If you could connect with any blogger in your industry, who would it be? Forget about any limitations for a second, who would you choose? In the last few years we’ve had the opportunity to connect with hundreds of incredible bloggers and I’m going to show you a few techniques that will help you get started.
The biggest reason and the reason that works the best is to reach out to influential bloggers in your industry and purely build relationships with them in a mutually beneficial way. Your business does not exist in a vacuum and nor should it. I believe in surrounding yourself with people who constantly help you grow, challenge you and hold you responsible to your goals.
It’s easy to get distracted though. Many times when we make ourselves too busy, proximity beats quality of people and we lose sight of expanding our circles. But you can use proximity to your advantage.
One of the best ways to do this is to find people that you have something in common with. And they may actually be closer than you think. Literally. One thing I’ve found to work well is to start by discovering influencers right where you are. These are influential people who live near you and for that reason automatically share that in common with you. I use this technique for finding really good subcontractors for marketing projects. Say I’m looking for a copywriter for a project, I Google “copywriters in Nashville” and search Twitter for the same thing. Then I compare the people that I find by looking at their social proof, websites, engagement with their audience and see who not only does good work with who has proved it. That solidifies my decision. Chances are that person’s going to be someone I want to establish a relationship with and use repeatedly as well as help anyway that I can in return.
The other reason to reach out to influencers is for a more specific. And that’s to ask their help in promoting a product or service. This is by far, the most popular reason for reaching out to influential bloggers to tap into their audience to help build your own.
I use this strategy when working with authors during their book launch. We help them identify blogs that share their target audience and would benefit from a guest post from that writer on a topic that’s related to that person’s blog, NOT about the author’s book.
There is a right way and a wrong way to go about this and it’s all in the execution and intent. I believe that you should enter into every guest posting opportunity and view it as a win-win win. A win for you to make it worth the effort, a win for the blogger to make it worth their time, and a win for their audience that is reading the blog post to build value for them.
If you are only just posting to get a link to your blog post or trying to get some free advertising you probably won’t get accepted in the first place and you’re going to have more enemies than friends by the time you’re done.
Here’s my secret. The most interesting people often aren’t the most popular people. “That’s ridiculous!” you say. Well hear me out…
Just because someone has a huge following doesn’t mean that the quality of the audience is there. Many times a bigger audience just means they are less targeted. I’d rather have 100 super targeted and engaged readers who are known to take action after reading rather than 500 untargeted readers on a blog that specializes in five different things instead of one targeted topic.
One way to quickly start finding influential people in any industry is to let others do the work for you. Here’s what I mean. Head over to Google and type in “top + your industry/location + blogs” For example, “Top marketing blogs” or “top gardening bloggers Nashville”. Someone else has already done the work to scour Google for great blogs in almost every industry. Why not start with them?
Start making a list of the top influencers in the category you’re looking for. I like to use a spreadsheet for this.
Now that you’re finding more bloggers than you know what to do with, how do you qualify them? Which ones are quality and which are a waste of time?
What questions do you have about reaching out to bloggers? Let me know in the comments!
Image by GraceOda
Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife and son.