Growing your online presence is essential if you want to build your brand. It not only provides increased access to potential clients, but it gives them an opportunity to learn more about you and your business.
One of the best ways to grow your online presence is to reach out to the bloggers and influential people in your niche. Whether it’s sharing content or writing a review of your product, people out there are willing to help you grow.
Before you learn how to connect with bloggers, you have to understand the importance of networking and connecting within your niche.
Connecting With Bloggers
Many of the top bloggers are well connected to others in their industry. To get ahead, they have to build a network and develop credibility. This is best done by connecting with those who already have authority in the industry and can provide a platform to present and market their own brand.
Beyond that, there are many benefits to connecting with bloggers online:
- Building Back Links/Enhancing SEO: Whenever someone posts a link leading directly to your website, it is known as a backlink. Not only is this useful for getting traffic to your website, but it’s a factor used by search engines to track relevant content.
- Getting Social Media Mentions: One of the best ways to develop credibility is to have someone who already has authority to vouch for you. A social media mention is key for finding new customers.
- Having Credible Reviews: If an authority in your niche gives a (positive) review on your product or service, it’s going to really boost sales and recognition.
- Learn From the Best: Regardless of your expertise or profession, there is always opportunity to learn more. People are usually willing to lend advice, and at the very least, you can pick up some of their behavior and integrate it into your own practices.
Finding Local Influencers in Your Niche
In order for you to reach out to others who can help you boost your presence, you need to know where to look. You’re probably already familiar with some of the businesses and bloggers in your industry, but there are a number of additional places to look:
- Search Engines: Using Google or Bing to search for influencers is the best place to start. These search engines take the leg work out of hunting down these names and bring you directly to their websites. This is especially valuable if you’re looking for local bloggers who you can potentially meet face to face.
- Social Media: Using social media tools like Twitter and Facebook is one of the most effective and affordable ways to expand your outreach. Because of this, you can expend the movers and shakers in your industry to have a powerful presence. Search for conversations and links on these social media platforms to see who is getting a lot of mentions, likes, retweets etc.
- Forums: Internet forums and message boards offer a broad array of discussions. People are likely to reference material from the top people in the specific niche. In fact, an important figure in an industry may even post on that forum.
- RSS Readers: Use tools like Feedly to find blogs and websites for or pertaining to your business’s subject matter. You can track the popularity of these sites and get recommendations for other relevant blogs.
Establish A Relationship Before Reaching Out
A huge mistake that aspiring bloggers can make is if they reach out to others without offering anything in return. These big names get emails like this all the time, and unfortunately don’t have the time or energy to respond to each one of them.
In order for you to stand out from the rest, you must offer them something in return, or show that you have already given them value in the past.
There are plenty of ways to offer value to those who you want to connect with:
- Follow and Comment on Social Media or Websites: Bloggers appreciate people engaging with the content they produce on social media. Doing so is a quick and easy way to make your presence known to them.
- Link to Content: Whether you have your own blog or social media accounts, make an effort to link and share the person’s content. More traffic is rarely a bad thing, and people appreciate having their content spread to potential clients and readers.
- Offer Your Products or Services at a Discount (Or For Free): The best way to show your talents and abilities is to use them to help someone out directly. For example, if you provide graphic design services, offer to help enhance someone’s website. If they’re satisfied, they can pass your services on to their readers or clients.
- Get Introduced: If someone you know has a connection to a blogger or influencer, ask them to send an email to make an introduction. For help with introduction or networking emails, check out this post.
- Events: Bloggers, contrary to popular belief, do have lives outside of their computer screens. Oftentimes, they like to network with fellow bloggers. Check to see if your city has any events, and if so, make sure to attend. You can even reach out to the event organizer to help out to really make an impression.
A simple rule of thumb to developing relationships is to create positive interactions with influencers in your niche. The more interactions you have and the more value you offer, the more likely they are to help you out.
How You Can Benefit From Other Bloggers
Focusing too much on what others can do for you, instead of thinking of ways you can offer value to them is likely to produce mediocre results. Put their needs ahead of yours to capture get their attention. It is important, however, that you know what you want from other bloggers so that you can clearly communicate your needs.
Whether it’s helping you get more traffic to your website, or building your credibility in a certain industry, make sure to pursue this directly. Avoid coming off as pushy or rude, but it’s okay to ask for something assuming you offer them something in return.