Prospecting for Links and Referral Traffic

You want links and traffic from some of the more popular, well-known bloggers in your niche. You want to promote your content because you you deserve a bigger audience. You want to make money online and need referral traffic to develop the crutial element needed for success. The problem is you’re not sure how to get those popular bloggers to drop you a link, they ignore your emails and don’t write back.

Maybe they are too busy. Maybe your content just isn’t all that great in the first place. At least those are the sort of thoughts that begin to fill your mind when there is lack of response, right?

What you should do, instead of giving into negative thoughts that will weaken your goal is consider how you might improve your chances, if you were on personal and good terms with that “popular blogger.”

It’s not difficult to get a link if you have something relevant and remarkable. However, it is fairly easy if you have prior contact or a close relationship with that blogger.

Let’s take a moment to explore how you should build a prospect list and use it to develop relationships that will benefit you later on.

Marketers define prospects as potential customers. A valuable prospect is sometimes characterized by their loyalty, spending power or level of interest, as it relates to products or services.

When trying to promote your blog, you should look for prospects with an ability to build your brand while sending you traffic. Prospect development is one of the most tedious processes, so I recommend focusing on a core set of individuals with established influence.

Instead of targeting a large number of bloggers, focus on a few that will ultimately matter most. You won’t be able to please everyone, but you can win the favor of a select few. Concentrate on letting them recommend you to their audience.

Build a List of Prospects

Create a list of keywords related to your website or niche. With that list of keywords, run a search on Technorati. This search will provide a list of websites or blogs ordered according to Technorati authority and favorites.

This list is a rough indication of the popularity of a specific blog, according to the number of links it receives from other blogs.

Once you have a list of relevant blogs, subscribe to their RSS feeds. I have created a separate folder in my reader in effort to organize my prospects. Having a bloggers prospect list is ultimately used as a means to get bloggers to send you qualified traffic or perhaps recommend you to their audience. This will help improve your personal brand.

A prospect list is a method you can use to enhance your ability in getting a favorable response from specific bloggers on yourlist. You will be able to adjust the amount of time invested on each prospect, according to its value and how their content ultimately relates to your own.

The second reason is reciprocation. A great deal of cross-promotion you see online is the result of intentional reciprocation; doing something for someone because they did something for you.

Keeping a prospect list helps you to systematically record and reciprocate favors done for you. This will improve the quality of relationship you have and will help you turn bloggers into friends and future assets that can sometimes be leveraged for your business/website.

You should track your prospects with a goal of acting on their content, along with building a meaningful relationship.

The trick is not to think of yourself as just another reader but as a loyal supporter.

Your goal should be to absorb their content, voice your opinion and then share or promote to others who might benefit from it. The result: You react to the blogger’s content while connecting on a personal level.

My personal philosophy to online networking is simply to make more friends than enemies and always seek a mutually rewarding outcome.

Bloggers are just people – just like you! They react more positively to friends or people they know.

Personally, I never forget a favor and I always remember to reciprocate when I can create a natural fit. This can be done in a number of ways, whether in the form of a vote, a link, a favorable mention, a social share, etc.  This has become a personal policy I practice and find it does help in achieving personal goals.

List Management

I use Google Reader to maintain my prospect list and have my prospects broken down into individual folders based on niche or topic I wish to target.

Working on Your Prospects

Submit their content to social websites – When a new post is created, make an effort to promote it via social sites like StumbleUpon. I do this only when I can provide a natural fit and offer value to my contacts.

Collect articles for a link roundup – While the value of the content is obviously most important, I do pay attention to sites I’ve never linked to before. I bookmark articles of interest via and I will reference them at a later time.

Comment – Comments are a valuable networking tool. It’s usually a good idea to refrain from “pitching” any website unless you have commented on it several times. I usually comment more on new prospects and drop by sites belonging to friends just for fun.

Share links – I tend to track large amounts of news. I like to share links to articles with other bloggers, when I don’t plan to write about it. This is a great way to be helpful and to show you’re not just interested in pushing your own content.

Engage in Conversation – Engaging in conversation about a blogger’s article is a great way to show that you do pay attention.

Keep in mind that you can use any platform or method you like for networking as long as you feel you can manage your prospect list effectively.

Networking is a very important factor for success. Anyone who has launched a new website knows how important it is to have a group of supporters willing to give you a little attention from the earliest stages.

My Comment Commitment: If you leave a comment on any of my posts, I will visit your blog and “share it” in some way whether on StumbleUpon, Twitter or Facebook depending on if I can find a nice fit. This is my way of saying thank you!





7 responses
  1. Clara Avatar

    Thanks for this. I’m currently in the reciprocation stage with fairly good results.

  2. Rob Avatar

    I just resurrected an old Stumbleupon account thanks to this. I have a real problem with networking because I have a real problem with self-promotion. But there’s no sense having a blog if no one reads it and you can’t get the most out of the internet if you don’t network. Aside from practical advice, this article has helped me change my focus from self-promotion back to sharing, which is what it should be all about anyway. Thank you!

  3. Penelope Young Avatar

    I’ve had my website for over a year. Originally set up to give me a web presence, it has achieved that goal. Now I need to find clients and work out how to make money from advertising etc. Your blog has been incredibly useful in channelling my thoughts. It is clear, concise and signposts me to useful tools like Google Reader and Technorati. I’m writing a book so time spent away from that task has to be effective. Thanks for your support.

  4. Luke Avatar

    Good points Gayla, one of the techniques I use is to check my top ten competitors on Market Samurai and add them to a folder in Google Reader. I have to fight the urge to go comment happy and remember to reserve input for when I have something to add – no one wants to get to know a spam commenter!

  5. Caveman Dan Avatar

    Well, upon following your directions and searching Technorati, it seems I am the ONLY one blogging in the Custom motorcycle/ chopper/Classic Harley genre! This article is a huge help as far as information, but it would seem I am a dingey adrift in a World Wide sea!

  6. Edward P. Carney Jr. Avatar

    This is by far the most thorough article I’ve seen posted on FWJ. And thank you for it.

  7. Shalini R Avatar

    Thank you for the great advice. I am a complete beginner at writing blog posts and the only traffic i get is a handful of friends on Facebook, whose comments are very very encouraging and I would prefer to get more people to read my blog. Thanks for the ideas on how to do this.

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