Here’s 7 tips for building strong working relationships with key bloggers:
You’ve researched the rankings of the blog and checked out the bloggers social following, but have you done research into the blogger themselves? Don’t just look at the statistics – get a feel for what the blogger likes to write about, their style and interests. The more you know about the blogger, the more genuine you will come across as when you approach them. How the blogger responds and interacts in their community will help you gage how best to interact with them too.
2) Be sensitive
Maintaining a blog is no mean feat; it takes hours of hard work and dedication to keep a blog looking healthy and up to date. So it’s easy to understand why bloggers are proud and protective of the sites that they have spent so long creating. Keep this in mind when outreaching to bloggers – is what you are offering them a fair deal? Perhaps there’s a reason why that fashion blogger doesn’t want to promote your client on their DA80 website and to their 30K Twitter followers with no perceivable value to them…
3) Get tweeting
Twitter is a great way of connecting with influential bloggers, as it makes a public statement that you are interested in working with that person. As some bloggers hide their email addresses but maintain active social profiles, Twitter can be a great way of personally connecting with influential people. Reaching out to a blogger from your client’s social profiles is a great way of adding credibility to your offer of working together and makes the offer more appealing. Retweeting and favouriting target bloggers’ tweets is also a good way of building a relationship with them before you approach them for collaboration opportunities.
4) Be relevant
Bloggers are keen to maintain their audience and readership, so offer them a collaboration opportunity that is relevant to their niche. Ask yourself where your post would sit on the blogger’s site and find a post on a similar theme/topic to make sure that it relevant. This takes time, but it will increase your outreach success rate and stop you irritating bloggers with irrelevant requests. Make sure you pitch specific post ideas that would be interesting to the blogger, and highlight what the benefits will be for them. It sounds obvious, but it is often overlooked.
5) Offer something of value
In the real world, you rarely get anything for free – so why should it be any different in the virtual world of the internet? Asking a blogger to take time and effort to promote your client entirely for free is rarely going to result in positive responses. Offer something that is valuable to the blogger in exchange for their efforts – could they keep the product that they are reviewing? Receive an invite to your next launch party event? Meet one of your directors?
Small clients may not have the budget to offer financial value to bloggers, however there are other ways of offering “value”, such as featuring the blogger on your website, or quote their review on your website and reference their blog? Bloggers want to gain credit for their work, so demonstrate to them that you are pleased with the work that they have done.
6) Be genuine
Mass emailing bloggers is unlikely to gain the response that you’re looking for – some bloggers receive hundreds of emails a day, so make sure that your email is personalised and tailored to the blogger that you are targeting. Comment on a recent post that they’ve written and explain why you liked it – don’t just say “I really liked post X”, say what you genuinely thought about it.
7) Make sure you say your P’s and Q’s
Being polite and courteous when approaching a blogger is a given, but make sure you follow up with the blogger after they’ve delivered what you requested. Thank them via email and retweet their posts via your client’s social channels. Offer them feedback and perhaps a quote that they can use in their media packs, and make sure that you continue to maintain the relationship with the blogger by retweeting and liking their future posts and engaging with them over social media.
Building relationships with bloggers is just like building healthy working relationships in everyday life – it takes time and commitment, and you can’t expect results straight away. However, remembering these seven tips will help you on your way to building a strong blogger network.