Gone are the days, “build it and they will come”.
No one really cares about you unless you are an expert. It’s really hard to build a profitable blog from scratch especially if you are a beginner.
How can you build a thriving network online in a crowded niche then?
To be precise, building relationships with the influential bloggers in your industry.
If a top blogger in your niche tweets or links to your stuff, what will happen? BOOM! Immediate hike in your traffic, subscriber count or even sales, right?
That’s the power of “influential marketing”.
If you want to get noticed online, you have to connect with the influencers to grow your online network. If you are wondering how, read and implement the strategies that I’m going to explain in this guide. Are you ready? Let’s jump into the details.
Make a List of Influential Bloggers
This is the #1 step. Create a list of all the bloggers who have strong influence on the type of audience you want.
You need to leverage their network. If you are new to blogging and don’t know where to get started, here’s the simplest way to find influential bloggers.
Use Alltop to find the top bloggers.
Alltop is the biggest platform that helps you find the top blogs in almost every niche.
It not only gives you a list of all the great blogs but also shows you the recent posts published by them. This serves you in two ways: finding influential bloggers and finding better content ideas to post.
You can also find the top blogs in your niche by typing “[your niche]” + top blogs.
For instance, “fitness” + top blogs or “fitness” + best blogs gives you a list of all the links that cover the top marketing blogs.
Create a spreadsheet on Google Sheets and make a list of 40 to 50 top blogs in your industry including their names and email addresses.
Now, that leads me to the next point.
Find Their Email Addresses
This is where most people struggle.
Finding an email address on the web is hard especially if you are trying to get emails from influential bloggers. Most of them just don’t reveal their email address publicly. The reason is, they are always busy and they do get hundreds of emails every single day.
So how can you find an email address?
Here’s the crazy stuff: go sign up to their email list!
Almost every blogger collects emails from their blog audience, so subscribe to the blogs that are on your hit list.
And almost every blogger send “welcome emails” to their subscribers – viola! You got their working email address.
Just hit a reply and start engaging with them.
Here’s the thing – don’t send them spam pitches like “please link to my pages”, “here’s how you can help me” etc. Instead of seeking help, do them favor by offering free help. Figure out what’s missing on their blog and explain how they can fix that. Plain and simple, right?
Instead of asking help, you’re offering them help. This is really a big deal because 90% of the bloggers get “I want help” email pitches. If they see “I want to help YOU” kind of emails, you can instantly grab their attention.
Tweet Their Stuff
Once you made the list of the most influential bloggers in your industry, start following them on twitter. Whether you know it or not, almost every influential bloggers prefers to engage with their followers on twitter over Facebook.
If you are spending most of your time on Facebook or any other platform, stop doing it and spend your time on twitter. You will find majority of the influencers actively tweeting on twitter, so you can’t miss out that opportunity to connect.
Another simple yet most effective way to find and connect influencers on twitter is by using Topsy.
Enter any of the most popular article in your niche on Topsy. It will instantly give you a list of all the tweets who shared the article. Simply click on “Influential Only” tab to get a list of twitter influencers in your industry.
Start following them and tell them if you have any similar type of content. They will be interested in tweeting it if they find it helpful for their audience. Make sure to tweet their stuff and engage with them before even seeking any help.
Leave Thoughtful Comments
Blog commenting – although this is the old school method of getting noticed by other bloggers but it still works like a charm.
The only thing is: you need to leave smart and thoughtful comments instead of “hey nice post ya” type of stuff.
Whether you agree it or not, leaving great comments on top blogs is the simplest yet fastest way to grow your blog. It gives you initial momentum to expand your network by increasing your online visibility.
Make sure to subscribe to the email updates of the blogs you love reading to get instant notifications when they publish new posts.
That way, you can be the first commenter. Often, you will get great attention if you leave meaningful comments on their posts after reading the posts.
Here are few simple tips to get noticed with your blog comments.
- Go to Gravatar and add your image. Everyone wants to see your face!
- Always use your full name instead of using your blog name (some people still do that to spam!)
- Never leave a blog comment without actually reading the whole post. EVER!
- Always include the name of the author while leaving comments.
- Share your personal insights or ask questions to continue the conversation in the blog comments.
- Respond to other commenters who already left a meaningful comment or asked a question.
Tip: Don’t leave comments just to increase your traffic. Consider blog commenting as a way to build relationships, not traffic. Few influential bloggers always give a shout out to the commenters who leave extra added value comments on their blogs.
Email Them Regularly
Want to know the #1 tip to quickly grow your blog traffic?
Write an email. Click send!
The only hardest part is: getting your emails opened and read!
Writing effective emails is not easy especially if you are new to blogosphere.
- Never write a demanding email asking for help. It’s the surefire way to getting your emails into trash or spam box.
- Always include the names of the influencers you are emailing to. Spell check your emails for any typos. Always proofread twice.
- Your subject line is the key to getting your emails opened. Make them short, personal and sweet.
- Don’t write “me me” emails that talk about just YOU. Your emails should always be about your target people, not you. Stop bragging and use emails to build relationships.
- Follow up after 2 to 3 days if you don’t get a response. Most people respond to you at this point. Ask them gently about your previous email instead of bashing them.
- Keep your emails short and simple. If you are sending an email to someone for the first time, “don’t write long and boring emails”. No one actually has the time to read long emails. Keep them short and concise.
Pro tip: Before sending an email to someone you don’t know, here’s the rule of thumb to follow: always think of “what’s in it for them”. What do they get when they read your emails? If you follow this simple rule, you will get higher chances of opening and response rates than anyone else.
Keep Adding Value to the Influencers
Whenever you write a new post on your blog, link to the influencers who has relevant content. Just email them telling that you mention their articles.
Ask for a tweet or share if they find your content valuable. They might not instantly link to your stuff or tweet about you in the beginning. But when you do this quite often, you will get their attention sooner or later. Persistency is the key here.
Keep sending compliments through emails, tweets or videos whenever they post amazing content on their blogs. Who doesn’t like compliments?
Buy their products or get their online courses if they offer. Make sure to become their “fan boy” before even seeking their help. Once they realize you are their most loyal reader, they will definitely look for ways to help you either by mentioning you on their blog or tweeting about your best stuff.
Create Website Review Videos
Back in 2011, Derek Halpern used this technique to connect with the top bloggers in marketing industry. He simply offered “free website reviews” and talked about all the pitfalls of a website to increase their conversion rates.
He made 5 to 10 minute videos talking directly to the top bloggers in the marketing niche and almost every time he discussed the same things in every other video. But still, he got the momentum and most people online had started seeing Derek as the marketing guru who is good at filling website leaks.
Website reviews still work like a charm. They are still not used by most bloggers or marketers, so you can give them a try and find the pitfalls of your website and create a video on how they can make it better.
The best part is, you don’t always have to have personal relationships with other bloggers to make website video reviews work for you. Simply analyze a website, make a video review and email the blog owner telling where their website is leaking.
If they find it useful, they will definitely give you a shout out or help you in some or other way. That’s how you can build strong relations with other bloggers in your niche. Sounds great? Implement it right away.
Final Thoughts on Connecting with the Influencers
I wish I could tell you that if you follow a few of the strategies mentioned above, you would have more chances of quickly building relationships with the influencers. But in reality, it’s not simple. It takes time to connect and you need to spend a lot of time in getting to know about others.
Getting your emails open and read is the biggest hurdle for any beginner. Once you learn to write captivating emails, connecting with the influential bloggers becomes easy.
Make sure to spend most of your time on connecting with others through emails and you will be astonished by the results you get over time. Also remember one thing that, most of the time you don’t get responses from other bloggers. They might be busy or simply ignore your emails. Just don’t give up and follow up them again after 2 to 3 days to increase your chances of getting responses.
So what are your thoughts on connecting with the influencers? Do you have any more strategies to connect with the busy bloggers? Please share your views in the comment section below.