Dominating Your Niche with Blogger Outreach – Affiliate Summit West 2011
Those of you who are following us on twitter know that @syedbalkhi is attending Affiliate Summit West. He will be sharing some awesome notes from the conference with those who weren’t able to attend. So let’s see what he got to say. P.S the thumbnail really shows that this guy (John Chow) dominates his niche because that shirt is his party invite, RSVP, and ticket.
Syed here. All post about this event will be covered in the first person tone, so please bare with me. Today, I had the pleasure to attend a session with some of the master minds including the famous Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan), John Chow (@johnchow), Jonathan Volk, Greg Rollett, and Eric Schechter. The session was about how to dominate your niche by finding and contacting related bloggers, building relationships, and getting them to write about your product or site.
How to Find the related bloggers? What type of blogger should you look for to reach out to?
You need to look for people who have the right audience. Find out who is the blogger appealing to, and see if that is the audience that you are seeking. Each panelist stressed what I stress out a lot, go for quality over quantity. So the amount of subscribers to the site is not what it is about, rather it is about the interaction that is within the site (Comments, Retweets, Sharing etc). These days quantitative measures can be manipulated easily, so you need to look for influence and authority. Often these experts look for bloggers that are passionate because normally these type of sites have more interaction. So do not discount smaller blogs because sometimes these blogs have the highest level of interaction. Also Littler Bloggers do grow up, so they might be a good contact to have.
Some of the places to look for related bloggers are: AllTop.com, Technorati, Google Blog Search, Google Alert, Twitter, and Facebook Reach.
How Should You send your First Email?
Building a relationship is important, so your first email should never be a pitch. If it is a pitch, then you will be one of John’s 1700 unread emails, at least that’s what it is as I am typing this post. Before you send an email, a good way to get in their radar is by retweeting their tweets, and comment on their site. This way the blogger will be familiar with your name, so they will open your email. Sometimes, top bloggers are getting over 500 emails / day, so they can’t possibly go through all the email and reply to them. The important part that you need to do is show genuine interest in their blog. Don’t be cheesy, and don’t automate the process. Don’t send a mass email to all bloggers about promotion.
Eric gave a great example of how he sent John an electronic picture frame, but he loaded pictures of him and his daughter that he has previously posted on his site. But that certainly got John’s attention. Market Leverage sent John a special care package that had stuff for his daughter. A shirt saying Future Blogger. They also sent me that for my little brother Zain Balkhi. They certainly got our attention and tons of link love.
Chris Brogan created a new word on the spot and called this technique “Swagout Reach”. I see a lot of affiliate companies sending personalize swags.
Once you have a good relationship, then you can go ahead and pitch.
Making a relationship
The best method that I have for this is to attend conferences. Most of the speakers emphasized this as well. Conferences are a great place to start a new relationship, and foster existing ones. Face to face meetups are very helpful because then I can remember the guy. I always tend to associate an adjective with each person, so I remember them easily. This also helps when you want to get mentioned in top blogs because most of the time guys like Shoemoney only cover those who he knows
Often when you have relationship, the pitches are more like favors which works much better.
After they promoted you, you need to stay in constant communication with these bloggers. Once or twice a week through a tweet, or you can simply retweet them. Chris Brogan suggested that you create a spreadsheet to see how many times you touched them. Because you might think you are in contact, but you may lose touch.
One of the best tip is to be helpful and be transparent. This was a tip that everyone gave to build influence and authority. Here is a quote:
Stay transparent. Don’t put a front, be yourself. Brand yourself on your site. Make yourself relevant to others. Give others something that they can relate to. Act like that you are real rather than some spammer fake person.
Chris asked a very cool question which you need to know when you are the one dominating your niche: How to solve problems or a problematic issue?
Trust me, this will happen to everyone at least once. It happened to us here at WPBeginner as well. First thing you need to do is apologize. Second thing you need to do is don’t freak out. Because when you freak out, you start to point fingers which is another thing you don’t want to do. Then you want to make sure that you attempt to fix the issue. Make your user feel that you really care about the issue, and you are doing all what you can to fix it. Another best thing that you can do is keep the people updated by being transparent. This shows the user that you are really working on it.
I really enjoyed this session. I hope you can dominate your niche with blogger outreach as well.
Thanks to the Sponsors
Two awesome companies sponsored my trip here.
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