How To Use Twitter To Butter Up Influencers So That They Will Let You Guest Blog
While trying to launch Ignite Your Match (a startup that provides critiques of online dating profiles so that they can be improved), I needed to find influencers within the online dating world, and then ask them to allow me to write guest posts on their blogs. I found that Twitter was the easiest way to do this, and after several weeks of "buttering up" influencers, I'm now writing guests posts, and getting published to their audiences. It takes time, and some effort, but it's fairly straightforward. In this article, I'll share the tips and tools I use.
Determine your target audience and follow them
This was pretty clear to me when I wanted to promote Ignite Your Match. I wanted to go after people trying (and more importantly having trouble with) online dating. So it made sense to use our @igniteyourmatch Twitter to follow people who gave advice and wrote about online dating. Initial searches for hashtags like #onlinedating and #datingadvice gave me a foundation to build on.
Twitter has a built in tool that makes it easy to find more people to follow once you've got your initial base set up. Just look at who it puts into the "Who to follow" section on your sidebar. It will make suggestions based on who you're already following. I wish it showed the follower count of these suggestions, as that would make it easier to determine the potential influence of each profile. However, a quick click on the account will let you know that.
Another obvious technique is to view the accounts that the influencers follow, and scroll through and follow anyone who seems relevant to your audience. Repeat until you've built up a large pool of influencers to follow.
How to butter up the influencers
So now you follow a lot of people who are influencers in your field, and perhaps even some have followed you back. You want something from them, namely their audience’s attention. How do you get it? You ask for it, but first you better butter them up. Once you’ve established a rapport with them, and they know who you are, you can ask them to let you guest write on their blog, and it’s likely to happen. It is at least way more likely than a completely cold request.
A mindlessly simple way to get someone to notice you on Twitter is to favorite some of their tweets. That’s not really doing much for them, however, so you should try…
Retweeting an influencer’s post or article is a great way for you to help spread their reach and their material. It’s a quick and easy way to start getting noticed by them.
On Fridays, do a #FF tweet with the handles of your biggest influencers. Flattery will get you everywhere.
Respond to their tweets
If an influencer tweets a question, start a conversation with them. If they post an article, give them your brief thought, or better yet, show them something you wrote on the subject.
Your goal here is to get their attention and have them recognize your name before you reach out to them and ask for anything. Show them value first.??
Buffer is a great tool for queuing up retweets, so that you aren’t having to constantly retweet things, or doing a bunch at once and flooding people’s timelines. Instead, you can go through your influencers every few days and queue up several days of tweets to get put out a few times a day. Organize influencers into a list on Twitter to make this quicker and easier.
Interact with Twitter chats
I got my best guest writing opportunity after participating in a twitter chat. They would post questions, and I and other experts on online dating would respond. I made my answers funny when appropriate, and afterwards I asked them if I could guest blog on their site, and they immediately said yes.
How to get onto their blogs
After you’ve buttered them up on twitter, simply ask if you can write for their blog. (Make sure you research their blog. Alexa rank can be very telling as to whether their blog is important or influential at all. Don’t waste your time on a blog with no traffic.) If they follow you on Twitter, then you can DM them, which I find to be a very direct way to ask if you can guest write. Don’t be too discouraged if they say no. Everyone has their own agenda, and you actively promoting your business with a guest post on their blog might actually conflict with a service they are already offering. If they don’t follow you on Twitter you can’t send them a DM, so you should try to find the email address or at least the name of the person you interact with on Twitter, and shoot them an email to ask. After you ask, follow up until you get a definite “yes” or a definite “no.”
Keep in mind everyone’s favorite radio station, WII FM, which stands for “What’s in it for me?” Approach the influencer with value. Have a blog topic ready to go, and let them know why it fits in perfectly with their audience. Offer to do a post on your blog about their service too, especially if they are complimentary.
Have you found these techniques to work well for you? How do you get in with bloggers and earn a guest post? Leave your comments below.
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