In case you thought this article would be about dating or relationships, it’s not. We are all business here. It’s about getting your story told to a blogger’s audience.
Whether you want bloggers to review your product or you are hoping to guest post for them, whether you have a juicy Infographic you know their readers will go all agog over, or whether you hope to be interviewed or quoted, you can’t just go in cold. You can’t just walk up to a blogger and kiss him smack on the lips.
You have to romance him a little first. When you have him where the only word that will pass through his lips is “Yes”, then you can ask him to help you tell your story.
9 steps to blogger romance
Step 1- follow her. Find where she hangs out. Check what she is saying. Follow her. Jeepers! It sounds like I am recommending you become a stalker. But really, there is nothing wrong or even creepy about following a blogger on Twitter or Google Plus or FaceBook. There is even a good chance that she will notice you, and maybe she will smile demurely at you. And if that doesn’t make you tingle all over, I don’t know what would.
But following a blogger is just the first step. It’s like glancing across a crowded bar at her. You can romance in your daydreams all you want, but there comes a time when you have to walk across the floor.
Step 2- show interest. No blogger likes to be ignored. Bloggers are sensitive folk. They slave all day over a blog post, with no prospect of reward except the possibility that this will be the day that somebody clicks on their affiliate link.
But what a masterpiece they have created!
Show some interest. Tweet his post. Like his post. Plus his post. Pin his post. Let him see that you’re interested. If you do this for a while, he’ll get the message.
Step 3- communicate. Bloggers are not like other people. They are always off writing about this or that. They write long blog posts. They write on social media. They respond to comments. And for all the work they put into their masterpieces, they sure do expect some comments.
So go ahead and comment. Compliment her on her great ideas and how well she expresses them. Add something that she missed. Share your own experience. Oh, and keep tweeting and liking and plussing and pinning. Your response to her writing will have her longing for your next visit to her blog.
Step 4 – flirt. Nothing new here. It’s just stepping up the last two steps. Show a little more interest and communicate a little more.
Step 5 – listen. You’ve got this little thing going on now with this blogger. But are you doing all the talking, or are you really listening? A blogger wants to be listened to. Why else would she spend so much time blogging with so little promise of reward?
Make your move!
Step 6 – show what you’ve got. That would be a product, a blog post, an Infographic or an idea for a guest post. Show him what you’ve got, and how it might be to his advantage to take a closer look. If you have something worthwhile, and you are no longer a stranger, there’s a good chance he will make the time to consider your proposal.
Write a professional letter to make your offer. Yes, keep it professional – you are romancing him, not dating him! Make sure to refer to some of your past interactions, point out how your offer will benefit him and be clear about what help you will offer to keep his workload as light as possible. Make sure he knows that you have been listening (Step 5) by referring to how your offer relates to something he has already published or mentioned.
What happens if you skip straight to this step and show what you’ve got without first following, showing interest, communicating, listening and flirting? Well, it’s a lot like flashing somebody in a bar. This is what happens.
Step 7 – respect her. Don’t make unreasonable demands, like that there be a certain link text or that she says something specific about your product. She controls what goes on her blog, how it looks, and what she says. Make sure she knows from the start that you’ll respect her through to the end.
Step 8 – pick up the tab. As I said earlier, many bloggers have “no prospect of reward except the possibility that this will be the day that somebody clicks on their affiliate link”. Make it worth her while to accept your offer. Make this the day that somebody cares enough and values her enough to actually pay for all the work you expect her to do.
Keep in mind that even if you present a completed ghostwritten blog post manuscript, she still has hours of work ahead of her editing, formatting, creating images and promoting the published post.
Payment might not be in the form of money, or not completely in the form of money. There are some interesting ideas on paying for reviews here.
Step 9 – show that you still care. Help promote his post on social media. At very least, share it on your own accounts. And say “Thank you”. That is the magic word that keeps the door open for a second date, which is something most people forget about in blogger romance. Offer to help by sharing future posts, contributing to future posts or whatever way you can think to be helpful. The second date is much easier to score, and can be just as profitable as the first one. Go for a long-term relationship, as Jeff Foster explains.
If this all seems like a lot of work, it’s not really. It’s called “networking” in the business world, although I like the term “romancing” more. And if you go for a long-term relationship, you can romance that blogger for years and years. You don’t have to settle for a dozen one-time dates, when you can have a dozen brand ambassadors talking about you for years.
Bloggers are easy. Sometimes they are cheap. But they never ask for an exclusive relationship, so you are free to flirt with as many bloggers as your beating heart can handle. Ooh -la-la!