If you’re a new blogger, you’ve probably realized there’s a shortcut to growing your blog fast: If popular bloggers would just notice and share your blog posts — presto! — instant big audience.
Otherwise, it’s going to take an eternity for you to amass a decent-sized crowd of people to share, comment, subscribe, and eventually buy from you.
One easy way to grab pro bloggers’ attention has become super-popular as more bloggers have caught onto it. What is that simple way to get major bloggers to tweet your post?
You write a post in which you mention or quote your favorite top blogger (or ten) or review their product. Then, you include a link to the big blogger’s site.
You’re thinking that guru is sure to notice your post and check it out. Then wham, they’ll tweet it out to their 100,000+ followers and you’ll be drowning in new subscribers.
This is a great plan. I’ve used it myself to get the attention of influential bloggers. Who isn’t flattered to be mentioned on a writer’s website? It used to be good for an easy comment or share from a top name — and some of that wonderful cachet would rub off on you, like fairy dust.
There’s only one problem…
Increasingly, the blog-post mention/review/rave strategy doesn’t work any more. You put together your awesome post about your favorite blog giant, and nothing happens.It’s tougher and tougher to drop a mention or a quote from a top blogger into your post and have it result in a wildly viral post thanks to sharing and mentions by those big bloggers.
I’ve got five big reasons to share with you.
Because some people now consider me one of these “top bloggers” (even though my blog is still pretty modest-sized), I’ve gotten a decent amount of experience with this.
So I’m going to tell you about why I share posts that mention me or my blog — and more often, why I don’t.
1. Asking too much
Increasingly, new bloggers are looking to crowdsource a post of advice from top bloggers, or sometimes a whole e-book with a kickoff post. They figure such a post will get them huge traffic.
There’s only one problem — popular bloggers are getting dozens and dozens of these requests.
Often, they’re requests to answer a long list of pre-written email questions, or to provide an insight on something I don’t necessarily consider my expertise. I often take a pass at this point. In this case, you had a dream of doing this type of post, but it may never happen. Even if it does, you’ve annoyed some of the thought leaders you were hoping to befriend.
To get one of these roundup posts off the ground, consider asking one simple question — and make sure it’s highly relevant to the blogger you’re asking.
2. Weak headlines
When I click the links on my pingbacks (which is usually how I learn someone has mentioned me or this blog in a post), I often find baffling headlines.
Recent ones I’ve come across in my WordPress dashboard and have declined to share with my tweeps have said:
- September blogroll
- Getting stuff done
- Small things to a GIANT
- Friday finds: Autumn, Pinterest, and S’mores: DAILY WAFFLE
- Link Love [DATE] | [BLOG NAME]
- 12 Blogs Will Help You Earn More From Writing
- Off the Wire: News for the Canadian Media Freelancer [DATE]
In the first five, you don’t get any clue what the post is about. To an outsider, these are just random collections of words. Writers need to realize that when you title a post simply “Link Love” no one is going to read it, especially not an ultra-busy, popular blogger. Search engines are not going to help you find readers, either.
If I shared any of these, it would damage my credibility in social media. I’m known for posting useful stuff with great, easy-to-understand headlines full of relevant key words that help readers see this is something they need! I’m not blowing my cred and getting unfollowed just to show people I got a mention somewhere.
The next one, #6, has a grammar problem that makes it feel a bit like robot spam. It’s got key words, yes…but I can’t share that with my writer audience. They’d wonder what was wrong with me.
And the final link makes it clear that you should only read this if you’re Canadian. I don’t know why bloggers do this to themselves.
The Internet is a big place full of confusion and scams. Write a strong headline with broad appeal, and big bloggers will be more likely to spread it around.
Some bloggers go the opposite direction and try to throw everything but the kitchen sink into a headline, particularly if they’re doing link roundups:
OK, now we’ve got all kinds of great key words! But it’s a mish-mash of concepts and ideas. More importantly, at 20 words, this is way too long to make a good blog-post headline.
If I tried to retweet this, most of the headline would just be snipped off. It won’t make any sense to my social-media followers. Also a no-go.
3. Wretched blog design
If I click through to a post that’s got a link to my stuff and see teeny-tiny type with huge long unbroken paragraphs, three sidebars, ten different site colors and a bunch of other clutter-mess happening…I’m not going to share it.
As much as I might love for readers to see I got a mention, if the blog is a nightmare to read through, I’m not going to inflict it on my friends.
This is something a little weird, and maybe it’s just me. But I get embarrassed when I click a link and see something like this:
“I think Carol Tice is the most amazing writing mentor in the world. She changed my life! Her advice is astonishing and magic drips from her fingertips…”
Maybe there are other bloggers who’re dying to share their fans’ gushing posts about how they’re the second coming, but it makes me feel uncomfortable. I’m not showing that to anyone. If you’re thinking laying on the praise thick and heavy is your ticket to building a relationship with a popular blogger, think again.
And that goes double for posts with my name in the title. Eeek.
If you want to flatter a guru, be their case study. Don’t say they’re astounding — show exactly how their advice helped you. Top bloggers are always looking for proof that their advice is actually helping people.
I’d probably retweet that kind of post, even if it had a bad headline.
5. You didn’t target it
One final trick I learned from one of my big blogging mentors, Copyblogger’s Jon Morrow, is essential to getting influential bloggers to share.
When your post goes up, don’t just hope your targeted blogger notices. Post in social media or shoot them an email and tell them about it.
I know I’ve shared many more posts where I got a personal reach-out from the blogger. And top bloggers have shared more of my posts when I’ve tweeted or emailed them as well.
Tip: Make sure to share on social media at a time to day when you see that blogger is active in the social-media platform you’re going to use. Bloggers live all over the world — make sure they’re awake when you tweet.
Posts that got shared
What posts have I retweeted lately because they mentioned either me or one of my posts here on the blog? Here are some headlines that got a share from me:
- How Not to Blog: 3 Ways to Avoid These Screwups
- How to Make an Extra $5,000 Blogging Your Brains Out
- How to Capture Attention Instantly When Writing Short Copy
- Here’s Why You’re Not Making the Freelance Income You Want to Make
Hopefully you can see the difference at a glance here. These are all useful headlines with key words, about topics my writer friends might well want to read.
When I see a post with a headline like these, the fact that I’m mentioned or linked in it is almost incidental. The recognition is nice and it’s what got me to read the post.
But I decide to share it because I think the information would be useful to my readers.
Are you trying to get noticed by big bloggers? Leave a comment and tell us what you’ve tried.