Bloggers with influence, do you know how to connect with them?
If your goal is to be recognized in the ranks with other influential bloggers one day, here's something you should know… content isn't king. Yes, I know that statement may go against everything you've heard since entering the blogosphere, but I'm here to tell you that statement is indeed the truth.
While creating quality content does come in as a close second, building relationships with influential bloggers is what's really going to shoot your blog and business to the next level.
I've been an active part of the blogosphere for the past 3 months now and I've been getting down and dirty in the trenches building solid relationships with influential bloggers. And quite frankly, that's the very reason why I've been able to drive 19,828+ visitors and create an engaging community on a blog that's only 3 months old.
As I've gone along in my blog building adventures, I've encountered many new bloggers who are struggling with the concept of reaching out and connecting with influential bloggers in their niche. So this article is going to detail step-by-step exactly how to start, build and maintain solid relationships with influential bloggers.
How To Connect with Influential Bloggers
(1) Start by sharing their content on social networks – This first step is ridiculously easy. It really doesn't take much effort to just point and click the retweet and share buttons on their posts. A lot of new bloggers have a scarcity mentality and are afraid of sharing other people's content with their following. This is usually because they think that their readers are going to jump ship and unsubscribe from their RSS feed because they favor the influential bloggers content. Or it maybe it's because they want to keep all the good stuff to themselves. Either way, you can't afford to be stingy when it comes to quality content.
By sharing influential bloggers content, you're actually providing your audience with even more value and giving them the benefit of a different perspective. Sharing valuable content with your social networks shows your readers that you truly care about the quality of information you expose them to and it shows the blogger that you appreciate their work and are not afraid to share the love.
When I first relaunched my blog, sharing influential bloggers content is the first thing I did to begin getting on their radars.
I traveled around the blogosphere tweeting, “liking” and sharing nearly every piece of content they created because I wanted to show them that I valued their work. I also wanted to make sure that my name kept showing up in their mentioned feeds. The more authority bloggers see your name in their share feeds, the better your chances of them remembering you when you begin directly interacting and engaging with their content.
Which leads us to step two…
(2) Lay on the second layer with blog commenting – The next action you want to begin doing is a lot and I do mean A LOT of direct interaction with the blogger. The easiest way to start doing this is by directly engaging with bloggers and their content in the comments on their posts. I've learned that true conversations and connections in the blogosphere take place in the comments because you're meeting bloggers on their home base. Commenting allows you to further the relationship and go much deeper than just a simple tweet or share of their content.
When you start blog commenting, you don't want to leave what I like to call “one liner farts” . You know the ones…”Great post. Thanks for sharing!” I mean, what is that anyway?
You can't expect authority bloggers to take notice of a comment like that, yet alone engage with you. In fact, many influential bloggers wont even approve one line comments and in many instances if you post too many of these one liner comments, you'll get banned from commenting on their posts.
The way to comment and interact on an influential bloggers posts is the same as if you would were interacting with them face to face. To engage the blogger ask questions, share your personal experiences and opinions and most importantly, be authentic and TRANSPARENT in your comments.
Don't leave fake faulty sounding comments that sound like you're trying to be a “doctor of blogging” or something. The biggest thing that will attract a influential bloggers attention is authenticity When you comment, it's okay to share your concerns, ask for advice or be vulnerable. These are the type of comments that engage the blogger and provoke them to react and interact with you. You don't have to be an expert blogger to attract an authority bloggers attention.
There's an art to blog commenting and when done correctly can open up a windfall of opportunities.
When I began doing this blog commenting interaction with influential bloggers, I've always received favorable responses from them. I've even landed an unsolicited guest post on an extremely popular blog through commenting on the bloggers posts. This is proof of the extreme effectiveness of blog commenting and what it can do for furthering relationships with authority bloggers.
(3) Further command attention by sending them free traffic – The next step that you can take to connect with an influential blogger and get on their good side is to send them a TON of free traffic. You want to be doing this as much as possible. Some of the easiest ways to do this to by sharing their content on social bookmarking sites like BizSugar.com and curating their content on sites like Scoop.it. You can even begin your own content curation on your blog by starting a weekly link roundup and including the influential blogger in your roundups.
Sending free traffic is ridiculously effective for catching the attention of influential bloggers and provoking recognition, interaction and engagement from them. If you choose to send them traffic through weekly link roundups, many of them may drop by and comment on your roundup thanking you for the mention. Some will even share and retweet your post to their social network, which is killer for getting traffic back to your post and your blog.
You can also find influential bloggers that have their own link roundups and submit your content to be published in theirs.
You don't want to just slap any old blog post together, dub it quality content and think it's going to get published in their roundup. Most authority bloggers only publish insanely valuable content in their link roundups, so make sure that you're submitting only your very best work to them. If they see your work and think that your content is valuable, you'll definitely get on their radar and this will add another layer to your relationship with them.
(4) Make them a feature in a Top 7 / Top 10 post – Another simple and extremely effective step you can take to further connect with influential bloggers is by doing Top 7 or Top 10 posts featuring the blogger with links pointing back to their website. When you're doing a “top bloggers” post, you want to make sure that you're thorough, being as specific as possible in the post and link to one (or more) of their posts explaining why you liked it and what you've learned from them.
This kind of post can be complied by simply pulling the best tips that you've learned from authority bloggers about a particular subject (i.e. content marketing, content creation, traffic generation, etc.) and including excerpts of the specific post that you learned the tips from. Write a paragraph or so about how you've used and implemented the specific tip they shared and the results you've produced with it. This is good for showing the blogger that you're actually digesting and implementing the content they share. They will also be more inclined to interact and engage with your post and share it with their social networks because they see that you were authentic in your writing.
Note: Make sure that you give the blogger credit by directly linking back to the particular post that you took the excerpt from. Also, be sure to include their Twitter handle within the post as well to aid increasing their social exposure. Be sure that once you've published the post you notify the blogger via email, social media or any other outlet you can find them on.
A Top 7 post was one the very first posts that I did on my blog to get on Ms. Ileane's radar. I did a Top 7 post where I shared the best traffic driving tips I've learned from 7 of the top bloggers online. I followed this exact format and once I published it, I contacted Ileane through Scoop.it to let her know about the post. She appreciated my featuring her and even commented on my article. Now here I am writing this guest post for her blog. 🙂
(5) Lay it on thick by speaking directly to them through video – Making a live video of yourself specifically for an influential blogger is by far one of the most effective steps to deepen the relationship. A live video simply can't be ignored! You can even use this strategy as your initial contact method and send the video to them via email – which will give you a leaping head start in the relationship building process.
The most effective video would be one of you speaking directly to the camera (as if you were speaking directly to them in person – addressing them by name) and sharing with them why you enjoy reading their content. Don't be afraid to show yourself to them and be real in your video.
You should share some specific posts that you particularly liked of theirs and share specific examples of how they've helped you with your blog. When interacting with influential bloggers in an effort to build a relationship, you always want to be as specific as possible.
They have hundreds of people vying for their attention on a daily basis, however, using video and being specific in the ways that they've helped you is a great way to stand out from the crowd and lets them know that you're truly reading and enjoy their content. Plus, this solidifies to them that the content they're putting out is really helping their audience.
I actually did this a while ago and this was how I initially connected with Lisa Irby of 2CreateAWebsite. At the time, I didn't really realize what I was doing and the effectiveness that it would have of getting and keeping me on her radar to recall who I was. However, the video was extremely effective because a little over a year later when I relaunched my blog, that initial connection I made with her through that YouTube video ultimately aided me in getting a guest post spot on her blog.
Connecting with influential bloggers through video is extremely simple and it doesn't take that much time or effort. And don't worry, the video you create doesn't have to be long at all, 2 or 3 minutes will suffice. If you're camera shy, then this method wouldn't work for you. However, I encourage you to challenge yourself in 2013 and do something that scares you. The very thing that scares you is most likely the biggest thing that will catapult your blog and business to the next level.
Ms. Ileane cemented her relationship with Lisa Irby by using this same strategy (remember YouTube is another social network). Even though she was having a “bad hair day” check out How To To Video Response on YouTube – Lisa Irby's Video Challenge
When you're able to get an open dialogue going with an influential blogger, it's important to continue being real, authentic and humble in your interaction. Let them know how much you appreciate all that they do and have done for you. You can even seek to get exclusive advice on specific aspects of your business because you've now developed a solid relationship with them. Having this kind of direct access to an influential blogger is truly invaluable and is the key to having a solid long-term blogging career.
At the time of this post, I'm currently engaging in dialogues with a couple of influential bloggers I've connected with since the relaunch of my blog. I've gained so much insight through our email conversations that I never would have had access to if I'd stopped at only reaching out through social media. I'm even in the process of exploring some joint venture projects in this new year that I extremely excited about!
As you can see, if you want to develop high level relationships with influential bloggers it's going to require more than just random retweets, FB shares and one liner comments. It requires a high level of consistent high-quality interaction, unwavering persistence and a deep commitment to creating and sharing quality content to really show an influential blogger that you deserve their time and attention.
You might be thinking that this is a lot of hard work, but it's really worth the effort in the end. If you follow these 6 steps exactly and you put as much time into building strong relationships with influential bloggers as you do on creating content, you'll have a virtually indestructible business for years to come.
I'd love to hear your input. Do you feel this would be an effective relationship building process for your blog? What would you do differently? What steps are you currently taking to build relationships? Let me know in the comments below how you plan to connect with influential bloggers!