How to Get Bloggers to Find and Follow Your Blog
10 Strategies to Increase Your Blog Traffic, Your Audience and Your TRIBE
Do you want to be a thought leader in your industry? If so, you need to capture the attention of the right audience. That includes other thought-leaders in your industry, your target audience and advertisers who want to tap into that audience. Here are the 10 steps I use to achieve those goals.
#1. Create a blog worth following
A blog worth following does not happen over night. It takes time. Months, sometimes even years to develop the right following. There are no real shortcuts. But there are ways to shorten that time lapse. By doing things right and the right things in the first place. When I first started blogging, I wanted to be all things to all people. I had no clearly defined niche, my writing looked like I had multiple personality discorder and my blog looked like “everyone else’s.” I had to learn the hard way, given there were not many authorities on the topic at the time. You have an advantage. There is a plethora of talented blog experts in the marketplace today. And there are thousands of highly successful blogs online. Think Huffington Post or Julie Julia Project, Escape from Cubicle Nation, Mashable and many others. Here are five things they all have/had in common:
- Successful blogs have a clearly defined niche. They have a laser/singular focus for a specific audience.
- Their blog is unique. They have built their blog to stand out, and not look like all the cookie-cutter blogs out their. You can do the same even if you start with a template. Today’s templates are highly customizable and you can create a blog to look and feel very different.
- The voice of the blogger is entirely his or her own. When you read the post you can see the personality come to life. You know their likes, dislikes and preferences. Their writing style is unique.
- They write about what they know. They are thought-leaders in their industry or niche.
- They create consistent content published at regular intervals.
#2. Seek out and connect with bloggers in your industry or niche
How do you find other bloggers in your niche? And why do you want to do this? To let them know you are an ally and want to help them. When you help other bloggers become successful, they help you. The blogging community is generally one of collaboration. Bloggers (at least the successful ones) know that in order to get attention you have to enlist the help of other thought leaders in your industry. Think of it like a print magazine. The editor does not write ALL the content (not even close). She or he writes her editorial and possibly contributes other content but for the most part looks for other experts to submit content. This does two things. It increases the magazine’s credibility and it increases its reach. While this may be an extreme example, you get my point. In blogging you will write between 70 and 90 percent of the content. You should also consider enlisting other bloggers to contribute content.
Here is how to find the bloggers:
- Use keyword tools to search for relevant keywords in your niche. The top bloggers will all show up on the first few pages of your favorite search engine such as Bing or Google. Those same keywords are th ones you will want to use on your blog so you begin to build your credibility and following.
- Search for: Top bloggers in (fill in the blank with your niche or keyword). The result will be lists upon lists of top bloggers – many of these lists were created by other bloggers who like to showcase their favorite bloggers in a certain field.
- Read their blogs. See what they cover/write about.
- Use Social media to find and follow bloggers in your niche. Many groups on LinkedIn feature thought leaders in almost every niche you can think of. If there isn’t one consider starting your own community. You can search twitter #hashtags for your niche or topic area to find top bloggers.
#3. Build Relationships with other Bloggers
Reach out to bloggers by offering regular commentary (via comments). Oftentimes you can get a valuable link-back and if your comments are thought-provoking you can start a conversation with the blogger as well as her or his community of followers.
Blog comments help build credibility for bloggers and they appreciate your efforts. It creates a community and shows them that their content is relevant to their target audience. Its like writing a book. Most authors do it for other people (they want people to buy and read their books and most importantly, they want to educate, inform entertain and/or help them in some way).
Look at who else is commenting on the blogs you frequent. This is your opportunity to reach out to the commentors by visiting and also commenting on their blogs.
#4. Talk about their content in your content
When you write, cite other blog authorities linking to their content when relevant. Bloggers love links from other bloggers. It shows their content was worth sharing. Weave a brief excerpt such as a sentence or two (don’t use the entire content without their permission, as this would violate their copyrights). Create an entire post listing your top ten favorite articles (do this consistently and your readers will appreciate the knowledge).
#5. Share their content on your social media channels
If you follow bloggers that providing value, share them with your audience. Your audience will appreciate it and so will the bloggers. Provide the title of the post with a link to the article as well as your own brief commentary.
#6 Create your own Top Ten, Top 20, Top whatever list
Top bloggers love to be listed on other bloggers top lists. Oftentimes they will cite the list in an article they write. Lists often become viral as people read and share them with their own audience. A bloggers dream! WOW! Double benefit.
And who knows, maybe one day (sooner than you think) you too will end up on one (or more) of those lists.
#7 Write for other blogs
Ocassionaly a blogger will seek content from outside sources. You will know this when you read their blog and see content submitted by other writers/bloggers. Once you confirm that the blogger is open to accepting outside blog posts, reach out to them. But before you do that, make sure your own blog has plenty of quality content before reaching out and offering to write a guest post. Write something specifically for them. That means you need to get to know the blogger and his or her blog. Understand the type of content they share with their audience.
Give them that kind of content, equal to or better than, the quality they currently have. Make it unique, value-added, thought-provoking and timely. Do all the work for the blogger. Don’t make them have to edit or format the article. If the post requires bolding, italics, indentations, paragraphs, etc. send to them ready to post with no grammatical errors. PERIOD. Find out how they want the article/post submitted. Do they want a pdf, a doc, in plain text, in the body of the email, etc?
Here’s a bonus: submit your post with a photo or graphic. Your chances of getting published just increased by 50%!
#8 Interview other Bloggers
Most bloggers love being interviewed. It expands their reach as it builds credibility for your blog. Make the topic of interest to your readers. You can interview them several ways, via phone (on a recorded line to create a podcast or audio file), in a webinar (google hangouts would be great for this, and via email. Email interviews often require the blogger to do too much work because they have to answer questions in text. Find out which they prefer and go for it.
#9 Meet them face to face
If your favorite bloggers are thought-leaders and known in their industries, chances are they attend conferences, do book signings, speak on their topic to their target market. When they are in your neck of the woods, find them and introduce yourself. Better yet, let him or her know you will be there. Attend conferences where they will appear or have mentioned on their blog they will also be attending. Create opportunities to meet them in person. These can include well-known bloggers and those who may be more like you with a small niche or just starting out.
#10 Buy their stuff
One of my favorite bloggers is Darran Rouse of Problogger.com. I have purchased his books, commented on his blogs and interviewed him for my blogs and audience. He is an authority on the topic of blogging (and one of my first mentors).
Let them know the impact of their products and services in your own life/business/situation. This will indeed draw attention to you and increase your chances that the blogger wants to get to know more about you!
Let me know about your blog (in the comments below). I have 12 blogs and am always searching for collaborators and contributors. And if you’d like to repost or share this blog post, feel free (with proper attribution, of course).
Heidi Richards Mooney is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of WE Magazine for Women, a WordPress Web Designer, the author of a dozen books and a social media consultant and trainer. Heidi has interviewed hundreds of experts on Social Media Around the World. In 2003 Heidi was named one of 50 women shaping the Internet by the International Virtual Women’s Chamber of Commerce. In 2009 she was named a Twitter Woman to Follow by Only2Clicks.com. She works with solopreneurs, professionals and small businesses in ecommerce, direct sales and retail. Follow Heidi on Google Plus