There’s a great post on the LewisPR blog about link building in a Penguin world. In Stephen Corsi’s treatment of the topic, he mentions blogger relations as a strategy to earn more back links. In my post, I’d like to expand on that.
First, if you are crawling from under a rock and didn’t get the memo on Penguin, it’s the newest update to Google’s way of indexing content for search. It puts more emphasis on activities such as authentic back linking and gives more credence to social sharing. So, if your content gets a back link like the one I gave to LewisPR, that means Google will see said content as important and move it up the food chain.
Before diving into blogger relations strategies to earn these back links, you might be wondering what are they, anyway? The short answer is this. They are links that point back to specific content on your blog or website. For example, I created a back link by anchoring “link building in a Penguin world” to a post on the LewisPR blog. The post, which discusses back linking as a part of a public relations strategy, briefly defines blogger relations as a way to earn said links.
Corsi, however, left an opening in each of his four points for others to add and build on the content he originally published. Which brings us to my first point about blogger relations and back linking.
Back Linking Strategies
These five strategies are commonsense. They also take time, patients and a real interest in building mutual relationships with bloggers, colleagues and other content creatives. Here’s five:
- Create content, particularly lists that offer other bloggers and colleagues the opportunity to expand on and link to your content.
- Identify bloggers and colleagues and reach out to them to arrange a guest blogger opportunity. Always create a back link to your blog, such I did here.
- Form a blogging community, and create a shared content calendar to build and link to content on blogs in that community.
- Work within a blogging community to socially promote each other’s content through Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + and social content communities, such as, AtomicReach.
- Reach out to those you have back linked. Let them know what you did. And open a dialogue to begin facilitating points 2, 3 and 4.
Back linking comes with a caveat emptor tag attached to it. And that is, bogus software applications that claim to spin articles to create quality back links to your website or blog. Most of them smell like bullshit to me. At the end of the day, your back linking strategy will be hard work. Count on it. It will take time. Count on it. And you shouldn’t leave it in the hands of anyone less qualified than a public relations strategist who understands relationship building.
Commonsense Blogger Relation Tips
Building relationships with anyone, even bloggers isn’t hard if you know how the build relationships. I know that sounds nonsensical, but it’s true. Here’s a few strategies:
- Read their blog and comment often on their content. And for the love of God, make your comment relevant and meaty.
- Follow people you want to build relationships with on Twitter. Engage accordingly.
- Create content that extends and adds to other content. Link to it. Then tell them about it.
- If you email someone, use their name, and if it’s first contact, reference something you’ve read on their blog or website.
- Don’t be pushy.
I teach interpersonal communication at a local college, and my students learn a very important theory called social exchange theory. The simple notion is one of give-and-take, an exchange between two people which is understood as investment in the other’s well-being. This can be extended to blogger relations and building stronger relationships by investing in other’s content through socially sharing, extending it through one’s own content, and putting forward an investment of time to collaborate, share ideas and edify one another — all of which takes time and effort.
Now, if you think what I say is a load of crap, check out my other post: “THE DUMB ASS GUIDE TO BLOGGER RELATIONS.”