The Many Hats of an Online Community Manager
Online Communities: A Place to Work
How to Search Social Networks for Mentions of Your Online Community

How to Recruit Bloggers to Help Grow Your Online Community

Bloggers as community evangelists are a wonderful match. An online community manager should look to bloggers to build his community. Not only do they have the potential to join your community, but they have their own established communities as well. If they like what they see and like what you do, they’ll recommend your community to their community which has the potential to add many new members.

You can reach out to bloggers in a variety of ways, but the best way is to build a relationship. Comment on the blogs, but don’t make it about your business. The nice thing about participating at blogs is that if the members there like what you have to say, they’ll follow your link and perhaps join your community.

You can also offer to guest post on another blog and even invite that blogger to create guest content on your own site. Again, your post shouldn’t necessarily about your community but relevant to the blog’s focus. At the end of your post you can leave a brief bio about who you are, what you do, and include a link back.

If you have a nice list of bloggers who you feel are a good fit for your community, you can also reach out to them by mail, and here’s where it gets a bit tricky. Obvious form letters and spam. as well as sales pitches and campaigns that aren’t a proper fit, are a sore spot for bloggers.

First and foremost, make sure that your community and the blogger’s community are somehow related to each other. If you reach out to a book blogger to invite her to your fried chicken community, not only will you get an angry response, you may find yourself ridiculed on the social networks.

Once you find an appropriate match:

  1. Introduce yourself.

  2. Talk a little about your brand and community:

  3. Note the connections between you’re the blogger’s community and yours.

  4. Discuss why you think it would be a good idea to work together.

  5. Make it less about you than the blogger.

    Let her know how the campaign will benefit her and her brand.

  6. Leave contact information so that you can discuss.

  7. Follow up in a week or two.

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