5 Tips For Building Lasting Relationships With Bloggers
We need to be able to build and sustain good relationships with bloggers. But popular blogs and sites get hundreds of emails a day. So how do we distinguish ourselves from the spam accounts?
5th May 2015
Marketing is an integral part of growing your business. For digital marketers this means getting your clients exposure on the right sites and sharing their products or services to the best audiences.
In order to do that, we need to be able to build and sustain good relationships with bloggers. Getting in contact is the first step. But popular blogs and the great sites that we want to work with often get tens if not hundreds of emails per day. So how do we distinguish ourselves from the spam accounts? And once we do, how do we ensure we’re building a good, long lasting relationship?
I’m glad you asked, here’s how in 5 simple tips.
A significant part of any marketing strategy is building relationships. For the digital world, this means link building. It comes down to getting links to your site from another blog or site and while this is a simple way to help with your SEO in the short term, if you want to really help your business succeed you need to do more than just get a link.
Instead, your link needs to be a worthwhile building block for your future relationship with a blogger. There are infinite numbers of sites and blogs on the same topic as your business available on the internet, so you can afford to pick only those that are most in keeping with the sort of business you or your client are in.
Find your niche market online, establish who the top knowledge sources are and who they endorse, and approach them. If you don’t try, you won’t succeed so don’t be afraid of approaching the best of the best. That said, don’t ignore the up and comers either. They might be your way into the blogging community and could gain recognition over time.
If you want to hedge your bets because of limited resources then look for those blogs and platforms that lie in the middle.
Most importantly when choosing sites for your business, don’t simply contact every blog you come across. For example, if you sell party balloons, don’t assume that hot air balloon specialists are going to be interested in featuring your company. You’ll only be wasting yours and their time.
Before you start approaching a site, have a look around. It sounds basic but all sorts of sites including digital marketing agencies, receive numerous emails that prove within a few short sentences that the sender hasn’t done their research. (i.e. Telling a marketing agency how they could improve their rankings with link building, when they’re doing quite fine, thank you.)
Not doing your research won’t endear you to the blogger. Look at the recent posts on the site and search the blog for content related to what you want to post or feature. Do they talk about it a lot or have they only mentioned similar products?
If you approach the blogger with a content idea that not only suits their style and readers, but builds on what is already on their site, you’ll be showing you’re a real person with a vested interest in their blog and their readers and not a mass spammer.
Be careful to get the tone right too in your message. Remember, you don’t know them personally yet so don’t be too informal. But also strike a balance that won’t make your email read like a robot sent it.
My preferred style is to include a comment on a recent piece, sometimes a note on what struck me about the site that made me want to get in contact, followed by the basic title/concept for a post. I then frame with a greeting and end with thanks for taking the time to read my message. Simple, friendly and clear.
You don’t need to jump in with demands from line one, but you should be honest about why you are contacting a blogger. Honesty is always the best policy.
For example, if you’ve just found the site and like what they’ve written about party decorations then say so. If you want to provide a sponsored post – sponsored content being paid for content, or a guest post, say that. If you are willing to send a sample to review, offer that.
Always check to see if the blogger or site has a policy on accepting posts. Some prefer to write all the content themselves and others don’t accept any suggested posts from anyone. Some accept both. Respect that. But also know that reaching out doesn’t always have to result in a link. Sometimes it’s just a way of getting your product or client’s product on the blogger’s radar, and that’s enough.
If you are the business owner or part of a marketing team, tell the blogger in your mail. Being honest here tells them that they can expect you to be direct and honest with them in future interactions. It builds trust.
Follow these tips and you should be able to lay the groundwork to a good relationship with the blogger. But this won’t help you to sustain those strong relationships. To do that you need to be making a valuable contribution to the site.
You’ve chosen to use this particular blog for a reason, namely that you like its appearance, connection to a desirable audience and is in an industry that suits your business. But you’ll also have chosen it because it contains good content.
With your guest or sponsored post you need to be adding to that melting pot of well written and useful content. You do this by creating a piece that fits in with the written style of the author/s of the site and tailoring it the readership.
For example, if we use the balloon seller business: A parenting blog might seem to suit a piece on the different birthday balloons, with examples of words or themes for each age group – baby, child, teenager, adult.
But then you spot that the blogger is expecting a child. So instead you can show that you have explored their site by suggesting a post on different newborn themed balloons, such as “It’s a boy” or “Congratulations!”.
By tailoring in this way you are engaging with both the blogger’s life, which is intrinsic to the blog itself, and the potential audience who may have friends who are about to become parents.
While all our tips here are parts of how we approach, build and encourage bloggers to want to work with us, perhaps the most important tip to remember is that you have to create real, useful content.
Many SEO companies, blogs and sites will tell you that using keywords and anchor text to your branded pages of your website is key to Google recognising your site. And that’s true. But even if you rank number one for a particular keyword on a search engine search, it means nothing if it doesn’t translate into business for your company.
By creating interesting, useful, shareable content on sites with real readers, you are giving the brand the best chance of converting into actual sales. And all without looking like an advert that might put readers off.
It also can’t hurt to show some social media love by engaging with the bloggers and sites. Share posts, RT other posts that they’ve made related to your business and generally be a real person. Remember you aren’t fulfilling a quota, you’re building a relationship.