The Internet has changed the way that the public share and consume information. We are no longer constrained by the normal rules. We are no longer passive consumers of advertising messages and newsroom editorials.
Through the Internet we are increasingly becoming information sources, creating and distributing content, influencing the decisions that are made. We have become active participants, publishers and distributors, shaping the world through our views.
Bloggers are at the forefront of this growing trend. Every day bloggers are writing amazing stories, sharing thought provoking ideas and providing alternative perspectives and opinions that previously would have had no platform.
Bloggers who have a loyal audience that trust them and listen to what they say are powerful influencers. By building relationships with bloggers nonprofits can raise awareness of their causes, launch new campaigns and drive support for the work they do. The challenge lies in how exactly to build that relationship.
Look at Each Person as an Individual
This is probably the most important things to consider when it comes to building relationships with bloggers. Every blogger is an expert at something or has the potential to have an influence on your campaign. It is important that you consider carefully how you approach potential bloggers and that you take the time to personalise your message. If you can show that you have taken some time to read their articles, if you show you have some knowledge about their audience and are offering something that is relevant and useful then you have increased your chances of starting a relationship with them by a huge amount.
Be Relevant, Do Your Homework
Figuring out whom we want to reach, why they matter to us, and why we matter to them by digging into their interests and understanding their community will help you to understand them and that in turn will make it much easier to build that relationship. Any blogger outreach program should begin with research. Bloggers usually have a clearly defined area of interest. Their passion (and their audience’s) for their niche means any content outside of it will be deemed irrelevant and out of context. So your content proposal needs to be aligned to their content.
Engage Early, Often & Authentically
Relationships don’t just come easily. It is something that develops over time. You need to get to know the bloggers you want to work with. Why are they inspired by what you do? What’s their story? How can you support them? Try to find ways you can assist your bloggers by helping them to expand their reach, retweeting their content and introducing them to useful information.
By joining their conversations, leaving comments, asking them questions you can show that you’re interested in them and they in turn will show an interest in your cause.
Wait for the right opportunity
I would consider starting to build those relationships with bloggers long before you ask them to promote a campaign or support your cause. It will seem far more genuine.
Keep commenting and sharing, send them links to interesting things and have small conversations, until there is an opportunity to work with them in a way that would be mutually beneficial.
Say thank you
This may sound quite an obvious one but just being nice and saying thank you for mentioning your cause or supporting a campaign. One word I keep mentioning throughout this piece is ‘relationship’. It is about bringing them closer to you, having on-going conversations with them, answering their questions and helping them if you can.