How to Get Bloggers to See and Follow Your Blog
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As a kid I remember watching Entertainment Tonight and wondering, “What are the odds that two celebrities would marry each other?!”
As I grew older I realized that people become friends with people like themselves. Hence, celebrities marry celebrities. The same applies for bloggers. They all know each other and they all help each other out.
As a beginner blogger I realized this and thought, “If I want to be a big-time blogger, other big-time bloggers need to know about me. But how can I do that?”
Well, I’ve been at it for a few years now and I’ve started to make a little headway. This is how you can get bloggers to see and follow your blog.
Create a Follow-Worthy Blog
This is the first, most critical step. It also happens to be the most challenging because it’s the only one that’s not a matter of working through a to-do list.
Out of all the blogs I follow, here are five things they have in common:
- Clearly defined niche. They all focus on a very specific problem for a very specific audience.
- Distinctive voice. People know who wrote the post without seeing their name attached to it.
- Unique blog design. They have custom built blog designs.
- Creating from authority. They write based on what they know.
- Consistent content. They create regularly and reliably.
As you’re working towards this, move forward with the rest of this list.
Find Other Bloggers in Your Niche
Before you can have other bloggers follow your site, you need to find them. Here are a few ways I find bloggers:
- Search relevant keywords. You’ll find all of the top bloggers in your niche if you search the keywords that you want to rank for.
- See who your favorite bloggers interview. Bloggers interview the people they admire.
- Find top lists. If you’re able to find a few of the top ranking, top blogger lists, there’s a good chance that the top bloggers are actually featured.
As you work on your blog, follow people on Twitter, and subscribe to other sites, you’re naturally going to find other bloggers in your niche.
Comment on Their Blogs Regularly
Once you know who the top bloggers are, start reaching out to them by commenting on their blogs. Bloggers like comments because, to them, it shows that you’re engaged and that what they’re writing is important.
If you become a regular commenter, the blogger is more likely to recognize your name when you email or meet them.
If you comb through the comments section on bigger blogs, you’ll notice that even the A-listers comment on each others’ blogs. Here’s an insightful comment Yanik Silver left on one of Michael’s posts a few months back:
Link to Their Posts in Your Posts
One thing bloggers appreciate even more than comments are links.
Make an effort to consistently link to your favorite bloggers, both as a value-added resource for your readers and as a favor to the blogger. When you link to one of their posts, it shows up as a trackback in the comments. They notice.
Here’s a post that David Risley wrote where he mentioned an article I wrote for Income Diary.
Big-time bloggers like David Risley create “Round Up” posts because they understand the importance of building relationships with other bloggers while giving their readers new perspectives.
Include Them in a Flattering Top List
Remember how you can find top bloggers by looking through top lists? Well, one of the ways that bloggers climb to the top is by being included in these sorts of lists.
Michael has always told you how top lists rank well in search engines and get lots of social traffic (partly because the people included in the list share it).
So, if you really want to leave an impression on a blogger, feature them in a “20 Most Influential [your niche] Bloggers” list.
Guest Post for Them
This one’s tricky.
Your guest post is going to be received as a blessing or a burden. Tommy Walker wrote a fantastic post on How to Write a Viral Guest Post for an A-List Blog. I encourage you to follow his process as closely as possible.
In that post, Tommy explains how he landed an once-in-a-lifetime spot on Chris Brogan’s blog with a guest post that took two years to create.
The gist of Tommy’s article is:
- Know everything about the blog and the blogger.
- Write something epic specifically for them.
Chris later told Tommy:
I don’t do guest posts on [chrisbrogan.com] for a bunch of reasons.
- Most people used to complain that they came to read me and that they didn’t want other people’s posts.
- People offering guest posts didn’t write anything of value (my opinion).
- People offering guest posts sent them horribly formatted and I’d spend 20 minutes fixing syntax errors.
Of these, #3 was probably the most annoying, and so I stopped bothering.
By the way, if you don’t know what a syntax error is, then you’re probably making them.
Interview Them for Your Blog
Along with getting included on a top list, bloggers like to do interviews. It gives them a chance to reach your audience as an authority of something that your audience is interested in.
For interviewing them you have two options:
- Email. Easier to conduct but more work for the blogger.
- Phone/Skype. Difficult to schedule but a higher quality interview.
As you’ll soon find out, I’ve conducted a lot of interviews. Bloggers need to be sold on why they should give you their time for an interview. Even for a site like Income Diary.
If you want help with this process, read How to Land A-List Interviewees for Your Blog.
Purchase Their Products
Bloggers and business owners always give preferential treatment to their customers. If you want to get noticed by them:
- Buy something from them.
- Implement what you purchased.
- Contact them and mention the results of using their product.
Readers contact bloggers every single day expecting them to answer tons of questions without ever having purchased something from their site. Then the reader gets frustrated when the blogger doesn’t respond immediately.
If you’re not a customer, how can you expect customer service?
Meet Them at a Conference
Outside of creating a follow-worthy blog, this is the most important thing you can do.
The reason I’m writing for Income Diary today is because I commented, interviewed, and met Michael at Yanik Silver’s Underground conference two years ago. At that conference, I also met Yanik Silver, David Risley, and Neil Patel. I rode in an elevator with Shoemoney and became good friends with Syed Balkhi.
If you’re serious about getting other bloggers to see and follow your blog, find out what conferences they attend and, in the abbreviated words of Tina Fey’s daughter, “go to there.”
The Final Word
I wrote most of this article from the perspective of getting big-time bloggers to see and follow your blog. But don’t underestimate the importance of reaching out to the bloggers on your level as well. These bloggers are a lot like you, and as such, their influence is growing. If you help each other early on, your blogs will grow together.
On a corporate level, sites like Mashable, Yahoo!, and CNN have syndication deals. Meaning, they’re constantly re-sharing each others’ content because they understand the importance of banding together.
On a final note, bloggers are masters at researching. If your blog is relevant to their audience and deserves to be found, they will find it.
If they haven’t found it, get crackin’.
Image by: Andrew R. Whalley