This is a guest contribution from copywriter Robin Geuens.
Can I ask you a question?
When you published your first post, did you think youíd get lots of traffic? Did you think that everybody couldn’t wait to comment on a job well done? Did you?
I know I sure did.
But then reality kicked in.
In reality, you publish your first article and nobody reads it. Instead of receiving floods of traffic, you look around and realize your blog is located in a desert with not a single drop of traffic in sight.
The thing is, you’re not alone.
That desert is littered with abandoned blogging dreams. You’re surrounded by people who started out excited, but gave up because there was no one to appreciate their hard work.
Now Imagine this
Imagine what would happen to your motivation if you saw people sharing your articles and discussing what you said right off the bat.
Do you think you’d keep going?
I’m pretty sure you would. It would make things a lot more fun.
Most blogs die because people don’t know how to get that initial piece of feedback. They’re so busy writing, that they forget to do the one thing that matters most as a beginner:
Putting your content in front of people that can make a difference.
You see, when you create good content and you put it in front of the right people, it could get the initial burst of publicity it needs to become popular.
But reaching out to big bloggers can be pretty scary when you start out. You’re opening yourself up to being rejected by the people you admire.
So how do we overcome this?
Simple: you include them in the process.
When you include them, you both get something out of it. You help them position themselves as an authority, and they help you promote your post.
You help them, they help you. Networking 101.
Now, one thing I want to make clear before we get into the tactics is that you have to make sure it’s a win for both of you. Don’t just reach out to influencers because you need someone to promote your content. Make them look good, promote them, and they’ll gladly help you.
Also, don’t try to apply all these techniques all at once. Pick one and apply it. I’ll provide a cheatsheet at the end so you can look at the other techniques whenever you want to.
5 techniques you can apply right now
There are a couple of ways you can get influencers to share your content. The first and easiest one is:
1)Include them in a roundup
Roundups are great because they’re fairly easy to make and they’re really popular. You can make a roundup of the best bloggers, the best articles, or even the best quotes.
They’re great for a promotional point of view as well because they give you a ton of opportunities to reach out.
Here’s a good example: In his post, Robbie Richards made a list of 80 online marketing experts you should keep an eye on in 2015.
He put a lot of time and effort into making sure the reader and the expert got a lot out of it.
A couple of things to note
- He added a link to their site.
- He picked three articles you should read.
- He added a link to their twitter accounts
All these things make it easier for readers to get to know these bloggers.
The next thing you do is contact every single expert on your list and let them know you included them in your roundup. You’ve got a really high chance of getting your content shared if you do.
2) Ask for a quote
Another way you can include influencers in your post is by asking them for a quote.
I love this technique because:
- You’re building relationships with people you admire
- You learn something
- The credibility of your article goes through the roof
- The experts get to position themselves as an authority and share their knowledge with a new audience
The key to making this technique work is to be very clear with what you want to ask. Asking a marketing expert “how do you become good at marketing?” isn’t going to cut it. It’s a vague question that will get you a vague (or no) answer.
A while ago I was writing a post about why people don’t trust landing pages. To make the article better, I asked experts what their best tip was. Here’s the email I sent them.
I know youíre busy so I’ll keep it brief.
I’m writing an article about 10 reasons why people don’t trust landing pages ( too much hype, pop-ups, cringe worthy stock images,…) and wanted to show my readers how the pros do it.
If you could give someone one tip to improve the trustworthiness of their landing pages, what would it be?
Of course, I’ll include a link to (blog).
Thanks in advance and have a nice day!
One of the people I emailed was marketing legend Neil Patel. He got back to me within a day with some great advice.
Once the article was done I emailed him to check if I there was anything about his quote that he wanted to see changed (after all, it’s his advice).
Later that day he tweeted the article to his 110k+ followers on twitter, which resulted in a nice spike of traffic to my new blog.
One important thing to note is that you need to have systems in place to convert that traffic into subscribers. I dropped the ball on that one and lost out on a couple of them. Lesson learned.
3) Apply an influencer’s advice and show them the results
The best way you can make an influencer look good is to take their advice, apply it, and show them the results (preferably good ones).
It’s a great feeling when someone takes your advice and has success with it.
To do this, go to your favorite blog and look for any “how-to” content you can apply. Here are some examples from Problogger:
- Ultimate guide to making money with Amazon’s affiliate program
- How I’d promote my blog if I were starting out again
- 10 techniques to get more comments on your blog
You could read that last article, apply it, and show Darren how applying his advice got you more comments. You could even turn it into a guest post.
Let me give you a real example. A couple of months ago I read a post by Brian Dean from backlinko. His article was about how to create content that gets a lot of traffic. I thought it was great so I tried it out.
When my article was done and I did everything Brian had explained, I sent him a quick email showing him the result. Hereís the email and his reply.
4) Interview them
Interviews can be a good way to get your name out, but there can be a bit of a barrier to start doing it. Not everyone is comfortable interviewing people, let alone the people they look up to.
If you’re a little uncertain about it, I’d suggest starting out with just asking for advice like I talked about earlier. It’s a smaller, less intimidating form of interviewing.
A good example of someone who used interviews to build up his following is Andrew Warner from mixergy. He interviewed a ton of people, from marketing legend Seth Godin, to Tim Ferriss, to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
He’s become one of the most connected people on the internet. He learned a ton from talking to all these people and we get to learn with him.
A great way to get big names on your interview is to ask them right before they launch a new product or course. This gives them the chance to promote their new project and you get to ask them questions.
5) Reach out to people who liked similar content
Sometimes the simple and straightforward ways are the best. Just reaching out to people is one of those things. It might not be an exiting technique (it’s a bit boring to be honest), but it works.
Go to Buzzsumo and look for highly-shared articles around your topic. Make sure the articles are closely related to yours. Once you’ve found an article, look at who shared it.
For example, let’s say you created an article about landing page tips.
Next thing you do is email or tweet the people who shared it and let them know that you’ve written an article they might like. You can send them something like this:
I noticed you tweeted about (name of the article).
I really like that article (thank you for sharing!). I actually created a more in-depth article about the same topic. I’d love to hear what you think of it. Here it is (link)
Again, thank you for sharing cool stuff
All the best
I used this technique with my very first article. I sent about 30 emails and nine people shared it, which is not too shabby. Keep in mind that you’re emailing people out of the blue. Not everybody is going to respond or share your post.
What you should do next
The time where you could build a blog all by yourself is gone. You either have to find a way to work together with people bigger than you, or you’re going to have to spend a lot of time promoting your content.
I know all these techniques can be pretty overwhelming, so here’s what I want you to do
- Pick one technique you like and try it out.
- Let me know in the comments how it went.
- Keep this cheatsheet close so you can quickly check out the other techniques.
Robin Geuens is a copywriter who likes to help you write better emails, create better copy, and make awesome landing pages. You can find him at his blog, Conversionbase.