Sunday, November 15, 2015

How to Reach Out to Other Bloggers When it Seems Scary

I just looked at my last post date, and it was in October! Not cool, Sunny. I've been buried in school work, so I wanted to get back to blog-o-sphere with a little list, one of the most fun (and easiest posts to write). Looking at the last post that I published, Blogger Spotlight, it reminded me of how difficult it used to be for me to talk to other bloggers. It's always so great to feature other bloggers on your blog, but it can be hard to make that first step. So, I wanted to compile this little list of tips and tricks I've picked up along the way to help you forge connections with other bloggers.

1. Introduce Yourself Using Social Media

The number one, easiest way to do this is comment on their blog. This is a mandatory step; you aren't going to ask someone to be involved in your project if you haven't even read their blog. If it's your first time commenting, say so! I always like seeing the comments where people say how they found A Splash of Ink. Commenting not only makes the blogger feel good about themselves (and associate those good feelings with you!), but it also makes your name familiar to them.

Augment that relationship by following them on Twitter, adding them on Goodreads, Pinterest, Bloglovin' etc. then continue to develop it by being active on those social media. You don't have to reply to everything they post (in fact you probably shouldn't), but you should definitely make an effort to be a presence to other bloggers (liking status, favouriting tweets etc.) and not just a silent follower. Also, if you're not on Twitter, just do it. I used to think it was dumb, but now I'm in love.

Using social media is an easy, non-intrusive, public and indirect (if you will) way to help other bloggers recognize you and for you to test the waters.

2. Use Your Internet Recon Skills to Stalk Investigate

Okay, so you've introduced yourself, and now you want to approach a blogger to ask for an interview. The next thing you should do, is investigate how they feel about guest posting. You don't want to waste time asking someone to guest post if they clearly state that they're not interested on their blog. We've all refined out internet stalking abilities, so put them to good use!

Here are some questions you should be looking to answer:
Have they had a guest poster on their blog before?
Have they guest posted on someone else's blog?
Do they have any information about guest posting on their blog (e.g. a page dedicated to it)?
Do they have any contact information like an email?

If the answer is yes to most of these questions, the blogger is probably interested in guest posting! Proceed!

If the answer is no to these questions, it might be an indication that they either a) aren't interested or b) have never had/been a guest poster. I would tend to pass over this type of blogger when searching for guest posters, but if you're dead set on partnering with them, all is not lost. If they don't have an email address or any other social media where you can message them privately, I'd leave them a comment putting the ball in their court, where they can ignore it, if they so choose. I like to give them some other substance in the comment that they can reply to in case they do want to ignore the guest posting issue. Don't ask them to do anything, just express your interest and see if they reciprocate. For example:

Hello ,
I really enjoy your blog, and I'd love to feature you on my blog, A Splash of Ink. 

I really enjoyed what you said in your post...*proceed to regular comment*

3. Reach Out to Bloggers in Private Messages

That being said, leaving public comments (even unassuming ones like the example above) should be avoided so bloggers don't feel like they're being put on the spot for everybody to see. You don't ever want anybody to feel pressured to partner with you, because they don't want to appear mean in their comment section by saying no.

Even if you work out that both parties are interested via a public comment or tweet, as soon as concrete details are being discussed, it should probably go private. I always prefer to use email, but others like using the direct messaging features on other social media like Twitter.

4. Be Mrs.or Mr. Manners

When you're emailing people, just be awesome. Say please and thank you. Encourage them to express any concerns. Address your email to recipient and have signature including your name and appropriate links. Get back to people in a timely fashion (*cough* hypocrite Sunny *cough*). Always reply with a thank you email, even if nothing else needs to be said. You guys know all this.

If you start by remembering that you are asking people to go out of your way for you and let that mindset guide the way you email people, you'll be perfectly polite (or in the very least not horribly offensive).

5. Just do it! 
In the end, you've just got to put yourself out there. The worst thing that can happen is that you email someone, and they ignore you or say no. Most bloggers are pretty nice; I've never had anyone give me a rude no. Usually, it's not because they don't like you or your blog, it's because of whats going on in their life or their personal preferences.

I've been blessed to have extremely positive interactions with other bloggers when it comes to guest posting. And I've learned that we're all just people (no matter how big the blog is) who all feel the same nerves when it comes to reaching out to other bloggers.

And if all else fails, just post an open call on your blog and let guest posters come to you.

Have you been in this situation before? How do you handle guest posters and reaching out to other bloggers? What etiquette did I miss in my list? I'm really curious to hear about people's experiences on this topic, so leave me your thoughts in the comments!


  1. I don't really do guest posts much, but I want to! I think I've only done two in my blogging career, and one reached out to me while the other I pretty much harassed until I could (Because we were friends). So I haven't really had the time to stalk and browse other blogs and email bloggers asking to guest posts. I would love to though!

    Awesome post Sunny. You should post more (jk school comes first)

    1. Haha, thanks! I hope to post more in the near future!

      My methods for setting up guest posts is to organize them when I'm not busy (i.e. the Summer) and have them scheduled to go up when I know I will be busy (i.e. the end of the school semester).

      Hope you get around to it! Let me know if you ever want to do a swap:)

  2. Yes, yes, yes, YES! I totally love this post.
    I don't usually like guest posting on other blogs (aside from interviews), but I would loveee to have more guest posters on mine! I suppose I should maybe put a tab on my blog so I can let people know that I'm open to it... :P

    1. You should totally put a tab on your blog! That's how I first broke the ice of guest posting. I had a few self-published authors reach out to me because of that. It definitely helps people know you're interested.

      Speaking of which, I think my tab is in sore need of updating:P

      Thanks for commenting!

  3. Ooh, this is really handy!! I don't really do guest-posters on my blog just because...gah, I don't even know. I'm not that organised. XD But I do interviews and things if I'm asked (squee it makes me feel very honoured when people ask!) and I have done guest posts for other people which I find completely nerve wracking. hahehh. *ahem* OMG I LOVE OUR GIF USAGE THERE THO.

    1. Thanks! I've realized that finding the right gifs often takes just as much time as actually writing the post.

      I love it when people ask to interview you! It's so flattering:)

  4. I don't do guest posts yet, but I think it would be fun to do in the future. And I'm super glad you're back! I've missed reading your posts (but, you know, school is totally a priority).

    1. Aww thanks! I've missed writing my posts. This semester will be over in a few weeks, so I should be back in full swing soon enough:)

      Good luck with your guest posts in the future!

  5. These are some great tips! I need to ask people to guest post more on my blog. I'm planning on doing more of that next year with a super special series of posts I'm so excited about! I usually accept when someone asks me to guest post. It's good exposure and I like helping people out. :)

    1. Thanks! You're totally right; guest posting is excellent exposure for everyone involved:)

      Can't wait to see your super special posts!

  6. I thought it seemed awfully quiet around here! I've done the open call thing, especially when a busy season is coming up. I've also answered one of those open calls, from a blogger I'd stalked a while. Writing the proposal was a little daunting, but I did it, and got featured this week as a matter of fact.

    I especially like your advice of contacting the person privately. They don't want to be put on the spot and who needs the public shaming if they say no, right? :-)

    1. Good for you for making that leap! It's always more difficult to be the one making the first move.

      Hopefully SOI won't be this quiet in December, but it's nice to hear that someone notices, haha.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I've only guest posted once before, but I have some more exciting work coming up! ;)
    Once again, I want to give a sincere thank you for featuring me on your blog. You and this site are incredible!
    ~ Sanjana

    1. Awww thanks so much. It was a pleasure to have you! I can't wait to see what you have coming up:)

      Thanks for commenting!

  8. Excellent tips! The community is generally very open and welcoming anyways, so just reaching out isn't as hard as it need be! R x

  9. Cool list, Sunny. I'm probably not going to guest post, at least for a while. But it's still cool to comment on other people's stuff so they can get to know you (and, honestly, your blog, lol). :)


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