How to Use Blogger Outreach to Promote Content and Build Links
The rise of content marketing has been a very interesting process, especially now that the practice has gone mainstream. You may have also noticed the shifting trends that have come with its increasing prominence.
One crucial change is that simply broadcasting the same message to the target audience is no longer an effective tactic. Instead, strategies that focus on building authentic relationships seem to be doing so much better. After all, personalization and customization have become the name of the game.
As a content creator, one of your main goals is to publish something that your existing audience will enjoy or find helpful. Or you could be more concerned about how highly Google’s search results rank the content because this will ensure that your site gets plenty of new visitors every month.
Whatever the case, blogger outreach can help you achieve both these goals. More importantly, it is also a great way to promote any new content and build some high-quality backlinks that will help your site rank higher on search result pages.
The basic idea that social influence will affect the quality of links to your blog or website still holds true. Some would even consider links one of the highest forms of currency for online content creators. Why is that? One reason for this is that it shows that your site is a credible, trustworthy authority within the industry. Your content can be trusted because other influential bloggers have cited you in their work. You should never underestimate the power of social influence!
So how do you go about getting those all-important links? How can you convince other bloggers to promote your work to their own audiences? Well, it definitely isn’t through bombarding them with generic mass emails! That is not to say that networking via email cannot work – you just have to learn how to do it right.
But it is important to remember that blogger outreach is not the same as broadcasting. Sending the same mass email to top bloggers within your niche with the lame excuse that you “saw” their tweet to a similar post is not blogger outreach. At this point, it is simply an annoying message that the recipient will most likely delete even before reading.
The good news is that getting bloggers to work with you is not that hard – if you play your cards right. If you want to find bloggers in your area or learn how to reach out to bloggers, then read on for the easiest and most actionable guide below.
How does Blogger Outreach Work?
Have you ever wondered why some blogs and websites become popular so quickly? They seem to burst out from obscurity to become some of the leading sites within their niche in a matter of months. How is that possible for those blogs to become overnight sensations while yours is still languishing in ambiguity after investing a lot of time on yours? The answer is blogger outreach.
You might be more knowledgeable about the subject and have better content. You might even be working harder to promote it on various social media platforms. So why aren’t you getting the same results? It might be because you are not connecting to the right people. That is where blogger outreach comes in.
The primary objective of this is to increase your traffic and reach, get noticed by a larger audience, promote a new product, and earn credible mentions. The problem is that the bloggers that you want to reach out to are incredibly busy and hard to meet. Unless you can score an introduction from a mutual connection, then you will most likely have to find some new way to get in touch with particular bloggers. That is where the blogger outreach email comes in.
Please note that we are not talking about spam! If your outreach process involves sending a bunch of generic mass emails, that is essentially what you are doing. Instead, we are focusing on personalized email communication that is customized to a particular blogger that you would really love to work with.
What is in it for them? If you can give the recipient a compelling reason to care about what you are sending them, then you will notice an immediate uptick in your response rates. Great outreach is all about adding value to a hand-picked group of targeted prospects in order to receive something positive in return. In this case, your main goal is to turn a larger audience onto your content as well as gain links to your site. You can read about how to create awesome value propositions here.
Instead of just posting your content on social channels and hoping some big blogger notices it, outreach ensures that they will do so. Before long, you will find that this proactive approach will help you get more:
Vetting Outreach Prospects
The first step to any outreach campaign should be to decide which bloggers you could potentially work with. Your decision should revolve around three groups of people:
- Those that have written articles on similar topics
- Those that have linked to articles on similar topics
- Those that have tweeted or posted about similar topics
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how you can narrow your list down further, it is important to talk about your outreach ‘excuse’. What is the reason for your outreach? So many people get it wrong by initiating the first email by saying they saw that the blogger wrote about, linked to, or tweeted a “similar” article.
Though it seems counterintuitive, the truth of the matter is that no one cares about engaging over “similar” articles. They want to know your unique take on any interesting, controversial, or disrupting articles. Here are some other bad excuses for your blogger outreach emails:
- I wrote a similar article…
- My article is a longer take on…
- I added a few more images in a similar article…
Why are these examples ‘bad’? Bloggers are always looking for fresh angles to cover on any interesting topic. Because of that need, the best way to reel them in is by showing that.
So the whole point of this vetting exercise is to determine if your ideas can add any value to what the blogger has shown an interest in. If you want to get their attention, your email should communicate this value proposition clearly.
Instead, here are a few examples of what you should do:
- My article explores a different take on issue xyz…
- Through my research, I have come across some interesting data that goes against (or supports) some of the ideas in your article
- I interviewed some experts in the field and collected a couple of fascinating conclusions that you haven’t talked about in your post
An excuse like this immediately draws the blogger in. They want to know, “What could I have missed in my research?” Or, “Which new angle haven’t I thought of before?” But a good rule of thumb is to avoid reaching out to anyone if you do not have a good reason to do so.
Also, it is important not to approach the same person too often during this vetting process. You do not want to come across as pushy or annoying so early in the game! Even if your emails are well written and relevant, no one wants to be hit with the same email every day. Instead, you can use professional outreach tools like Roojet to help you keep track of your conversations with your prospects without getting annoying.
Another important thing to talk about is how to reach out to the bloggers who have already linked to or tweeted about your content. It actually makes a lot of sense to do so at the beginning of your campaign. But once you gain some traction, it is better to focus on the first two groups instead.
How to Compile a list of Prospects for Blogger Outreach
Remember the three groups of potential bloggers that we have already highlighted? Let’s go further and discuss how to find bloggers in your niche. These tips will help you can further narrow down your list of outreach prospects:
1. Bloggers that have written articles on a similar topic
Finding this group of bloggers is particularly easy. All you have to do is type in some keywords that are related to the topic of your article into Google. The search results will bring up a comprehensive list of similar articles that you can then follow to find the relevant blogger.
You could then simply copy-paste these URLs from the Google search results into a spreadsheet or word document. However, that process can be very boring and tiresome. So you can use online tools – such as Ahref’s Content Explorer – that are specifically made for that purpose.
A great rule to follow is to seek backlinks from sites that have never linked to your content before. That is because search engines consider those links more valuable than those from people you already have backlinks from.
So if you find that your final list is too long, you can use this as criteria to whittle it down. Once you have the final list, you can then easily find anybody’s email address with this awesome tool.
2. Bloggers who have linked to articles on the same topics
In order to compile a list of these prospects, you will need an efficient backlink tool. There are many great ones on the market today, including Moz’s Open Site Explorer.
These tools allow you to sort through articles that have a certain minimum number of sites linking back to them. You can also organize the resulting list of articles according to the number of referring domains. Once this is done, all you have to do is examine each URL to discover any promising opportunities for outreach.
3. Bloggers who have tweeted or posted about similar topics
Some people feel that your blogger outreach campaign will be the least effective when you focus on this group of prospects. This is – in part – because most people tweet or post to other social channels a lot more than they publish other content.
Apart from this, studies have actually proven that over 70 percent of people do not read through any of these posted articles. A simple glimpse of the headline is enough for the masses to comment on (or judge!) the content, then they move on to the next trending topic.
In spite of this shocking statistic, you should not give up on this group of prospects altogether. You simply have to be more selective about the people you are reaching out to. You will also have to invest a lot more time into personalizing your outreach.
To find bloggers that have tweeted certain content is relatively easy. You can just type in the relevant URL of the article you are interested in into Twitter’s search bar. The results will show you a couple of the top tweets, which can help direct your outreach prospecting. But you could also take it a step further and click on the “Latest” button to see everything that is available in relation to that link.
Setting your Blogger Outreach on Autopilot
The groups of prospects that we have already mentioned represent all the existing opportunities for blogger outreach. But what if you want to create new ones? Every day, a huge volume of new content is published online. So you have to be able to keep up to date with the developments that are taking place within your niche. This is the only way that you will be able to reach out as soon as any new opportunities come up.
So how can you do that?
1. Track all mentions of relevant keywords
Google Alerts has been a great resource for online marketers and SEO enthusiasts for many years now. All you have to do is type in a couple of keywords that are related to your content and set it up to notify you whenever someone mentions them online. Then, depending on the context in which the keyword been used, you can then decide if reaching out to the author with your own content makes sense.
2. Collect New Links
If you use a backlinks tool to look up any article that ranks highly on Google’s search engines, you will see that it keeps getting new backlinks consistently. This shows that people often link to the top-ranked articles without doing any additional research. And this vicious cycle goes on and on, with new content rarely going off the set path.
The only upside to this is that you can use it to your advantage. This lazy SEO makes it very easy for you to keep up with any new links that the top-ranked results receive.
The Importance of Timing
We have already talked about the best time to send outreach emails in order to improve your email and response rates. While important, that is not exactly the kind of timing we are referring to here.
Imagine for a second that you discover a great post or tweet that an influential blogger made a couple of years ago. Why on earth would they be interested in the same topic today? It could happen, but the chances of that are very low.
That is why it is important to focus most of your time reaching out to newer outreach prospects. This approach will save you from hours of sifting through large volumes of older prospects. It will also keep your email from reading as spam just because the timing is not right.
Once a new opportunity for outreach presents itself, you will have to react to it fast. The author will still be pumped about the topic and so they will be more open to talking about it. But this does not mean that you should totally ignore old prospects. You just have to make sure that the odds are stacked more in your favor at all times throughout the blogger outreach campaign.
The Objectives of Outreach
Everyone gets into blogger outreach for many different reasons. These include:
- Scoring a Guest Post
If the blogger regularly allows others to write content for their site, then you could reach out to offer the to write some new content for them.
- Scheduling a Sponsored Post
You might be wondering how to get bloggers to review your product. Well, the easiest way to do so is by offering a sponsored post. This basically involves paying them to talk about your brand, service or product.
While it is effective in the short term, it might not be the best way to build a continuous partnership over time.
- Building Relationships
This approach is focused more on the future. You could use outreach as a tool to simply get to know someone without any short term agenda. But that relationship could be invaluable to you and your site in the long run. It could open you up to advice and opportunities you might never have gotten in any other way.
- Generate a Buzz for your Content
If you are able to prove that your content will provide value, the blogger may go on to share it with their audience. This endorsement is one of the fastest ways to drive up your traffic, reach, engagement, and rank in a very short time.
But it is obvious that the main goal for many people is to get links and more exposure. But that does not mean it has to be your primary objective. If you take that approach, it is a surefire way of annoying a lot of big fish with what they will see as cocky arrogance.
This is the main reason why we constantly advise against asking for tweets, links, or guest posts directly. Instead, your main goal should be to make your prospects so interested in your content that they will be able to read it all the way through.
If you are able to do this, chances are high that the blogger will simply share your content under their own steam. You will not have to ask for it. And even if the outreach does not go as planned, you will avoid burning any bridges by being overly pushy and aggressive
What are you Waiting For?
With all the technology and apps being launched every day, blogger outreach might seem like a hopelessly old school approach. But the truth is that it does work – and very effectively!
Do it right and you will have created relationships with influential people that can help your blog grow for a long time to come.
Depending on the niche you are in, you might have to be more aggressive than usual. This is because some markets are simply too saturated with blogger outreach. If you want to stand out, you will have to do more.
Set aside a couple of minutes each day to send emails to the right people and comment on the right blogs. These moves will automatically set you apart from the crowd.
Do you want to be just like the millions of other bloggers that simply publish their content and wait for someone influential to share it? Or do you want your blog or website to be the next big thing? If your answer is what we think it is, then what are you waiting for?
Start off your blogger outreach campaign with a bang and let us know what your experiences are like in the comments below