Blogger Outreach | Start Building Links
In the previous post, we discussed the various ways of selecting and qualifying your potential link building partners.
In this next section of our Backlinking for Beginners series, we will now go on to study how to carry out blogger outreach and engage with potential link building partners.
If you are fairly new to the world of blogging or e-commerce you may be slightly nervous at this point.
Let’s face it, this is the point where you will start to expose your content and/or products.
However, if you are confident in the quality of your content and it is the best you can make it you should have no worries or concerns.
One of the first steps you might want to take is to segment your contact list into four categories:
The Great White – these are the big players in your niche or industry. They usually have a huge audience and are well known.
They will probably not have time to read your email, and the only chance you may have at getting to them is by introduction or creating something really inventive and eye-catching.
The beauty of the big fish though is that if you catch one you can get noticed they will send a ton of traffic your way.
The Big Fish – these people are not as big as the Great White but they have a larger enough audience to make an impact on you.
There is a good chance you might reach them with a well written personal email, but not with a standard template.
Don’t go asking for links or tweets! You might get more traction by asking for a review of your post or product, or critique of your style etc.
Let them decide if it is worth sharing or tweeting out.
The Shoals – there are millions out there. Websites that are just starting to get traction and attract an audience.
They are actively promoting themselves by writing guest articles, commenting on forums etc.
These are your ideal link partner in the first instance.
The Sprat – these guys are probably just starting out in your industry.
They probably don’t have any traffic to send your way and a link from their site would be meaningless as it has no value.
So to begin with we probably need to focus on the Big Fish and The Shoals.
Behind The Mask.
One of the things you must realize is that behind the website you are contacting is a real person, not a machine.
They, therefore, require you to treat them as such and deserve a small amount of your time to convince them that you too are genuine and not a spammer or time waster.
If you think about the psychology and put yourself in their position.
Your the one that has to convince them that they need to spend a bit of time if you want a link from them.
So let’s look at a few tips.
1. Make sure you use the correct email address. we talked in a previous post about how to find contact details.
A lot of spammers won’t bother to find the correct address so take the time to ensure it’s right.
2. Whats in it for them. Show them something valuable and new that they might not have come across before.
Make sure you research your topic well and be as realistic as you can about its uniqueness and novelty value.
Make sure you articulate well what makes your piece of content unique and stand out from the rest.
3. Flatter them. If someone talks about you in an article or piece of content it is hard not to check it out.
If you see a way to include a well-known person in your article let them know about it. if you make them look good they will want to tell their audience about it.
Creating The Right Message.
Remember that the people you are contacting will be busy people, particularly if they are running popular blogs with many followers.
You need to make sure that your message is detailed enough while being short, succinct and to the point.
A good starting point is, of course, deciding which piece of content or product you are going to use in your pitch to them.
You only have one chance to pitch to them so make sure the content you are using is super cool, well written and has some value.
One way to gain a bit of traction is to get some social proof of its originality before you use it.
If you get a re-tweets on Twitter or likes on facebook you can use that in your email.
Make sure you do your homework on your intended target before pitching to them. Research their latest articles and posts and see if you can find a common thread to use in your pitch attempt.
Such examples would be;
“I have just read your latest post on X , but I see you didn’t mention one very important aspect. I’m talking about XXX and I’ve explained it in this post, maybe you want to take a look”.
“I have seen that you linked to this post, and I thought I should show you a much better resource on that subject. I believe it is better because of XXX”
Try not to use generic subject lines.
The subject line is probably the first thing your target will read so make sure it is catchy.
For example, try to engage straight off the bat using something like:
Subject: Toplinkbuilding Advice
This clearly tells the reader that the subject has something to do with link building and luckily for me has a good integrated URL.
What Action To Take
One of the mistakes some people make is they skirt around the issue of what they actually want.
They dare not mention the words ‘link’ but that is what you ultimately want.
You must specify in your email what you want the link target to do and it could be a number of things:
1. Share your content on their social networks
2. Write an opinion on your content and link to it.
3. Embed your content if it is something link an infographic.
4. Accept a guest post from you and link back to it.
These are just a few examples and as you can see even these will need different degrees of action on the part of the link target.
Just be careful using this tactic as it can come across as insincere and a bit cringy.
Avoid things like;
” just read your latest post and it was so cool!”
” I am a long time reader of your blog and it is awesome”
You must show your intended recipient that you are genuine and not a spammer.
One great way of doing this, although it takes a bit more time and effort are to personalize and customize your message.
Here are a few ways to do that:
Use a genuine email address
Use a good subject line
Use their name
Mention something specific about a piece of their work.
As we have talked about before trying to make your email personal and customized to who you are contacting but the structure for the email could be:
1.Your name and who you are.
2.The reason why you are reaching out ( i.e your content or product)
3. The benefits the link target will get by linking to you.
4.Suggested ways to link.
Try to keep your email as short and succinct as you can.
Try to be professional but not too formal, add a bit of your personality to the email.
Include links to prove what you are saying not full articles and don’t include attachments, no one wants to open something from an unknown contact.
Don’t expect a flood of relies just because you have emailed.
Sometimes people forget to reply, they are busy people and your email may get buried and forgotten.
In this instance, it is best to follow up your email if you do not get a reply.
Can I suggest though that you only follow up once?
In order to make sure that you are well organized with your outreach and follow up’s can I suggest a simple spreadsheet solution.
You need to keep as organized as you can. There are some tools that you could use but at this stage, a simple spreadsheet will do.
You can download my spreadsheet here.
There is also a useful little plugin you can use if you are using Gmail called Boomerang this will help you schedule your follow-ups
When sending an email you can tell Boomerang to send an email back to you is you don’t get a reply within a certain time period.
What To Follow Up With
You need to keep your follow up email short and to the point. As you have covered the detail in your original email you don’t need to repeat the process.
In terms of what to say it could be;
I just wanted to follow up on an email I sent you 5 days ago ( see below ) regarding (my piece of content ).
It would be great to hear back from you if possible to see if this is something you would be interested in sharing with your blog readers.
I look forward to hearing from you.
What To Do With A Negative Reply
More than likely at some point you will get some negative replies back.
This is quite normal and in fact, gives you an opportunity to engage with the person.
A few tips here on how to deal with it.
Firstly, always reply don’t ignore it. It can be tempting to ignore it as you have put a lot of sweat and tears into your piece of content and someone is in effect criticising it.
That is a short-term view though, the person may not like that piece of content but love the next piece you approach them with.
The last thing you want is to put them off ever looking at another email from you.
Secondly, it is a good way to get some feedback on your content. Go back to them (politely) and ask them what you can do to improve or make your content better.
Sometimes it might just be the link target just doesn’t have time to write a blog post and link to you. In that case, you can offer some help in writing it for them.
You could also use their rejection to ask them about what content they see as missing in the niche/industry you are dealing with. You might be able to work with them to create some content to fill that gap.
Some Of The Pitfalls To Avoid
Mass Email Software
It might be tempting to save time and work to use a mass email software.
When it comes to link building it is not a good idea.
There are several reasons for this.
Firstly, it is quite hard to personalize mass, templated emails. If there is a mistake on the email it gets sent to everyone.
Secondly, you could be seen as spam and blocked from your intended target.
Thirdly, you might also be breaking a law if you are mass emailing to people who have not opted into to you doing so.
Finally and more importantly you are putting your own reputation at risk and the professionalism you are trying to put across.
In conclusion, then, outreach can be quite a lot of work and time and effort on your part.
However, if done in the right way it can yield solid, natural and high-quality links, as well as the potential of establishing relationships with like-minded individuals in your niche.
If you are considering outreach or would like a campaign developed why not contact us to see if we can help. – Contact Us Here