The good news is that a little over half of you (55%) are actively engaging your audience via social media or simpy asking questions and encouraging discussion. The bad news? Almost half of you (45%) are not.

As I mentioned on Tuesday, a focused, smart blog can open doors to a wide variety of opportunity…whether that be new business (which we’ll discuss in 2 weeks) or just connecting with other professionals in your industry. At the very least it can open up a forum for discussion, at its best it can draw regional or national attention for its commentary. The key is to keep your posts relevant and interesting enough to draw comments or re-posts from others. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve sold or how much traffic I’ve driven from a simple link to a post I’ve done on this very blog.

A few ideas for connecting? Don’t hog the spotlight. Feature other bloggers and link to interesting or insightful commentary they’ve posted. Then let them know about it! It’s a great way to build relationships. Also, promote your posts to others via social media—whether it be LinkedIn, Twitter or if it is appropriate Facebook.

I came across this great quote on connecting from CEO Tony Hsieh. He was speaking about Twitter but I think it applies to blogs as well…

We’ve found that Twitter has been a great way for us to connect on a more personal level with our employees and customers. We use it to help build our brand, not drive direct sales. It’d be like asking how does providing a telephone number for customer service translate into new business when they are mostly non-sales-related calls.

Black Pearl: I pulled the quote above from this great Copyblogger post about using Twitter to connect. It’s a great summary of who’s using social media and how they’re doing it in new and interesting ways.