If you’ve got a blog, you’ve probably wondered how you could get a big blogger to notice and share your posts. That would probably get you a ton of sweet new readers, eh?
The only problem is, every blogger in the world has now figured that out. Which means top bloggers are getting umpty-million reach-outs hourly from newbie bloggers asking for help.
I consider myself the tiniest micro-celebrity possible in the world of blogging, and I can report I am getting dozens of these requests every week. Can’t even imagine how many hits the mega-successful bloggers get!
And if you blow that first interaction with a blogger, you’re probably not going to end up getting their help.
There’s a right way (or three) to connect with big bloggers and enlist their aid in promoting your blog…but if my experience is any indication, most bloggers are getting this wrong. And once you’ve been a pest, it’s unlikely that blogger is ever going to help you out in future.
Let me outline some of the common mistakes new bloggers are making in trying to promote their posts to popular bloggers. Then we’ll talk about how to avoid these blunders:
Make your first contact an ‘ask’
It never ceases to impress me how many bloggers introduce themselves by asking me to do something for them. Basically, it’s “Hello, stranger! Please do me a favor.”
I don’t know how you feel about that, but I think it’s just rude. I mean, would you do that at an in-person networking event, walk up to a stranger and ask them to do stuff for you? I don’t think so.
And you should never do anything on email or in social media you wouldn’t do in person.
Here’s an example of this I recently got on Facebook from a brand-new blogger who proudly announced he’d just finally gotten his blog live. He pointed me to a post he’d written on a similar topic to one of my recent posts, and then concluded with:
To clear up any confusion, I am not part of your PR team. I don’t plug anything for anybody (not for free, anyway). I don’t share other peoples’ posts because they ask me to.
I share posts because I think they have great, fresh, useful information we haven’t already seen 100 times before elsewhere, and I think my social-media audience would benefit from reading it. Period.
My sense from talking to my own blogging mentors is that other big bloggers do the same.
Be a total stranger with a blog mess
Vast majority of the time, if I do go check out the post I’ve been asked to flog, I don’t see any new information.
I see a lot of long, rambling screeds about the writer and their life, sloppy blog post that aren’t scannable, recycled ideas, and cluttered sites where the font is tiny and I can’t even make myself read through to the end. To be brutally honest.
If you’re going to take the time to connect with big bloggers, first make sure your blog post is ready for prime time.
Propose to do me a ‘favor’
When you’re gushing about how you’re a big fan and regular follower of a top blogger, it’s usually good if you know something about how they operate.
The blogger above followed up with an offer to ‘help you out’ by writing me a free guest post — thereby revealing he doesn’t know I pay for guest posts that go through a rigorous and time-consuming editorial process.
And only take high-quality, useful-info-packed, success-story type guest posts, not free posts from nakedly link-seeking people.
Also, I think we all know who this ‘favor’ really benefits, and it’s not me.
Expect quid pro quo
I recently got a tweet that said roughly this:
“I tweeted your post today — and now you should tweet that my new blog post [LINK].”
Thing to know: Most blog-based business owners got out of the rat race because they don’t like having a boss and being told what to do. That goes double for being told what to do by people we don’t even know.
The fact that you’ve shared my post doesn’t entitle you to anything. You should share it if it was useful to you and your social-media followers, and I’m thrilled you did share it. But there is no automatic share-back obligation.
As I said above, I’ll share it if it’s awesome content my social-media peeps would enjoy…and if you don’t order me to do so. Really rankles.
Ask a random question
As I’ve noted before, many writers have decided that rather than begging for a retweet of their own post, their ticket to A-List bloggers sharing their post is to survey them via email and do a roundup post the blogger will be included in.
If you’re going to go the survey-compilation route, at least avoid peppering me with 10-15 questions I’m supposed to type answers to on email, and ask a single question tailor-made to intrigue me — some pet topic I’ve just got to weigh in on.
More often, I get a random question (or 10) that I can’t relate to.
For instance, recently I got this one:
“What is your best tip for content marketers?”
The thing is, I don’t consider myself one.
I don’t relate to the word “content.” I write articles. I think of myself as publishing an online magazine for freelance writers.
Search my blog for the phrase “content marketer” and you wouldn’t find it twice in the 600+ posts on here. I don’t have a category tag for “content marketing.”
I just couldn’t think of what to say about this question, so I passed.
Ask rude personal questions
Do you know anyone who enjoys being asked personal questions by people they don’t really know? Me neither.
Recently, I got an email asking me to disclose how many people had registered for one of my courses. How this information is even useful for another blogger is beyond me.
But hey, thanks for being nosy! I totally want to hang out with you now.
I’ve also gotten requests to share how much money my blog makes, post my tax form, explain my profit margins…you name it.
I feel like I’ve been pretty forthcoming in what I earned as a freelancer and how this blog makes money. If I’m going to share financial stuff, it won’t be privately to one stranger, but publicly for all my blog readers. So why do you ask?
Send me an email to ask for a tweet
This is one I get more and more now, and I just don’t get it.
Bloggers email me to say, “Wanted you to know, I just posted this new blog post [HEADLINE]. I’d appreciate any tweets or other social media shares!”
Now I have to
- click that headline in my email
- go over to the post (if the link’s not broken)
- read it (if I have time)
- decide if it’s awesome (usually not)
- hunt for social-media buttons (which are often hidden or missing)
- if we get to the end of this whole rainbow, maybe share it.
If you want a tweet, target your headline to me on Twitter, like this: “@TiceWrites – Your readers might enjoy [headline]: [LINK].”
If that headline’s amazing, I might just retweet it on that basis alone. I know this targeting process works because I’ve done it myself. When done right, the result looks like this:
Give me a short deadline
Big thing to know about successful bloggers — we are busy at a level the rest of the world probably can’t even imagine.
Like, wish I had more time to do fun things like pee or wash my hair kind of busy.
So when you send me an interview request and tell me we’d need to talk in the next 48 hours — as one blogger asked me earlier this week — it’s an automatic ‘no.’
How to connect
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to annoy top bloggers and fail to get their help promoting your blog.
But despite the increased popularity of targeting top bloggers and asking for assistance, it’s not impossible to get top bloggers to share your stuff. It’s actually simple.
I end up sharing posts by people I’ve gotten to know, at least a little. I have a sense that the quality of what they write is good, and that even if I don’t have time to fully read the post right now, I can trust that my folks will find their post useful.
These are people I follow myself, or they’ve commented on my blog, or been part of my Link Parties.
I’ve seen them sharing and commenting on my Twitter or Facebook posts, or we’ve talked in a LinkedIn group. I have some context for that person and a sense that they at least know what I do, if not me.
And when I go to their post, it’s something fascinating, fresh, and relevant to my audience. I share that every time.
How have you connected with other bloggers? Share your success tips on the comments.