Imagine this: you wake up tomorrow morning and ten of the top bloggers in your niche decided to promote your blog. If that’s not enough to put a smile on your face, now imagine that they, along with hundreds of other bloggers, promote your blog every time you write a new post.
Despite what you may think, the key to getting this kind of promotion for your blog isn’t quality content. Yes, you do have to write quality posts, but more importantly, you have to write relevant content if you want a-listers sharing your links. (Note: In my below tips, I often include examples from Twitter, but these techniques can be used to get promotion on any social or bookmarking site.)
Types of Relevant Content
Writing relevant content isn’t about using a formula; it’s about tapping into what top bloggers want and need. Here are some examples of relevant content that can entice others to share:
- Posts that Quote, Interview, or Mention the Blogger
One of the easiest and fastest ways to get someone to share one of your posts is to make them part of the content. People love to read about themselves. No matter how new you are, most people would be happy to give you an interview, as long as you aren’t asking for too much time. Even quoting or mentioning a top blogger can get them to promote your blog. For example, one blogger wrote a post that named Chris Brogan’s blog one of the top business blogs, and he shared the link with his 267,000+ followers:
Would he have shared if the list didn’t include his blog? Maybe, if it was spectacularly written, promoted his friends, or written by someone he knows. But the fact that he was named on the list meant that it got some promotion love no matter what.
- Case Studies Involving a Blogger’s Tips
Want a top blogger to promote your post? Test out one (or several) of their tips and write a post outlining your results. Not only is this a great way to stroke an ego, but assuming the tip helped you, it is also an awesome testimonial for the blogger. You don’t even necessarily need to write a case study about your own blog. Instead, profile someone who used a tip from a top blogger and interview them about their results. Two for the price of one: a case study and an interview!
- Solutions to a Problem
No blogger is without his or her struggles. If you help a top blogger with one of their challenges, not only will they share your post, but they’ll also start to consider you a peer, rather than a newbie. One blogger who did this extremely well was Derek Halpern, who reviewed sites for a-list bloggers (such as Amy Porterfield) to help them get more traffic and increase conversions. Be helpful and you’ll reap the rewards, just like Derek did.
Supporting Your Posts with Social Activity
Even if you write relevant content, top bloggers might not promote your blog if they don’t know you. That’s why I always recommend using social media to build strong relationships with top bloggers (which can coincidentally also help you with affiliate sales). Again, it is about relevant content and being helpful. I like to split this part into three categories: conversation, custom shares, and curation.
First, it is important to actually talk to other bloggers in your niche. Pat Flynn gave me a really great tip for this, which is especially good for Twitter:
When you want a top blogger to notice you, find out who they are talking to, and tweet with those people first. Then, tweet with the blogger who’s attention you really want to attract. When they check your stream, they’ll see their friends’ names, which makes them more likely to follow you.
Conversation means more than “thanks for the link” or “great picture.” Add some value. If they ask a question, answer it. If they need help, help them. If they share an experience, share your own similar experiences.
Remember, it’s not about business. It’s about being relevant to the person’s interests. This works, no matter how popular the celebrity. For example, recently I shared a brief Twitter-conversation with Penn Jillette. Here’s part of it:
He tweeted with me because I wasn’t trying to grab a piece of him with questions or promote an agenda. I was just a girl talking about a mutual interest in zombie movies. Of course, some people (like Penn) are more interested in Twitter conversations than others, but the fact remains that a-listers have people coming from them at every angle. It’s refreshing when someone simply wants to have a conversation about a shared hobby. When you become friends with someone, they’re more likely to promote your blog in the future. Sometimes, it’s about the long game.
- Custom Shares
If you want top bloggers to share your links, it behooves you to share theirs first. But top bloggers have hundreds or even thousands of shares on every post. So, how do you get your share noticed? Simple: write something different.
When most people share a link, they simply include the title, link, and name of the writer. Instead, write something different that encourages people to click the link and compliments the blogger. Being unique will help you stand out in a sea of retweets, and people will be more likely to promote your blog if you stand out and they remember you.
Next, become a master curator. If you know that so-and-so likes a certain sports team, and you see an interesting article about one of the players, send them the link. Or if you know that so-and-so likes to bake pies, send them the link to an interesting recipe you found. Do not promote your own stuff. Simply promote posts, videos, and other content that the other person would enjoy. Be their own personal curator.
It feels good when someone says, “I’ve been thinking of you,” or “This reminded me of you.” We all like to be noticed and remembered.
For example, recently I saw someone send a YouTube link to an inspirational song to a top blogger, Jenny Lawson a.k.a. The Bloggess, who is extremely open about her struggles with depression. Unprompted, Jenny retweeted the link:
So, not only did “Miss Morgan” strengthen her relationship with Jenny, but she also got some free promotion. When someone with 365,000+ followers retweets you, you’re bound to get a few new followers.
Tools to Help Top Bloggers Promote Your Blog
The easier it is for a blogger to promote your blog, the more likely they’ll do it. Here are a few of my favorite tools for blog promotion:
When I first started using Triberr years ago, I didn’t like it. My, how things have changed! Today, this is one of my favorite promotion and discovery tools, and I recommend all bloggers use it.
The concept is simple: You sign up, add your blog’s feed, and join groups (called “tribes”) filled with people who have similar interests. Each tribe has a stream filled with the posts of its members, which you can easily share. You can also start your own tribes and invite members.
Every time one of my posts goes live, I get lots of shares from Triberr. It takes some time to build your profile there, but once you prove yourself a valuable member of the community, you’ll get top bloggers willing to make you a member of their tribes so they can promote your blog.
- WiseStamp RSS Email App
You can easily promote your blog with WiseStamp every time you send an email (there are other services that allow you to do this as well, but WiseStamp is my favorite). Sure, you can put a link in your signature manually, but an even better move is to use an app to add your RSS feed. That way, your latest post will always be displayed.
Yes, people notice. If you send an a-lister a short email to thank them or ask a question, even if they don’t reply, they might click on the link in your signature if the title is enticing. (Writing great titles is a must.)
WiseStamp actually has a huge number of email apps available. I just like the RSS one the best! If an a-lister reads your email, you might as well get the most out of it, right? It’s a really simple way to promote your blog posts without much effort.
- Social Button Plugin
If I get to your site and can’t find a button to easily share your link, I’m probably not going to share it. Sounds harsh, but my time is limited. You’ve done all that effort to get an a-lister reading your blog. Don’t throw it away by making it hard to share.
WordPress (and other platforms…though WordPress is the one I recommend) has several plugins available to make sharing easy. My favorite is Sharaholic because it is easy to use, looks slick, and has a ton of features, but if you browse the WordPress plugin directory, you’ll find dozens of great options. There’s no excuse for not having a social sharing plugin on your blog.
A Final Piece of Advice
Any relationship is about give and take. As you build relationships with top bloggers in your niche, reaching out and asking for their help with blog promotion is fine, but those requests will be ignored if you don’t give back ten times as much as you take. Someone who tweets every link I post? I’m going to notice that person and say yes to a request to retweet a high-quality post. Someone who doesn’t help me in any way? I’m probably not going to have time.
Position yourself as someone helpful and giving, and people will be helpful and giving in return.