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Nothing helps to get the word out about your product or service better than business’s new best friend the blog. As a business owner, you want to form partnerships with bloggers with a large following, right? Think again. Marketing analysts have found that retailers who partner with small, defined niche sites receive higher converting traffic. To partner with specialty bloggers, you can connect with them where they hang out the most. Here are 7 places for blogger outreach that I personally have used and, still use today.
1. Let Them Come to You
The easiest place to conduct blogger outreach is right at your backdoor. You can encourage bloggers to partner with you by inviting them to opt-in to an exclusive network that supports your brand. An offer of this nature is usually placed in the “About Us” section of a blog or with other business related offerings that are not front-facing to target readers.
2. Meet Them at Their Doorstep
The blogging industry has meetings and conventions just like other industry. Here, you can meet bloggers in person. Taking time to network with someone in person carries much more weight than sending an email. You can make yourself more visible by sponsoring an event or renting exhibition space. Use a search engine to find blogging conventions that are a fit for your brand.
3. Analyze Your Options
In your hunt for blog partners you can enlist the analytical services of Moz or Buzz Stream. Their products help you find blogs relevant to your product or service. They will show you a website’s online influence, so you can find bloggers who can help you reach your customers. Moz’s product is a browser plug-in, while Buzz Stream’s is a web-based offering.
4. Seek and Employ
Group High and InkyBee are much more than blogger databases. They incorporate special features designed especially for blogger outreach. You can sign up for their online services for a monthly subscription fee. The services list and rank blogs based on criteria that you give. It can also send you updates when new blogs meet your criteria.
5. Extract Them from Their Conversation
Follower Wonk is a Twitter analysis tool created by Moz. This service finds tweets based on the criteria that you define. The added benefit of Follower Wonk is, since it is analyzing Twitter, the results will show you bloggers who have influence in real-time. This added function does come with a price. It costs a little more to find potential blog partners this way, but if you are running an advertising campaign that is time sensitive, this may fit your needs well.
6. Meet them at the market
Another way to do blogger outreach is to find bloggers online who are already looking for partners. Sites like Blog Dash and Blogger Link Up host online marketplaces that connect businesses and bloggers together expressly for forming partnerships. You can make arrangements to have your posts published on blogger sites, have bloggers do a guest post for you or ask a blogger to mention your brand in one of their regular posts.
7. Let it happen naturally
If you have a small budget, you can use sweat equity to build relationships with bloggers. Regularly engaging a blogger’s comment section can eventually blossom into a business relationship. This method is effective for making real connections, but it is time-consuming.
There are many ways to conduct blogger outreach. With time and persistence, you can build a solid foundation for your brand. Once you have established a network of blogging advocates, consider syndicating the content they produce. Networks like Outbrain, Zemanta and Simple Reach can share your content on multiple sites around the Internet. You and your blogging partner will receive much more exposure than if you publish the article one time.