This is a guest post by Srinivas Rao.
After interviewing over 100 bloggers for their success strategies and tips, I find myself becoming more and more strategic about everything I do.
One of the biggest temptations you will have as an early stage blogger is to continually strive for the attention of any really big blogger, just so you can get your name out there. While this approach will work, it’s kind of hit or miss and it’s not very strategic. It’s like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks and maybe the owner of the blog will be interested in working with you on something going forward.
However, if you start getting strategic about how you do this, you’ll have much more success in leveraging a bigger blogger’s audience to build your business.
3 Essential Ideas for Leveraging Another Person’s Audience
Read the Blog for A While
I recommend that you spend a minimum of at least one month reading the A-list blogger’s blog. You really need to understand the core concepts that this blogger focuses on and simply reading an About page is not going to cut it if you want to do this the right way.
I’d been reading David’s blog for about 6 months and even interviewed him before I ever pitched him an idea for a guest post I had. Look at common themes in posts. One thing I know about David is he is very focused on the idea of running your blog like a business. I only know that because I’ve spent enough time at his site to understand what he tends to cover.
Understand The Audience
This is a place where many people really fail in their guest posting efforts.
A few months back I wrote a guest post for somebody about the health and mental benefits of surfing. When I looked all the blogs I read regularly (primarily personal development, lifestyle design, and blogging/social media sites), that post didn’t make any sense for a single one. I decided to do a search for the top fitness blogs and found one where it made sense to write that post.
Another way to understand the audience is to go through and read through the comments of the last 10-15 posts. You’ll tend to find common themes and questions that people want to know the answer to.
Provide a Solution to a Problem that the Blogger Doesn’t
David has a number of products here that he sells at his site. My focus is entirely on audio based content for bloggers because I run a podcast where all I do is interviews. I have a teleclass that I sell called “How to Grow Your Blog with Interviews.” I know that the audience here is all bloggers and David doesn’t provide this, so it’s something that might make sense. The key here is that I provide something that compliments what the other blogger is doing, not competes. For example, it would make no sense for me to sell an e-book about six figure blogging because that would eat directly into profits from products that David already has.
How Designers Have Leveraged Another Person’s Audience
If you’ve read any of Chris Guillebeau’s manifestos or read his blog, the name Reese Spykerman won’t be foreign to you. She does absolutely phenomenal design work. Chris’ manifestos have provided her with a great opportunity to leverage his audience to grow her business. Every single time somebody downloads one of Chris’ manifestos (which probably are well over 100K), people get exposed to Reese. If you happen to be good at graphic design, doing the layout for a really well known blogger’s manifesto for free is an excellent way to spread your brand.
Carli Shipley is one of my surfing buddies and a graphic design student who designed the cover for my free Stoked for Life E-book. I’m not a designer but I had an audience that is larger than hers, so I’ve been helping her to build her freelance graphic design portfolio by leveraging my audience.
If you can start to think more strategically about your key strengths and how they compliment another blogger’s work, then you’ll be able to start figuring out ways to leverage another blogger’s audience that are beneficial to both of you.
About the author: Srinivas Rao is the Director of Social Media/Editor in Chief for the Flightster Travel Blog. He also publishes a personal development blog, The Skool of Life, and is the Co-Founder/Host of BlogcastFM, a podcast for bloggers.