The trick to growing a successful blog and earning money as a blogger can be your ability to network and build professional relationships. Most full-time bloggers get gigs from PR professionals and brands that they have been collaborating with for years. Building long lasting relationships is a blogger’s key to getting work and building their income. This all starts with networking!
Here are some easy ways for bloggers to network:
1. Attend Events
Get out there and meet people. Be professional, show up on time, introduce yourself to people, and make a good impression. Be able to give an elevator pitch (a two sentence summary) of what you write about. Make a point to meet the person who invited you.
2. Exchange Business Cards
Have a professional looking business card, and have it ready to hand out at events. I always keep a couple in my wallet just in case I meet someone when I least expect it. (You can read more about business cards here).
If you think that someone you meet could be a potential business contact, email them within a week of meeting. This way they remember you and have your email address in their email account. They can also add you to relevant mailing lists. You can also use this opportunity to send them your media kit. (Read more about Media Kits here).
3. Reply to Emails
You know all those press releases that fill up your inboxes? Try replying to them – especially if the person represents a brand in your niche. Introduce yourself, send your media kit, and let them know if you want to collaborate.
4. Reach Out to Relevant Brands and PR Agencies
Do your research first – have a reason for reaching out. You can search online and find a contact person. Send an email introducing yourself and explaining what you write about. Attach a media kit. Then explain a few ways that you would like to collaborate – this might be a project with a specific client, receiving product, or attending an event.
You might want to try mentioning the brand (or a brand that the agency represents) before you reach out. Often seeing that you have given a brand a mention on your blog or social media makes the brand more eager to work with you.
5. Send Thank You Notes
Sending a handwritten thank you note will make sure that you are remembered for all of the right reasons. Years ago when I was getting my start as a blogger, I would sit down every Friday and crank out Thank You notes Jimmy Fallon style.
6. Attend Conferences and Workshops
Conferences and workshops are a great way to meet other bloggers and brands. Conferences are a great way to invest in your site by gaining knowledge also building your blogger tribe (your blogging bffs that will help share key info).
7. Use the WCBC Facebook Group!
It’s probably the easiest way to find fellow bloggers in the Chicago-area! You can also post a shout out asking for help with a project or searching for collaborators.