Six months ago, this blog didn’t exist.
I had 30 followers on Twitter.
I had a measly 22 followers on Google Plus.
I had zero email subscribers.
In short, I was about as popular as a guy who understands every obscure reference in a Dennis Miller rant or MST3k episode.
I was asked to write for one of the most popular websites in the world.
They contacted me and I said yes.
“How the heck did that happen,” you ask?
Many Bloggers Are So Discouraged By What They Lack They Fail To Appreciate What They Have
I might not have had a blog, a following, or any subscribers; but I had a supportive wife, a knack for writing, and a little know-how.
My background as a website developer provided the necessary technical skills, and my years as a high school teacher and humor blogger gave me an interesting (dare I say unique?) writing voice.
No blog? So what… I’ll create one.
No followers? Big deal. I’ll go find some.
No subscribers? My wife will subscribe, and that’s a start.
It wasn’t easy, but nothing really worth having in this world comes easily.
And guess what?
Now it’s your turn…
The 2 Deceptively Simple Ways To Earn An Invite From Boost Blog Traffic (or Any Elite Site)
It’s going to sound overly simplistic, but do you want to know how I managed to receive an invite to write for Boost Blog Traffic? I did two things:
- I devoted time each week to getting onto the radars of the people in charge, and
- I made sure that, when they did notice me, there was something worthwhile to see.
Told you it would sound simplistic! 🙂
In practice, these two points require lots of time, dedication, and hard work.
Of course, it’s nothing you can’t handle.
Let’s walk through it, step by step.
We’ll start with the easy part: getting onto the radars of Jon and Glen.
(Note: The examples in this post will focus on Boost Blog Traffic, but the tips relate to all influential bloggers and any influential site.)
Getting Noticed By The People In Charge
Both men know their stuff. Both men are excellent writers. And both men, thankfully, are active on Twitter.
STEP 1: Follow Them
That’s assuming you aren’t already following them, of course.
(Subliminal Message: Follow ME on Twitter by clicking here.)
STEP 2: Subscribe to Their Mailing List
No, their RSS feed isn’t good enough. You need to be on their email list.
In many cases, bloggers will encourage subscribers to respond to their emails and ask questions. This gives you a direct line of communication!
(Subliminal Message: Subscribe to MY mailing list by clicking here.)
STEP 3: Share Their Stuff
No matter how big or small they might be, every blogger enjoys having their content shared.
When a great post was published on Boost Blog Traffic, I shared it.
— Kevin Duncan (@kevinjduncan) October 16, 2014
When Jon or Glen shared a post elsewhere online which caught my eye, I shared it.
When Jon shared a great post written by Glen, I shared it.
— Kevin Duncan (@kevinjduncan) September 12, 2014
And when Glen shared a great post written by Jon, I shared it, too.
I didn’t share everything they wrote. That would be overkill (and kind of crazy).
But whenever Jon or Glen shared something I really enjoyed, I shared it.
(Subliminal Message: Tweet this post by clicking here.)
STEP 4: Leave Them Comments
Don’t just leave any ol’ comment, though…
Write comments which expand the conversation.
Write comments where it’s clear you read the post.
If possible, be one of the first people to comment on a post.
This is where being an email subscriber and Twitter follower comes in handy. When a new post goes live, you’re ready to pounce.
If you consistently leave insightful comments (and you’re consistently one of the first to comment), you may just get replies like this one.
When this happens, you know you have made a positive impression.
(Subliminal Message: Leave me a comment at the end of this post.)
STEP 5: Link To Them In Your Posts
A wonderful thing about following authority bloggers is you are introduced to awesome content you can feel good linking to and sharing with your readers.
I’ve linked to Jon and Glen numerous times the past six months.
When I wrote a roundup of some of my favorite blog quotes, I included a great one from Glen.
When I wrote about effectively using anecdotes in your posts, I featured an example written by Jon.
And when I mentioned them, I let them know about it.
Sometimes I would tag them on Twitter.
— Kevin Duncan (@kevinjduncan) June 18, 2014
Sometimes I would tag them on Google Plus.
And sometimes I would contact them via carrier pigeon.
Admittedly, some methods were more effective than others.
(Subliminal Message: Link to Be A Better Blogger in your next blog post.)
STEP 6: Be Cool
Don’t be “that guy” or “that girl.” Don’t follow, share, comment, or link just so you can immediately hit up someone for a favor.
Sure, it will get you noticed. A tattoo of a spider on your face will get you noticed, too. Doesn’t mean you should get one.
True, asking for backlinks is a proven method for getting them. It’s a numbers game, after all. But that’s not what we’re doing here. This — all of this — is about building relationships.
(Subliminal Message: Please don’t ask me to drive you to the airport.)
“Wow. That wasn’t so hard, Kevin.”
I know, right?
Who knew getting onto the radars of influential bloggers was as simple as reading, sharing, commenting, and doing all the things we bloggers should be doing anyway! 🙂
Of course, that was the easy part…
How To Make A Positive Impression
What do the influential bloggers see now that they’ve noticed you?
Do they see a blogger not worth their time…
Or do they see a blogger worth getting to know?
Unless you want influential bloggers to think “that’s so adorable” while they give you the proverbial pat on top of the head, your blog needs to be worthy of the attention being given to it.
First, The Basics…
Your Blog Needs To Look Good
Looks matter (with blogs at least).
All the “great personality” in the world won’t do your blog much good if it isn’t pleasing to the eyes.
With so many great WordPress themes available for free (not to mention the amazing premium themes available), there’s simply no excuse for your blog looking like a Kardashian without makeup.
Your Blog Can’t Be Covered In Ads
I’m not saying your blog can’t have any ads.
Have an ad or two or three if you like.
But if you have more than that, at best you are distracting your readers from your content and your opt-in form.
At worst… Well, remember the fight scene in Anchorman?
Influential bloggers probably won’t throw tridents at your chest, but it’s a possibility.
And they’re definitely not going to want to read your blog content.
Your Posts Can’t Be Littered With Grammatical Errors
For argument’s sake, let’s say an influential blogger will look past your many typos.
Let’s say they will overlook your use of “there” every time you should have used “their.”
Let’s say they will turn a blind eye to all of it and focus on your untapped, diamond-in-the-rough storytelling skills.
They’re still likely to think:
“Gosh… a guest post from this cat would take a lot of time to edit. I’ll just email that Kevin Duncan guy from ‘Be A Bitter Blabber’ and have him write another guest post instead.”
No blogger is perfect (this one included).
But don’t be so imperfect influential bloggers decide you’re not worth the time commitment.
(In short, make sure your posts are proofread and edited before publishing.)
Now For The Hard Part…
Blogging is easy.
Blogging well is the thing which trips up most people.
You can have a nice-looking blog free of advertisements and grammar mistakes, but it means little if you can’t write.
You can have the full and undivided attention of Jon Morrow, Brian Clark and Darren Rowse, but if they’re unimpressed with your writing skills it won’t matter.
You see, I can give you pointers.
I can guide you in the right direction.
I can tell you what others have done to achieve success, and how you can hopefully emulate them.
But I can’t turn you into a great writer.
The good news?
If you’re willing to put forth the time it takes to improve as a writer, there’s nothing you can’t achieve.
So, practice. Try to write every day.
Learn from the best, but be sure to develop your own voice:
God made each of us unique. There might be billions of people on the planet, but there is only one you. You have unique DNA. Your hopes, thoughts, and dreams are unique. Even the face you make when you accidentally walk into a spider web is unique.”
Once you’ve found your unique voice as a blogger and honed your skills as a writer, you’ll be unstoppable.
Are You Ready?
A lot can happen in six months.
You could train for a marathon. You could learn to play a musical instrument. You could read most of Moby Dick.
Or, you could put a check mark next to half the milestones on the blogger’s bucket list.
Want to write for one of the biggest, baddest blogs on the web?
Get them to notice you, and make sure they like what they see.
Go be the person influential bloggers never knew they always wanted to write for them.