I have a lot of things in common with a lot of bloggers, and there are a lot of bloggers all over the Web. But just because we’re all bloggers and we have something in common, that doesn’t mean that we’re friends, or even business associates. Assuming that “we’re all in this together” and another blogger is willing to do you a favor is a big mistake. Building a good, strong online reputation takes a lot of hard work but it only takes one little mistake to ruin it. Here are five things you should never do when approaching another blogger.
Don’t Ask For A Link
Good quality, authoritative backlinks are hard to come by, in this business they’re like gold. Don’t just fire off an email to another blogger and ask for a link. You content may be some of the best on the web but he has no way of knowing if you’re going to leave that content up or replace it with a Viagra ad. If and when that blogger is ready to link out to you he will and he’ll only do it because he’s been following you for a while and trusts your blog.
Don’t Assume He Welcomes Your Opinion
I hate getting emails that tell me what I should be telling my readers. Or worse, those emails that say, “Hey. I wrote this article for your blog and you’re readers are going to love it because…” Unless you’ve been right here in the trenches with me, answering emails and comments since I started my blog, you have no idea what my readers really want to know. And telling me that you do is just presumptuous and rude.
Don’t Suggest A Link Exchange
If I’ve never heard of you there’s no way I’m going to consider a link exchange so please leave me off your list. Even if you are offering me two bucks! As I mentioned above, I have no idea if your blog is legit or not and links are too valuable to risk. If I want to link to you I will in my own time and then, if you want to, you can link back to me.
Don’t Offer A One-Sided Deal
I can’t tell you how many emails I receive asking me to sponsor a blogging contest or publish a guest blog post to help a new blogger get some exposure. What you’re asking me to do will in some way affect my business and before I do that I need to know what’s in it for me. And I’m not always out for money or fame. I frequently do things just to be nice and gain a few Karma points. But when it comes to business, I still need to know – WIIFM?
Don’t Ask First – Give First
If you really want another blogger’s help or cooperation, the best thing you can do is give, first, instead of asking. Want a link from my blog? Link out to me first and you can bet, when I see it, I’ll be checking you out to see if I should return the favor. Want me to guest blog for you? How about guest blogging for me, first, or better yet, link to me to get my attention so I’ll start following your blog.
In short, the best way to remember the things you shouldn’t do when you approach another blogger is to start thinking of your blog as a business. That other blog’s a business, too, and the owner is very protective. If you want a favor, you’re going to have to earn it by building your own blog and doing the legwork to establish a business relationship.