The best kind of friend, the one you start laughing with for no reason, and keep laughing with, doubled over, tears in your eyes.

Laurie was that kind of friend, though we didn’t know each other long. I moved to Ohio and started in a new high school during my junior year, her senior year. We lost touch when she graduated and didn’t connect again until Facebook.

She has a new website, a new blog, and is exploring Twitter.

We’ve talked on the phone a couple of times, and I’ve been coaching her a bit and answering her questions about engaging online.

One of her top concerns is that she’ll invest a lot of time online and not make any real progress toward her goals.

I’m CONVINCED that social media channels can be powerful in helping anyone meet their goals, and I’m committed to helping Laurie become wildly successful.

The best way for someone new to blogging to make a dent in the blogosphere is to connect with others.

Alone, it can take a while. With help from others, connecting happens much faster.

Today’s tip packs a double punch: two suggestions to help you connect with others.

First, find a network of like-minded people who share your values and perspectives.

I’ve been a part of the Lead Change Group since its beginning, and I love the way this community has introduced me to so many wonderful people. Posting on a group blog like Lead Change (find out how, here) or Women of HR (a wonderful site that I contributed to in the past) will help you get your name and content out to a wider audience. You can also find groups on LinkedIn.

Next, explore blog carnivals. A blog carnival is a collection of links to blog posts on similar topics. Typically, blog carnivals are held monthly, and bloggers submit recent posts on a theme or topic.

A blog carnival can be a great way to get more exposure and new readers for your blog. It’s also a place you can discover new bloggers to read and follow. I’ve been involved with the Leadership Development Carnival, engineered and frequently hosted by Dan McCarthy.

Today’s Tip: Join with Others

Set your timer for 12 minutes and search for ways you can join with others online. Search for a group/community of people who share your interests. Or, do a Google search to find a blog carnival in your niche. You can find a directory of blog carnivals here (warning, this directory is not working at the moment.) Try searching via Google with your topic and “carnival.” Submitting to a blog carnival only takes a few minutes. Just be sure to read and follow the guidelines carefully to increase your chances of being featured.

Tell me something! How do you join with others to increase your influence? What group blogs or communities do you contribute to? Have you tried a blog carnival? Which one is your favorite?

My friend Wally Bock shares daily tips for leaders at the Three Star Leadership Blog. You can read his tips here

P.S. I’d like to suggest a new way to join with others — Team Buzz Builder. (Also on Facebook and Twitter.) This idea/concept is way in development and under construction, but I hope you’ll take a look, share your feedback and ideas, and opt-in to join our community.