Blogging for your business is a rewarding endeavor with a genuine impact on your bottom line. A significant element of business blogging success is how you use your blog to build relationships with others and expand your reach.
For those of you with blogs, it is probably safe to say that you like connecting with others, sharing information so others can learn and creating content to inspire comments. Blogs or written content, in general, are great gateways to striking up a conversation with just about anyone just about anywhere online. As much as blogs are about reaching your customers and building rapport with them, you can use your blogs to connect with people outside your customer base.
Who are these outsiders you may ask? Well, they those doing the same thing you are doing. Content creators, bloggers, columnist, contributors and even sponsors. These are all people with whom you can partner. Yes, that means reaching out to some strangers. But not to worry we’re here to help you identify who they are and how to approach them.
Why You Should Involve Others With Your Business’ Blog
Maybe you feel like your blog is an island where people love to visit it, have a great time, leave and you can handle it fine on your own. Having guests contribute to it isn’t about needing more people to maintain your “island” but more so to entice different or new visitors. Along with increasing rapport, it is about enhancing what you have. Think of it as someone who is quite popular on social media share your post or photo. They can provide content for their followers while you gain some attention in the process.
Other than capitalizing on popularity, you will want to be part of building and establishing relationships in a community. Considering that most small businesses are in niches, it is essential to becoming part of communities. So know who is also part of your niche, has influence or pulls an audience in your industry. Once you are part of that community or created a dialogue with the right people, you can then ask for some exchange or reciprocity. Such as having a guest blogger, great backlinks, increased impressions & SEO, or possibly even sponsorship. With that said it will take some time and patience. You first have to have quality and relevant content, as well as stand a thought leader. Good content attracts other useful content.
Today it’s not about ‘get the traffic’ — it’s about ‘get the targeted and relevant traffic.’
Blogging To The World Through Guest Posts
By connecting with others through your blog post or articles, you are creating valuable backlinks and relevance. Backlinks are extremely useful when it comes to getting more reads on your blog. These backlinks continually confirm the trust of a website, because if backlinks are coming from another trusted site, it improves Google’s confidence in you. One of the top ways to do this is through guest posting where you are invited to be a guest blogger, or you encourage another blogger or thought leader to contribute. Guest posting provides an excellent opportunity for you both to have a crossover of audience and discovery. You could have someone you admire or in a similar space share their ideas on a particular topic that would be better coming from outside your company.
Outreach is about showcasing your blog as well as the blogs and content that you both have curated. Even doing interviews can be a great way to connect through blogging. There is no harm in asking experts to do interviews and a surprising number of them will probably say “Yes”. These are excellent backlinks if they share their discussions on their site. Nowadays is so easy to conduct an interview online. So get your blog in sharing shape and start looking for whom you see as an expert or leader to create that connection.
Sponsorsed posts can cause negativity if you don’t do the vetting of the product or they are already viewed poorly in your community. Sponsored posts can go both ways you pay to have a post written, or someone offers to sponsor in exchange to reach your audience. To avoid any odd feelings from your readers, be transparent and disclose that what they are reading is indeed sponsored.
The other crucial note to be mindful of when doing a sponsored post is to know your intent. Intent will easily be seen in your writing and will guide your readers to how should feel about the post. To keep readers and connections healthy your purpose should remain as increasing value for your community. If you don’t genuinely believe in what is being sponsored, then your audience won’t either. It turns into a pitch instead of education. So think twice about having your sponsored post’s intent to simply promote or make an extra buck.
You may want to consider having your sponsored links be “No Follow” to avoid Google marking it as spam. This means your link will not boost your SEO or page rank. While that may sound boring, there is a lot of value with no follow links, especially in referral traffic. Here is more info on how to love “No Follow.”
The Outreach Approach To Business Blogging
So you know who you want to connect with, those you adore, look up to or see as being a valid sponsorship opportunity. Before you reach out to whomever that may be you want to craft your message a bit.
Emphasize the relationship
Remember this is about connection. Explain the mutually beneficial aspects of the potential relationships and what the reciprocity looks like. (No this is not dating advice.)
Emphasize education and your care for your audiences
It isn’t about you or them; it’s about your audience. So explain how their expertise will provide your audience more knowledge and benefit the audience’s experience.
Don’t be a stranger
If you genuinely enjoy someone’s work and would like to make a connection support them. Comment on their blog, follow them on social media and sign up for their subscriptions. Creating recognition or light dialogue will undoubtedly allow the door to open when you knock.
Be clear about your goals
Pitching, providing an offer or starting the conversation. Be clear about your intent (again). Say what you are offering, the mutual benefit and what the next step would be. And always make it personal, do not copy and paste or do a mass emailing in hopes to get a quality catch.
Think of their time
More often than not they are busy. So keep your contact straightforward, concise and short. If communication seems like it will take more seconds of their time they will be less enticed. Be timely with responses as you should be with any of your connections.
In 2004, good SEO made you remarkable on the web. In 2014, good SEO is a result of being remarkable on the web.
Establish Relationships With Your Blog
While blogging may seem like an avenue to speak and connect with your audience, it is also a medium to create relationships. These are the relationships with people in your online community that you are building. Know how you can mutually benefit your audiences together. This will help establish you in your niche and industry. We too are all about the connections and relationships we make, that is what motivates us to help small businesses grow. If you want to bring more people to your site and blog, create a relationship with us!