Blogging is a great way of building connections with the audience. Not only does it allow you to reach out to the audience, but you also impact lives along the way. If you’re a blogger or aspire to become one, you perhaps know the importance of networking in the blogging industry. If you aren’t building relationships, not only will you feel left alone, but you’d minimize your chances to connect with influential bloggers.
So who are influential bloggers, anyway?
I’m glad it crossed your mind. Well, influential bloggers are the top tier bloggers in any industry who have bigger attention, impact and following than others. We aren’t essentially measuring the numbers, for instance, monthly page views or Twitter followers. Instead, we’re talking about the brand.
Let’s take a few examples:
- If you think about SEO content, you’d go to Brian Dean
- If you want to learn content marketing, you should study Neil Patel
- If you seek blogging knowledge, check out Darren Rowse hands down
However, there is a slight difference between building a connection with the audience and connecting with the influential bloggers. We intend to go deep into building connections with influential bloggers essentially because that’s the topic we chose to talk about.
If you’re a blogger, or you’re associated with the blogosphere, you’d know that bloggers always like to connect with each other. They read comment, and share others’ content all the time. What they try to do is build connections with other fellow bloggers.
First things first, you might ponder on two things:
- Why does it matter to connect with influential bloggers?
Connecting with influential bloggers isn’t that simple. Not only does it take time, but it doesn’t happen for every blogger. So you got to be very patient with it. It matters so much because if things work out perfectly, it puts you on a pedestal in front of the larger audience that you may not be able to reach otherwise. When you’re friends with top bloggers, you get to guest post on their blogs, you get highlighted in their content, and they also mention you on social media. So you understandably climb up on the ladder. It allows you to pop up from the crowd and become prominent just because influential bloggers are talking about you.
- What’s the alternative to building connections with influential bloggers?
It’s simple; you keep posting content and hoping that your search engine traffic spikes miraculously at some point. It may happen for two out of a hundred bloggers, but you can’t bet against the odds. In fact, you have to put in the work to get any kind of success. So connecting with other bloggers could also turn things around for you because you get to learn new things from them. And, at some point, you could get to meet influential bloggers too. But you can’t replace connecting with influential bloggers with something else.
Now, you might have gotten some perspective on building connections with influential bloggers. So let’s transition into the next phase of this blog post so that you could learn a few secrets of connecting with influential bloggers.
Here are some of the methods of building connections with influential bloggers:
Religiously follow their content
One of the best ways to get noticed by the big guns is following their content. Pay close attention to their advice, listen to what they believe in, and comprehend why they got there where they stand now. You’d not just understand their narrative, but you’d also learn the hacks that they pour out through their talks, interviews, and blog posts.
What I mean by following their content is that look out wherever they’re putting out any form of content. It could be blog posts, videos, podcasts—not just on their platforms—but on others’ platforms too. They might be writing blog posts on Medium or publishing guest posts on someone else’s blog or setting up their YouTube channel. You have to religiously follow them because that would be the first step to get under their radar.
Here are some essential tips on that:
- Deeply study their blog posts: The best thing you could do for the influential bloggers is read their content and try to understand the narrative. Once you start following some bloggers and regularly read their content, you’d start to see the bigger picture of why they say what they say. You could always use that sense of understanding while communicating with them.
- Read books they wrote or recommend: There is a reason why they’re ahead of so many other bloggers. If they’ve written books, try to buy and read those books whether they’re available in printed or ebook formats. Also, try to catch up on the books that they’re reading and recommending.
- Pay attention to their tweets: You might not want to miss out the small chunks of wisdom that they push out on Twitter. Always pay attention to their tweets. You’ll be better off if you turn on the notifications to their tweets so that Twitter instantly notifies you when they tweet something.
- Go through their comments: Comments on their blogs are an integral part of their content. There might be some burning questions that other readers are asking them, or you could end up finding an interesting discussion in the comments. So don’t neglect the comments section on their blogs.
- Listen to their advice in the interviews: Interviews are extremely helpful whether it’s in video, podcast, or blog post form. When you get a chance to hop on an interview of an influential blogger that you follow, listen to their advice carefully. You may find a few clues or ideas if you keep digging their interviews. The best thing about the interviews is that you get to observe others’ perspectives, for example, you don’t know what the interviewer is going to ask and you have no idea how the interviewee would respond to it.
The reason I said “religiously follow them” is because I want you to understand the importance of following influential bloggers. And, it doesn’t just mean clicking on the “follow” or “subscribe” buttons and that’s it. You must take some time out to consume their content to learn things and see what they’re up to.
The team at ContentStudio also follows influencers of the digital marketing world. You can take a look at the screenshot of a round-up blog post that was written about 70 email marketing experts to follow in 2019:
It’s understandable that if you consistently follow someone, you’d know what they prefer or advice or like. So with all that information in your hand, you could make more informed decisions on your blog. Getting their advice is half the equation, if you don’t apply the advice, there is no point of religiously follow their content.
Share, comment, and mention
Consuming influencers’ content would be an excellent step towards connecting with influencers, but it won’t be enough if you want to build a stronger connection with your favorite influencers in the industry. The next thing you should be doing is capitalizing social media to get their attention. There is no better way of attracting influential bloggers than genuinely admiring their work. You instantly catch their attention, if you’re being persistent with your admiration towards their work.
No need to butter up every time they post on social media; authenticity does the job. After a certain point, it starts to look odd. So be genuinely positive about their work, content, and point of views.
In this section, I’ll be sharing how to smartly use social media so that influential bloggers would want to know more about you. Once that happens, it takes you to the next level. Does it work out for everyone? Sadly, it doesn’t happen for every gal or guy who starts off apply these strategies. You may have noticed that it’s difficult to become popular on social media. You got to have talent, patience, and grit to show up on a consistent basis. Some people do get lucky, but most of the times, you need to put in the work. But there is no guarantee that things would work out for you.
Besides finding your voice and developing your say, you must come up with a plan that helps you build your social media posture. So here are three things that you must start doing to get noticed by the blogging influencers:
Share their content:
It won’t go unnoticed if you consistently share their content. A lot of people make a mistake while sharing others’ content. They share others’ content with an expectation in mind or with a hope that they’d reciprocate. When it doesn’t happen, they stop sharing others’ content or completely cut off ties with them. You might not want to take that route. Instead, share their content because it helped you and it could help your followers too. Keep it simple.
Let’s take a look at the screenshot from Copyblogger. You’d see 100+ shares on the blog post:
People have been doing this for years — they share influential bloggers’ content because it gives them leverage. Not only does it help them get connected with the influencers, but they also assist their followers through sharing content. So it’s a win-win deal.
Leave valuable comments:
A lot of people write tons of comments underneath the blog posts or videos such as “nice post” or “great content” or “amazing video” and they think it’s enough. If you aren’t sending out a sparkling message through your comments, you’re wasting an opportunity to get onto that pedestal. So always try to share something valuable in the comments so that it gets you the attention of the influencers.
Writing valuable comments is real, pro bloggers know this and they’re utilizing this strategy for a long time. In case, you aren’t sure about this, then take a look at this screenshot from RazorSocial’s blog:
Mention them in your content:
You may not have any idea how it could turn out to be. If you truly admire a top blogger and you’re mentioning him or her in your content from time to time. It would certainly make an impact at some point. The reason is that bloggers are always curious to understand the sources of their website traffic. They might be using the SEO softwares like SEMrush, Ahrefs, Woorank, Spyfu, and Moz to know about their blog or website visitors. So your blog link could pop up in front of them if you have been mentioning them more than others.
Mentioning influential bloggers is a popular outreach and relationship-building technique used by bloggers. The next screenshot is taken from a blog post from Maddy Osman:
She is a problogger so she knows the importance of mentioning the authors and influencers in the content.
So if you’re struggling to get into top bloggers’ inner circle, you better create a mechanism for sharing, commenting, and mentioning from now on. You can’t rely on a specific thing and wait for the next 7 months for the magic to happen. You have to constantly try out things and see the noticeable difference in the progress of your blog’s growth.
One of the biggest reasons why I’m an advocate of the above mentioned three strategies is that not everybody is going to do that. So clearly, sharing influencers content on social media, commenting on their content, and mentioning them in your content on a consistent basis would separate you from the fan base that doesn’t do all those things. It’ll eventually make you stand out from the crowd to create closer ties with the influencers in your blogging niche.
Test out their products and services
One of the easiest ways to start a communication with an influential blogger is that start using their products or services. It may seem a little overwhelming if you’re starting out, but you can always wait for the right time to do this. Maybe you could brainstorm a little bit and come up with a solution, for instance, you could buy their affordable product such as a $19 ebook instead of buying a whopping $299 course.
Some of you may start to think that it’s not viable to start buying the products just to build a connection. I’d say that you don’t have to specifically buy a product to build a relationship. You must analyze the product first and see if it could help you run your blog better. If it could help you along the way, then invest your time and money into that.
What happens when you test out influential bloggers products is that you could do following things:
- Content creation: You can create reviews or tutorial videos to upload to YouTube and Facebook. Moreover, you could write reviews and put out content around those products. It will give you leverage in attracting the prospective buyers that also need something similar.
- Relationship building: You get access to them directly or to their team, which means you interact with them on a different level. No one would want to make their customers unhappy. So you’d have a chance to learn, communicate, and talk to the influencers on a whole different level.
- Making money: Nobody would mind if dollars come into their bank account. Most influential bloggers who sell products also have affiliate programs for the promoters to join and earn commission by promoting the products. So you could become their affiliate marketers to promote their products and make money off of it. A bunch of affiliate marketing softwares will help you maximize the reach, using them will help you a great deal.
Remember that every top blogger doesn’t have similar products or service to offer so you may have to scratch your head to figure out away. If you don’t find an affordable product to buy from an influential blogger, don’t worry about it. It’s not absolutely necessary to make a purchase from them, but if you could, try their products out. It will give you so many benefits such as:
- You can review their products on your blog
- You can mention their products in your content
- You can promote their products to earn a commission
- You can develop a connection as a consumer
- You can be someone who spreads the word about their products
You’d easily find the stores of influential bloggers or other experts that you’re interested in. Check out their websites, and you’ll find a link to their store page.
For example, take a look at the screenshot from Pick Up Limes website:
Similarly, Lewis Howes does something similar. He also has a store page on his website. Here’s the screenshot:
These two examples were mentioned just to explain the narrative. You would have to look out for the influential bloggers that you want to buy stuff from that belong to your niche and industry. Double-check everything such as affiliate program terms and commission rate, in case, you’re looking forward to capitalizing the purchase. And, some of you won’t care much about the affiliate program. Instead, you might eye the relationship-part without worrying about the money you’re spending on purchasing their products.
Interview them for your blog
Bloggers’ interviews is a great way to start building a connection with an influential blogger. Bloggers interview other bloggers all the time. The reason this works is that it’s a win-win strategy for both of them; one gets to meet a new audience, and the other one gets a piece of content to share with the audience.
The key to winning at bloggers’ interviews is that you get to interview bloggers who have a following or whose blogs are rapidly growing — so that you could build a narrative and ask them questions that matter. You’d eventually need to sell the story to entice the audience to check out your content. So you’ll be better off if you choose the right bloggers for the interviews.
Following are the must-do things for the bloggers’ interviews:
Consume their content:
You shouldn’t ask a blogger for an interview right after you discover them. Give it some time and start off with digesting their content. Try to understand their perspectives and things they’re sharing in the content. If you understand their ideas and agree with the approach, keep digging their stuff. The more you eat up their content, the better you get in a position to interview them.
Follow them on social media:
Social media has become an imperative tool to communicate and build relationships in today’s world. You can’t get closer to influential bloggers if you aren’t closely following them on social media. Make sure that you’re communicating with them on social media as well to get noticed, for example, share their content regularly, occasionally retweet, comment on their posts, and sometimes, mention them in social media.
Build a rapport with them:
When you do communication via comments and social media, you become a prominent supporter of their camp, and you’d get noticed at some point. It will help you develop a rapport with the influential bloggers because of all the support and value you’re adding to their work.
Darren Rowse also recommended interviewing blogging influencers on the blog. Take a look at the screenshot from Problogger.net:
You’d find probloggers interviewing other bloggers all the time. Not only does it work as a growth strategy, but it also happens to be a relationship-building tactic in blogging. There is a caveat in it; make sure you’re interviewing reputable bloggers so that you get to build a conduit to attract their followers on the internet.
Actively participate in their live streams
Live streaming has become such a mainstream content model that every influencer tries to capitalize it at some point. As it provides an opportunity for the influencers to develop a deeper connection with their audience, it also gives brands and bloggers a chance to get noticed by the influencers.
No wonder why some people are keenly hopping on when their favorite celeb or influencer goes live on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. Since live streaming is a growing video medium, so you got to make up some time to show up in the live streams of the influential bloggers. What I mean by that is join in, leave a few valuable comments, like their live streams or share with friends so that your presence becomes noticeable by the influencer.
Mel Robbins is a popular public speaker, author, and business expert. She has been growing on social media ever since her TED talk went viral on YouTube. She often does live streaming on Instagram, which is understandable considering it’s a great strategy to grow and engage with your audience.
Alex is a business coach who also does live streaming on Instagram. You’d find her catching up with the audience once in a while taking questions from the live audience. She does check fans’ Instagram profiles on their request and suggest changes. She does all that during the live streams.
Gary Vaynerchuk, a.k.a GaryVee, is a serial entrepreneur, investor, speaker, and author. He is one of the most popular social media experts and gurus out there. He always advises utilizing every tool available on a social media platform. I’ve never seen anybody more active on social media than Gary. If you follow him, you’d find him live at some point sharing a piece of news or giving an update or giving a shoutout to a homie sitting next to him.
The point is that these social media experts know the importance of live streaming so that they hop on Instagram or Facebook and talk to their audience. What you should be doing is that start showing up in their live streams more often. It means you should be actively commenting, sharing, and interacting with them as well as their audience. Sharing their live streams every time they go live would put you under their spotlight and you may not want to miss that. This way, you’d have a better chance to build a connection with those influential bloggers than a random follower.
Include them into expert round-ups
A lot of you may undermine the impact of creating round-up blog posts because such posts require a lot of work for obvious reasons. But you can’t deny how amazing this type of content is just because you get to connect with the influencers and pro bloggers. The reason 70% to 80% influential bloggers would reply to your email or DM is that they get highlighted in a good way. If you reach out to them asking a good question or opinion on something relevant to their industry, they’ll definitely reply you. It’s better to communicate the time frame when you reach out to the influencers. It would be inappropriate if they reply you but they don’t get to be included in the round-up blog post just because they replied a little late.
One of the reasons you get to build relationships with top bloggers through round-up blog posts is that such content gets so much attention on social media. People like to see experts’ opinions; influencers who get included in the round-up blog posts share such content as a token of appreciation. Plus, expert round-ups add value to their brands as a lot of eyeballs come looking for them afterward.
Let me give you an example of what I just said. Take a look at the screenshot from a round-up blog post:
It doesn’t surprise me that it has gotten over 900 shares on social media. If you’re a blogger, you might have seen the overwhelming response on such content from the audience. Not only people learn new things from the experts, but they also want to discover new bloggers and influencers through such round-up blog posts.
Have a look at another screenshot:
Isn’t it the creative idea of add marketing quotes from top bloggers to your list? Most bloggers simply ask a question and expect the answer to put it into the blog post. You can always experiment with round-up blog posts, for example, try making a round-up blog post of the best blog posts you read last month.
If you want to build a deeper connection with any influential blogger, make sure you add that blogger to your round-up blog post.
Give them feedback via emails
Lastly, nothing might give them more happiness and encouragement if you take your time out to reach out to them via email telling something you feel or think. It’s obvious not everybody does that because it takes time and energy to write someone email with no strings attached. Make sure that you start off with appreciating their work and telling them how their content impacted your progress or life.
Then, translate your thoughts and messages into the email. Keep your email precise and to-the-point so that it doesn’t feel difficult for them to read and respond. Often times, it takes time for influential bloggers to reply to each and every one. If you don’t get a response, consider reminding via social media or sending the email once more.
The core purpose of the email must be the feedback that you want to give. You can surely request topics to write about or how they can improve their blog in the future. If you’re able to deliver something remotely close to helping them, you won’t have any idea how huge it could be for your blogging career. So don’t hesitate to give your positive and healthy feedback to the influential bloggers via emails.
The idea behind writing this blog post was to show you different methods to add value to the influencers. See, you need them, but they don’t really need you. So you have to be patient, thoughtful, and sincere with your relationship building with them.
The methods I’ve shared in this blog post are phenomenal and 100% practical. If you’re an emerging blogger, you might be seeing some of these strategies newbie bloggers are testing out around you.
Blogging isn’t just about putting out the content or making money. Instead, it’s a communication between a blogger and the readers. It allows bloggers to connect with others. So I implore you to embark on this journey of connecting with influential bloggers with honesty and sincerity, not just to take something from their pockets.
What have you really learned from this blog post? Share with us in the comments below.
Wasiq Naeem is a content and digital marketing veteran who is passionate about his writing. Extensive research and producing high-quality content is just another day at the office for him.