At The Blogshop, when a client uses our business blogging services, we always encourage them to be an active part of the strategy.
Whilst we’re more than happy to fully develop and implement a business blogging strategy without involvement from the client, there’s actually a lot they can do to further enhance the benefits they see through blogging.
With various different points to mention, one that clients often shy away from, but which can in fact be the most beneficial, is engaging with other bloggers.
Bloggers are influential. They can easily attract regular audiences of tens of thousands of people and whilst we’re not saying it’s cult-like and the audience will do whatever the blogger says, they do have a huge amount of influence, more so than many actually believe.
By engaging with bloggers in your industry – and this can start with something simple, such as commenting on blog posts – over time you’ll build up a relationship with them. You’ll come to expect their posts and understand their viewpoints on a certain topic and similarly, they’ll come to expect a comment or two from you on everything published.
As time passes and the relationship develops, you can begin to engage with the blogger outside of the comment section of their blog – and it’s at this point when you can start to think about how the relationship can potentially benefit your business.
What we want to say at this point is that all professional relationships that are developed should be done so in the best of faiths. Blogger relations should be a two-way process and you should never strike up a relationship with a blogger, expect something from them and as soon as you receive it – if you receive it at all – stop all communication with them. Aside from anything, it’s particularly bad etiquette and will quickly earn you a bad reputation.
When you’re talking with other bloggers regularly, you build up trust and confidence in one another. It’s essentially a friendship. And when you’re friends with someone, you’re more than happy to help them out on occasion.
In the blogging world, this could be something like allowing you to publish a blog post on their blog, in front of their audience. Whilst this post shouldn’t be sales based, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get your company’s name known in a new audience and start to develop yourself as a thought-leader.
But what it could also be is assistance when you’re launching a new product – if you’ve got a great relationship with 10 bloggers and they each have 5,000 regular readers, asking them to impartially review your new product puts it in front of 50,000 people instantly. Generally for free.
Where else can you get that sort of promotion for free?
The important point to note here is that this shouldn’t be a regular occurrence and you need to be more than willing to reciprocate. In fact, we’d go as far as saying you should urge the blogger(s) to think about how they can leverage your blog’s audience themselves.
Similarly, you shouldn’t just expect help from a blogger, even if you feel you’ve got a fantastic relationship with them. There’s no harm in approaching the subject, but don’t expect them to respond in the way you want them to. Remember, their assistance really is only a by-product of the relationship.
Developing relationships with other bloggers in your industry can be just like being part of a business networking group. If you take the time to truly engage with them and develop a professional relationship with the blogger – and they do the same – your organisation could very easily benefit in a variety of different ways, as long as you understand this shouldn’t be the sole focus of the relationship.
If it is, as with any relationship with a purpose other than friendship and loyalty, it’s going to do nothing but comeback and impact you negatively.