Outreach is about making connections and forming lasting relationships with bloggers. Once a relationship is formed with a blogger, the next step is to expand the network. One way to expand your connections through outreach is to use blog rolls. A Blog Roll is a list of blogs that the blogger owns or has relationships with. Here’s my process for using these tools to build connections and expand my networks.

1. Find a quality site and establish a relationship

The first step in this networking process is to find a quality site that serves the appropriate metrics that you are looking for. Relationship building is a very important part of the process. The relationships that you build with your bloggers are the gateway to being able to effectively move into obtaining referrals. If you don’t build a solid reputation with a blogger, you will come off as ingenuous, which could ultimately ruin the entire relationship.

2. Check out the blog roll

Go through the blog roll to see if the sites included meet the appropriate metrics. You wouldn’t want to ask for a referral that you can’t use, this could come off as a bit insulting to the other blog. It may be to your benefit to ask about a few specific sites within the blog roll that meet your requirements.

(The list of names along the bottom is the blog roll.)

3. Find out who manages the sites

After you have combed through the blog roll to find websites that are up to standard, the next step is to ask the blogger if they manage the sites in their blog roll. Here is an example of an introduction that I have used when starting the conversation about referrals:

Thank you so much for the publication Greg! I really appreciate it and I look forward to working with you in the future J. I noticed that on your site you have a blog roll page. Do you manage all of these as well? I actually went through them and I really enjoyed reading X, Y, and Z.

Not only does this approach nurture the bloggers ego, it opens the door to extremely beneficial results for you. If the blogger manages the roll, you have an automatic contact!

4. If not them, then who?

If the sites on the blog roll don’t belong to the blogger, and it turns out that they’re sites that this particular blogger has worked with in the past, your response can look something like the following:

That’s awesome that you have been able to establish that many relationships with different people! Judging by what you have seen of my work, do you feel that there is a possibility for me to potentially contribute to these other sites as well to build upon my portfolio? If so, would you be willing to either help me get in contact with them or possibly put in a good word for me?”

5. Outreach new target

If the blogger decides to give you the information, make sure you mention where you got their information from. For example, in the subject line of the email that you are sending to your new target, you could say “Hey Bob….Was Referred By Mandy”

When using this technique, your chances of getting a response are much more promising. This will ultimately give you the opportunity to build a new relationship because you automatically have something in common!

This process is one of many ways to network with bloggers, but if done correctly, can prove to be extremely effective. Not only will this give you the opportunity to increase your clientele and build your publication portfolio; you will become extremely efficient and productive. You will be able to drastically cut the time that you spend mining for sites, because they will be provided to you!