Traffic Tip: How to Get Influencers to Share Your Content and More Tips

influencers

In an era where search engine optimization is becoming more and more challenging, traffic diversification is a MUST.

That’s why I’m super duper excited to feature Mark Trueman of Zen Spill on my blog today. Mark is a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur and he’s also a master at networking.

He knows how to grab the attention of influencers and wants to show you how to do the same.

So without further ado, here are some questions I posed to Mark.

What are some effective ways to get the attention of influencers in a given niche?

Have some sort of back and forth conversation with them before you email them. You can easily do this by leaving a comment on their blog or sharing one of their posts. Do this until they reply back to one of your comments or tweets.

Keep in mind that some bloggers don’t generally reply to comments. You’re going to have to find a different way to start a conversation with them.

Find a small forum they like to hang out at and reply to their posts, or wait till the end of their webinars and ask a good question.

Once they do reply, send them an email of you doing something for them, like linking to them in your post. 99% of them will share that post right then and there. But that’s not the point. Even if they don’t, you have now moved the conversation to a more personal space (email).

You can also follow their advice and send them the results. Is there a particular method they talk about or suggest? Do it and send them a detailed report of what happened when you took their advice.

Ask for advice on a particular thing (that they haven’t written a post about) once you move the conversation to email. Follow up with an email of what happened when you applied this advice.

Lisa’s Comment:  I get contacted by a lot of people who want me to share their posts because they’ve linked to my site.

I’ll share some of the posts (if they’re well-written), but I never mind sharing Mark’s content because I can count on his posts to overdeliver.

Even with this blog post you’re reading now, I expected him to send me a few sentences for each answer.  No.  He sends me detailed answers, screenshots, links to relevant posts and went the extra mile.

His articles are always very detailed with images, actionable advice and provide extreme value.  In fact, I shared one of his posts earlier this year and he blogged about it…

zenspill

Mark noticed the traffic coming from my share, wrote this post and then reached out to me after it was done.

So of course linking to my site provides incentive for me to share it, but if the post was not useful, I wouldn’t have.

Contacting people about a link to their site is the first step, but the quality needs to be there too.

Fast forward to today.  As a result of the earlier exchange and the trust/credibility that Mark has built up through his previous content, I reached out to him regarding this post today.

So he’s going to get even more exposure and a natural backlink from a related blog.

See how this all works?

What is the biggest mistake bloggers make when trying to reach out to influencers?

1. When reaching out, keep it short and to the point. No one has the time to read an essay. Neil Patel gets 207 email’s a day. What happens when he opens an email from someone he doesn’t know and it’s more than 4 lines? He moves on.

link The first time you reach out you should be providing some value to them. This is a must. Never go to someone out of the blue and ask them to do something for you.

But here’s what I find. Most influencers will take the time to check out who you are the first time you do something for them (2nd time for really big influencers).

If they like what they see, they’ll usually share it right then and there. Providing some value can also be pointing them to something they asked about or something that supports their stand on an argument. It doesn’t necessarily have to be you sending them traffic.

2. Always be thankful. These guys didn’t have to do anything for you. But they did. They went out of their way in their 14 hour work day life to do something for you. Here’s what Ramit (New York Times Best Selling Author) has to say about showing gratitiude:

One thing I learned is THANK PEOPLE FOR DOING NICE THINGS. Duh, sounds obvious, but let me count the times people don’t say thanks when I’ve hooked them up.

  • A college acquaintance moved to NYC asked me to connect her to some CEO at a company. She ended up  getting the job because of my connection! Two years later, she asked me for another introduction. I ignored her email
  • I gave a first-time entrepreneur advice on pricing. They quadrupled profits in less than 1 month doing  what I said. I only heard about this because I have a mutual friend.
  • Etc etc etc kill me

If you don’t even seem like you care, don’t expect them to do anything for you again. Ever. E-mail them and thank them.

What are some of the biggest mistakes (or assumptions) new bloggers make when it comes to traffic building?

1. They think that if they write epic content, traffic will magically show up at their sites. Writing epic content is definitely a must, but you also need to actively go out there and get traffic back to your blog.

Peep Laja of ConversionXL did exactly that. He wrote epic content and then went around telling people about it. He ended up raising 40,996 visitors in his first 30 days:

2. They underestimate how much presentation matters.  How seriously people take you and how reliable they think you are depends on the way you present yourself.

This means your blog should be full of useful posts as well as show your readers that you’re credible and trustworthy. You can show this with good design, social proof, testimonials, etc.

3. New bloggers sometimes think they are going to build a successful blog all on their own. This is possible, but it’s also a highly inefficient way to build a blog.

Being friends with influencers and even other bloggers who are just starting out is going to help you grow immensely.

With all the Google algorithm changes over the past year or two, do you think guest posting is a good way for a new site owner to get more exposure?

Not in terms of SEO, no.

But should you guest post?

Yes. Definitely.

Here’s what I mean. Guest posting will help you get some traffic but there are other ways to earn links.

For example, Richard Marriott got links by emailing bloggers about broken links on their blogs and asking them to link to his post if possible.

Here’s the exact email he sent:

broken_link_building_outreach_email

A few E-mails back and forth later, he got a handful of replies like this:

brokenLinkEmail

He got plenty of authority links with a few hours of work.

But back to your original question about guest posting.  Here’s my experience…

Writing a guest post for KissMetrics with just one link took me about four days. If you’re doing it purely for link building purposes, don’t.

If you’re thinking it would still be worth it for the traffic, here’s some data to show you otherwise. The KissMetrics post (or really any guest post I’ve written) sent about 200 – 500 visitors to any link in the post:

bitly

Here’s another example…

I’ve been lucky enough to get on the good side of Brian at Blog Engage. He sent me almost 300 visitors from Blog Engage in the first two weeks alone.

blogengage

Even if a guest post could send me 1000 visitors to my blog, I’d still rather be friends with an influencer.

Why?

The traffic from the guest post will stop, but the benefits of being friends with an influencer won’t.

Ok. So why should you even bother writing guest posts?

Three reasons: Credibility, Expertise and Relationships.

Credibility: You can be the world’s best at something, but no one is going to take you seriously until there are some credibility indicators to prove that you know what you’re talking about.

Showing your readers that you’ve written for some well-known blogs in your niche is going get them to listen to what you have to say.

Expertise: Seeing you everywhere is going to make your audience view you as an authority figure.

People may not check you out the first time they run into one of your guest posts, but they’ll really be curious as to who you are the third time around. If they run into you enough times, you suddenly become an expert in their eyes.

Relationships: The strongest relationships you can build are through guest blogging. Not just with the blog owner, but also with the blog’s sphere of influence.

You can reach out and thank all the influencers who shared your guest post. This will allow you to suddenly tap into a much wider audience.

Oh, and how did I get in touch with Brian? I let him know I was about to write about him in a guest post.

What recommendations would you have for someone looking for guest post opportunities?

Look for blogs in your niche that publish guest posts on a daily basis. Find blogs that mainly focus on publishing posts from guest bloggers (like FamousBloggers) instead of one main blogger.

These blogs generally have some sort of system in place for deciding which post to publish. This will allow you to side step credibility because they will care less about who you are and more about how good your post is.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and write for blogs that are managed by a single blogger. There are plenty of ways to find guest posting opportunities on these blogs.

However, a single blogger who doesn’t have a system in place for weeding though all the guest post offers is more likely to base their decision on who you are rather than how good your post is.

Allow your guest posts to fall into each other. When you write a post for a blog, be sure to already know a few blogs you are looking to write for in the future. Link to these other blogs in your guest post where they’re relevant.

This will allow you to reach out to these bloggers and say Hey, I ended up linking to your site on this post I wrote for this blog. Most bloggers/influencers will respond to that.

This not only gives you an opportunity to write for their blog, but also shows them you are credible because you just wrote for another famous blog and linked to them.

Lisa’s tip: Ann Smarty has a site called MyBlogGuest.com where you can connect with people looking for guest posters.

You have a very active blog with lots of comments and shares.  What techniques would you attribute to the success of your site?

Always keep your reader’s problems and needs in mind. If you solve a problem that they have, it’ll naturally get them excited.

This will make them want to take some action. Your only job then is to make it easy for them to share your post, comment on the blog or subscribe to your blog.

And if they get the urge to do these things, they shouldn’t have to spend any effort trying to figure out how. If they want to share your post but have to actually ask themselves how to do this (even for a second), you are going to lose most of them.

I also make sure to reward people who subscribe to my blog by sharing exclusive content like How I Increased My Search Engine traffic by 2.87 Times or How Do You Find People Many Influencers Follow? 

Rewarding your subscribers with unexpected bonuses also makes them happy and makes for a much more active/loyal fan base. This is why you’ll see comments by the same people on many of my posts.

So What Do You Think?

Mark offered up some great advice, and I thought the part about connecting with influencers was stellar.

People with large followings cannot respond to every single comment, email or tweet and they don’t have time to read emails that are 10 paragraphs long.

They are also not going to share everything people ask them to.  It’s not that they’re trying to be mean or arrogant, but it’s about setting boundaries and protecting their reputations.

So if you want people to notice and connect with you, try these strategies that Mark employs.  Be creative!

And I REALLY love the tip about using one of the influencer’s strategies and blogging about it.  If you’ve had success with something they recommend, document it, take screenshots of the results and write a very detailed post showing what you did and how you used their tips.

People LOVE sharing content like this because it makes them look even more credible, and it’s encouraging to their followers because it shows their advice really works.

Mark also provided a great tip about writing a post that addresses a stance or argument the influencer made.

I call these response posts.   If the article is well-written, it is beneficial for influencers to share this response post because it links back to their original post.

In other words, it gives them an opportunity to promote their original content again by showing how people respond to it.

So are you going to try any of these strategies that Mark talks about here?  Maybe you already have. Share your results below!


Comments

  1. Great post. I think I’m going to try and write a response post and send it to a popular blogger in my niche. Great ideas. Gonna check out Mark’s site now.

  2. Fred Matthis says:

    I’ve always wondered if guest posting was beneficial for SEO after all the updates. Kind of seems like a waste of time now that Google has made so many changes and those links don’t count as much. But I like your point about building relationships. Thanks for the article.

    • Hey Fred,

      They still count but it just takes too long to write a guest post just for a link.
      Glad to hear you liked that point about building relationships.

      - Mark T.

  3.  2createawebsite

    As Mark said, if you do it, do it for the relationships and credibility. Don’t do it because you expect the backlink is going to give you some massive search engine traffic benefit.

  4.  watesh

    Its so true. Traffic diversification is a must. Google is becoming more unreliable

  5. I love what you write about, your video’s and your website. I am part of a community of friends that are bloggers and affiliates, I share what you share with them.

    Thanks for the time you take for all of us newbies out there.
    God bless
    Kymee

  6. Hey Lisa and Mark!

    This is jam packed full of tips, love it! I especially like the tip about putting other bloggers’ techniques to the test. That’s powerful stuff.

    Quick question for you Mark: you’ve included a cool screenshot that shows the number of clicks on the bit.ly links in the KissMetrics post. Can you tell me what tracking software you used for this? Is it bit.ly or is that the KissMetrics software?

    • Hey Richard,

      Thanks.
      Yup. You can end up on some pretty big sites that way.
      And that’s just bitly. If you take a bitly url and add a plus sign to the end of it, you can take a look at all the stats.

  7. Hi Lisa. Thanks for keeping us informed. I have learned a lot form your videos and post. I really appreciate all that you do.

  8. I loved this and you have helped me so much with so many things! I realized that I was already doing some of this but didn’t have a “name” for it! I knew it was giving me credibility. Now I just need to tie some loose ends together. Great post

  9. i ve followed your works 1 year already since when i did’nt even know how to build a wp-blog. I used your strategies and tips which some works and some doesnt , probably, because my audiences are relatively small (only Thai people). Still thanks alot for your effort and time by sharing your jouney on internet marketing. REALLY really really appriciate!!!!

    i now work a regular job 8-5 and also have a part-time job which is selling cosmetic products via my website. i hope in 2-3 years i can quit a rat race and become full-time internet marketer! THXS again lisa

  10.  KharimTomlinson

    Hey Lisa, I just got your email because I am a subscriber of your blog and you always know how to deliver a great post.

    One of the best ways to get influencers to share your content is to build credibility and have a friendly relationship with them, as you have mentioned in this article.

    Nothing beats friendship when it comes to blogging.

    Guest posting for traffic can work but you would have to continuously do it on a regular basis. This can take up lots of time but if a person can do it then it would be good for him.

    I love sharing your posts as well to new bloggers and I always recommend new bloggers to your site. This is because they ask how I created such a good blog and I would point to your blog and say, “this is where I got started”, because you are an awesome influencer.

    Keep up the good job Lisa and thanks again.

    • Great post Lisa & Mark. I’m a newbie. I’m absorbing as much of this great info as I can.

      Thanks!

    •  2createawebsite

      Kharim I really appreciate your support! Yes we go back a looooooooooong way! Didn’t you have a pitbull site or something like that when you first came online?

      •  KharimTomlinson

        Hey Lisa,

        So true. I remember when I found you on YouTube back in 2010 and that’s the year I started blogging. You were of great help to me and I thank you for that.

        Yes I had a pitbull website but it wasn’t turning over so I had to close it down to work on my main blog now.

        I want to get into making videos on YouTube, but kinda shy to get in front of the camera, what do you recommend?

  11. Agree you have to go out in market yourself to to get traffic. I did a guest post on two different blogs that get a lot of traffic, and guess what, I still make comments on their blogs from time to time. You shouldn’t guest post and never come back IMO.

    I do link up parties in blog hops. For example, I do a link up called fitness Fridays and it is a party of blogs that have a fitness theme. You comment on other blogs and they are supposed to comment back. What you’re doing is building up relationships and traffic.

    Yes, content is king but now you have to go and be the king”s messenger and relay that message to the masses.

  12.  larrywjames

    I have been researching and learning all I can about how to build links effectively. One of the things that I have learned is that you build relationships when building links. Getting another site to link to yours is hard work and does not usually happen by just sending them a link request. More often than not it requires several follow-up emails to convince them your site is worth linking to. I believe that the relationship you establish with the blogger or webmaster that you request a link from is much more important than getting the link itself. It can lead to other opportunities such as guest blogging.

  13. This is an excellent post Lisa and a great introduction to Mark Trueman. I just learned a tip about bitly just by reading the comments! I’m off to share this post and connect with Mark.

  14.  tiroberts

    Hi Lisa,

    How awesome to see mark here on your blog!

    I met Mark some months back and his content certainly does always over deliver on value. This one is no exception!

    Great job, Mark on detailing your processes. It’s important for us to lay it all out for those new bloggers who may be confused about how to connect with top bloggers. The process is rather simple, you just have to put in the time and effort to execute.

    I love how I can always learn something new when it comes to connecting with influencers. The ways are endless!

    Thanks again for writing this up, Mark and for publishing it, Lisa. I’ll be sure to share with my social circle. :)

    Ti

  15. Hey, Lisa, Thanks for every infor I always pick from your blog, but I am one person you may not be proud to of, I gave up my blog last month realising that since I started noone ever visited, its like only me posting to myself for myself.I find Mark ‘s information very valuable but I don’t know if I can be able to articulate.of course I do receive ,read and respond to thousands of emails and blogs from most American(though I am not American myself and neither am I in the USA) doctors, fitness and health trainers, business articles etc but have no clue how I can use them for my advantage ,everything feels , new ,heavy and too much to grasp and use ……

  16. I really like the tip about linking to a website before asking for a link or tweet back from someone, that makes sense that they are more likely to retweet you if you were talking about them first or referenced info from them.

  17. Hey Lisa and Mark,

    Good to see you here Mark and excellent tips.

    Mark reached out to me actually some time back Lisa because I had shared a mishap I’d had in a comment on one of his posts so out of the kindness of his heart he reached out to me to help me with this. Bless his heart, little did he know the problems it would incur but he hung in there, I praised his generosity in a post I wrote and he’s someone that I look up to and trust now. He’s just a great guy.

    That’s the way you build those relationships which I’m a stickler for and he does a fabulous job of that and of course the awesome content that he shares certainly doesn’t hurt either.

    Had to stop by and give my two cents worth and once again, praise the man!

    Great job you two and thanks for this great information. Now go have yourselves a fabulous rest of your week okay!

    ~Adrienne

    •  2createawebsite

      See… it’s little things like that, that go a long way huh? Very cool of Mark to do that.

      Glad you stopped by Adrienne. Have a great day. :)

  18. Hello Lisa,

    This was one of the most interesting things i have read lately. I am going to try and use some of these tips and see what happens. I am New and slowly learning how to build my Blogs online.

    Have a Great Week
    Aaron

  19. Very useful and helpful content! I love the way you always practice what you preach! Stellar content and diversification.. Thanks for the updates!

  20.  gjgrob

    Great point about writing epic content and expecting traffic to “magically show up”. Epic content is essential but in the beginning, if no-body knows you exist, you need to find ways to draw attention to your blog.

    Your traffic stats re. guest posting are very useful. Also, a good tip re. linking out to other bloggers from your guest posts. But the tip I like the most (I agree with you Lisa) is the one about taking another blogger’s strategy, putting it into practice and then writing up the results.
    Thanks for a very interesting post.

  21. Case studies and any kind of research has worked well for me in the past. You can sometimes get the “influencers” and high authority figures to link to your blog if you have some really interesting research. I see it all the time, especially on internet marketing blogs, where someone will get linked to if they’ve found some pretty interesting info out about new SEO techniques or whatever.

    Basically making content that is just golden for your niche could eventually land you a very valuable link!

  22. Great tips!
    In short, Networking is really important nowadays, and always!

    Thanks!

  23. Lisa, love your videos and thanks to your help my traffic has increased by 30% this year which means an extra 2,000,000 page views. This was a great article with more valuable information. I saw the shout out to Ann Smarty and I just wanted to share how much I have enjoyed My Blog Guest and what great content I am getting from the site. I also love the info graphics I am getting from My Blog Guest.

    I am curious to know what you think about the sister site viralcontentbuzz.com?

  24. Hello Lisa , I Agree with these tips which you wrote above. I Realise the power of social media, 3 and 4 Month back. Few days back i does’t focus on the social media tips and it also effect my website ranking. But when i implement and follow these tips i feel the Different in my ranking. In Google ranking factors , Social media is also one the important thing. So thanks for this article for sharing

  25.  noor-noor

    This is really a good stuff and the blog is really informative and entertaining same time. The goal is to get citizens designing and discussing facilities. I think that there are many people, those can gain benefit from this site. I appreciate the efforts made by you. I was searching for something like that I wish you great blessings and love. ***

  26. A very good job Lisa and Mark,
    This is my first comment on your blog Lisa and, i love what you’re doing here. I saw this post at Bizsugar and I’ve known Mark for a long time now which was the main reason why i decided to hop in and read :).

    There is no doubt that one of the best ways to succeed on the internet is to connect and network with influencers this way, they will help to grow you.

    Like Mark mentioned here, you can’t possibly do it all alone, you need the help of other people to push you up the ladder.

    For sure, one of the best ways to build some awesome relationship with the influencers you want to connect with is via guest blogging and also blog commenting, these are the two strategies that have been working for me.

    One of the mistakes that most people makes today is that they always mistake the main brain behind guest blogging and commenting, they always think that its all about building links but, it should go beyond that. And, if you have just that in mind then, your guest posts will be crappy and people will always be rejecting it.

    The climax of the matter remains that nothing can be compared with building and networking with influencers in your community.

    A very awesome post as always Mark and, i trust your judgement.

  27. Great article! I’m still not 100% sure how the linking system works, but to me building relationships seems like the strongest route. It seems like Google is constantly changing stuff, but they can’t impact the connections you form.

  28. Hi Lisa, I created a YT channel for my 13 year old to express herself. This post of yours came to my email addy as a new post from channel subscriptions. Informative read as my teenager (13 going on 30) has shown interest in blogging. Any tips from a teenager perspective on blogging? Maybe a site referral??

    Thanking you in advance. : )

    Val (Hannah’s Mom)

  29. Hi Miss. Lisa this post can help me a lot, as a new blogger. Thanks

  30. Thank you for a very insightful post. Becoming friends with influencers could be a full time job in itself :)

  31. Hi Lisa,
    I so love reading your blogs and I always find it informative and very interesting. I do not have a blog yet, but now that I have a little more time on my hands I want to take a stab at it, not because I’m trying to make any money at it, but because I care about people and lately I have been talking to many people who are looking for some honest feedback and direction within their personal lives.
    Thanks Mark & Lisa
    Keep up the good work

  32. Colin Fox says:

    Hi Lisa, great post.

    I’ve actually been researching how to do this (my mentor suggested it instead of articles and press releases, connect with people instead) and your post popped up in Genieo.

    I’ve read that social factors (sharing, likes, comments) will help with SEO in 2014 so having guest blogs on an influencers blog will help with the social engagement. This is due to Google seeing the interaction and the link to your blog and so will boost it up the search a bit more thinking your post is important as well. It will probably help on your own blog more I guess. What’s your thoughts on this as it seems you don’t think the SEO is helped much or have I mis-interpreted? Will it just help the blog guested on but not your own blog?

    I’ve actually just rethought my whole strategy and starting again from scratch as my original blog didn’t have a good solid foundation or focus or engagement so thanks for helping with that.

    Was told of a good way for more exposure is to sign up for HARO (Help A Repoerter Out) and wonder if you have thoughts on this?

    Lesson learned: Start with building relationships and giving value is the way to go, thanks again,

    Colin.

  33.  josephadediji

    Great Post as always Lisa,
    I love all Mark’s response especially the biggest mistakes part. All newbie bloggers need to take note of that aspect of the interview, those mistakes can kill your blog quickly..
    Thumbs Up Mark, I love your blog.

  34. As long as we remember this – WIIFM, we should be ok! Ask what you can do to help the influencers to benefit. Sometimes a simple benefit such as a backlinks will do the job. A lot of times, they are willing to help you, if you help them in the first place!

  35.  uniquerishta

    hi lisa ,

    Great post again. Yes link building and networking is great thing these days for promoting your blog these days but i feel that in generating traffic we forget main thing and creating content on certain topic again and again because they have so called “links”.

  36. I love the way you always practice what you preach! Stellar content and diversification.. Thanks for the updates!
    really usefull and effective

  37. As Mark said, if you do it, do it for the relationships and credibility. Don’t do it because you expect the backlink is going to give you some massive search engine traffic benefit.

  38. I’m very grateful to you Lisa for your this article. I have learned alot from this and the mistakes I made, but now I’ll be keeping all those in mind to perform much better in future.
    Hope I would succeed in it.

    Thank You :)

  39.  rarieadiymail.com

    I am very grateful to you Lisa for your article.
    I have learned a lot from this and the mistakes I made.

  40. Got to learn a lot from this post. He is right writing good content wont magically bring traffic to your blog you will help and engagement from other places as well. After reading a few posts here on your blog I am just wondering that writing really long posts might attract more visitors because most of the posts on your blog are 100+ words.

    Hey Lisa want to be friends ?

    Just doing what I learnt from the post, be friends with influencers ;)

  41.  UdaCenduang

    I am very grateful to you Lisa for your article.
    I have learned a lot from this and the mistakes I made.

  42. Great article Lisa! I’ve seen huge success with a few of my clients, specifically Hawthorn Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, with the tactic you suggested about sending them an email letting them know you’re doing something for them. We’ve received blogger reviews and vendor partnerships from this. Really valuable tip!

  43. Thanks Lisa, this post can help me a lot, as a new blogger. Thanks

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