When it comes to promoting an eCommerce store, one of the fastest ways to drive traffic to your product pages is working with influential bloggers. Once you get influential bloggers related to your niche to link to your products, you win.
The problem, however, is that it’s difficult to get your eCommerce site on the radar of an influential blogger. That’s why below I’m going to provide you a 5 step guide to getting your products recognized by the right bloggers, as well as turning that recognition into high traffic links back to your eCommerce site.
Step 1: Start a Daily Habit of Reading Influential Bloggers in your Niche
There are many boneheaded things entrepreneurs do when attempting to get an influential blogger to promote their products. As a matter of fact, there is a great post titled 5 boneheaded questions entrepreneurs ask influential bloggers that I suggest you read before you reach out to any bloggers.
The first one is reaching out to a blogger without reading their blog. If you want an influential blogger to link to your eCommerce site, you must first get an intimate understanding of that blogger’s audience.
The best way to do that is to start a daily habit of reading their blog. To do this, I suggest you start using a tool like Netvibes.com or Feedly to stay up to date on all of the blog post from your favorite bloggers.
Step 2: Learn the “Art” of commenting on Blogs
It’s easy to look at something like leaving comments on a blog post as a simplistic task that requires no skill. However, this is not the case.
Leaving good comments on an influencer’s blog is an art. Chances are, an influential blogger gets hundreds of comments all the time. So if your goal is to get the blogger’s attention so you can build a relationship that will ultimately lead to your products being mentioned, then you must rise above all other commenters.
The first step to achieve this goal is to always be one of the first 2 or 3 comments on a post. Ideally, you get the top comment spot every time.
Being the first commenter is not enough however. Your comment must also add value and not be self promotional. This is the only way to get approved and/or get a response back from the blogger.
Step 3: Subscribe to the Bloggers Email List and then Actually Open the Emails
Once you build the habit of reading blogs and learn the art of commenting on blog post, you want to start subscribing to a few email list.
The key here is a “few” not all. Start only with the following types of bloggers:
- Bloggers who write post that resonate with your brand
- Bloggers who engage with you when you comment
- Bloggers who have actually promoted products in the past and who provide you the best chance of getting a link to your eCommerce store.
Make sure when you subscribe to their email list, you use a branded email address that specifically identifies who you are. Ideally, the email address you use makes it easy to cross-reference you with the comments you make as well.
It’s important to do this so that when you open and click the links in the email, your branded email address shows up in the email marketing stats of the blogger’s email marketing software. This will get you a few extra visibility points.
Most people who use email marketing software scan through the list of people who actually open and click links in their emails. You not only want to be on that list, you want your email address to stand out.
Step 4: Create a Twitter List with Your Target Bloggers
Next, you must follow your favorite bloggers on Twitter. You can’t just follow them however, you should segment them using a Twitter list. This is especially important if you follow a few hundred people or more.
The Twitter stream gets pretty noisy. So use a Twitter list to follow the stream of your favorite bloggers and you will always be able to see their latest tweets. Then be sure to reply and retweet them often.
This is another one of those things that’s about visibility. So make sure your Twitter profile is branded in such a way that it resonates with the blogger and how you are engaging with them on other platforms.
Side note… I’m not suggesting that Twitter is the only social media site or best social media site to engage bloggers. For your industry it may be Google+, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Pinterest. The general tips suggested in this step are universal. Apply them as appropriate to whatever social network that fits your need.
Step 5: Buy the Bloggers Books or Other Products, then Write a Review
The last thing you must do is to put some skin in the game buying something from your favorite bloggers. It may be an book, an information product such as a online course, a t-shirt…whatever. Just make a purchase.
On top of that, write a 5 star review of the purchase then send the link of the review to the blogger.
The key is that you only compete this step after you do step 1-4 for a few months. If you follow that path, this step will solidify you in the heart and mind of the blogger. You will officially become either one of the blogger’s superfans or friends.
Superfans and friends are the ones who get promoted. At the end of this step, it’s a natural progression to get the blogger to link to your products.
Send them a free sample, and then ask for a review. That’s it. You win!