Getting links, finding guest bloggers, being introduced to business opportunities, it is all about networking and creating relationships. How do you find and connect with fellow bloggers?
The best way to find and get to know bloggers is to talk to them or through their writing. You need to get a measure of them, make a connection, find things in common, see how they think. You can do this through
- Blog comments
- Instant Messaging
- Real-world events
Most important though, no matter how you meet a person, get to know them through conversation. Invite them to talk more. You don’t want to ask for a link or offer a guest post before they even know who you are.
Nathania emailed me to tell me about their new guest-blogger service, kind of like a dating agency for bloggers. It allows you to hook up with fellow bloggers to either get a guest post or find a place to write one. This could work very well but I think the best approach, or at least worth giving a try first, is to connect with fellow bloggers and form some sort of connection.
Trusting another blogger with your audience can be tough. I am not talking about blogs that are there just to milk adsense and affiliate cash, those are outsourced all the time and little mind is paid to the audience anyway (other than in aggregate). No, I am talking about where the audience is nurtured and cared for. Things aren’t straightforward for the guest blogger either. As I wrote before, things can go wrong on both sides of guest blogging.
Of course you will want to make contacts with many people and not be too choosy about it. When looking for strategic relationships though you need to focus on people in the right niche or the correct audience profile. A link from a blog in the same niche, or a guest post by someone with relevant expertise will be so much more powerful than someone who is simply a friend.
So where do you find these people?
Your starting point will be your own blog, right in your comments and feedback. Next will be people you have linked to or blogs you have commented on.
Casting your net out further consider
- Anyone with a similar audience to you
- People that comment on other blogs you read
- People writing on the same topics
- Blogs that overlap (eg. tech and design)
- Places where your audience or fellow bloggers ‘hang out’ but is not necessarily your niche
- Owners of newsletters covering relevant topics
- Forum moderators
Effectively you are searching for people who talk to, or belong to, appropriate target audiences. You don’t want a 100% overlap, just to cover a mutual area sufficient that the subjects do not seem off topic or jarring.
This makes the arrangement much more successful for you and them. Win-win.
You might be surprised how well two audiences can overlap with some lateral thinking. For example, blogging about cameras fits well with gadget blogs. It doesn’t take a big leap.
Now you know why I turn down most requests to guest post but write for a few specific blogs. Their audiences are related but not exactly the same as this blog. Here I write about what I quietly call “authority blogging”. On copyblogger I write about copywriting, at problogger I serve the direct monetization audience, and at The Blog Herald I write quicky blog tips. While none of those would be out of place here they sit more comfortably in those blogs and give me access to a wider catchment than had I written the same posts on this blog.
As with most things, success in connecting with bloggers and approaching target audiences is to focus on the relationship. Get the relationships right and the rest falls into place.