How to Find Influencers for Your WordPress Content - dummies

How to Find Influencers for Your WordPress Content

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

Influencers can be a useful way to promote your WordPress content. After you compile lists of sites you want to target, you can begin to break the list down and determine who are the influencers in your niche, including the hidden influencers. Hidden influencers are people who have a large social imprint that doesn’t necessarily show up on their sites. Some people don’t have a lot of commenters on their articles, for example, but their Twitter feeds are followed by tens of thousands of people. Here are some ways to determine whether a blogger is an influencer:

  • Subscriber count: A lot of sites that have large audiences display their subscriber numbers on their websites.
  • Comment count: An active community and commentary group on a blog usually shows that the blog has a large readership. Be wary of a site whose author interacts with only two or three people. When an author pays attention to only a couple of commenters, she usually has a pretty narrow vision. You want to target authors who participate with more people in their audience.
  • Alexa score: Alexa measures traffic to a site. It isn’t 100 percent accurate, but it does a decent job of giving you a picture of the amount of traffic a site gets. Add a column to your list of sites where you can record the Alexa score, and see how the scores compare with yours.
  • Klout score: Klout helps you evaluate the influence of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn users. Sometimes, publishers have a very large reach on those social networks and are more active there than on their own sites.
subscriber count problogger.net
Subscriber count on Problogger.net.

After you identify the influencers, you want to attract them to your site. If influencers read your site, they may offer you guest-author spots, share your content, recommend your site to their readers, and form a mutually beneficial relationship with you.

To turn these influencers into readers, you can try multiple tactics, including the following:

  • Comment on their content. Reading and commenting on a popular site can help you start to build your name in your niche — if you leave quality, well-thought-out comments, of course. Most sites allow your username to link back to a website; make sure that you use this link as a way for people to find your site.

You can get the attention of a popular writer by engaging in conversation on his or her site, and also get the attention of that author’s reader. If the readers and commentators like your contribution, you can get additional traffic, new readers, and even potentially high-ranking backlinks into your website, all because you left a comment on the site.

  • Email them. Depending on the niche, top influencers may get slammed with email, so this approach may not be the best way to reach out to them. But it doesn’t hurt to write a personal note that lets the author know about you and your site, and perhaps offer to guest-write if he or she ever accepts posts from other people. Make sure that the email isn’t all about you, which is the quickest way to turn someone off. Talk about the person’s site, and show that you have knowledge about what he’s writing about. Show that you have actually read his site, and demonstrate genuine interest in what he’s doing.
  • Interact with them on their platforms of choice. Sometimes, influencers and popular writers participate in areas other than their sites. They might use message boards, forums, Twitter, Facebook, or other types of social media sites. Interacting with an author on his or her platform of choice can help you differentiate yourself from other sites.
  • Link to them. Linking to sites in the content you create — especially if you’re posting rebuttals to their posts — can really get influencers’ attention.

When you communicate with other site authors, you need to make sure that you have consistent content on your own site. Trying to reach out to another author when you have only three posts total doesn’t present the most credibility. After you’ve worked at it for a few months, doing outreach can provide a good way to grow your audience.