This post may be slightly controversial.
(No babies were hurt in the writing of this post. In fact I bet this little guy was having a great time with Dad. Who doesn’t want to experience what it’s like to fly?)
After reading this post some may think I’m encouraging people to take advantage of others in the hunting industry; especially of those participating in the niche of hunting on the Web.
This assumption is very far from the truth.
Every part of life revolves around the connections we possess with other people.
It’s that simple.
The people we know are the people who define our lives
We base our lives on what we think other people think about us.
Normally, people really don’t care what we’re doing. They’re too busy worrying what we think about them, but we’re too busy worry about what they think about us and…
Now I’ve talked myself into a circle.
When we’re hunting, we often take advantage of our connections
We use our friends to find the best hunting land.
We scout with our friends and ask their opinions on what is the best approach to hunting a specific area.
Most hunters learn how to hunt from their Dad. I learned how to hunt from my Dad.
That’s an example of taking advantage of a valuable connection.
Dad has tons of knowledge to give and it was our job to take advantage of that connection.
Connections work the same when you look to expand your hunting business online
There are tons of great hunting connections to make on the Web.
The Outdoor Bloggers Summit is a great place to find outdoor bloggers.
There are 450,000+ people on Facebook who list “hunting” as an interest. That’s huge!
The point is there are connections to be made on the Web for hunting entrepreneurs.
The next question is:
How to properly make those connections?
Starting a blog of your own is a good idea.
Learning how to use hunting forums is another good start.
Begin using Twitter.
After taking care of those basic things it really comes down to the tough part…
Adding value to the lives of other hunters on the Web
It’s not as simple as it sounds.
People will only listen to you if you add value to their lives.
By adding value to their lives, I mean you need to improve their quality of life and business in a unique way.
The Web creates great opportunity for connection, which is great, but it also means that someone out there trying to outwork you to try and make valuable connections.
Do you read blogs? If you come across valuable information then share it on Twitter, share it in forums. Spread the news. If others find it valuable they will see you as a valuable source for information.
Conversely, if you share links and content that is not deemed valuable you will lose your authority status.
Now, once you have successfully made valuable connections it’s important to use your new friends to grow your business.
This is where things can get dicey.
When I use the word “use”, I’m referring to Win-Win situations. If you even begin to think about trying to only receive something from your valuable connections you have already lost in Web game.
For example, say you have made a valuable connection with a friend who runs a popular hunting forum. We’ll call him Hank (a reference to one of the all time great shows King of the Hill).
When the time comes to improve your own hunting Website you first need to think of a way to improve Hank’s Hunting Forum.
Do you have knowledge of breaking news in the hunting industry that may spark conversation in Hank’s Blog?
Do you know a way Hank could easily set up a tool in his blog so users could post interesting threads and conversations to Twitter?
Do you know someone that would benefit from placing targeted ads in Hank’s Forum threads?
These are just a few things that might add value to Hank’s Hunting Forum.
And at first glance you might not think you’re improving your own hunting Website by spending time on these things.
But what you’re doing is building up your reputability.
You’re making yourself a valuable resource for Hank.
And Hank is going to likely share his positive experience that he had with you with his connections.
He will also come to you if he is in need of ideas to improve his forum.
His friends might even contact you for ideas.
These people will also visit your site and if you’ve done your work they’ll find even more valuable content to absorb.
The point of this post was to emphasize the importance of using you connections to improve your own blog.
The underlying secret to using your connections is that you have to first let go of your urge to ask and start by thinking of ways to improve others’ hunting sites.
Think of ways to add value to the lives of others and you’re a step ahead of the competition.
Think about how unique you would be if you went to a manufacturer of trail cameras with the idea of having their customers submit photos for a contest that could get their photos shared on top hunting blogs across the Web?
Hunters get the satisfaction of having their best trail camera photos shown all over the Web.
The trail camera company gets their logo on every photo plus links back to their site.
Hunting bloggers get to write about cool trail camera photos and the trail camera company could create a page with links to all participating bloggers (every blogger loves links).
And as a partner in the contest, you gain respect as a valuable resource in the online hunting world plus your brand is exposed to potential connections all over the online hunting blogosphere.
This is just a quick idea and I’m sure you can come up with something much better.
Check out this Case Study by Adam Singer – Joffrey’s for a great way to utilize connections.
The point is that you need to use your hunting connections on the Web.
And you need to start by thinking of ways to improve the hunting Websites of your connections before you think about improving your own.
Once you accept this concept you’re on your way to growing your hunting business online.
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