How to: Connect To Bloggers In Your Niche!?
I will put my hands up now!! Despite this blog being almost two years old, I’ve rarely tried to reach out and connect with other bloggers.
I’m an introvert at heart and the idea of reaching out to other people in the industry, causes me some anxiety… Maybe you feel the same way?
—-> If not, leave your words of encouragement and advice below 🙂
So, I am going to start making the effort, to branch out of my comfort zone!
Considering the fact that I have little experience with blogger outreach myself, I thought I’d better do some research.
So, I have checked out some detailed posts on the web that can tell you, (from experience) just how to successfully reach out to others online.
They also share some tools that could also be useful.
Therefore, this is totally a post about the SMART WAY to reach out to other bloggers.
e.g; “The Smart way”… Not being what I have done to date! 🙂
So, let me know what you think. Is there something I’m missing? Let me know in the comments.
Blogger Outreach Strategies!
In this section, I will discuss some tips I discovered from Brian Dean of the awesome Backlinko blog.
Brian wrote an interesting post over at smartblogger.com called: “Blogger Outreach: How to get bloggers to share your content for free!”
This post alone was an in depth post, so I’ve done my best to break it down and share some of the key info.
Firstly, Brian talks about some simple steps you can take, to initially find bloggers you want to connect with.
The advice is as follows:
- Create a spreadsheet ready to fill with your blogging contacts! While this may feel a little odd at first, (stalker?) it will make the whole process far easier to organise and will be something you can update over time.
- Use a tool like Alltop to find bloggers in your niche. Search for blogs using keywords, but go for broad keywords, rather than narrow ones.
- Once you’ve searched for your broad keyword, Alltop will suggest various sub-topics you could look into. For example; I searched: “blogging,” and then checked out, “affiliate marketing.“
- You’ll then see a list of blogs relating to your keyword. I didn’t get many results here. 12 in total. Still, it’s a starting point.
- The next tool mentioned is Technorati, where you used to be able to search for blogs. This appears to have changed! The website is now different and the search function doesn’t allow you to search for “blogs.”
- The next tool was one I hadn’t heard of before called Followerwonk! Sign in with Twitter and go to “search Bio’s.”
You can then type in a keyword related to your niche and whole list of twitter bios will show up.
Here you can discover key metrics such as; how many followers they have and their social authority.
You can check out these profiles and see if they link to a blog. If you like what you see, this can be another one to add to your list!
- Lastly, Brian suggests simply checking out Google. Since, if you can find a blog that already has posts ranking on the first page, getting a link from their blog to yours, could give you a rankings boost.
This is still generally how I will conduct a lot of my own blog research.
When I was researching this very post, I didn’t use any fancy tools, or even look on social media.
I just typed in a few keywords that I had in mind for this post and checked out the posts that were already ranking highly.
In any case, this can be an additional, simple way to find other bloggers in your niche.
Organising Your Blogger List:
Once you have your list of bloggers, Brian suggests adding some more metrics to your spreadsheet.
- Social authority, (which you can discover on followerwonk),
- Domain authoirty, (I use the free Moz bar for this)
- Blog comments.
You may also want to look at other social networks beyond twitter.
Some people may be huge on Pinterest, but yet rarely use twitter. Others massive on Facebook, but no Pinterest account.
Brian suggests ranking domain authority as one of the most important factors initially, just because this can have the biggest influence on organic traffic and ranking power within the search engines.
However, don’t just go on this alone. If a blog has a low domain authority, but is getting a ridiculous amount of social interaction, then you don’t want to ignore them.
Ultimately, the blogs with a whole bad combo of no social authority/interaction and low domain authority, are going to be the ones you should cross off your list first!
Aside from that, you’ll want to judge what seems most important to you and feels right.
The Actual Outreach Process:
So, you have your blogger list. You’ve ranked them in terms of various metrics and perhaps you have discarded of a bunch at the bottom of your list.
Now, it’s time to reach out. Brian suggests a number of methods that you could adopt, depending on how popular the blog is you’re contacting.
Do They Need The Red Carpet Treatment?
If they’re a super-star blogger with ridiculous traffic and a huge social following, you may want to gently introduce yourself gradually first.
To to this, you may consider
- Sharing their content and mentioning them on twitter. Describe briefly what you liked about the post.
- Reply to their questions on social media, make a connection.
- Leave a comment on their blog – but make it count.
- Send an email telling them how much you’re enjoying their content, how they’ve inspired you, or how something they’ve written has influenced you.
- Find out if the blogger has any broken links on their site. You could use a tool such as; check my links. Who doesn’t want to fix broken links on their site? It’s helpful info to know!
- Is something outdated on their blog? Perhaps a certain element isn’t working, or something is in need of an update. If you have the knowledge and the skills, you could offer a helping hand.
Skipping The Red Carpet Treatment?
For some of the smaller-time bloggers, you could just skip on to the next stage and actually contact them directly from the beginning.
That being said, there’s no harm in being polite and giving them a bit of attention first too?
I have had other bloggers reach out to me and I think what’s really important, is to show that you’ve actually read the blog before.
Nothing is going to make me click the delete button faster, than realising I’ve been sent a generic email by someone, expecting a link back to their blog.
I’m sure it’s the same for many bloggers out there, no matter what stage they’re at!
What you ultimately want to gain from your outreach efforts, will depend on your own situation, but some common ideas are:
- You may want to be accepted for a guest post.
- You may want them to retweet your content, or share it via social media.
- You may be hoping for a quality backlink to your own website/blog.
Blogger Outreach – A 7-Step Visual Guide!
I thought I’d also include this helpful graphic below by Blogging Aid.
So, the above advice certainly shares some of the same methods as we’ve previously discussed.
There is an additional tool mentioned over at Blogging Aid called Buzz Sumo and that can be a very useful tool for helping discover others in your niche – but it is a paid tool.
Blogging Aid also put a little more emphasis on getting to know the blogger in question and I do feel that getting to know any blogger (whether they’re massively popular, or up and coming) will be beneficial in the long term.
Ultimately, bloggers love to know that they’re writing to an audience and to be appreciated on some level.
There is no doubt that, if you can demonstrate that the blogger has inspired you in any way, you’re going to have a greater chance of success!
Other Useful Outreach Tips:
Jonathon John wrote a guest post on Problogger, discussing what makes a successful outreach strategy.
As has been previously suggested, he suggests firstly finding blogs with similar content to you.
However, what he does in this case, is a little different to simply finding other bloggers in your niche.
For this strategy, he uses Aheref’s site explorer. Aheref is another paid tool, but you can get a free trial, (which is what I have done). I had a free trial and used that time to gather as much information as I could about other blogs in my niche.
So, the idea is – You initially google keywords relevant to to you in the search engines and then run some of the top results through the site explorer tool.
You’ll then be able to see how many sites have linked back to the post in question.
Sites that have already linked to similar content in the past, may be more likely to link out to your content as well, so this can be some useful information to log!
For this, you can use a tool such as Buzzstream.
You can sign up a free trial, then use Buzzstream to seek out many bloggers online and their contact information.
You can ask them for a quote to add to your content. Ensure you link to their blog and perhaps to a social media profile too.
Once the post is published, ensure you contact them and with any luck – they may share your post!
There are a mass amount of ready-made email templates out there to help you contact other bloggers.
The problem with them is, they can seem incredibly impersonal.
Having a template is fine, but it should be a GUIDE rather than something you just auto-send to a thousand bloggers.
So, make sure you make each one individual and unique for each blog.
You’ll have a much higher success rate if you ensure the blogger knows you’ve actually read their stuff.
A couple of other methods that may help, (that I’ve actually done myself!)
While I haven’t exactly reached out much to bloggers, I have mentioned various bloggers on my own blog.
Sometimes, I may have also tweeted them the post they were mentioned in too – just as a way of saying… hi, I liked your content and I mentioned it on my blog.
Yes, you may consider that to be reaching out. But it’s a pretty passive way of doing so.
In any case, I’ve found twitter an effective tool to find other bloggers. You can simply go to the search bar and type in a hashtag related to your niche.
For example; if you have a blog about freelancing – you could just hashtag search #freelancing or #freelancewriting
If you had a cooking blog about gluten free eating. You may search the hashtag #glutenfreerecipes or simply #glutenfree.
Now, you will get a tonne of stuff that isn’t blog related, but you will still find a lot of bloggers that way.
It’s also a great way of gaining followers, because you can follow anyone that is already interested in your niche.
Pinterest is probably my favourite way of finding bloggers right now.
Pinterest is really just a massive search engine for blog posts!
Simply search for your keyword in the main search bar for inspiration. You can then pin everything you find interesting and come back to it later.
Another great thing about Pinterest, is that you can really find bloggers at all levels of the blogging spectrum on there.
There is probably little chance of a big, successful blogger taking any notice of you if your blog is only a few months old.
By contrast, a blogger who is on the way up, is far more likely to pay attention to you.
Too many people ignore Pinterest when it comes to blogging, but really there is still a tonne of opportunity there.
Not long ago, I talked about one blogger that grew her audience at an alarming rate, using Pinterest alone!
I’ve heard quite a bunch of Pinterest success stories now. Enough to know, that It is one platform that really should not be overlooked.
So, I think I’ve included plenty to be getting on with there! From what I’ve seen, there are a number of strategies that pop up again and again.
What it seems to boil down to is…
- Find Bloggers in your niche.
- Assess their level of success.
- Choose who you’d like to connect with.
- Get to know the blogger/share their content/get to know their blog.
- Potentially share their content on social media/write about them in your own blog.
- Reach out via social media or email with an end goal in mind… e.g. are you after a link, a retweet, a guest post?
- Look up a some template examples for contacting bloggers, but ultimately make your email or message unique.
- Don’t send generic messages, make the blogger know they’ve had a positive impact on you!
Have you had any successful outreach attempts? (Or any unsuccessful ones?). Let me know in the comments!!
All the best,