Networking is a critical part of blogging as you build a stronger following on social media and solicit related blogs for guest posts. However, it can be time consuming to find all of the relevant contact information you need in the midst of managing a busy to-do list, let alone knowing how to find additional blogger contacts among your social media followers. Thankfully, there are a bunch of tools around that will help you maximize the impact of your contacts and networking efforts.
Here are six you can start using to improve your networking with fellow bloggers.
Combine social networking with e-mail. Before you send an e-mail to a new contact, it is extremely helpful to find out everything you can about that person, and a tool such as Rappaportive makes that easy to do. This plug-in to your Gmail account pulls up the social media information for each contact as you compose a message. This enables you to address real-time issues and topics where you share mutual interests. You may also find out that now is not the right time to send an e-mail because your contact is traveling or out with family. The more you can personalize and plan your e-mails, the better.
Use Canned Responses in Gmail. One of the best labs in Gmail is the Canned Response tool that allows you to compose a message that can be dropped into any e-mail. For example, if you want to send a free eBook to everyone who leaves a comment on your blog, a canned response is a quick and simple way to send a prompt, actionable message without having to either type a new message every time.
Analyze your Twitter followers. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the people who follow you on Twitter and contact the ones most relevant to your location or marketing interests, Followerwonk is an excellent tool that allows you to dig into the members of your social network. You can search for followers based on particular keywords, and they’ll be arranged according to their influence so that you can maximize your outreach impact.
Label your e-mails. Labels aren’t a new innovation for e-mail, but they are critically important for keeping your contacts sorted into useful groups in a matter of seconds — especially if you use Gmail. Begin with labels such as “Influencer,” “Press” or “Blogger” so that you can quickly find particular contacts who will help you market your products to the right people. It’s rarely efficient to sort your mail into folders, but labels are a quick and easy solution that will save you a bunch of time when you need to sort your contacts into relevant groups.
Check out BuzzStream’s research tool. When you need to contact a blogger about writing a guest post or swapping links, one of the hardest things to find sometimes is a reliable e-mail address. BuzzStream simplifies the “e-mail finding” process by providing a simple research tool that will scan websites for the contact information you need.
Use Boomerang to follow up on contacts. If you’re contacting bloggers or editors about writing a guest post, there’s a good chance that your e-mail could be lost in the mix. A tool such as Boomerang is indispensable because you can easily set up a reminder to follow up on an e-mail if the person you’re contacting doesn’t respond within a set period of time. You can also schedule e-mails so that they can arrive at a more advantageous time, though you’ll still able to write the e-mail while it’s fresh in your mind. Boomerang has received rave reviews from the likes of PCWorld, The New York Times, Lifehacker and TechCrunch.
While there are plenty of ways to increase your impact as a blogger, making your outreach strategies more efficient and organized will go a long way toward improving your networking power.
This post was written by Lior Levin, who is a consultant to a shopping-cart abandonment startup and also works with a CSS company in Arizona.