If your company has a business blog, it is helpful to have relationships with other bloggers, especially if they are in your industry. There are several reasons why building relationships with bloggers can be beneficial:
- It can help you get guest blogging opportunities, or convince other influential bloggers to provide content for your site.
- It helps you build links back to your site and get other people to promote your work.
- It can provide a supportive network of like-minded people to fellowship with, learn from and bounce ideas off of.
- Networking. First, start with any bloggers whom you already know personally. See if they know anyone that they could introduce you to. That way, you are not cold-calling; you are networking.
- Searching for other relevant blogs. This is fairly easy to do, since the right Google search will list the most relevant, popular and influential blogs in your category first. These are exactly the blogs that will provide the most valuable backlinks or guest blogging opportunities--if you are successful at connecting with the blog owners. But even if they are not receptive, you can learn from them by observing what they are doing right in order to earn their high rankings.
- Checking the social networks. Twitter is probably the easiest one to search for keywords and find links to blog posts.
- Looking at blogrolls. See who these sites are linking to.
- Subscribe to them on social media. Follow them on Twitter, for instance, and perhaps retweet their links or mention them in posts. Besides providing them with a benefit and stroking their ego, it can serve as a way to unofficially introduce yourself to them, or at least make your presence known.
- Post comments on their blog. The best comments would add to the discussion, improving their content while establishing that you are knowledgeable on the subject yourself. Don't use these to promote your own blog--at least not before the relationship is established--as that would make you appear as a spammer, not a friend.
- Link to or promote their content. That will make them much more willing to do the same later in return.
- Contact them directly. After demonstrating your interest and good intentions, send them a personal email or social media message. This allows you to initiate a more personal relationship. You can officially introduce yourself, and share some praise, idea or piece of information that you know they will find interesting. As they reply and you build upon the foundation, it will eventually become natural to talk about guest blogging or suggest a link back to your site.
Just remember that the overall goal is to build a real, meaningful relationship; any positive reciprocation will naturally flow out of that.
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