I know successful blog promotion is all about networking with other bloggers and practicing strong SEO. How exactly would you go about asking others to link to your blog and increase the quality link juice? Is it bad form to strait-up ask for a link, or propose a link exchange? Or is it the kind of thing that just naturally develops over time?
That is quite a pertinent question. Networking with other bloggers is certainly essential, but I see many people doing it the wrong way. Below you will find 5 things that you shouldn’t do when approaching bloggers for your networking efforts (with a bonus tip in the end).
1. Asking for a link to your blog, article or service
Albeit good your blog, website or service might be, don’t email bloggers asking for a link. Links are the currency of the web, and people don’t give them away for whoever comes asking.
Additionally, if you write an email to a blogger explicitly and exclusively asking for a link, there are high chances that your email will be sent to the trash folder as soon as the person gives it a quick glimpse.
This approach can do more harm than good, therefore, because it won’t get you the link in the first place, and it might also damage your image and burn a bridge with the blogger.
2. Stating that the audience of that blog will be interested in your article or service
Writing to some blogger stating that you are sure that his audience will be interested in your service or article is a lot of presumption. The blogger knows his audience, and he will be the one determining whether or not your service or article will be interesting to his audience.
Again, this approach might do more harm than good. If the service or article is indeed relevant and useful to the audience of that blogger, he will consider writing about it, because it represents an opportunity to give value to his readers.
Your statement that “his audience will love the service” will certainly not convince the blogger, but it might annoy him.
3. Proposing a link exchange out of the blue
There are many spammers around who mass email webmasters and blog owners proposing link exchanges. If you approach someone with this same style, guess what, you will look like one of them.
If you are trying to develop link partnerships where you will recommend relevant and useful sites for your readers, and where your partners will do the same, take the time to build a relationship first.
4. Proposing a deal where only you have something to gain
The summary of this point is: don’t try to be a smart ass. If you have a blog that receives 30,000 monthly unique visitors, don’t email another blogger who receives 500,000 monthly unique visitors asking whether he is interested in exchanging banner ads with you.
Networking is about finding win-win situations.
5. Asking before you give
This is a golden rule of networking: give before you ask. If you want bloggers to link to your service or articles, link to their posts first. If you want someone to promote your products, promote his products first.
This approach is even more effective is you do it genuinely. In other words, don’t link to or promote someone’s products just because you are hoping that he will return the favor. Do it because you think that his website or product has a good quality, and because you genuinely want to spread the word about it. If in the future the person returns the favor, that is a plus.
Bonus Point: How To Pitch Your Service or Article
You might be asking yourself: “OK, those are the things I shouldn’t do. How should I approach a blogger if I want him to write about my service, product or article, though?”
It is simple: write an email or use his contact form and go straight to the point. Mention that you have a service or article, and that you want him to take a look. Include the URL, and sign off. If the service or article is interesting and relevant to the audience of that blogger, he will certainly write about it. If it’s not, he won’t. As simple as that.
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