Success in blogging comes from making as many high-quality connections as you can with other bloggers. Producing valuable content may come first but without tight blogging connections your content is doomed to remain largely unread.
Forming connections with other bloggers can be a difficult task due to the information-overwhelm that many net-natives contend with on a daily basis. When creating connections with other like-minded bloggers it’s important you keep a few key points in mind to make sure you don’t inadvertently ruin your chances of a lasting, mutually beneficial arrangement.
Speak to THEM Specifically
The worst thing you can do to connect with another blogger is send them some pre-canned scripted introduction about who you are and why they should care. You’ll lose even more standing in their eyes if your message isn’t even particularly relevant to the work that they produce. When you do either of these things to a blogger you are spamming them, plain and simple and high quality bloggers don’t respond favorably to being spammed.
Before sending out a single message make sure that you and the blogger you’re attempting to connect with are actually writing about similar topics and that what you’re sending them might be of relevance and interest to them. Read through their site and get to know them, their likes & dislikes, their opinions on topics you two both write about. You don’t need to agree with everything they say but you do need to, at the very least, acknowledge their points.
When you go to write the message itself you need to personalize it and direct it specifically to the blogger you’re attempting to connect with. Talk about their work, talk about your work, talk about someone else’s work that relates to what you’re both interested in, ask questions…
It almost doesn’t matter exactly what you say to them, as there is no “magic bullet” introductory email for forming connections, as long as you are sincere & specific you will drastically increase your response rate.
Approach With Your Palms Up
There are plenty of people who attempt to sincerely & specifically connect with other bloggers who still fail. Usually these people fail because they come to a popular and influential blogger asking for help and offering nothing.
If you’re going to form a real connection with another blogger you need to approach them with gifts, offering to help them out well before you ever ask for anything from them. The more important the blogger you’re attempting to connect with the more you’ll need to offer them. Often you will need to build a solid history of helpfulness for months (or even years!) before you’ll be in a position to ask for anything from them.
When offering to help a blogger you want to connect with, you need to make sure you offer them something that they actually want and need. Be as specific as possible with what you have to offer them. Instead of giving an ambiguous “let me know if there’s anything I can do for you” make a very clear and well-defined offer that you know will help them out in a measurable manner.
Influential bloggers are often too busy to take ambiguous proposals seriously but will pull the trigger quickly if you make a clear case for them to give a definitive Yes or No to.
Prove Yourself First
Blogging attracts dilettantes. Even the best offers to help will often be turned away if you don’t have the credentials or history of work proving that what you have to offer is worth snatching up. Think about it for a minute… would you let someone redesign your popular website if they have no professional design experience?
Would you take someone’s blogging advice seriously if they’ve only been in the game for a week and have no readership? Of course you wouldn’t.
Without a foundation of persistent high-quality work already completed you’re going to look like just another passer-by to influential bloggers, and influential bloggers don’t waste their time or take chances with random passer-bys.
You don’t need to have a highly read blog to connect with other bloggers but you do need to prove that you’re able to consistently produce worthwhile content. Many bloggers will still be impressed if you have six months to a year’s worth of great content and no substantial readership because that tells them you’re able to keep working without the adulation and feedback that many writers crave.
Successful bloggers continue to produce great work no matter what and being able to produce lots of great content without any positive external reinforcement shows that you just might be in it for the long haul, no matter what.
Don’t Give Up
You shouldn’t give up attempting to connect with a blogger just because you didn’t hear back from them the first time you shot over a quick email. Influential bloggers receive many unsolicited emails a day and they’re automatically going to either ignore yours or take their time getting around to reading it. Be patient for a day or two and then either send a follow up email or send out another equally appealing offer.
Often the key to connecting with popular bloggers is being persistent without being needy. If you can stay in touch and continuously offer value without seeming desperate or like a stalker then eventually your opportunity to form a tight connection will arrive and you’ll be ready for it.