The old adage it’s who you know is, at least in blogging, truer than ever. There’s nothing to stop a business from building a market-beating blog; but a bit of backup from influential bloggers can make the process a whole lot easier. To help you build professional relationships, we’ve compiled 9 killer tips – each designed to get you in a blogger’s good books, and foster a seriously effective relationship.
9. Content Curation
Top bloggers are bombarded by networkers on a daily basis. To stand-out from the crowd, start off with a more subtle approach. Content curation is the act of sharing and promoting third-party content alongside your own. By choosing material relevant for your audience, you can foster social media engagement without a ton of blogging and promotion. Sharing and promoting content from other bloggers is a fantastic way to get noticed – and the more social shares and traffic your endorsement creates, the better your chances of getting to know an influential blogger.
8. Social Media Engagement
Social media is a powerful tool for engaging professional bloggers. Sites like Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to engage directly with their articles, thoughts and opinion. You can reply to their shares, jump-in to existing conversations and even send them a personal message. As long as you don’t cross the line between engaging and spamming, your target blogger will quickly recognize you as a vocal and active proponent of their cause. If you’re looking for an efficient way to engage bloggers, check out LinkedIn Premium. Their InMail feature guarantees you a response to your messages – making it perfect for seeding an effective relationship.
7. Interview Posts
In your quest for effective blogging relationships, why not earn some unique content for your own blog? By reaching out to influencers with a list of interview questions, you create an extra level of incentive for your blogger to respond. They benefit from new traffic, backlinks and a boost to their online authority; and you earn yourself some unique quotes and expert insights. Try and avoid generic questions, like ‘What one blogging tip can you share with my audience?’ – and opt for questions that will ignite a blogger’s passion, and spark their interest. Where will blogging be in 10 years? What do you hate most about the industry? Who are your favorite bloggers?
6. Blog Responses
A lot of blog content is informed by personal opinion – and you’re entitled to a response. By replying to a blogger’s article, either through comments or your own post, you can initiate a dialogue between yourself and your target blogger. For a great example, check out Mark Schaefer’s infamous Content Shock post, and Sonia Simone’s eloquent response on Copyblogger. Sonia doesn’t pander to Mark’s theory, and she doesn’t even agree with his hypothesis – but she does provide fair, insightful and engaging feedback. If you scroll through the comments’ section, you’ll soon come across Mark Schaefer himself: and the blogging relationship begins!
5. Becoming a Loyal Customer
Tons of bloggers offer fantastic products and services – from insightful eBooks to marketing consultations. Buying these products will often put you into direct contact with a blogger, affording you an intimate channel of communication. As you’ve also contributed to the blogger’s bottom-line, and added to their business, your relationship will start off on fantastic footing. There’s no sense in buying a product that you won’t use – but with a ton of fantastic resources available, becoming a customer is a viable way to build an effective relationship.
4. Product Reviews
Getting hold of a blogger’s products offers you another bite at the relationship-cherry. Whether it’s a free resource or a thousand dollar software package, you can use your product insight to review their offering. By spending some time and effort getting to know the product, you can create a detailed and honest product review. Positive review’s offer fantastic social proof, increasing the likelihood of a blogger getting in touch with you for a quote or testimonial. Negative proof can have a similar impact – encouraging the blogger to find out how they can improve their products. Either way, you’ve fostered an effective relationship.
3. Helping Them Out
Blogging isn’t easy – and even the most experienced of bloggers will run into problems on a regular basis, often venting their frustrations across social media. If you happen to come across something that you can help with, let your blogger know. If your blogger wants to revamp their contact forms, link them to a perfect WordPress plugin; and if they’re looking for a Wall Street trader to interview for their latest post, put them in touch with someone suitable. The same applies to any technical issues you discover. If their blog’s loading time has taken a dive, or you’ve tried to click-through a broken link, let them know. Even if you aren’t able to offer any direct help, the blogger will be grateful that you’ve brought a problem to their attention.
2. Guest Posting
Whilst Matt Cutt’s vendetta against paid blogging campaigns continues, genuine guest blogging is alive and well. Value is the key to successfully soliciting a guest post – and as long as you can pitch a killer post idea, targeted at the blogger’s audience, you’ll stand a great chance of getting it accepted. It’s a great way to open dialogue, and an even better way to add value to the blogger’s business by sharing your insights, and adding value to their community.
1. In-Person Networking
It’s an old-school method, but it works. If you attend digital marketing and social media conventions, make an effort to do some in-person networking. Listen to keynote speeches, take notes, and offer some feedback to bloggers. Chat to people about your passions and interests, and before you know it, you’ll have cemented some truly effective professional relationships.
To find out more about business blogging strategy, check out our Digital Training Sessions – offering everything you need to build effective blogging relationships, from guest blogging best-practices to an exclusive list of influential contacts!