How To *Actually* Build Connections With Bloggers Using Twitter

How To *Actually* Build Connections With Bloggers Using Twitter

Last year, I started a new project. As always, it's self-funded, which motivates me to be very creative in terms of how I am promoting it. It also officially has nothing to do with Google rankings: I am not targeting any keywords and I am not thinking about Google at all when building it. I have to look for other ways to generate traffic and subscribers.

Having very little budget for any other kind of promotion, direct engagement is my primary means of growth in the beginning stage. As we continue building the site and content, I have begun making connections with active bloggers in various niches.

The results have been incredible. Some of the biggest names in the industry have been blogging about us. It is building the hype and gaining us followers before we are even out of the alpha stage.

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All of this has happened within less than 6 months! The secret of growth, which I had sought to find when I first began, turned out wasn't really a secret at all. It was as simple as making connections with bloggers and more importantly, doing that primarily through Twitter because that's my most effective outreach tool (It's instant, hence time-saving, and very efficient thanks to my already built following there).

This is still a rather new (and growing) success, but here are some important lessons to make out of my fresh experience.

You Gotta Know How To Pick Them

I never focused only on influential bloggers. I wanted people who were active and engaging. I was looking for motivated and expired bloggers and social media users who would be interested in devoting some time to joining and using my platform (and ideally helping promote and grow it).

A good blogger to connect with is engaging with their followers. They enjoy getting into discussions with people. They regularly answer questions and show that they care about the conversation.

Twitter is a good tool for ascertaining this and an easy way to connect. You will probably be more likely to nab a blogger's attention there than through the comment section.

Featured tool: Twitter chats are by far the most effective way to get fellow bloggers' attention. Use TwChat to participate and host twitter chats. There's also a calendar of marketing chats to follow.


Don't get obsessed with that "Influencer" thing.

Yes, higher-profile bloggers are able to drive more exposure to you than tens of your peers, but guess what: Your peers will join you in building your resource and will stick with your for years, while an influencer will forget about you right after that tweet (Yes, they are busy people, not blaming them!)

So while connecting to an influencer from time to time is a nice thing to do, don't get obsessed. In social media, every genuine connection is priceless. Value all of them!

Featured tool: Oktopost is a great tool to make the most of those interactions. Their social inbox feature lets you track and manage your interactions effectively, so you never miss a single one!


You Gotta Make Your Account Interesting

For me, building up following is naturally easy. I was already tweeting a lot, and I was making sure that what I offered was high quality and would be of interest. So by the time I was interacting with Twitter users, I had a pretty well stocked account with a lot to look at.

I didn't have to beg for follows, I just had to prove I was worth one.

Featured tool: Viral Content Buzz is a great tool to make sure your Twitter feed is consistently updated with high-quality content. Every morning, I just add great articles from there to my "Buffer" and those Tweets go live whether I have the time to tweet during the day or I am busy with anything else.


Cyfe is another great platform to discover useful content to publish to your Twitter stream. I use Cyfe to collect post ideas from multiple sources including the unlimited number of RSS feeds, Twitter search, hashtag feed, etc.


You Gotta Be on Top of Lots of Conversations Simultaneously

The reason why I love Twitter so much is because it's so fast and instant. You actually observe the conversation happening: You are right in the middle of it.

However, that brings an interesting problem: You need to be constantly keeping an eye on what Twitter users are saying (that relates to you or your industry). Twitter interactions work best if you react immediately.

In order to always be on top of Twitter conversations (while still being able to do my work) I use Tweetdeck. I've explained my Tweetdeck strategy here. In short, I am using advanced Twitter search operators to monitor my brand mentions and important hashtags using the desktop alerts to be able to timely join the conversation:


You Gotta Take Those Relationships Off Twitter

While Twitter is great for discovering contacts, if you want to build long-term relationships with bloggers, you need to do that off Twitter. Attending industry events is one of the best ways to build connections: Using the official event Twitter hashtags it's also easier to connect to your Twitter contacts there.

However, there are more ways to do that.

Segmenting your email list based on your social media interactions and following is another great way to make more sense of those interactions. Getresponse has one of the most robust social media integration features in the market which I would definitely recommend taking a look at.

With embed content you can also bring Twitter conversations to your own site! This site, for example, does that masterfully, using Twitter to source product reviews and offer them as part of the on-site discussions:


You Gotta Be Genuine

One of the worst tactics I have seen used in reaching out is sycophantic following. Or, as they would put it, “becoming a fan”. They will start sharing all of their content, retweeting all of their links, and droolingly applauding everything they say.

It never works... What works is being genuine and natural. Just be yourself, express your own opinion and always be true to yourself.

Be genuine in your interactions. Only share what you find valuable. Leave comments on their tweets or blog posts that are more than “OMG THIS IS SO GREAT I LOVE YOUR BLOG!” Start a real discussion with them or share something you think will be relevant and interesting.

Further reading: Here are some ideas on how genuinely interact on social media.

If you can prove that you know what you are talking about, you will immediately become of interest because you aren't just a potential follower they are catering to. You are a potential connection to them, just as they are to you. Which brings us to our final tips...

You Gotta Stay Away From Selling

You are not trying to sell yourself! Sure, you are hoping for exposure. However, going at it from an angle of promotion alone is going to make you crash and burn. Ultimately, you are just building a presence and letting that speak for itself.

What I said in the last tip about being a potential connection to the blogger is perhaps the most important thing I have learned through this process. You have to show them what you can do for them, without ever actually selling yourself. If you follow all of the tips above, you will do that without any selling being required in the first place.


All in all, I would say that connecting with bloggers is one of the best forms of promotion there is. But it is more than that. It is a way of establishing yourself within the hierarchy of that industry's experts. It is a way of reaching out and forming attachments that could have far reaching positives for you both. It is a way of solidifying your brand without using some of the more scummy or manipulative forms of advertising.

Remain genuine and work first to be interesting and engaging. Once you start reaching out, the relationships you build will be much more useful and real as a result.

It's a competitive market. Contact us to learn how you can stand out from the crowd.

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  • avatar
    devenir riche en Belgique 


    Great article.

  • avatar

    Ann, thank you. I am just now discovering the value of Twitter and other social media platforms; but, from the very beginning, it all felt superficial and lacking. It may sound boastful, but the truth is, I know what I am sharing is worth paying attention to and is helpful to people — I don’t need the “sycophanticism” you mentioned. I would rather someone debate me than have to filter through the overly enthusiastic encouragement. Your mentioning of that only further affirms my stance on that. Thanks for your article. It was very informative.

  • avatar
    Heather Warner 


    I have to say I picked up a lot from this post. I’ve noticed that for digital marketing, the push to have a personal conversation with your audience (blogger or otherwise) cuts across all the different platforms. What I’m particularly curious about is how you can still come off as someone wanting to build a genuine connection, even if you’re representing a brand? Like in the instance of branded Twitter accounts reaching out to bloggers? Is it all about the language used online and the offline connections created beyond social media?

    • avatar
      Savannah D. 


      I think the best way to come across genuine is to offer something to the person you’re communicating with, without expecting reciprocal action. Building a brand with content charity, I suppose.
      As for community outreach, fielding emails from your readers and posting the results for the blogosphere to see (if the person is okay with that, some like privacy) could be an interesting idea. It’s showing that you listen to and attempt to help with the problems of others, and I can’t think of anything more genuine than an honest effort to help someone.

  • avatar
    Jen Winston 


    Most people don’t use LinkedIn beyond business world contacts, but I personally think you should use it even if you’re a hobbyist blogger. Establishing contacts and making friends in the industry is the first step to success. LinkedIn has been working for so many people that it seems a shame to let it go to waste as a resource.
    It’s a lot more professional than Facebook, and cross-pollination with less important matters is far less likely.

  • avatar

    Great advice Ann! I can really use this to connect with other bloggers as well.

  • avatar

    Great post , good info thanks

  • avatar

    This is a very interesting post. I am active on Twitter only about 7 months or so now, but can see how important it is. I have already met some great people there, and got a very interesting expert guest posting opportunity from it. Thanks for this, I am going to investigate your various recommended resources and tools.

  • avatar

    @Gail, Thanks so much for your kinds words about ViralContentBuzz!!!
    @Allen, Exactly! Every connection counts! Thanks for the kins words!
    @Brian, Yes! Connections won’t come if you sell and sell! Focus on what matters!
    @Marisa, Thanks so much for the kind words! I hope those tools will be useful!
    @Jackie, I’ve always loved Twitter! I still think it’s the most genius idea!
    @Dave, @Emory, Exactly! Today’s peers will become influencers tomorrow!

  • avatar

    What a good platform to interact with many bloggers.Indeed i agree with you to some extent on not getting obsessed with influential bloggers but also stick with your peers.Great piece looking forward for another interesting article.

  • avatar

    Ann, I think your point about not just focusing on influential bloggers is right on. I like to connect with bloggers who may be on the same wavelength but have few followers. Some of them may be in the process of becoming influential.

  • avatar
    Dave Gibbeson 


    Hi Anne
    I really enjoyed this post and love the bit about not selling. My pet hate is people shamelessly plugging their stuff behind a thin veil of interaction.
    I also agree about chasing just influencers, it is hard to stand out against the many others doing anything they can to compete for their attention. To influencers I am but another of many, to regular people I am someone else to share a conversation with.
    I like to try to speak to people when I have something strong to say and it often works well. I need to work on the relationship building beyond those interactions though!
    Great post

  • avatar

    Hi Ann,
    What a wonderful post. I love Twitter, and have made some really interesting connections there. I have to admit in the early days I was rather unsure of the platform, so for me it wasn’t love at first sight.
    I believe that Twitter enables us to meet peers and other like minded individuals rather easily. I entirely agree with your advice about not concentrating only on influencers.
    Great post, thanks

  • avatar

    You always have all these great resources and advice to share. I read your articles sometimes and amazed at your insight. Looking forward to trying out these new to me tools & platforms!
    Thanks for sharing.

  • avatar

    I couldn’t agree more with everything in the post, Ann! Spot on with all the areas you covered. I especially like being genuine and stop selling! One of the worst handicaps of a sales person or a marketer can often be their mouth or any outbound mode of communication. The most valuable tool we have at our disposal, either as sales people or marketers, is our ears, or listening tools (digital mediums), as you mention in this post. It is too often that marketers and sales people communicate themselves right out of a sale.

  • avatar

    As usual, another great piece of content, Ann. So true what you say about the influencers. If you spend all your time chasing the big names, you’ll forget about all the other people who can help you along the way. Making great connections is essential.

  • avatar

    Excellent advice worth applying. I encourage everyone to look at Viral Content Buzz (VCB). My goal is to use it every single day. I haven’t managed that yet, but I’m getting closer. Three different times (that I happened to notice), StumbleUpon sent traffic in the 1000s to one post. I’m not very active there anymore, so I know this is because another influencer using VCB is and shared it.
    I captured screenshots and will write that up when I can. That example stands out because I’m not active there, but I know it is just as effective at sending traffic from Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest – probably even G+, too.

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