Got a question? UpCity’s Ask the Expert encourages members to ask inbound marketing-related queries and receive in-depth, personalized answers from our experts. Each week, we will post some of the Q&A’s here on the UpCity Daily Tips Blog.

To access our database of questions or ask your own question, become an UpCity member today or send an email to info@upcity.com. Sign up for our free Daily Tips newsletter to learn other strategies for improving your online presence.

Question One: How do I build relationships with other bloggers in my industry?

Our Response: One of the most important parts of building a business online is making connections with influencers and authority figures. The key here is to take the time to understand the person/people you are trying to connect with. A common way of connecting with someone in the blogosphere is to offer to post guest posts for his or her blog. However, this often is not the most optimal way (in other words, you don’t always have to offer to write for someone else’s blog in order to get on his or her radar).

A prime way of developing your relationship with any chosen blogger is to become a regular presence in their everyday lives online. Tweet out their posts, comment on them, and write full blog responses on your own blog. Keep in mind that these are not to be done in the context of applying a “technique.” This means you have to put in effort to give value to their comments section. Don’t just say you like their posts, tell them why. Don’t just retweet and say “you’re welcome” if they thank you. Spark a conversation and demonstrate your knowledge and capabilities.

Do this over the course of a few months to a year, and then, finally, you should ask to contribute value in other ways. Even better, you could come up with a way you could contribute to the influencer’s blog and send it over.

Now, this isn’t necessary to do for every type of blogger, but the ones who get swamped with reader questions and writer requests every week, this is how you can stand out. Become invaluable with your connections by offering heaps of value before you even think of asking for anything.

All in all, this is a terrific way of looking at relationship building that you should cultivate.

Question Two: Is Google phasing out Google Plus?

Our Response: Hot on the heels of Google announcing their removal of Authorship from search engines, another discovery was made. Google is no longer requiring you to make a Google Plus profile when you sign up for any of its varying services.

While this could be just a coincidence, it does strike us as odd that Google is now allowing users to opt out. Wouldn’t lifting the requirement decrease the rate at which Google Plus expands its network? Simply put, yes. However, Google Plus Pages are still required if you want to make any impact on your local SEO, as well as brand awareness (Google Plus for Business).

At the end of the day, we don’t think Google is closing the curtains on Google Plus just yet. However, its recent actions are certainly making the platform’s future quite questionable.

To access our database of questions or ask your own question, become an UpCity member today! Sign up for our free UpCity Daily Tips newsletter to learn other strategies for improving your online presence.