Problogger had a post called, 12 tools and techniques for building relationships with other bloggers. Darren’s post got me to thinking, “why can’t these techniques apply to someone using a blog to promote and market their business?” They can. Everyone of them.
If you are using a blog to promote your business or professional service firm, you need to consider all 12 and see how they might be used to build relationships with other bloggers like yourself.
Here is the list:
- Commenting on Other’s Blogs – basic but effective, but only when you add value with your comments.
- Emailing Other Bloggers – once again, this works best if you add value in some way. Don’t just email to say hi, email to contribute something, give some advice, offer to help etc
- Guest Posts – one way that can make an impression on another blogger is to offer to make a post. This particularly makes an impression when they need it most (when they are sick, have a vacation coming up, have some crisis). Keep an eye out for these times and be prepared to do what you can to assist.
- Story Tips – if a story breaks in your niche – email other bloggers to let them know.
- Link Out – linking to a competitors blog could seem like a crazy thing to do but it can make a real impression and show other bloggers your willingness to interact.
- Instant Messaging – interaction via IM can really take a relationship to a new level as it’s real time and personal.
- Social Networking – this should be a no brainer – social networking tools are exist with the purpose of connecting people. The key is to pick social networking tools that fit for you and your niche and focus on those. For example if other bloggers in your niche are interacting on Twitter – join it, if there’s a lot of activity on Facebook, go there – if LinkedIn is more relevant to your niche interact there!
- Social Bookmarking – one of the best ways to get on the radar of another blogger is to be responsible for sending them a huge wave of traffic. While most of us can’t do this from our small blogs – we can submit other bloggers sites to social media sites like Digg and StumbleUpon. Instead of spending your day working on campaigns to build your own votes on these sites why not do it for another blogger?
- Interviews – there’s nothing more flattering than having someone email you with a request to interview you and then to have them go to the trouble of thinking up interesting questions that show they’ve taken time to research the interview. Interviews can be good content for your blog but I think the real benefit of them is that they put you into a conversation with the person you’re interviewing and can be a springboard into relationship!
- Forums and Discussion Groups – forums are one place that a lot of niche bloggers lurk. Engage genuinely in these spaces and you never know who you’ll end up connecting with
- Pick up the Phone/Skype it – while IM can be good at making your interactions more conversation like – voice to voice interactions take it a step further. Of course be a little careful with a cold-call – I’d recommend working up to a voice call with some emails etc as some are better on the phone than others with strangers.
- Real Life Networking Events – one of the best ways of building relationships with bloggers is to meet face to face. A lot can be achieved without actually meeting (at b5media none of the founders had met until a year into our business and after we’d secured VC funding) but meeting another blogger has a way of cementing a relationship that is quite special.
Darren provides a very well placed warning about this list too. And I have to agree 100%. Use the methods with caution. Yes, you can use them to build relationships. However, “many of the above techniques when used in an overbearing way can come across as spam.