Influencers hold a lot of power in the blogging world. Don’t believe me? Think about the blogs that seem to pop out of nowhere to be immediately popular almost instantly. Your content may be similar to or even better than their content, but if you do not promote your content effectively, you will never get the same amount of traction. Sure, it could be luck and it could the packaging, but I am going to let you in on a little secret.
Most likely, the reason those blogs have risen so quickly in name and recognition has to do with the tactic the writers use to get their content in front of those who matter. Essentially, the process to successfully reach out and create a network is a simple one, but finesse is key. In then end, your content can only speak for itself if someone is paying attention. By working strategically behind the scenes to ensure your content is noticed, you will be on your way to increased views, interactions, and notoriety. Below are a few tips that will help get you on track in your marketing quest.
Identifying Blogging Influencers
Make a list of bloggers that you are looking to build relationships with and whose networks call to you as perfect for your niche. Create a google or excel spreadsheet with contact information that includes a link to their blog, their name, twitter handle, Facebook page, and contact email if applicable. This first list should be mostly from your mental catalogue, highlighting those influential bloggers that come to mind first because of their importance in your blogging niche. Do you have a few blogs you follow daily for inspiration or refer to in your own writing on regular basis? Great, use them as a beginning to your hit list. You can always adjust the raw data later as you look for where you want your blog to in the future.
After the mental Rolodex, it is time to do the proper searches to determine what other blogs might be in your sphere. Alltop is a great place to begin that search, as it provides a curated list of quality blogs on any thinkable topic out there. Check out the blogs suggested and add the most promising or interesting ones to your list. Other sites like Technorati can also give you some blogs to think about at this stage. Feel free to be more casual in your determinations at this stage! There is always room for alterations later. Never put down the power of Google either. If a blog shows up in a google search, it means that the google engine finds them worthy. You want to be like these “worthy blogs”, so make sure you add those top names to your goals as well!
Aim for a total of 30-40 blogs to start and then begin the filtering process.
The Tier Process
You would apply for a job with a startup the same way you would with a big, established company, so take this same approach when filtering and altering your list. Top targets need extra-loving-care while others more on your playing field only need a more informal approach. Feel free to use metrics like social influence and SEO metrics to determine their authority in your niche, but also look at domain authority, which comes from ranking on google searches, etc.
A number of comments can also determine the worthiness of your outreach. While larger blogs can have a lot of viewers, smaller sites with more dedicated followers and commentators may mean more flow into your site as well. Once this information is tracked, divide your findings into Tier One, Tier Two, and Tier Three. Depending on what tier a blog is in will determine how you handle the outreach.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Tier One: For these influencers, you will need to warm them up before reaching out. Begin by sharing their content. No matter how many followers a blogger has, they are always looking at their mentions to gauge success. If you continue to share their content, they will take notice. Just make sure to mention their blog’s handle so they see your sharing of their content! If the bloggers like asking questions of their followers, answer them! It is a great opportunity to show interest and add value to the topic. If something interests you on their blog, comment on it, making sure to provide insight or a story of some sort to add credence to the information shared. With the warm-up period completed, tier one bloggers may now be ready for a reach out.
Tier Two and Three: These bloggers are not going to need the warm up period required by tier one. In these cases, reaching out is the next step after setting up your hit list. Make sure that your outreach has a specific goal and that the tactic you use matches you desired outcome. Do you want your most recent post retweeted? A content pitch by email is probably your best bet. Are you looking for a guest post opportunity? Make sure you have a sketched out guest post idea and script to provide the influencer. If you are looking to be backlinked on a resource page, make sure that you have a topic that is necessary on the resource page and can help the blog in question.
Your communications should always be complimentary and to the point. You are looking to network and create relationships with your peers, so always make sure that your communication is never one-sided and always followed up with gratitude and an opening for continued communication. Feel free to open direct lines of communication to them, like your skype ID or similar medium for one on one discussions. Finally, when growing a relationship, do not be afraid to offer a joint venture if it seems beneficial to both parties. The world is your oyster.
Hard Work Makes the Dream Work
You are blogging to reach people with your voice. In order to get your brilliance to the masses, the hard work of blogger outreach and relationship building is extremely important. Let the voice of your blog speak for itself while your communication and relationship building skills allow your content to flourish appropriately.Become that blogger that pops out of nowhere! I know you have it in you.