Learning how to blog is an important business skill that can increase page rankings in Google and bring plenty of traffic to your website.
How to Get Bloggers to Promote your Business
Blogger outreach and PR is difficult - I've read a lot of How to articles and guides that say stuff like "Get bloggers to review your site or product", or, "Get as many backlinks from other bloggers as possible".
So everyone knows what to do, but no-one's talking about how to do it. In fact, gathering backlinks is often time consuming, ineffective and infuriating.
Hands up anyone who has spent several hours emailing other bloggers asking them to take a second to look over your new [blog/site/product/service/article/video] and gotten almost no response. It happens all the time.
While no-one can guarantee coverage in the notoriously fickle world of blogging, there are a number of things that can be done to drastically improve your chances:
Most top, influential bloggers pride themselves on finding the latest and most exciting developments in their field. In reality, that's not what they do. Instead they cover new and interesting stories from other big players or people with connections and influence (admittedly this is a generalization, but it is accurate by and large).
You could have the best idea in the world and it will most likely be overlooked if no-one knows who you are already.
If you are not already rich and famous, it may well be more efficient to forget about the famous bloggers (even though the temptation to get yourself in front of their audience is huge), and approach lesser known, but high quality bloggers instead.
The idea being that some coverage is better than no coverage, and if your site or product is truly inspiring it will eventually bubble up into the big leagues.
Offer something in return
If someone you have never met or spoken to before comes up to you in the street and asks you to give them something - say, your business card. It's unlikely you'll do it.
It's the same on the Internet. First, show them a link to an article you wrote about them, or, where you commented in their blog, or how you loved the last tweet they made... and so on.
You could even offer to talk about them in an upcoming interview, blog post or article - but doing something first is better than promising something later.
Show bloggers that you're not a complete stranger. That you have an interest in what they do.
Lead with a line like "Your last article on affiliate marketing actually helped me to increase sales by 3%". But only if it's true. Make sure you don't come across as one of those comment spammers who try to add comments that sound related to a blog post in order to fool the moderator.
Connect via social media
Hand in hand with the previous point, you should also make an effort to engage with bloggers socially via Twitter, Facebook and Google+. People appreciate good feedback and comments on their tweets and shares. This puts you on their radar. They will at least recognize your name if, as and when you do decide to approach them directly.
In particular, if you can get bloggers to follow you first, you can message them directly. A social message is far more effective than cold calling via email (which is not effective at all).
Be clear and concise
A lot of bloggers are busy people. They already get a lot of emails. They try their best to read all of them, looking for the best ones that are interesting and offer opportunities for creating content.
Don't waste their time with long winded background info or explanations. Link to articles and resources instead. Be friendly, but don't beat around the bush- if they're interested, they'll ask for any information they need.
Remember you are approaching an individual human being; not some faceless corporate entity. You don't have to hype up what your doing, like some marketing extravaganza. You want to make friends. As if you are chatting face to face.
Pumped up sales pitches get flagged by bloggers' BS radar and summarily ignored.
Stay in your niche
Don't approach a blogger because they have a nice looking blog. Only expend effort approaching bloggers who know something about what you do. Bloggers tend to know what their audience likes to read.
They might find your ideas on fluid mechanics interesting, but they're not going to discuss it in their world famous blog on pancakes.
Be direct, but not pushy
Often your first email may go un-noticed. If you receive no reply after a couple of weeks, follow it up. Don't simply resend the email. Say, "Hi X. I wanted to follow up on my previous email with...".
Don't keep sending emails. If you don't get a response to your follow up, move on to greener pastures.
Make genuine connections
Once you have a blogger who is willing to give coverage, make sure you cultivate that relationship. Connect with them on Facebook or LinkedIn and ensure that you have an equitable relationship. So that when the time comes to launch your next big thing you have a pool of bloggers who should be willing to help you out without having to go cold calling again.
What others techniques do you use to get favorable coverage and PR from leading bloggers? Share your blogger outreach tips and advice in the comments.
I'm sure there's plenty more. Let's hear your suggestions for what works for you.
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Almost all businesses that have researched Internet marketing strategies are aware that high quality, engaging and relevant content is one of the best ways to drive valuable organic Web traffic.
The problem is that many people don't have the time or patience to build up a good base of content via blogging.
So what's the alternative?
A lot of popular blogging techniques have died out as Google's search algorithms (and the rise of social media) have changed the content landscape of the Internet.
For startups and small businesses utilizing blogging as part of their content marketing strategy, keeping tabs on industry best practices can be a bit like trying to herd cats.
As a result, unfortunately, many people find themselves swimming upstream as their content fails to capture high rankings in search results, generates little to no buzz, and generally offers little to no return on investment (ROI).
Video blogging (adding clips to a blog) can help to drive traffic, lower bounce rate, increase engagement and conversions, and generally improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Internet marketing.
Video blogging also provides plenty of "different" marketing opportunities that written content can't - because it is a rich medium for communication.
Bloggers who rely on written content only may find their rankings in search engines suffering as Google continues to include more and more video results (especially from YouTube) in its organic search results.
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The article I wrote about that hugely damaging mistake attracted the attention of John Mueller, who responded sympathetically and said he would 'let the team know' about the problem.
Good to his word, I noted a few hits from Mountain view, California on the affected site and at the article, and a few hours later the erroneous phishing message was removed.