How to Effectively Connect to Influential Bloggers





Have you noticed how some bloggers have pretty much reached celebrity status?

Those well-known writers are read almost constantly, have an active social media presence that practically forms its own little community, and have a number of ins with other influential bloggers that have their own network of visibility.

It is no surprise that connecting to these influential bloggers is a primary focus for those looking to promote themselves or their own product or website. Building connections with bloggers can have lasting benefits, including long-term traffic sources, recurring campaign support and reputation management help.

The good news is that this is an area where most bloggers are happy to oblige, as long as you approach them in the right way.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of wrong ways to do it, and messing up once can ruin your chances for all future one-on-one interaction. Here are some tips to effectively connect to influential bloggers, and so be seen in the right way.



Be Prepared To Show That You’re Worth Knowing

No one wants to be used, including influential bloggers. Yes, their brand is their asset — almost their product they often monetize — but they have built it because they were treating it with care avoiding any low-hanging fruit.

Your goal is to build a relationship that is good for both parties, and to do that you have to show the person you are connecting with that you are interesting, engaging, and have the potential to help them in some way, even if that way is mostly by providing an interesting perspective.

If you can establish yourself as a fellow expert, you are going to have the easiest time forming these relationships. So just show that you know your stuff, present it in an interesting way, and be engaging and personable. It will go a long way.

Use Platforms That Connect

Joining niche communities and match-making platforms is where you should usually start. It’s easier to understand and approach niche bloggers when you share the same community.

Stay away from those platforms that connect anonymously and automatically or guarantee coverage by bloggers. No respected blogger will agree to cover your product if they’re forced to provide links and/or positive coverage. That’s a huge red flag that you are putting your brand in a bad neighborhood.

Power bloggers have earned their influence by being true to themselves and only recommending to their readers something they can honestly relate to. Good platforms that connect brands to bloggers do just that: They connect and don’t guarantee anything.

Look for community TOS and guidelines before deciding whether you want to give it a try. For example, Tomoson explicitly mentions that businesses are not allowed to demand or control links:

Connect to Influential Bloggers

That’s the kind of disclaimer you, as a brand, are primarily interested in: That’s a good sign influential bloggers are given editorial freedom they are comfortable with.

Share Their Stuff On Twitter … and Tag Them

You can share their content on any social media site. But if they are on Twitter, especially if they are active on Twitter, it is perhaps the best possible platform for making these connections.

An @tag will immediately get their attention every time you share their content, and doing it manually instead of using the retweet function will allow you to personalize what you have to say about that link.

It may also be a way to spark a conversation, as many bloggers will send a thank you tweet. That puts you on their radar and by using it as an ice breaker in a discussion, you will further solidify yourself in their minds.

Tools and further reading: Free tools to find Twitter influencers who interact with you (including Commun.it and Fruji).

Send Your Readers To Them

Referring back to the first item on this list, you have to show that you can do something for influential bloggers. Directing traffic their way, even if it is only a small amount in a consistent trickle, is a great way to go about doing that.

There are three basic ways to do this:

  • Take advantage of your social media followers list, share them, and @tag them so they see.
  • Reference them in a post with a direct link, maybe commenting on something they said, a product they have, their blog, etc.
  • Include them in a numbered list post, as a primary feature. You can then either let them see the traffic for themselves, or drop them a note telling them they were included.

Invite Them to Your Site

There are some essential ways your brand can help influential bloggers gain more exposure. You can invite them to contribute to your company blog and/or you can interview them for your company blog, YouTube channel, or podcast series.

Inviting influential bloggers benefits both sides. You get trust signals and sharable content and your guest gets additional personal brand exposure.

Tools and further reading:

Connect to Influential Bloggers

Look For Opportunities To Meet In Person

If a blogger is incredibly influential and well-known, chances are that they will at least occasionally attend an industry event as either a visitor or speaker.

Keep your eyes open for any references to conventions or special events that you might be attending yourself. If you both find yourself going to the same place, suggest a meetup for drinks.

For those who happen to be local, you can also suggest getting lunch sometime. Bloggers are always looking for real world connections that can take things to the next level, or just like-minded people to get to know.

Conclusion

Making connections with influential bloggers is a great way to begin improving your visibility while building solid relationships that can really launch you into the next phase. If you have any tips, leave them in the comments below.


Paparazzi Photo via Shutterstock

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Ann Smarty


Ann Smarty Ann Smarty is the founder of My Blog Guest, a free community of bloggers. Ann is also the Community and Brand Manager of Internet Marketing Ninjas.

18 Reactions

  1. Great post Ann. And for those of you reading, notice how most of these techniques involve giving. Giving access to new audiences. Giving assistance with their goals. People like to connect with people that help them out (basic self-interest) and then reciprocity kicks in and they’ll naturally want to help you. That’s what friends do, they help each other out.

    • Ann Smarty

      YES! Thanks for mentioning this, Robert! Give, give and give! Be helpful and genuine! You’ll pick up most awesome contacts using that method!

  2. Brian Hughes

    It’s funny how truly successful blogging calls for selfless acts of generosity. It’s really an instance of online community and focuses on building solid long term relationships – based on the idea of how can I help you, rather than how can you help me and the results most always pay off. Thank you for the great post Ann, you are an inspiration and a great example of how bloggers should conduct themselves online.

  3. Gail Gardner

    Great tips, Ann. I’ll have to check out Tomoson. I haven’t come across that platform before. Twitter is my favorite place to meet people. That is most likely where we interacted the most. Two additional ways to really get attention on Twitter are to share posts that pull in images.

    (We can tell if they will by using the Twitter Card Validator.) They will get the most attention. If you already know a blogger you could even ask if you can manually upload their image into a tweet if they don’t have Twitter cards working yet.

    The other way is to participate in Twitter chats like #MyBlogU #BlogChat #DadChat and #VCBuzz. There is no easier way to connect with many bloggers at once than those. Your platforms Viral Content Buzz and MyBlogU make it easy for any blogger – even one with a brand new blog – to meet friendly influencers.

  4. Very smart suggestions. As a regular contributor here and other sites, I really appreciate people taking the time to read, comment and share my content. It’s the ultimate compliment, and I try to thank people and respond as much as is possible. I would say, to make sure your motives and intent are in the right place. People that give then immediately try to sell me is not the “right way”. Thanks for a great article.

  5. This is a great piece but I would like to add that not everyone is going to be able to attract the attention of celebrity bloggers. Sometimes, it pays to aim for the smaller more niche bloggers (like us 🙂 ) and get your story out on a smaller scale but by someone who is really interested in what you have to say and will also promote your story if it fits their niche. Because we are also “building our brand” we are keen to put in 110% effort to build yours because your success is ultimately ours. In case you’re wondering, we only profile women who have made significant career changes by starting over in new professions or launching a business somewhat later in life.

    • Ann Smarty

      I absolutely agree! I am a huge believer in “growing together” concept where you depend on your peers (smaller blogs that love you!) and support them back. Many of those smaller bloggers will grow into influencers and they will not stop loving you when they do!

  6. Ann really enjoyed your post. A lot of positive to takeaway for small businesses starting but have no idea on marketing themselves.

  7. Lauren Jung

    Great hands on tips, Ann! I think a lot of brands will find this very useful.
    I agree with Lisa’s points as well…I think niche bloggers have a ton to offer as they are incredibly targeted and are also known to spend more time nurturing their audience. Customers tend to trust them more because of their smaller communities.

  8. Great article Ann! As a new blogger I have been looking for all the advice I possibly can get. This article is one of the best I have read so far! Keep up the good work!

  9. Hi Ann,

    Some fantastic information you have put together in our search for influential bloggers. Your remarks about tagging on Twitter completely make sense. Some times the most obvious things are not so obvious.

    Thank you very much! This makes sense and we will see where it takes us as we prepare for our launch.

    Michael
    Newsline360

  10. Hi Ann,
    That’s a lot of dedication and work – you are a super blogger!

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