In the past, you could reach out to a blogger and get your article published overnight. However, as the digital industry has become more demanding, building quality links is everything but an overnight job. To get the most out of it, you first need to get your content published on highly authoritative sites relevant to your niche and target audience. And, as editors of such sites receive loads of guest post pitches every day, you need to find a way to rise above the crowd and spark their interest.
Here are a few tips that may help you.
Your content needs to be exceptional.
Any reputable blogger has invested years in creating a spotless online reputation and building an extensive online community. So, to get them to work with you, you need to create content that will sweep them off their feet. First, spend some time checking out their previous blog posts to see what concepts they are interested in. Then, build an effective storytelling strategy and create engaging, informative, and relevant content around these concepts.
There are several tools that will make this ideation stage simpler to you. For example, BuzzSumo lets you enter a keyword and see what the hottest topics related to that phrase are. You can filter the results in multiple ways, as well as see the number of each posts social shares, number of links, and total engagement. Some other tools that may help you generate fantastic content ideas are Feedly, HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator, Google Trends, and Alltop.
Finding relevant link prospects.
You need to look for the sites in your industry that target the same audiences and write about similar topics; this is what link prospecting is for.
Start with the basic Google search and look for bloggers manually. For example, if you want to share a guest post about digital marketing, you can google something like, “digital marketing write for us.” Then, you can take this manual search to the next level using Google search parameters. Let’s say you want to search for the “digital marketing” keyword only in the title of the page. In this case, you would enter intitle:”digital marketing” and get the desired results.
Sure, you can automate your link prospecting efforts by using various link building services and tools. These tools allow you to set customized search parameters, give you all relevant information about a site, or even filter out the results for you. In other words, while the software does the boring stuff for you, you can focus on the creative aspects of link building.
Choose Your Influencers Wisely
Now that you’ve made a list of potential link building opportunities, you need to make sure they’re worth your while. Simply put, you need to pay attention to their relevancy and quality. Here are the most important metrics you need to pay attention to:
- How many articles they publish on a weekly basis
- Their domain rating (Ahrefs)
- Their domain authority (Moz)
- Their backlink portfolio
- Social following and engagement factors (like the number of social media followers, the number of likes and shares, or comments per post)
- The overall design of the site
The right link has a balance between page authority and relevance.
Do Your Homework to Build Meaningful Connections
Now that you’ve cherry-picked the most reputable influencers you would like to connect with; you need to approach them wisely. You cannot just say “Hey, I want you to link back to my site.” It’s not that simple. Blogger outreach is all about building strong relationships that benefit both parties.
Make the interaction personal.
Start following them on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn and like, comment on, and repost their content regularly. Keep track of their latest blog posts and leave comments on their site, too. Use your real name so they can get familiar with it before you send them an email. Also, make sure your comments are meaningful. Make sure you either ask a relevant question or provide valuable information. Most importantly, don’t ever think about spamming your comments with links to your site. Remember, you’re using them to make connections/ build relationships, not to generate links.
Write an Impressive Pitch
We’ve already mentioned that popular bloggers in your niche get hundreds of emails every day. Of course, they won’t read them all. They will choose to open the ones that intrigue them and send the rest to trash. So, how to create a pitch that stands out?
- Use your private email. Company emails sound overly promotional, and they turn bloggers off.
- Write a killer subject line, as it’s your first interaction with a blogger. Mind your tone and make it to-the-point and transparent.
- Introduce yourself in a few lines. Tell them who you are and why are reaching out to them. Don’t forget to mention if you’re a contributor to a ridiculously-popular site like Forbes or Entrepreneur and include the links to your previous articles.
- Let them know that you’ve done your research by mentioning something you’ve read about them on their social profiles or site. That’s also great for making the conversation more personal.
- State clearly what value you can bring to their site. Reference their content and provide some fresh insights into topics they’ve already covered.
- Double-check your spelling and grammar. Editors use your email pitch to assess your literacy. Lots of typos in your pitch subtly relay that they would probably have to spend hours correcting your grammar issues before publishing the article.
Track and Measure Your Blogging Efforts
Guest blogging is a numbers game and, to make the most out of it, you will need to send out lots of emails. And, not keeping track of what’s pitched, accepted, ordered, or live may soon become overwhelming for you, which is why you could use Google Sheets to make a simple table of your guest blogging opportunities and update it on the run. It’s is the only way to meet deadlines and build professional blogger outreach relationships.
Promote your content once it’s live.
Once your guest post is live, you need to promote it extensively on social networks; this is important for a few reasons. First, publishing a great blog post adds up to your online reputation as a reliable online resource. Second, it will indirectly drive lots of traffic to your site and boost your SEO. Finally, a blogger will be happy to see that their collaboration with you brought them lots of beneficial traffic, shares, and backlinks (and, chances are they will want you to write for them in the future).
Back to you
Blogger outreach may be tedious, but it’s a necessity. It lets you build organic and quality links, drive relevant traffic, and brand yourself effectively. Most importantly, it enables you to foster a meaningful, long-term relationship and a fruitful collaboration with a reputable blogger — this is your reward for all the hard work.