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During the outreach process, it’s important to establish and maintain relationships with bloggers. This relationship leads to mutual benefits where your guest posts will further your inbound marketing goals while providing fresh, new content that boosts the blogger’s traffic. But how do you connect with—and more importantly—get the attention of those key influential bloggers?
While your overall strategy shouldn’t vary completely when contacting key industry players over other bloggers, there are a few heightened approaches to take in order to connect and get noticed.
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Connecting with influential bloggers through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is an essential first step in establishing and building a lasting relationship. Usually all posts or events hosted by the blogger are promoted via social media. These platforms will enable you to keep up-to-date with the blogger without the constant need to recheck their blog.
Tip: Take social media connections a step further by reaching out to influential bloggers via LinkedIn. Give them a better understanding of who you are and what your credentials are. If you’re a new and upcoming freelance writer in the industry, then your professional profile will let the blogger know. At the very least, connecting with the blogger through professional networks, like LinkedIn, will ensure the blogger that you’re a real person, not a robot.
Industry leaders most likely have an outlet for their voice, whether that’s as a blog owner or even as a regular contributor on a certain blog. As a way to easily connect with these bloggers, become not just an avid reader, but also an active reader who participates via comments. Industry leaders want engagement from their readers as a way to boost awareness of their content and to also gauge the impact of what they’re saying. They want to know that their content was provoking enough to make you respond.
Tip: Subscribe to their blog or the blog that they contribute to in order to get their latest blog posts. Building a blogger relationship takes consistency, not just a quick comment on one post. By developing a constant voice in the comments, the blogger will become familiar with you, which will most likely lead to a growing relationship.
Industry leaders need an audience. By helping expand that audience by sharing their content, those bloggers will be more likely to connect with you. However, it’s not enough to just “Like” or “Tweet” their posts, you have to share the content with your online audience as a way to build the blogger’s influence.
Share Posts on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn: Once the blogger posts his or her link onto social media platforms, like Facebook, share that link amongst your online friends. But make sure to add an engaging intro that your audience will respond to instead of just posting the link on your page.
Promote on Digg, Reddit, and Hacker News: You can also submit blogger content to sites that accumulate user-generated links and news feed. After submitting content, make sure to also vote for that story for possible front page feature.
Submit to StumbleUpon: By submitting the blogger’s post to StumbleUpon, you will help recommend that web page to other users with similar interests.
In some cases, influential bloggers will host regular or occasional webinars where they connect with other people in the industry. While the subject can range from talking about current news, the latest trends, or even future innovations to occur in the industry, the bloggers will give their take and will be open for audience questions. The Q/A feature of the webinar is a perfect time to connect with the influential blogger in real time. Also, in many cases if the blogger doesn’t get to your question during the webinar, he or she will encourage emailed questions—serving as the perfect leeway for your initial outreach pitch.
Tip: Let the influential blogger know you’re not only attending, but also benefiting from the webinar by tweeting before and during the event, including the blogger’s Twitter handle. This will be helpful for the blogger to not only get a steady head count of those who are attending, but also the Twitter mentions will aid in getting you noticed.
By following these simple tips, you’ll increase your chances of building a lasting relationship with influential bloggers, which in turn leads to better chances of your outreach emails to these bloggers being opened, read, and answered.